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Make the best homemade Enchilada Sauce (red and green) by roasting the tomatoes or tomatillos before blending. Not only does this give great flavor, but it is also all made on one sheet pan! Simple and EASY! Freeze for winter- an easy way to preserve summer’s bounty! With a video!
If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment. ~Carlos Santana
Many of you with gardens are busy canning, preserving, and fermenting this time of year. Here’s something you may enjoy- Roasted Enchilada Sauce. Roasting brings out the sweetness and depth of the tomatoes and peppers, adding a beautiful dimension to the enchilada sauce. It caramelized the garlic and onions which does wonders for sauces.
What I love about this recipe is how adaptable it is. You can use many different kinds of chili peppers, and make the sauce either red or green with tomatoes or tomatillos.
Using yellow peppers and yellow tomatoes is also a beautiful option. You can make it as hot or mild as you want!
The best part is it is all made on a sheet pan, while you tend to other things. It really only takes about 20 minutes of hands-on time.
The sauce can also be frozen for winter. A little bit of sunshine during the cold months is one of the best gifts you can give yourself!
If you are after a faster method- this 5 Minute Enchilada Sauce works in a pinch!
How to make Roasted Enchilada Sauce! | 45-second video
Ingredients in Roasted Enchilada Sauce
- olive oil
- garlic cloves
- fresh chilies- hatch chilies, poblano pepper, pasilla, or mild chili or a red bell pepper
- chili powder
- dried oregano (or fresh)
- water (or broth)
- apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- cilantro- optional
How to make Roasted Enchilada Sauce
Drizzle a sheet pan with olive oil, then place your cut tomatoes, peppers, onions, and whole garlic cloves to roast.
Above I’m making a spicy red enchilada sauce using Roma tomatoes and chilies.
Bellow, a spicy green enchilada sauce- with Hatch chilies, poblanos, jalapeno, and tomatillos…
Roast in a 425 F oven until the onions and garlic are tender, roughly 25 minutes. Always check halfway through, turning things if need be. A little char is good here.
The tomatoes and peppers will caramelize a little giving the sauce depth. The garlic and onions will get nice and tender.
Place the roasted veggies in the blender and add spices and fresh cilantro if you like.
I never bother removing the skins, they really can’t be detected once blended- but up to you.
Deglaze the sheet pan with a little water, scraping up all those browned bits, and add to the blender.
Then blend until relatively smooth. Feel free to get this really smooth, or leave a little texture.
One batch of this simple Roasted Enchilada Sauce will yield about 2 1/2 cups- the perfect amount for making Enchiladas.
If freezing for later, make sure to leave an inch of headroom in the jar for expansion.
These would also make a nice gift.
So there you go, a little Enchilada Sauce inspiration for this weekend. I’m sure you’ll take this basic recipe and run with it! I can’t wait to hear all your variations, so please share in the comments below.
Use this Enchilada Sauce on:
- Farmers Market Veggie Enchiladas
- Enchilada Casserole with Sweet Potato, Corn and Black beans
- Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans
- Enchiladas Verde with Poblano Sauce
- White Chicken Enchiladas (or Cauliflower!)
- Roasted Chiles Rellenos with Black beans
- Or make this 5 Minute Enchilada Sauce
Roasted Enchilada Sauce
- Prep Time: 20
- Cook Time: 35
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 2 ½ cups 1x
- Category: sauces, preserving
- Method: roasted
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
How to make homemade Enchilada Sauce (both red and green) by roasting the tomatoes or tomatillos and chilies before blending. Not only does this give great flavor, but it is also all made on one sheet-pan! Simple and EASY!
Red Enchilada Sauce:
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 roma tomatoes (sub other medium-sized tomatoes) halved
- 1 onion, sliced thin- 1/3 inch thick
- 6 fat garlic cloves
- 1–2 jalapenos – halved. (one is mild, two is spicy)
- 1 hatch chili, or poblano pepper or mild chili or a red bell pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or tablespoon fresh)
- 1/2–3/4 cup water (or broth)
- 1–2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- handful cilantro- optional
Green Enchilada Sauce:
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb tomatillos, rinsed, halved
- 1 –2 jalapeno’s, halved and seeds removed
- 1 hatch chili (or sub another medium-sized green chili) halved, seed removed
- 1 poblano chili (or sub another medium-sized chili, or green bell pepper for mild version), halved
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 6 fat garlic cloves
- 2 teaspoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- handful of cilantro (optional)
- 1–2 teaspoons honey or sugar (or alternative sweetener)
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Drizzle oil on the bottom of a sheet pan, coating it well.
