Help: Enchilada sauce


7 Years
Sep 17, 2012
Ozark, MO
If I don't have enchilada sauce, what can I use as a substitute?
Anyone have any ideas?

I thought I had some and don't and no money right now to go get some.
My plan was, corn tortillas on the bottom of a glass roasting pan, a layer of refried beans, a layer of shredded cheese and a can of diced green chilis, repeat and end up with a layer of corn tortillas. I wanted to pour enchilada sauce over each layer and the top, hmm! No enchilada sauce.
Here is my recipe. I was out of store bought canned enchilada sauce one day and looked online and found this one on BYC. It is pretty good. I like it better than the canned from the store, and easy too. Of course, I added finely chopped onions, because onions go in everything :)
Easy Enchilada Sauce

3 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs flour
1/4 c chili powder
2 c chicken stock
10 oz tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking cocoa

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, smoothing and stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook for 1 minute. Add chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock, tomato paste, oregano, and cumin. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken and smooth out. Adjust the seasonings. Serve atop your favorite enchiladas.
You could also use a salsa as a sauce in your layered Mexican lasagna. :)
Maybe make a con-caso to use as a sauce (cream cheese, salsa, shredded cheese, and cream).
I will give both a try. They are very similar but one uses tomato sauce while the other uses tomato paste. Some people in my family say they can't taste the difference between the sauce and the paste but I can. Generally, I don't like the paste but it does have it's place and it could be better for enchilada sauce than the tomato sauce.

wyoDreamer: I think the salsa would be too soupy but I might try the con-caso. The con-caso sounds like something my husband would like for his chips. LOL

Thanks everyone for lending me a hand.
I always end up straining the store bought salsa and picante sauces. They seem to be getting soupier and soupier all the time, I'm sure it is more profitable when it is soupier.

Tomato sauce has seasonings in it, tomato paste is tomato puree, no spices added. I like the paste because I can make it as thick or thin as I want that way. Be careful with the chicken stock, only use 1 1/2 cups to start then add more to get the thickness you want.
Oh, yes. I didn't think about that and would have just poured the sauce in. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. LOL I have copied your recipe down and added that note to it.
The cocoa is the secret ingredient, don't skip it. It really adds a depth to the flavor, if you are worried, add a 1/2 tsp to start and add the rest to taste.
I have found cocoa in a number of Mexican recipes. It started with a chili recipe that I tried a couple of years ago. I didn't like the chili so much, but I liked the base flavor that the cocoa added, so I am no longer afraid to add it when the recipe calls for it.

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