This amazing homemade Enchilada Sauce ensures that you will never buy store bought enchilada sauce again. The recipe comes together quickly and is very easy to make. A fabulous Whole Food Plant Based recipe. Oil free, sugar free, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.
Hi! Robin here!
I love enchiladas! The Enchilada Skillet recipe is a huge family favorite. In another life, I made enchiladas fairly regularly, so when we went Whole Food Plant Based, I was on a mission to create an enchilada recipe that was WFPB compliant. We are so excited about our Enchilada Skillet recipe; it’s WFPB perfection!
I had previously used canned enchilada sauce in my recipes, but quickly found that I couldn’t find a WFPB enchilada sauce that was compliant and didn’t taste like a can. Most stores had enchilada sauces that had added sugar, soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, or olive oil listed in the ingredients. Plus, they were not gluten free, which is important for my family. While there may be a totally WFPB compliant enchilada sauce out there, I couldn’t find one. I’m okay with that because I am so happy with the enchilada sauce recipe that Monkey and I created!
It’s funny, I never really took the time to actually taste store bought enchilada sauce (on its own) before we created this recipe. So, in order to get it as authentic as possible, I bought 2 different brands of my favorite canned sauces (they were not WFPB compliant) as I wanted to do a taste test comparison for creating a WFPB sauce. Enchilada sauce solely on its own isn’t much to write home about. I am so glad I did the taste comparison test as I feel like our WFPB recipe totally kicks butt.
Enchilada Sauce Perfection!
Allow me to introduce to you our WFPB enchilada sauce. It can be made ahead and works perfectly with many WFPB recipes. It comes together quickly, and it’s very easy to make. It has just the right texture and the perfect blend of spices.
Tips for success!
While it may seem odd to stir flour and spices around in a dry skillet with a wooden spoon, it is a necessary step. This step helps heat the flour and cook it a little. This removes that flour taste. Plus, you really want the spices to shine through and not the flour. Heating the spices allows them to become fragrant and wakes them up. Dry stirring them around in a medium-hot skillet accomplishes this nicely.
We hope you give this enchilada sauce a try! You will never want to buy canned enchilada sauce at the store again.
There isn’t a lot I can say about this enchilada sauce that Mom hasn’t already discussed. I would add that finding a great chili spice is important. Every chili spice has a different blend of spices in it. Some are hotter, some are spicier. In the end, the chili spice you select will dictate how spicy and/or hot vs mild your enchilada sauce will turn out.
- 8-quart ceramic/enamel lined Dutch Oven or similar nonstick skillet
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 13 minutes
- Total Time: 23 minutes
- Yield: 3 Cups 1x
- Category: Sauce
- Cuisine: Mexican
This amazing homemade enchilada sauce ensures that you will never buy store bought enchilada sauce again. The recipe comes together quickly and is very easy to make. A fabulous Whole Food Plant Based recipe. Oil free, sugar free, no highly processed ingredients, and gluten free.
- 3 Tablespoons flour (of choice)
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano (or regular oregano)
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt *
- 3 cups water
- 1 – [ 8 oz. can ] tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- Combine the dry spices in a small bowl, stir to incorporate. Set aside.
- Heat a ceramic lined/enameled skillet over medium heat. When skillet is heated, add the flour and dry spices. Dry stir constantly to heat the flour and release the fragrance of the spices, approx. 2 to 3 minutes.
- Stir in the water, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Stir until well combined, smooth, and slightly thickened. Continue stirring over medium heat, then lower to a simmer.
- Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Include in your favorite recipe or cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
Storage: Cool to warm, place in glass/plastic storage and refrigerate. Use within 7 days or process in a pressurized canner to seal for long term storage.
Can I substitute arrow root or cornstarch instead of flour? I need gluten free.
We are gluten free too 🙂 The recipe calls for all purpose gluten free flour. We used Bob’s Red Mill brand. You could replace the gluten free flour with gluten free cornstarch or arrow root too.
– Ameera and Robin 🙂
This sauce looks absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to have my own homemade enchilada sauce at home to use when I please!
Hi there Billy! Thank you so much! We truly appreciate you taking the time to write <3 We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
-Ameera and Robin 🙂
Hi there Lee 🙂
Thank you so much!
-Ameera and Robin 🙂
I made this last night (with the posole) and it was easy and tastes great! I wonder if I can freeze the leftover enchilada sauce? It will take me a few days to eat the posole. And once I pull it out of the freezer, if I don’t make posole, can I just use on top of beans and rice?
Hi there Susan 🙂
We sincerely apologize for the late response as Monkey has been on maternity leave and we are now just being able to address comments – thank you for your patience.
Yaaaay!!! We are so glad you enjoyed this recipe as well as our posole. Yes, you can freeze the leftover enchilada sauce. It would be super tasty over some rice and beans. We appreciate you sharing your awesome feedback and for taking the time to write.
-Ameera and Robin 🙂
I have always hated canned enchilada sauce. It has a chemical taste to it. This was wonderful and fresh tasting. I made this and used for Polsole. Froze the rest for another dish in the future. Thank you!
Hi there Destiny 🙂
Woo hoo!!! We are so glad that you enjoyed our enchilada sauce! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful feedback with us; we truly appreciate it!
-Ameera and Robin 🙂
Easy to mix up with pantry ingredients. I used a gum free GF blend for the flour, good to see in the comments that I could use cornstarch or a GF flour with zanthum. Tasty and looking forward to using the leftover sauce after making the enchilada mac and cheese.
Hey there Denette 🙂
Awesome!! We are so happy that you gave this recipe a try and enjoyed it! Thank you so much for taking time to write! We sincerely appreciate it.
-Ameera and Robin
Ooh, ladies! This stuff is Da. Bomb! So much better (and rather cheaper, yay!) than any canned variety I’ve ever had! Particularly yummy over your potato and black bean enchiladas! I did cheat on the oil-free part somewhat: sprinkled about a half cup of shredded Chao cheese over the casserole before I put it in the oven. I’m still having a little trouble getting the tortillas just the right temp to roll. I’ve got the process down pat for tortillas that break apart (not warm enough) and also the ones that turn to mush (a little too warm and the… Read more »
Hey there Douglas 🙂
Thank you so much for giving this recipe a try! We are thrilled that you enjoyed it. We hear you on getting the tortilla temp just right! LOL We appreciate you sharing your awesome review of this recipe!
-Ameera and Robin