enchilada sauce in sauce pan on stove

Enchilada Sauce with Dried Chiles

Enchilada sauce from scratch is actually really easy!

There’s so much depth of flavor from making it at home. A few simple and easy-to-find ingredients make this Enchilada Sauce a staple in your kitchen. Use it on your traditional Mexican dishes as well as my Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili.

★★★★★ 5 Star Average Rating

I love Mexican food and I love to cook it at home but I don’t love canned enchilada sauce.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce with Dried Chiles is the answer to all my home-cooked Mexican food woes.

Sometimes I get in my head about certain things. I imagine it’s too difficult to make some recipes from scratch. My addiction to Food Network has helped me gain confidence in the kitchen. Trial and error brought me to this amazing enchilada sauce recipe and I’m delighted to share it with you.

This sauce has mild to medium heat. My husband says it’s the perfect slow build-up that sits in the back of your mouth.

I use this sauce on wings, in my chili recipes, in homemade salsa… you won’t believe how it amps up the flavor of other dishes.

You can find all of the ingredients at a good grocery store or Mexican market. I’ve also added links for where I order mine.

🛒 Shopping List

🍽 Special Equipment needed:

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
enchilada sauce in sauce pan on stove

Homemade Enchilada Sauce with Dried Chiles

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x


This mild to medium spicy enchilada sauce will make any home-cooked enchilada sing. Great sauce for chili, wings, and salsa.


  • 5 Medium-sized Dried California Anaheim Chiles
  • 1 Large Dried Ancho Chile
  • 2 Dried Chile de Arbol
  • 4 cups Water
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Diced yellow onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • ½ tsp Ground Oregano
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Double Concentrated Tomato Paste


  1. Toast dried chiles in a hot cast iron skillet for 5 minutes on each side being careful not to burn them.
    roasting chiles in cast iron
  2. While toasting the chiles, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  3. Once chiles are toasted, add them to the boiling water and boil for 5 minutes then turn the heat off. Let them sit in the water for another 5-19 minutes until they are soft.
    chiles simmering in water
  4. Remove softened chiles and let them cool on a paper towel. Don't discard the water. Keep until later.
  5. Once the chiles are cooled, cut them open and clean out the seeds. I use a small spoon or my thumb to push them out. Remove the stems as well.
  6. Put cleaned chiles in the food processor.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the food processor with the cleaned chiles.
  8. Add the onion, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, spices, and apple cider vinegar to the food processor with the chiles and water.
  9. Blend until smooth.
    blended chiles in food processor
  10. Pour smooth chile sauce back into the saucepan with the remaining cooking water.
    chile sauce cooking on stove
  11. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or until it is the consistency of ketchup.


Once it’s cooked down, let it cool and serve with your favorite enchiladas or store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Condiments & Sauces
  • Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe Card powered byTasty Recipes

🍛 Looking for other Recipes? Click Here