Low-Calorie Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Red Enchiladas
Carl Tremblay / Getty Images
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 3 cups (6 servings)
Ratings (8)

Perhaps unfairly, most Mexican cuisine we are familiar with has gotten a bad rap for being loaded with fat and calories. And enchiladas--a sort of casserole made of rolled tortillas filled with meat and/or cheese and topped with a red sauce (and more cheese)--are certainly among the culprits.

Which is unfortunate since enchiladas are a great make-ahead meal that will please the entire family. So how do we make this rich, cheesy dish not exceed our calorie count for the day? By starting with a low-calorie sauce, setting you on your way to a healthier version. 

This homemade enchilada sauce is easier to make than you might think. With diced tomatoes and a few other staples from your pantry, you will have a healthy, low-calorie homemade enchilada sauce in a short amount of time. Serve atop your favorite enchilada recipe, or over low-calorie chicken and vegetable enchiladas for a hearty but healthy meal.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf

How to Make It

  1. Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't brown.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. If the sauce is splattering, partially cover the skillet.
  3. Remove the bay leaf. Puree the sauce in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  1. Pour over your favorite enchilada recipe.

Calories per 1/2 cup 65

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 104
Total Fat 3 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 90 mg
Carbohydrates 18 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Protein 3 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)