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Create your own homemade New Mexican Inspired Red Chile Enchilada Sauce made with toasted dried red chile pods, chicken stock, onions, garlic and spices.

three mason jars filled with homemade enchilada sauce
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Homemade sauce is better.

Canned enchilada sauce cannot compare to anything you’d make yourself.

If you buy it from the store, you’re either going to get the cheap stuff that is disgusting and full of things you shouldn’t put in your body, or if you can find some really good sauce its likely to be insanely expensive.

Making your own is not only cheap and easy, but it is insanely delicious.

This flavorful recipe can be used with Beef Enchiladas, Slow Cooker Chicken Enchiladas, or on Chilaquiles. If you love homemade enchilada sauce, you’ll also want to try my Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce.

Here’s how you make it:

  1. First step is to toast the chiles for a couple of minutes to really bring out their flavor and then rehydrate them before blending them up. Starting from whole pods helps to ensure freshness and give the most authentic flavor.
  2. The toasted chile pods are simmered in chicken broth until soft and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, onion and garlic are sauteed in a bit of oil. Some flour is added and cooked to create a roux which will help thicken the sauce.
  4. All of this plus some spices are then blended until smooth in the blender. You can use a counter top blender or an immersion blender. The sauce is then returned to the stove to simmer for another twenty minutes or so. At this point you should tastes and adjust seasonings, as desired.
dried chile pods

What else can you use these chile pods for?

A lot of times I end up with a lot more chiles than I need for a particular recipe.

I use these same chile pods to make the best posole every year.

I also highly recommend doubling or tripling the recipe so that you always have homemade enchilada sauce on hand.

Chile sauce is a staple in New Mexican cooking. You can use the sauce in enchiladas, burritos, tamales, or smothered on top of basically anything. It gives a rich, flavorful spice to any recipe.

This sauce will keep up to 6 days refrigerated and freezes well. I personally love to smother my breakfast burritos with the stuff. YUM!

top view of homemade red chile enchilada sauce

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Red Enchilada Sauce

Prep20 minutes
Cook35 minutes
Total55 minutes
Servings 6
Create your own homemade Red Chile Enchilada Sauce made with toasted dried New Mexican red chile pods, chicken stock, onions, garlic and spices.



  • 25 dried whole red New Mexican chile pods mild, medium, hot, or a combination
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil I used avocado oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
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  • Rinse any dirt off the chile pods. Gently toast dried whole chile pods in a heavy skillet over medium heat until they are warm and release their fragrance, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Be very careful to prevent any burning. Remove the chiles from the skillet immediately. When cool enough to handle, break each chile pod into several pieces and discard stem and seeds. Wearing rubber gloves is highly recommended.
  • Heat the chicken broth in a medium sized saucepan with the chiles submerged. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté several minutes until the onion is limp. Add the flour and spices and continue to cook until the flour becomes fragrant.
  • Combine the chiles, chicken broth, onion, garlic, and spices in the blender and blend until smooth. You may have to do this in several batches.
  • Return blended sauce to the saucepan and heat until it just starts to bubble. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for a total of 20 to 25 minutes.
  • After about 15 minutes, taste the sauce and adjust seasonings. When ready, the sauce will be cooked down enough to coat a spoon thickly but still drop off of it easily. Use warm or refrigerate for later use.


  • Yields 5-6 cups
  • This recipe can be made vegetarian or vegan by replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock.
  • This sauce can be made with canned or boxed chicken stock, however homemade chicken stock is a thousand times better.
  • Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, otherwise freeze until ready to use.


Calories: 188kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 634mg, Potassium: 804mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 1785IU, Vitamin C: 271.6mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 2.6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This post was originally published in January 2016 and has since been updated for your reading pleasure.

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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  1. I live in a small town and can’t find dried Chile peppers, is there a substitute I can use?