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Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce is a saucy, cheesy, spicy dish that takes center stage at any Mexican feast. You’ll never reach for canned enchilada sauce again!
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This homemade enchilada recipe is always a huge hit with my family! The enchiladas begin and end with our flavorful homemade sauce, which takes only a few extra minutes to throw together, yet tastes like you’ve been slow cooking it all day. The ingredients are simple, the method is speedy, and the taste is simply out of this world! You can double or even triple the batch, and freeze for later or share with family and friends. They make the perfect potluck dish to share. Everyone loves these from scratch enchiladas, and we know you will too!
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Of course you can use canned enchilada sauce, but homemade is just so much tastier! The spices blend together perfectly to create layer upon layer of flavor that will positively make the best enchiladas you’ve ever tasted! Now, don’t be intimidated by sauce from scratch; it’s easier to put together than you think! All you need are simple pantry ingredients like tomato sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, some beef broth, oregano, and some salt and pepper. Check out how easy it is to make in the recipe card below. This beautiful red sauce comes together in just a few minutes, simmering on the stove while you assemble the other enchilada ingredients, and tastes like it’s been cooking all day. Plus, your house smells spicy and fragrant!
Ingredients for this Recipe
- Tortillas: An enchilada is only as good as its wrapping. See below for our thoughts on flour vs corn tortillas.
- Shredded Chicken or Beef: We normally just boil a couple of chicken breasts and shred them. However, if you are running short on time, grab a rotisserie chicken and use that for your filling. You can also make beef enchiladas with ground beef or sliced steak. In a large skillet brown the hamburger on medium-high heat, then drain any excess fat. Use any protein you like, or keep them vegetarian with sliced vegetables.
- Refried Beans: We love spreading a layer of refried beans as the base of our homemade enchiladas; it helps all the other filling ingredients stick together. Feel free to substitute for pinto beans or black beans.
- Corn: My favorite ingredient is the crisp corn. I love the sweet crunch it adds to this recipe. Fresh from the cob, frozen, or canned corn works just fine.
- White Rice: For even more flavor, add fresh cilantro, green chiles, and lime to your rice.
- Shredded Cheese: Sprinkle cheddar, Monterey Jack Cheese, Pepper Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend.
- Toppings for Serving: Top the baking dish of enchiladas with cool sour cream, guacamole, extra cheese, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, diced avocado, or diced green onions.
Flour or Corn Tortillas?
This homemade enchiladas recipe calls for flour tortillas, which are usually a little bit bigger and can hold more filling, but you can easily swap them out for white corn or yellow corn tortillas. It’s just a matter of personal preference and taste. My husband is partial to corn, so I usually make a pan of those and a pan of flour. I love buying the raw flour tortillas from Costco, then frying them up in a skillet. They taste homemade and much fresher than the flour tortillas you purchase in a bag at the grocery store. To make the flour or corn tortillas a little more pliable, wrap a few at a time in a damp paper towel and microwave for a few seconds until they’re soft. It’ll make rolling the enchiladas so much easier.
Frequently Asked Questions about Enchiladas
Typically the filling of an enchilada consists of meat (beef, chicken, pork, or seafood), cheese, beans, salsa, and sauce. Toppings often added to enchiladas when served include sour cream, guacamole, diced tomatoes, diced onions, cilantro, and salsa.
Our easy to make enchilada sauce is made of tomato paste, chili powder, beef broth, cumin, and garlic.
A Mexican cheese blend works great, you can also use Monterey Jack or cheddar.
What to Serve with Homemade Enchiladas
Serve these piping hot enchiladas with a huge green salad, plenty of chips, and salsa. Or, round out your menu with these easy Mexican recipes:
Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Conventional Oven
- 9 X 13 inch Pan
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ cup chili powder yes, you really use that much
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 clove minced garlic
- salt to taste
- 8 tortillas corn or flour
- 2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded ahead of time
- 14 ounces refried beans
- 1 1/2 cups white rice we cooked it with some lime and cilantro
- 14 ounces white corn drained and rinsed
- shredded cheddar cheese
- Stir oil, flour, chili powder and cumin in a saucepan on low heat until bubbly. Add beef broth, tomato sauce, oregano, garlic and salt.
- Simmer for 15 min over low heat stirring occasionally.
- Pour some of the enchilada sauce over the chicken and stir. Layer beans, chicken, corn, and rice in the center of each tortilla.
- Spray the bottom of a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and add the rolled up enchiladas, seam side down. (You can fit about 8 to 10 enchiladas in the pan).
- Cover the enchiladas with the sauce then top with cheddar cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 325 for 1 hour.
- Serve with sour cream, tomatoes, and shredded lettuce on top.
