This Homemade Enchilada Sauce uses easy to find pantry staples to make a flavorful sauce you will love! Way better than the canned stuff! And gluten-free!

glass jar of homemade enchilada sauce with tomatoes on one side


Mexican food is a staple in many of our friends’ households including ours. While tacos could never be considered overrated, there are so many other varieties of Mexican foods that are absolutely delicious and can be prepared for any meal. If breakfast is your favorite meal, this Mexican Breakfast Hash will satisfy that craving.  They’re endless options for lunch or dinner like this Keto Taco Pizza or Chicken Fajita Soup. Many Mexican dishes require an enchilada sauce. We’ve created an easy, gluten-free enchilada sauce that can be made with kitchen pantry staples.

This is a thick, full bodied sauce, not a thin sauce that absorbs into the tortillas. This naturally gluten-free enchilada sauce is such a cinch to throw together. Just tomato sauce, garlic and loads of spices. I just let it simmer on the stove to make sure all of the flavors meld together perfectly and voila, you’re done!

This enchilada sauce is perfect to combine with our Keto Sour Cream Enchiladas or this Chicken Enchilada Skillet. If your busy schedule requires meal planning, prepare this enchilada sauce in advance and it would be great to combine with this quick, easy One Pan Enchiladas or Crockpot Salsa Chicken.

homemade red enchilada sauce in a saucepan with a spatula hovering over top

Ingredients for Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Making red enchilada sauce from scratch requires just a handful of ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to make this quick enchilada sauce:

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Spices (chili powder, oregano, cumin, onion powder, garlic salt)
  • Hot sauce
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Water

How to Make Enchilada Sauce

I’ve given detailed instructions in the recipe card below on how to make this easy enchilada sauce. Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Sauté the garlic in a little olive oil.
  2. Add the hot sauce and spices. Cook until fragrant.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce and water.
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until reduced and thickened.

Can This Recipe Be Prepped in Advance?

Yes, this easy homemade enchilada sauce will last up to 1 week in the fridge so feel free to make a batch before a busy work week.

How Long Does Homemade Enchilada Sauce Last?

This gluten-free enchilada sauce will last up to 7 days in the fridge if stored in an airtight container.

Can You Freeze Enchilada Sauce?

Yes! Store in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight.

Can This Recipe Be Doubled?

Yes, very easily! Simply double the ingredients list. Note that doubling the recipe may increase the cook time.

homemade enchilada sauce being drizzled into a glass ball jar

Ways to Use Enchilada Sauce

This homemade red enchilada sauce can of course be used to make enchiladas. However, there are so many more ways to enjoy it!

Try using your homemade enchilada sauce:

  • Atop your morning eggs
  • Inside a burrito
  • Spooned over rice
  • In soups
  • … and more!

Tips for the BEST Enchilada Sauce

  • I used Texas Pete hot sauce, but you can use any kind you’d like.
  • If making gluten-free enchiladas with this homemade red enchilada sauce, I recommend using corn tortillas. To prevent them from cracking, I wrap them in a kitchen towel and microwave them for about 30-40 seconds so they are nice and hot when I roll them up with the filling. They don’t fall apart as easily if you work with them when they are warm!
  • For spicier homemade enchilada sauce, add extra hot sauce and / or chili powder. You can also add a pinch of cayenne.

More Easy Mexican Recipes:

Homemade Enchilada Sauce ...a super simple sauce from scratch, so much better than the canned stuff! #glutenfree

Get the Recipe: Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Easy Homemade Enchilada sauce that is packed with flavor and made from scratch!
4.34 from 9 ratings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder, ancho chili powder works well if you want more spice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Heat a small sauce pan to medium heat.
  • Add olive oil and garlic, stirring for about 20 seconds until garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, onion powder, hot sauce, garlic salt, and salt, stirring mixture for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomato sauce and water, stir well.
  • Bring mixture to a light simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Let mixture simmer 20 minutes.


  • This recipe makes 2 cups, generally enough for a 9x13 pan of enchiladas.
  • This recipe makes 8 (1/4 cup) servings, and each serving has 2.1 net carbs.
Serving: 0.25 cup (1/8th of recipe), Calories: 32kcal, Carbohydrates: 3.4g, Protein: 0.8g, Fat: 3.2g, Sodium: 147.4mg, Fiber: 1.3g, Sugar: 1.3g
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