New Mexican Red Enchilada Sauce

Great restaurants don’t use pre-made, canned, or frozen foods. Just ask Gordon Ramsay. He loses it when he sees these items in restaurant kitchens, and for good reason. The fact is, homemade, fresh food is always leaps and bounds better than anything pre-packaged. 

A superb enchilada sauce is no exception. While it may seem easier to go to the store and buy a can of enchilada sauce, it’s actually easier and faster to make your own at home. And the flavors of a homemade sauce? Out of this world good. Definitely better than (most) restaurants good. 

This enchilada sauce recipe contains red chile from New Mexico, and that’s one reason it’s so delicious and rich. The sauce will still, of course, be quite yummy with regular chile powder. If at all possible, try to get your hands on New Mexican red chile powder or grind your own from dried chiles. For some reason, the chiles from the Enchantment State are special . . . just like this sauce that will make your enchiladas remarkable. 


2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. chili powder (New Mexican, if possible)

2 c. water

3 oz. tomato paste

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

½ tsp. cayenne 

Salt to taste

In a small saucepan, add oil, flour, and chili powder and set to medium heat. Whisk the ingredients constantly until they start to bubble. Continue whisking for another minute so that the spice flavors release. 

Next, whisk in the water, tomato paste and remaining spices and continue to whisk until smooth. Continue whisking until the sauce begins to simmer and thicken up a bit. Now, add the salt a little at a time until you are satisfied with the flavor. The sauce is ready.

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