Alternative methods for preparing tortillas:
- If using corn tortillas, fry them in hot oil for about 10 seconds on each side before filling and rolling. This keeps them from getting soggy when cooking in the enchilada sauce.
- Completely coat the tortillas in sauce before filling and rolling.
- If using raw tortillas, cook them before filling and rolling.
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Sorry but I don’t know anyone who puts cumin, oregano or tomato sauce in their enchiladas. Real enchiladas are simple, red chile, tortillas, cheese and onions tomatoes and lettuce on top to be enjoyed with fresh pinto beans.
Have you ever made the enchiladas with Beef. ?
Yes! Beef enchiladas are delicious!
This was the first time Ive ever made enchilada’s and thank you for making the directions so easy to follow. My family loved them and thats good because the pitchers looked so yummy on line I made an extra one to freeze. You just gotta try these enchiladas there the BOMB!
Unbelievable! I’ve been looking for a new recipe to add to our rotation for dinner and this is a new favorite! Thank you.
SO good!!!!!! This is a family favorite! My sister in law always asks me to make it when they come into town! Such a simple recipe! Thank you for sharing!
This is really easy to follow, loved this enchiladas recipe! It’s really tasty and very flavorful! Will surely have this again! Highly recommended!
this was sooooo good
I made this for dinner tonight and followed your recipe for homemade enchilada sause and I I made the suggested lime & cilantro rice also. I found the sauce to be a little to bland and have bit of a burnt taste, even though I didn’t burn it. I ended up only using half of the homemade sauce and = in a can of store bought red sauce. The other problem I ran into was when I checked on the cooking progress about 20-22 minutes in, All cheese on top had already burnt. =/ I ended up removing the burnt cheese layer, adding back fresh grated cheddar, then I cooked it for 45 more minutes covered with time foil. Cheese still burnt a little and could have used about 5-10 more minutes to finish cooking. The taste was EXCELLENT though. Since I made everything from scratch but already had the cooked, shredded chicken on hand, prep time alone before the enchiladas were ready to go into the oven took 2+ hours plus another 2 hours cook. =/ A little too many steps and unexpected time extensions for me. I planned on serving dinner according to the time frame shown on the recipe, but I didn’t have dinner on the table until almost 3 hours later which kept me kids up way past their bedtime. =(
Oh no! It sounds like something went wrong. What shelf in the oven did you place the enchiladas on? Usually 325 is low enough to not burn the cheese and yet still cook the enchiladas all the way through.
We love Mexican food, this would certainly be loved here on our tables my husband will love this ..
I could eat these enchiladas EVERY SINGLE DAY! Love the beans in the tortilla! It’s such a yummy twist!
I use this sauce for cheese enchiladas and it’s delicious! I mix grated cheddar jack or whatever I have on hand with softened cream cheese and a bit of cumin and place it in corn tortillas that I’ve softened in some hot oil. Tastes every bit as good as a Tex-Mex restaurant! So much better than the sauce in a can!
We agree! This sauce is our favorite, so glad you like it!
Is it possible to use gluten free flour or replace the flour with cornstarch?
We haven’t done it that way before but you can try! Let us know how it turns out!
I have my own canned tomato sauce as I raise heirloom tomatoes, and am delighted to find this yummy, easy to fix enchilada sauce. I will NEVER buy supermarket sauce again. Thanks for sharing!
Delicious! I have my own canned tomato sauce as I raise heirloom tomatoes, and am delighted to find this yummy, easy to fix enchilada sauce. I will NEVER buy supermarket sauce again. Thanks for sharing!
This sauce is so delicious ! Finally found a sauce for my enchiladas ! Thank you !
This has become one of our favorites, and my go-to recipe when we have company!
Loved this recipe. made it yesterday for the fam. I added a little of sour cream to lessin the spiciness for my kids. They loved it. I made mine with ground beef and it turned out fabulous!!! Thank you.
I was wondering how this would taste with ground beef instead of chicken
You can definitely use ground beef if that is what you prefer. We have done it with shredded beef and it was amazing 🙂
Dido to everyone's comments. Love the sauce! Its my hubby's new favorite
I have made my own sauce for years. This sauce is better tasting, not as hot, and has less oil. It is my new go to sauce. Thanks!
thank you SOOOOO much for all of your time that you put into this blog!!! I use it weekly!!! I have seriously loved everything that I have made from your blog…THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)I can't say that enough.
You are absolutely welcome! We are happy to hear you like it so much!!
It's 1am, I'm starving, and I just found your blog. I didn't know a human stomach could cry with desire.
I did three scoops of rice in my rice cooker.
How much rice should be made for these?
Yum! I love enchiladas but am not a huge fan of canned sauce. Thanks for sharing!
It is not spicy (hot) at all. Not any more than enchilada sauce in a can.
Is this super spicy? Looks so yummy.