Monday, January 10, 2011

Enchilada Sauce

It's all about the sauce. Enchiladas can be made so many ways, with so many ingredients. And the ingredients are good. But if you don't have a good sauce on a great enchilada, it's not going to be such a great enchilada.

This recipe was adapted from one a friend gave me years ago. Next to taking the time to roast your own chiles and then all that goes into making a sauce after that, this sauce (in my humble opinion) is the next best thing. It's incredibly simple, and so much better than something out of a can.

You can use this sauce for a lot of different kinds of enchiladas. My favorite is to make cheese enchiladas with this sauce. I usually double this recipe, and then I can make three or four 8x8 pans of stacked enchiladas with it. One recipe will get you one 9x13 pan of enchiladas or probably two 8x8 pans, depending on how much sauce you use. I like to make stacked enchiladas, and think it takes a little more sauce that way depending on how many layers you do and how much sauce you use.

Projected prep time: 5 minutes; Projected cook time: 10 minutes or less
2 c. water
1-4 tbsp. gluten-free chili powder (I start with 1, then add as needed -- some members of my family are sensitive to "spicy")
1/2 tsp. sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 of a 15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 tbsp. sweet rice flour
1/3 c. water

Mix first four ingredients in a saucepan.

Whisk the last two ingredients together in a separate bowl, mixing very well with no lumps. This is your thickener.

Bring the first four ingredients to a boil, then reduce to a high simmer.

Slowly add your thickener, whisking in well and stirring constantly until it's all blended. Cook for a few minutes to thicken some and then it's ready to use. As it's cooking, add more salt if needed or chili powder to taste.

Sauce on cheese enchiladas
If you don't use this sauce immediately, it will keep well in the refrigerator to use later in the week, or you can cool it down some and freeze in an airtight container. When you thaw and reheat it, you'll need to whisk it back together some but the sweet rice flour holds it together better than other gluten-free flours. When freezing, I like to separate it into portions large enough for each pan. Enjoy!

Here is my recipe for stacked cheese enchiladas that I like to make with this sauce.


  1. Thank you for posting this! I found it by googling gluten-free enchilada sauce, and it was great! I'll definitely be making it again! :)

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed it - thanks for letting me know! :)

  3. Oy. Never once thought to check if our chili powder is gluten free! Sorry to my little one if I have contaminated her! Anyway, thanks so much for this recipe, I have been missing enchiladas and all the kinds our store has have flour. So it'll be great to make my own! Once I find some gluten free chili powder... :(

    1. I believe McCormick is gluten-free. Tone's is gluten-free. I use Watkins.


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