- Place roasting ingredients tomatoes (or tomatillos) chilies, onion, garlic in a single layer, in a sheet pan, over the oil. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, checking at 15 minutes, stirring things if need be, then roast another 10-15 minutes.
- Roast until the tomatoes and peppers are collapsing, the onions and garlic are tender enough to blend. Let cool.
- Scoop the roasted veggies into a blender. Add 1/2 cup water to the sheet pan and scrape up all those browned bits and pour this into the blender. Add the spices, salt and optional cilantro.
- Blend until your desired consistency- this can be really smooth or leave it a little chunky. If you like a looser sauce add a little more water. Taste for salt and add more to taste.
- If making the red enchilada sauce, add a teaspoon of vinegar, or more to taste, to give a little brightness, especially if your tomatoes are very sweet.
- If making the green enchilada sauce, I find adding a teaspoon of honey, helps to balance out the tartness of the tomatillos. Add more to taste. No need to add vinegar here.
- Use immediately, or store in the fridge for 4 days.
- Or freeze in a mason jar, leaving 1-inch headroom for expansion.
Feel free to sub other peppers you have growing in your garden, being careful to gauge heat level. If unsure, you can also add to the blender sparingly, tasting as you go. 😉
- Serving Size: ¼ cup
- Calories: 64
- Sugar: 3.4 g
- Sodium: 380.3 mg
- Fat: 3.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 7.5 g
- Fiber: 1.7 g
- Protein: 1.3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: homemade enchilada sauce, roasted enchilada sauce, how to make enchilada sauce, red enchilada sauce, green enchilada sauce, roasted tomatillo sauce
Do you have any instructions for water bath canning this?
I don’t, sorry Angela, does anyone else know how to?
Hatch chiles (the correct spelling) are not a specific type of chile, they are ANY chile variety grown in the Hatch Valley. Varieties include Big Jim (medium heat), Sandia (hot), Jo Parker, and dozens of others. The 50th Hatch Chile Festival is this weekend, as a matter of fact. Harvest is in full swing here!
Thanks for the clarification Zelda and the festival sounds fun! I’m not finding the typo in the post?
Zelda is likely pointing out that it’s Hatch not hatch, due to it being a place name. Regardless, I’m excited about making the tomatillo green sauce! Thank you!
No typo here. “Chili or Chile?
When to use the word chili or chile depends on the context. Both spellings are technically correct when referring to the capsium fruit called chili pepper or chile pepper. Webster’s Dictionary provides three spellings –chili, chile and chilli–that are all defined as either hot peppers or a dish of meat and spices.
Thanks for clarifying Joseph!
I just discovered your website. Everything really speaks to me! Beautiful photos and recipes. Love the veggie-forward idea—protein with an emphasis on vegetables. I made the green enchilada sauce. So delicious. TJ’s had fresh hatch chilis, so it was perfect. I can’t wait to try your mole sauce. I’ve used a couple of Rick Bayliss’ recipes. Yours seems to be more streamlined but just as complex in flavor with using various chilis.
Thanks Kim, glad you are here!
So glad I found your site (looking for sourdough starter – it’s in the pantry living its dream), made the red sauce this morning. I added honey into the red cuz I like it a bit sweet had it on my egg frittata this morning. I gobbled it up licking my fingers and getting every last drop off my plate…while moaning blissfully! Then I went back to your recipe, to look for an enchilada recipe and I see I forgot to put in the vinegar! added some to what was left of the sauce 🙂 Perfection after the fact!
Great to hear Rita
Made the green version. It is delicious and easy!! Your recipes are life changing❤
Great to hear Donna! And Thanks so much! 🙏
just made your Enchilada sauces and OMGoodness they are so good and so easy to make. My daughter stopped by and tasted them and she agrees they are delicious. Thank you for these two good and easy recipes.
Thanks so much Diane!
Can this recipe be canned in a water bath ?
I think so but you would need to adjust the acidity I think? Has anyone else tried this?
It should be fine for the tomatillo sauce. Tomatillo pH is 3.8 and raises to 4.2 when mixed in sauces and salsas, so below the the 4.6 limit for water bath canning. Tomato sauce probably needs some lemon juice or vinegar added to it to lower the pH. Planning on trying to can a bunch this week. I’ll measure the pH and report back.
