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Best EVER Enchilada Sauce Recipe. Also known as Tex Mex Chili Gravy. This quick and easy recipe comes together in about 10 minutes. It’s bold and flavorful and will give your enchiladas an authentic taste!

Cup filled with homemade enchilada sauce, with sauce dripping down the side and a spoon on top.


 

This isn’t just any enchilada sauce y’all. This is certified Tex Mex Chili Gravy. This sauce is exactly what you will find smothering enchiladas in the great state of Texas. Designed to be a combination of gravy that could be found on a steak and a traditional Mexican enchilada sauce, this Chili Gravy is a cornerstone to Tex Mex cooking. Serve these enchiladas alongside some Charro Beans and Mexican Rice for a complete Tex Mex experience.

If you don’t have any enchilada sauce on hand or you’re wanting to elevate your cooking this recipe is for you! And you will never go back to using the canned version again!

Ingredients Needed:

  • oil/fat– my preference is to use butter. However, you could use a corn or vegetable oil. Olive oil tends to have a strong flavor and I avoid it in this recipe. 
  • All purpose flour– use to thicken the sauce slightly.
  • Spices– a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cumin, and Chile powder. My all time favorite chile powder is Gebhardts, which originated in Texas in the 1800. If you can’t find it in your local markets, Amazon does sell it. (affiliate link)
  • Broth– my preference for this sauce is to use beef broth. However, some people say the flavor is too much using the beef. You can easily substitute with a chicken or even a vegetable broth if you prefer. Just ensure you are using a low sodium. If you are using a regular broth you will need to cut out the salt in the recipe and salt according to taste if needed.
  • Tomato paste– just a small amount, it adds to the thickness of the sauce.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce recipe.

How to make Homemade Enchilada Sauce:

  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan.
  2. Create a roux: Sprinkle in the flour and cook for several minutes.
  3. Season: Add in the spices.
  4. Pour in the beef broth and add the tomato paste, stir while heating until sauce is thickened.
Melted butter in a large saucepan with flour sprinkled in.
Thick paste that forms when mixing butter with flour.
Spices being added to make a enchilada sauce.

How to Store Enchilada Sauce:

  • This enchilada sauce can be stored in the fridge 5-7 days. Just give the jar a shake before using.
  • To freeze this enchilada sauce: add to freezer resealable bags, lay flat in the freezer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, you can easily stack the bags. Can be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the enchilada sauce into the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the sauce in a skillet. 

Best Ways to use Enchilada Sauce:

 

Tex Mex Chili Gravy Enchilada Sauce

4.99 from 229 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Serene
Tex Mex Chili Gravy Enchilada Sauce. This quick and easy recipe comes together in about 10 minutes. It's bold and flavorful and will give your enchiladas an authentic taste! If you don't have any enchilada sauce on hand or you're wanting to elevate your cooking this recipe is for you! And you will never go back to using the canned version again!
Cup filled with homemade enchilada sauce, with sauce dripping down the side and a spoon on top.

Ingredients  

Instructions 

  • Heat Oil: Heat the oil or butter in a medium size skillet over medium heat.
  • Make Roux: Add in the flour and stir to mix. Will be a thick mixture. Allow this to cook for just 1-2 minutes.
  • Season: Add in the spices. Stir to form a thick paste.
  • Heat: Stir in the broth and tomato paste. Stir until smooth. Continue to heat while stirring for several minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened. Keep the heat to just below a simmer.
  • Use: Pour into a jar to store or use to make
    .

Video

Equipment

Notes

Broth: Make sure you are using a low or no sodium broth. If not then you will need to cut back on the amount of salt in the recipe. I would recommend tasting first before adding salt, so that the sauce doesn't turn out too salty.
Storage: 
  • This enchilada sauce can be stored in the fridge 5-7 days. Just give the jar a shake before using.
  • To freeze this enchilada sauce: add to freezer resealable bags, lay flat in the freezer on a baking sheet. Once frozen, you can easily stack the bags. Can be frozen for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the enchilada sauce into the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the sauce in a skillet. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 114kcal | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

This recipe was originally posted in 2016. Updated on March 28, 2018. And updated again on January 10, 2020 with new photos and informational video.


Welcome to my kitchen!

Welcome to the House of Yumm!! My name is Serene. I’m the food photographer, recipe developer, and official taste tester around these parts.

