Home | homemade enchilada sauce

homemade enchilada sauce

by Heather

Over the weekend I caught a bug.

A domestic bug.

Not only did I make a huge batch of enchilada sauce, I also made some fresh, salt free bouillon (coming next). Both for one crockpot recipe (coming after the bouillon ) Whenever I make sauce, I like to start with a huge can of tomatoes from Costco. Typically I go for crushed tomatoes, for things like tomato sauce and chili, but for enchiladas I needed something a bit more smooth. Tomato sauce it was!

Since I used such a huge can, my recipe is based off of it. You can halve or quarter the recipe if you don’t want to make so much. Enchilada sauce is actually quite simple to make. You’re basically just making tomato sauce spiced, and a little less tomato-y with the addition of water or broth. To keep it thick (and not watered down) I started with with a roux of oil and flour.

My original plan was to can the extra pints of sauce. My mom gave me all her canning supplies so I was set on that front, now just to know what to do. I read through the canning book she gave me, then consulted with my friend Megan on it. Turns out canning is pretty specific as far as acidity of the food and using a canning specific recipe to ensure it cans correctly (to keep bacteria out)… so instead of canning I froze the extra. Next time I will plan ahead better so that I can can it!

One reasons I wanted to make my own sauce was to keep the salt down. Since Hunter is eating more and more with us I have to adapt a little bit. He doesn’t need any salt, which means we’ll just be eating less salt too. Not a bad thing. The only salt in the recipe was already in the tomato sauce that I used, but you could definitely use a salt free tomato sauce (or make your own) to keep it be completely salt free.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Makes enough sauce for 1 large 9×13 dish of enchiladas (20 ounces) + 6 pints to freeze


  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ flour
  • 106 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp each: garlic granules, onion powder and pepper


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the oil and flour.  Whisk together until flour is dissolved.  Cook for 1 minute.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 15-30 minutes to allow flavors to meld and sauce to thicken.
  2. Use sauce immediately and freeze extra (one cooled).

I’m very excited to keep adding to my real food pantry! It’s more work than just opening up a can or jar (although here I did start with canned sauce…), but I figure if I make a big batch each time, over time my pantry will be stocked with homemade staples. Definitely worth it to have homemade foods on hand. Better for you and better tasting!

What do you make in big batches for your pantry?


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Erica January 30, 2013 - 7:33 am

I love this idea! Enchilada sauce is so yummy!!

homemade salt free bouillon | Fit Mama Real Food February 4, 2013 - 8:28 pm

[…] started with enchilada sauce, now I can add homemade bouillon to the mix. It’s definitely not at all like traditional […]

Amy February 18, 2013 - 3:46 pm

Are you sure the measurements are on? I am making this right now but don’t see how I will get 20 oz + 6 pints for freezing…there looks to only be about 6 cups worth of ingredients.

Fit Mama February 18, 2013 - 4:03 pm

Amy, sorry there was a typo! It’s a 106 oz can of tomato sauce – the big size from Costco.

Amy February 18, 2013 - 4:09 pm

Dang! Guess I need to add a lot more tomato sauce to it now! 🙂

Amy February 18, 2013 - 4:30 pm

PS, this has awesome flavor, especially now that I added more tomato sauce and it’s not so spicy! 🙂

weekend getaway, food budget and meal plan {july 29-aug 2} | July 29, 2013 - 7:45 am

[…] real recipe for the enchiladas, I'll make this sauce for them, stuff the tortillas with shredded cooked chicken, green chilies, cream cheese, sautéd […]

Heather March 12, 2014 - 11:25 am

Did you freeze the remaining sauce in jars or baggies?

Fit Mama March 16, 2014 - 8:59 pm

I froze this in jars but have also used freezer bags. Just whatever you prefer!


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