Thanks so much Steve! Helpful!
I made a batch of the tomatillo sauce, which is delicious, and measured the pH at 3.93. So yes, you can water bath can the tomatillo sauce. I’ll report back on the tomato sauce once I make it.
Great Steve- thanks…helpful!
Has this been further tested for canning? I would love to make some but would prefer to can!
Wow! Great flavor. I had enough doubling the recipe to can it. Look forward to enjoying this in the middle of winter also
thanks Susan! Glad you liked this!
i woke up this morning wondering what I would ever do with all the green tomatoes and hot peppers I salvaged before ripping out my garden for this year. An on-line search brought me to this page/recipe. Before lunch all my ingredients were roasted, seasoned, pureed and in beautiful jars ready for winter. I am pretty sure I ate the equivalent of 1 jar with only spoon in hand. Absolutely one of the best recipes I have ever made. My winter stash won’t last me through next week at this point. Thank you!
I’m so happy you enjoyed this Joanie
I’m making my 3rd or 4th batch of the green enchilda sauce. Last year, I used farmers market and CSA produce, ate one batch fresh, froze the other batch for a mid-winter enchilada casserole. I love it so much that I am making another batch with produce from my garden (and CSA and farmers market). I love how versatile it is – I am using a mix of peppers from my garden. It so fresh and simple and prodcues a bright and complex sauce!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this Amanda!
This is phenomenal. (I made the red version) The roasting really brings out true depth of the veggie flavors & it’s very easy/ quick.
I use on eggs, zootles, w crostini,… freezes great. Seriously delicious.
So glad you like this Terri!
I cook often, I am disabled and pretty homebound. Made the green enchiladas sauce for the second time just now. It is impeccable. Every recipe I have made from your blog is outstanding. I cook so much that I am confident in saying you hit it out of the park, every time. Your emails are soothing and I so look forward to receiving them. Thank you for sharing your blessings
Thanks so much Lisa- appreciate this.
HUGE fan of your enchilada sauce recipes. The 5 minute quick sauce is what I mostly use. Your enchilada recipes opened a whole new vista for this hidebound New England home cook. Love, love, love your world view on food, and healthy eating swap outs. We are by no means vegan or vegetarian, but have cut way back on our meat intake and your recipes are making it possible, even if just gaining some insights or ideas! Thank you Sylvia!
I had a surplus of tomatoes, so I cooked both this red enchilada sauce and your roasted tomato sauce, which I plan on freezing. Both are amazing! This enchilada sauce has such an incredible depth of flavor. I ended up adding 1/4 of a roasted habanero and did not add the water – I wanted to keep it thick so I had to option to mess with the consistency depending on the dish. I have loved every one of your recipes that I’ve tried!
Made the red sauce last night, wonderful flavor. Making a batch of the green tonight, which I’m sure will be just as tasty. The small batch quantity is perfect for how my garden is ripening. Do you think green tomatoes can be subbed for the tomatillos?
Love it! Not sure about green tomaotes….will you let me know?
It works! I made green enchilada sauce with green tomatoes and it’s delicious
Definitely use green tomatoes instead of tomatillos ~ makes wonderful green enchilada sauce.
I made a green enchilada sauce w green tomatoes and it’s delicious
OH MY GOSH! Another winner! So easy. So tasty. So ready to share with my family!
Awesome Cheryl! 🙌 Glad this worked for you!
Can I use green tomatoes from my garden?
Jessie! What a great question and idea! I’m not sure I’ve never tried it with green tomatoes but love the idea of it. Not sure how tart the sauce would be? Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!
I used green cherry tomatoes and it worked great! I did add some lime juice to add a bit of acidity, and it was delicious. Love the versatility of this recipe. My husband said I can make the house smell like this anytime.
I made both of these sauces today. So delicious!! I am always amazed how the flavor balances out when the 1 teaspoon of vinegar (red) or 1 teaspoon of honey/syrup (green) is added. Thanks for creating and sharing such great recipes. Most of what I make now is from your site.
You are so sweet- thanks Francine and glad these worked for you!
Can I can this recipe???
I think so, but not sure of the acidity levels necessary to make it safe.
I canned this recipe (red sauce) but added a glug of more vinegar to bring up the acidity. The jars all sealed nicely.
Thanks Susan- good to know!