Low-Calorie Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Red Enchiladas
Carl Tremblay / Getty Images
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
104 Calories
3g Fat
18g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 104
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 90mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 3g
Calcium 69mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


  • 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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion for 5 minutes until translucent.

  3. Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't brown.

  4. 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.

  5. Remove the bay leaf. Puree the sauce in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

  6. Pour over your favorite enchilada recipe.

  7. Serve and enjoy!

    Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

    Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.

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