One of my most favorite entrees ever: enchiladas! Growing up in Santa Cruz, California, our family was always going out to eat to Mexican restaurants. And even before I was vegetarian, I always ordered spinach enchiladas. Moist, spicy, steamy, amazing enchiladas, smothered in red or green enchilada sauce, with a side of fluffy red rice and silky black re-fried beans. It was my version of restaurant heaven.
And enchiladas were also one of the first meals I learned to make for my family when I was in high school. But I always bought the enchilada sauce. I never knew it was SO easy to make it from scratch!
My Recipe. Today’s recipe is a basic red enchilada sauce. Super easy to make with minimal ingredients. The best part about this sauce is that you can jazz it up with a few fun flavor accents. Try adding these to taste:
– peanut butter or whole peanuts
– cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate for a “mole” flavor
– fresh or roasted chiles for a smoky spicy flavor
– get creative with different spices
For this recipe I used a can of fire-roasted tomatoes as the tomato base. But you can substitute with tomato paste and veggie broth if you’d prefer. Use about 5oz paste and 1 cup veggie stock. (Though I have not tested that substitution so you may need to modify a bit to taste.)
You could also substitute the canned or boxed tomatoes with fresh tomatoes that have been oven-roasted until they blister. Something like this..
..I wish I had some tomatoes on hand, but I will absolutely be trying that method the next time I make this sauce. Which should be very soon since the ending meal was so freaking fantastic. And easy!
In a few days I will share the enchilada recipe – but for today let us start with the sauce.
Easy Vegan Enchilada Sauce
- 14.5 ounces fire-roasted tomatoes (diced + canned) – lightly salted
- 2-3 cloves raw garlic
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional, adds more heat)
- ¼ cup flour – oat used
- 1 ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil – *sub with a veggie oil, or a nut or seed oil/butter (tahini, peanut..)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice + a pinch of zest (sub with 2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar)
- salt to taste (at least ½ tsp)
- Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender. Blend on from low to high for a few minutes, until silky smooth.
- Transfer the blender sauce to a small sauce pot. Simmer over medium heat for 2-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Simmer until thickened a bit and flavor matures.
- You can pour this sauce into a mason jar for use within 1-3 days – seal jar and place in fridge. Or use right away for enchiladas, taco sauce, burgers and more. If using as a raw sauce (not to be cooked anymore) you may want to simmer the sauce a bit longer to “cook” the flavors.
Yield: about 2 cups
Prep Time: 00 hrs. 03 mins.
Cook time: 00 hrs. 05 mins.
Total time: 8 mins.
Tags: enchilada sauce,diy,howto,sauce,mexican,spicy,tomatoes,vegan,glutenfree,dinner,enchiladas