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Easy Enchilada Sauce

This easy enchilada sauce recipe is for those of you, like me, who have been tempted into buying those Old El Paso/Discovery enchilada kits one too many times.  They’re such a waste of money and ultimately leave you feeling full of salt and preservatives.  We’ve all had a bash at making fajitas from scratch, or perhaps with a little help from one of those fajita spice mix sachets and ready made wraps, but enchiladas always seem that little bit more daunting, even though they are ultimately more comforting when you want something a little more luxurious and filling.  So we’ve created and tested this quick and easy enchilada sauce recipe to help you to make enchiladas at home whenever you fancy, without having to shell out for a kit.  You may even have all the ingredients in your cupboard as you read this.  You might find the addition of cocoa powder to be a little strange but I like the earthiness it adds to the flavour of the sauce and it gives you something more along the lines of a traditional Mexican ‘mole’ sauce.

Full enchilada recipe will follow soon! The flavour will improve with further simmering, but it will still be tasty with only around 10 minutes in the pan as long as you follow all the steps.

Easy Enchilada Sauce

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Plenty to cover enchiladas for three people, or double up and freeze the extra!

Easy Enchilada Sauce


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small knob ginger
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 carton passata
  • 1 chicken stock cube or stock pot
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • squeeze of lime


  1. Take out a decently sized frying pan and add the oil to it on a medium heat.
  2. Once that's nice and warm, grate in the garlic and ginger. Allow that to warm through before adding the tomato puree, stirring well, then allow to warm through for 5 minutes or so to cook out any harsh flavours.
  3. Add the passata and stock (if using a stock cube rather than a stock pot you'll need to dissolve it in a little boiling water first) and stir together.
  4. Add the spices and cocoa powder, stir together and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Check the seasoning and adjust to your taste.
  6. Add a squeeze of lime before drenching your tasty wraps, covering with cheese and putting the whole lot in the oven for around 10 minutes at 180c.
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Why not try using our homemade flour tortillas when making your enchiladas, or serve up with our speedy guacamole?