This is our favorite Mexican-inspired vegan enchilada sauce recipe! It's simple to prepare right on the stovetop, and made with a delicious seasoning blend. Perfect poured over a wide variety of enchiladas.
This is our favorite homemade enchilada sauce!
Making your own sauce allows you to control the ingredients and also leave out any additives and preservatives.
Plus it tastes so much better than the canned or packaged alternatives.
Please note: This is not an authentic red enchilada sauce recipe, but merely my own favorite stovetop version.
Ingredients for Enchilada Sauce
For this recipe you will whisk together in a medium saucepan or pot:
- Tomato paste
- All-purpose flour: For a gluten-free option, I like Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour. This is what helps thicken the sauce.
- Ground cumin: Be sure all of your pantry spices are fresh (not expired) for best flavor in this sauce.
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Chili powder: I use mild, but use your own favorite.
- Vegetable broth: Be sure to use low-sodium if desired.
- Olive oil: This is used to make the roux which thickens the sauce.
Make it spicy: The sauce is mild if using mild chili powder. So if you like it spicy, stir in a dash of dry chipotle powder or cayenne pepper. You could also include chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Spices + seasoning: Change up the flavors how you see fit. My favorite variation is adding a half teaspoon of smoked paprika (or more to taste).
Oil-free version: I have not tested this recipe without oil yet, but will be sure to update when I do. If wanting to omit oil, I'd suggest simply adding all the other ingredients to the saucepan together (instead of using the oil to make the roux). Then simply heat and whisk until thickened.
Simmer up this sauce, then pour it on your favorite enchiladas. A few ideas include:
- Black Bean Spinach Enchiladas (pictured above)
- Protein Monster Vegan Enchiladas
- Easy Vegan Bean Enchiladas
- Vegetable Quinoa Enchiladas
- Black Bean Avocado Enchiladas
Create your own! Or make your own stacked/layered enchiladas with corn tortillas, black beans (or refried beans), cooked rice or other grain, sweet corn, vegan shredded cheese, onions, etc.
For more inspiration, also browse all sauce + seasoning recipes.
Vegan Enchilada Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use GF all-purpose)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Optional: 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, dash of chipotle powder, etc.
- In a small bowl, combine flour, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili powder. (Or other spices of choice.)
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil.
- Once oil is hot, carefully add tomato paste and the bowl of flour/spices.
- Cook for 1 minute, whisking continuously. (It will form a very thick mixture - just go with it!)
- Slowly whisk in broth. Then increase heat and bring to a light boil.
- Once lightly boiling, reduce heat to medium-low. Let sauce lightly simmer for about 8 minutes (or until thickened) whisking occasionally to break up clumps.
- Salt/pepper to taste.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
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