Basic Sauce Recipes: Hearty Enchilada Sauce

We all have food cravings. Two weeks ago mine was for a tasty enchilada so my wife and I went to a respected restaurant for a Tex-Mex dinner. The “sauce” was like a bland ketchup. Then last week a different restaurant served enchiladas with a sauce that ran all over the plate. I liked the recipe in our book “$10 Meals for a Family of Six” but it also needed more “body” so I  tinkered with it and found a simple way to make a heartier enchilada sauce.

picture of sauce

This hearty enchilada sauce recipe can be changed to fit your palate or what’s in your pantry.

To give our enchilada sauce more texture, I added one finely grated carrot, chopped onion, and added some flour dissolved in water to thicken the sauce. To give it little more zing, I added the lower half  of a poblano pepper.

This is just one way to adjust a recipe. We have said all along that once you feel comfortable with basic recipes you will make changes as needed. We suggest that you write your “new”recipe and refer to it next time you cook that meal. You may want to “tweak” it again.

Here is the recipe but notice that it serves 12. Use half and freeze half.

Thick Enchilada Sauce
Serves 12
A lumpy-texured tomato-based sauce with SouthWestern flavor.
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  1. 1 or 2 seeded and chopped mild peppers (like Poblano or chilaca)
  2. 1/4 C chopped onions
  3. 1T grated carrot
  4. 2 cl minced garlic
  5. 4T olive oil-split
  6. 2T flour dissolved in 1/4C cold water
  7. 2t chile powder
  8. 1T cumin
  9. pinch of salt
  10. 1C chicken broth
  11. 14 oz can stewed tomatoes
  12. 14 0z Can low-salt tomato sauce
  13. 2T lime juice
  1. 1. Sautee onions, peppers and garlic in 2T oil until onions are translucent and peppers softened. Use medium-low heat to keep oil from smoking.
  2. 2. Add 2T oil, cumin, chili powder salt, pepper.
  3. 3. Raise heat to medium and add flour a little at a time while stirring.
  4. 4. Continue whisking while adding broth.
  5. 5. When completely mixed, add tomatoes, lime juice and carrots.
  6. 6. Simmer and stir while sauce thickens.
  1. If using fresh tomatoes, use about 4 cups freshly chopped. Follow cooking instructions as per Basic Recipe: Spaghetti Sauce"
Adapted from "$10 Meals for a Family of Six"
Adapted from "$10 Meals for a Family of Six"
Family Meals Project
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About Don R

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Retired teacher. Multiple successful business endeavors including screen printing / sporting goods business, executive director of a Boys & Girls Club, commercial fishing, and co-founding an alternative high school. Interests include family, hiking, cooking, Parkinson's research and developing an educational cooking program.