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Red Enchilada Sauce

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Enchilada sauce is as easy to make as it is to just open a can of it from the store.  Basic ingredients like tomato sauce and chili pepper combine to make a delicious sauce to top enchiladas or tacos.  Don’t run to the store – make the sauce yourself!

Red Enchilada Sauce - Growing Up Gabel

In 2004 my (new) husband and I made the trek across country from Michigan to Arizona.  We did everything you shouldn’t do — we got married, moved 2,000 miles away from everyone we knew for a new job.  It was not a fun year. But we did have a nice time driving the 2,000 miles! We stopped one night in Albuquerque, New Mexico and had dinner in the Old Town.  I can’t remember what exactly ordered, but I remember the waiter asking me if I wanted it “red or green”?  I would come to figure out that sauces on Mexican foods are either red (from chili peppers) or green (from tomatillos).  I prefer green, but every once in a while I want a red chili sauce.

You can, of course, buy this in a can at the store, but this sauce is much tastier, cleaner and cheaper!  Use it to make some delicious chicken enchiladas!


Red Enchilada Sauce

Red Enchilada Sauce


  • 1/4 cup oil (I use grapeseed)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves finely diced or pressed
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Cumin to taste


  1. Heat oil in a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Saute onions for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 more minute.
  2. Whisk in flour and chili powder and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  3. Whisk in tomato sauce and then water until smooth.
  4. Add garlic salt and cumin to taste.


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