This Easy Enchilada Sauce is vegan, oil free, gluten free and can be made in minutes! Once you make this homemade version you’ll never buy store bought sauce again!
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I absolutely love Mexican food! I also love sauces! So, of course, I had to have a good enchilada sauce on my site.
My family eat Mexican meals at least once a week. It’s a great way to enjoy healthy plant based food, and to include healthy ingredients like beans, tomatoes, onion, and lettuce. And a good Mexican red sauce is a wonderful spicy addition to those meals. Since this is made in just a few minutes with mostly pantry ingredients, you can make some any time you want that extra flavor.
What is enchilada sauce?
Authentic red enchilada sauce is made with dried whole peppers such as guajillo, ancho, passilla, and arbol. They are combined with some kind of broth, onion, and garlic, and make a rich, spicy sauce.
However, to make enchilada sauce in minutes, I used chili powder in this recipe instead of the dried chilis.
Why make your own enchilada sauce?
- You can make it without oil. While it’s easy to purchase canned enchilada sauce, almost all of them contain oil.
- It can be made low sodium by using a salt free tomato sauce and low sodium broth or water.
- You can control the spice level by increasing or decreasing the chili powder and choosing the type of chili powder you prefer.
- It’s gluten free – most enchilada sauce recipes contain a roux made with flour. I thickened mine with cornstarch, making it 100% gluten free! You can substitute arrowroot powder for the cornstarch, if you’re sensitive to corn.
- It’s easy and delicious!
You only need 9 ingredients to make this simple recipe!
- Yellow onion
- Canned tomato sauce – if you are watching your sodium level, use salt free tomato sauce
- Canned tomato paste
- Vegetable broth – I usually use the Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base, but you can use whatever vegetable broth you like. If you’re watching sodium levels, use a low sodium or salt free broth.
- Chili powder – I use an American chili powder blend. If you use an international chili powder, it will be much spicier, so start with a half to one teaspoon and add more to taste. There are many chili powders out there, so choose the one you like best.
- Cornstarch – if you are sensitive to corn, you can use arrowroot powder
- Maple syrup – use 100% pure maple syrup, or your preferred sweetener. This is to round out the flavor from the acidic tomato products.
- Ground cumin
How to make homemade enchilada sauce
This recipe is so easy you’ll wonder why you haven’t always made your own enchilada sauce!
Place the onion, garlic, tomato sauce, and all the remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Then pour the sauce into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly.
The sauce is ready when it comes to a boil and is slightly thickened.
Uses for this vegan enchilada sauce
- Use this sauce on homemade enchiladas like my Quinoa and Black Bean Enchiladas.
- Include some of this sauce inside or spooned over your burritos.
- Mix it with Ranch Dressing to use in your Taco Salads.
- Mix it with Sour Cream to use as a flavorful dip.
- Spoon a little over a side of Refried Beans
- Add it to flavorful casseroles.
This sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. For longer storage, pour the cooled sauce into a mason jar and freeze for up to 3 months. It freezes so well, why not make a double batch and freeze it in small containers to have on hand for weeknight meals?
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Easy Enchilada Sauce – Vegan and Oil Free
- ½ medium yellow onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Transfer contents of the blender to a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce comes to a boil.