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Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce - Recipe
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4.91 from 11 votes

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe

This authentic red enchilada sauce recipe is made with a mixture of Mexican chili peppers that are lightly toasted then rehydrated and processed to form a deeply rich and flavorful sauce. It is one of my very favorites for homemade enchiladas.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: anchos, Buffalo sauce, enchiladas
Servings: 6
Calories: 19kcal


  • 4 dried ancho peppers (stemmed and seeded)
  • 4 dried guajillo peppers (stemmed and seeded)
  • 4 dried chiles de arbol (stemmed and seeded)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt (or to taste)
  • Water as needed


  • Dry toast the dried chili peppers (stemmed and seeds removed) in a heated pan over medium heat. Toast them a couple minutes per side, until they start to puff up slightly.
  • Cool, then set them into a heavy bowl with enough hot water to cover them.
  • Let them soak for 20 minutes, or until they become very soft. Remove them and place them in a blender or food processor.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the dark soaking water.
  • In the same heated pan, add the olive oil. Cook the onion about 3 minutes, or until they become translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook another minute, until they become fragrant.
  • Add them to the food processor along with the sea salt.
  • Pour in the reserved soaking liquid and process to form a sauce. It will be very thick at this point.
  • Add in more water, a half cup at a time, until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Strain, if desired, and serve as needed.



Makes about 2-1/2 cups.
Serves 6
Keeps about a week in the fridge. Freeze it for longer storage. 


Calories: 19kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Sodium: 777mg | Potassium: 53mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 265IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.1mg