Authentic Ancho Chili Red Enchilada Sauce

ancho red enchilada sauce
Ancho red enchilada sauce make the most perfect TexMex enchilada!
Oh…this authentic Ancho red enchilada sauce is perfect for TexMex cheese, beef or chicken enchiladas.  A touch of heat that feels so good.  Use this for Authentic TexMex enchiladas, or breakfast enchiladas, or any in other you way want it.  It’s TexMex at its best.  And feel free to use a combo of dried chilies:  Ancho, of course, but also chiles de arbol are wonderful, or dried chiptoles…all depends on your desire for heat.  For this recipe, I just use ancho chilies (which are dried pablanos), and they give just enough kick to make you smile.  Make this and freeze extra for future use.  This is definitely a keeper in the Kitchen Essentials.


ancho chilies for red enchilada sauce
These ancho chilies make the perfect red enchilada sauce


ancho chilies simmering for red enchilada sauce
Ancho chiles, onions, garlic and tomatoes simmering for perfect red enchilada sauce
Authentic Ancho Chili Red Enchilada Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This sauce is perfect for Authentic TexMex enchiladas, and other amazing delicious Mexican dishes such as breakfast tacos!
Recipe type: TexMex
Cuisine: TexMex
Serves: 6 - 8
  • 12 ancho chilies
  • 4 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped into four pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, halved
  • 2 cups of homemade beef stock, or canned beef stock
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Mexican oregano (or just good ole plain dry oregano)
  • ⅛ teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
  1. Rinse the chiles in cold water and pat dry.
  2. Tear open the chilies, and remove the seeds and bulky veins (like the tops/stems)
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and then toast the peppers, onions and garlic...turning chilies this for about 10 minutes
  4. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil...add the tomatoes for 30 seconds.
  5. Remove the tomatoes into an ice bath...remove from the ice bath, and peel off the skin. Slice and half, and remove the ribs and seeds of the tomatoes.
  6. Bring 4 cups of water, the 2 cups of beef stock and the tomato sauce to a boil
  7. Transfer the chilies, onions, garlic and tomatoes to the water/stock. Add in the oregano and cumin. Lower the heat to low/medium and simmer for about 15 minutes
  8. Carefully transfer the chili mixture to a blender, or larger food processor. Puree for about 2 minutes.
  9. Add the mixture back to the pot through a very fine sieve, or a colander lined with cheese cloth. Press until all liquid has been pressed through. This is an important step! Don't skip this!
  10. Return the strained sauce to the stove and heat for about 15 minutes. Add about a teaspoon of salt (or to taste)



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