Fresh tomatoes make for a perfect enchilada sauce you can make at home with your abundance of summer tomatoes.
Made on the stovetop in 30 minutes to develop a deep flavor, this version of enchilada sauce is not for canning, but is freezer friendly.
Like classic Mexican enchilada sauces, this is made with tomatoes, but unlike a traditional version, this recipe uses dried ground spices from your pantry, versus whole dried peppers.
Another key difference in this version is that it uses American Chili Powder, which is what is commonly found in North American grocery stores, and is a mixture of ground peppers but also other spices like cumin vs Mexican Chile Powder that is just dried peppers and is much spicier.
This batch cook and freeze recipe is great if you have an abundance of tomatoes, but don’t want to go through the process of canning, too!
Ingredients and Swaps
Olive oil – you can use butter or any oil of choice here.
Onion & Garlic – while we do use onion powder as well here, a fresh onion is needed to make the roux.
Fresh Tomatoes – the recipe was designed using fresh tomatoes, but you can sub in canned tomatoes if you wish. The type of tomato really doesn’t matter here.
Bouillon – You can use chicken or veggie bullion here, or leave it out and swap the bullion and water for chicken broth.
Chilis in Adobo – you can add more or less to adjust the spice level. Normally, enchilada sauce isn’t spicy, but it is your kitchen, so you do what you want!
Chili Powder – this recipe uses American Chili powder which is a combination of dried peppers and other spices like cumin. Mexican Chile powder is only dried peppers – decrease the quantity by half if you are using an authentic Mexican version.
Flour – this is needed to make the roux to thicken your sauce. For a gluten free option, Arrowroot powder is a good sub.
Step by Step Directions
To get the mild thickness of enchilada sauce, you will start by making a roux. A roux is simply flour and a fat, cooked together into a paste like mixture, to thicken sauces. Here we use flour and olive oil.
Once the oil is hot, sauté the onion and garlic until the onions are translucent, then add the flour and let cook for about a minute, it if is sticking, add a bit more oil.
Add your dried spices and let them cook for 20 -30 seconds. Then use 1 cup of water or broth to deglaze your pot (see #2 above).
Add all remaining ingredients and simmer.
Then, use an immersion blender to blend.
Freeze for future recipes!
What to use Enchilada Sauce for?
How to freeze enchilada sauce?
The key thing to remember when freezing this sauce, is to freeze it in portions you will use. There is no point freezing it all in one container, unless you are going to use all 6-sih of sauce at once.
Canadian Souper Cube affiliate link – here.
Once frozen, I pop the cubes out and vacuum seal using the Zwilling Fresh and Save System.
Fresh Tomato Enchilada Sauce
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced approx 1 cup diced.
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp flour
- 5 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 3 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional) don't use regular paprika
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp chicken bouillon (or veggie)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups fresh diced tomatoes
- 3 whole chilis in adobo
- Heat the oil on medium heat in a large pot.
- When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the diced onion and garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent. Take care not to burn the garlic and onions. If you do burn this, you will have to start over.
- Add the flour and make a roux. At this point it will look like a paste. That is normal.
- Add the remaining spices and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Deglaze the pot with 1 cup of the water (or broth if not using bouillon)
- Scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching when you add the tomatoes.
- Add the tomatoes, and chilis in adobo.
- Stir to combine, and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
- Once the mixture has been simmering for 20-30 minutes, use an immersion blender to blend the sauce.
- At this point, taste it and you can add a bit of sugar (2 tsp) if it is too acidic (will depend on the type of tomatoes you use).
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Store in the fridge for up to a week.
- Or, store in the freezer for up to 6 months, depending on how you store it.