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133 Comments

  1. I have been looking around for a great tex mex enchilada sauce recipe and this is, no joke, the best I have found. The straight up recipes is perfect, I have experimented around the proportion of the spices some what, but the recipe has the probably the best overall balance. The richness of the sauce really depends on the quality of the broth, beef being the best and if you want richer preheat the broth and add 1/2 a cube of beef bouillon.

    1. Thank you so much Jeff! I’m so glad you love this recipe. And I definitely agree about the broth, it really makes the sauce.

  2. THIS IS AWESOME! I doubled the recipe and for the broth did 3 parts beef and 1 part chicken broth. THIS IS WHAT I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN LOOKING FOR! THANK YOU!

  3. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.. I have been looking for this recipe forever. I make cheese enchiladas every year for Christmas Eve and this is the closest I’ve ever found to an authentic Tex Mex chili gravy. I’ve always used Rob Walsh’s recipe in the past but the gravy was way too salty. This year for this recipe I used unsalted butter and did not add any salt since I was using regular beef broth, it turned out perfect. As some have stated it was a bit on the mild side, but now that I have the perfect base it is easy enough to add heat.

    1. I’m so glad you like the recipe Jason! You can definitely spice it up a bit more to your liking. I also LOVE your tradition of cheese enchiladas for Christmas.

  4. The above authored sauce is fine for families with limited time.

    I have ‘upgraded’ this sauce with beef stock made from mesquite smoked beef bones, fat and gristle added to store bought beef stock, simmered for an hour and strained. Stock has more flavor than broth. I like butter and flour to reach a medium dark caramel colored roux before mixing with stock.

    I roasted and ground dried Ancho and Guajillo chiles for the chili powder, roasted and mashed fresh garlic cloves, roasted fresh sliced onion (caramelized) and ground cumin seeds for full flavored cumin and Oregano. Add all to strained stock, simmer a few minutes more. Taste and add a little salt only if needed, other ingredients may add salt already. Smooth in blender or use as is.

    In the enchiladas, I will lay left over thin sliced mesquite smoked steak onto Herdez black bean dip spread on heated corn tortillas, some cheese, some heated chopped green chiles. I do not reheat the sliced steak and depend on surrounding heated ingredients to take the chill off the refrigerated leftover meat to preserve flavor and tenderness..

    Then heated enchilada sauce inside before folding or rolling and on top, served immediately, not baked, with Arriba salsa, chopped guacamole and chopped Cilantro. My sons may want sides of plaintains and rice containing carrots, peas and chopped sweet red peppers, the way they ate meals in Costa Rica.

  5. I cook for a living. And love Mexican restaurants enchilada sauce. I’m sorry but this had no flavor. I never complain but my family did. I added 4 x the amount of spices just to make it edible. Not good at all

    1. Sorry this didn’t work out for you! With that hefty amount of Chili powder there should have been some flavor. Double check to make sure all your seasonings are fresh 🙂

  6. I left a few things out due to running o Iut of garlic powder and put in only 1 tsp of chili powder and omitted oregeno,subbed with some smoked paprika and a few pinches of cajun seasoning and wow it came amazing with not having to add anything to it unlike another recipe I tried before, I also cut way back on salt for anyone who might be watching their intake and it wasn’t noticeable, GREAT LITTLE RECIPE, I’m making double next time… at the very least, thanks!

    1. I made a bunch of this sauce and froze it with no problem. Just a good as it was the day I made it when I thawed it. Hope that helps!

  7. I have to tell you that I had made another enchilada sauce earlier today for a dinner tomorrow. It was so bland, watery and just plain yuk. I started searching for another recipe and happened upon this one. So….at 11:30 pm, I went back to the kitchen and made your recipe. It’s absolutely delicious! So happy I found this because it’s a keeper, for sure. I’ll never use tomato sauce again, lol. What a difference that makes.

  8. I’ve made Robb Walsh’s Homesick Texan recipe a few times and while that’s got more chili powder and no tomato paste, it tends to be too grainy. Does the tomato paste in your recipe do anything to help smooth out the sauce or is it just for flavor?

    1. Hi Tony! I’ve made Walsh’s recipe several times, and I never had an issue with it being gritty. I’m wondering if maybe the spices you used were a thicker grain? Or I have learned that cooking a roux over too hot of a heat can cause a gritty texture. Next time you attempt the recipe, try keeping the heat a bit lower while cooking the sauce.