Vegan Enchilada Sauce

Spicy beef enchilada
Bartosz Luczak / Getty Images
Ratings
(41)
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: serves 8 - 12
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
75 Calories
4g Fat
10g Carbs
2g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: serves 8 - 12
Amount per serving
Calories 75
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 265mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 2g
Calcium 32mg 2%
*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.)

The basic ingredients in homemade enchilada sauce recipe are tomatoes and lots of seasonings. This quick and easy Mexican recipe uses tomato paste to keep it simple. You will also be able to adjust the spice level by varying the amount of cayenne pepper used.

Try this homemade vegetarian and vegan enchilada sauce instead of using the canned stuff, which is usually full of added sugar, sodium, and sometimes MSG. Vegans and vegetarians need to check store-bought enchilada sauce for chicken fat or other animal products.

This recipe makes an enchilada sauce with a consistency which is perfect for just about any homemade enchilada recipe. However, if you're using it for something else or you'd like prefer a slightly thinner or thicker sauce, you can adjust the amount of water you add. 

Use your this enchilada sauce to make vegetarian portabello mushroom enchiladas or try vegetarian black bean and vegetable enchiladas. You can also use this sauce in just about any recipe that calls for enchilada sauce, such as vegetarian Mexican casserole recipe. 

This Mexican food recipe is both vegetarian and vegan. Use a gluten-free flour or cornstarch as a thickener if you need it to be gluten-free as well. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Over medium-low heat, heat the oil, flour, and chili powder together in a large pot. Allow to cook for a minute or two, stirring to form a paste and making sure that the flour doesn't burn.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients (cumin, cayenne pepper, water, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt) and bring to a slow simmer. Stir well to combine and dissolve tomato paste in water.

  4. Allow to cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste, and add more spices as desired.

  5. Your enchilada sauce is ready to use in your favorite enchilada recipe.

If you are not using the sauce immediately, store it in a covered container in the refrigerator. Use it within four to five days. It can grow mold if kept longer, and should be tossed if you see any mold or detect any off-odors. You can freeze it to keep it for longer. It will keep in the freezer for four to six months at the best quality. If freezing it, be sure to label it with the contents and date.

Variations

  • Use vegetable broth or vegetable stock instead of water to add even more depth of flavor. Your own homemade vegetable broth would be best if you want to avoid additives and have control over the level of sodium.
  • For the best flavor, start with cumin seeds and give them a quick toast in a non-stick frying pan, then grind them in a spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle. The flavor will be enormously more intense and complex than buying ground cumin.