Red Enchilada Sauce

I’ve always been more of a tomatillo gal, that is until I decided to make my own red sauce for enchiladas. It’s really simple and freezes well, so make a double batch! Don’t skip any of the steps and definitely use dried, whole chiles. I used arbol, hatch, and Anaheim, but you can use whatever combination you prefer. This sauce isn’t just for enchiladas. It would be great to season beans, rice, top tacos or a salad!


2 New Mexican/hatch dried chiles

3 California/Anaheim dried chiles

6 chiles de arbol

1 chipotle in adobo

3 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 teaspoon of vegetable base or a bullion cube

3 oz of tomato paste

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons of lime juice

Salt and pepper to taste


Clean you dried peppers by taking off the stems, deseeding, and wiping them to remove any dust.

Over a hot griddle, toast the peppers for just a few seconds on both side. You don’t want them burnt, just slightly charred.

Transfer the peppers to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then shut off the heat and let them steep for about 15 minutes.

Once the chiles are plump, transfer them to a blender along with 1 cup of the boiling liquid, the chipotle pepper, and the garlic. Reserve the remaining boiling liquid. Blend until smooth.

Return the blender contents to your pot and add enough of the remaining boiling liquid to get the sauce to the consistency you prefer. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Keep your overhead fan on to keep the volatile pepper fumes out of your house. I’ve had to take Benadryl before because of the fumes and I’m not one to take meds. It was awful!

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.