Enchilada Sauce

Part of my fondness for the Southwest is the fact that I love the regional cuisine. I learned to make this sauce when I was living in Tucson, and it is one of the best enchilada sauces I’ve had. And it’s so EASY to make! I love it over spinach and mushroom enchiladas, or black bean and sweet potato enchiladas, and it’s great to use in pancake-style enchilada casserole. The secret is the cocoa – don’t leave it out, it is essential!


  • 3 tablespoons quality New Mexico chile powder*
  • 3 tablespoons flour of choice*
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 small can (8 oz.) tomato sauce


  1. Combine all dry ingredients.
  2. Stirring constantly, slowly add enough of the water to make a thin paste.
  3. Pour into a sauce pan and add the rest of the water.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens.
  5. Stir in tomato sauce.
  6. Enjoy!


It is essential to use a high quality chili powder – I am fortunate to have a friend in New Mexico who sends me a care package of chiles and chile powders every so often. But no worries – New Mexico chile powder is readily available online. Hatch chiles are the best! Regarding flour, I generally use brown rice flour so the enchilada sauce will be gluten free, but any flour will do!