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enchilada sauce in sauce pan on stove

Homemade Enchilada Sauce with Dried Chiles

  • 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

Keywords: Chilies, Enchilada

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