Quick and Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe: Mild

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A glass jar filled with red mild homemade enchilada sauce with a wooden spoon, and a wooden cutting board with chopped green bell peppers and spices.
This spoon may be licked by my curious toddlers.

This is the BEST Homemade Enchilada Sauce. All made with simple pantry ingredients! It all started when our grocery store stopped stocking La Tortilla’s Red mild enchilada sauce. We used this canned stuff for all our favorite Mexican dishes, and this mild sauce made for great enchiladas. Luckily, La Tortilla provided the full recipe for Grandma’s Secret Enchiladas (an excellent authentic enchilada sauce recipe), but I didn’t have most of the ingredients. Already burned by many Pinterest recipes due to lack of flavor, I created my own enchilada sauce recipe with basic pantry staples.

This is my creation. It’s easy and quick. I use it for enchilada soup and baked enchiladas, two of my family’s favorite meals.

Jump to Simple and Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe Card

Best Enchilada Sauce Recipe, Mild, and Kid-Friendly with Basic Pantry Staples. Add Heat if desired! 🙂

Kids helping in the kitchen and taking photos of homemade enchilada sauce with simple ingredients arranged on a serving board.
Behind the scenes of photographing food with toddlers.

Simple Ingredients Breakdown for Kid Friendly Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe

  • Butter. I use salted. Adjust the amount of salt as needed. The first time you make this easy recipe I recommend adding salt based on taste. Half a tablespoon is just right for us.
  • All-purpose flour. This is to help make a roux and thicken the sauce.
  • Tomato paste. Use your favorite canned or homemade.
  • Broth. I have used chicken broth and bone broth, but chicken stock or vegetable broth would work too.
  • Chili powder. This is a kid-friendly meal with mild heat. If you desire a spicer sauce, add cayenne pepper, dried peppers, ancho chiles, or add more chili powder (up to 4 tablespoons).
  • Cumin. This spice adds a bit of sweet and nutty flavor to the sauce.
  • Garlic powder. You can substitute with fresh garlic, but if it’s your first time making a roux, I recommend sticking to powder, or you might struggle to get a smooth texture. If making enchiladas, I sauté my bell peppers, onions, and garlic in a separate skillet.
  • Onion powder. Most recipes recommend 1/4 tsp, but as I said, these measurements are for a very flavorful enchilada sauce. 🙂
  • Fine sea salt. If not using fine sea salt, your salt measurements may vary.
  • Dried oregano. Friend, my family loves all Southwestern, Mexican, and Cajun foods, but we do not enjoy Oregano. I limited it in this recipe. Please, feel free to increase the amount.
Kids helping in the kitchen and taking photos of homemade enchilada sauce with simple ingredients arranged on a serving board.
And there goes the tomatoes. 🙂

How to Get Kids Involved in the Kitchen?

Teaching your kiddos to cook is such an important life skill and provides a fun, productive bonding experience. Don’t feel that your child has to assist with every task. Begin by picking one or two steps. Making a roux, broth, and measuring spices are all great places to start. I do recommend measuring the spices in a small bowl before getting the skillet hot to decrease any stress or multi-tasking. I find it helpful to take a few more minutes to prep and gather ingredients when my kids are helping.

Here is a list of tasks for kids in the kitchen while making this Homemade Enchilada Sauce recipe:

  • follow single step commands
  • read the written recipe or identity numbers
  • gather all ingredients
  • open can*
  • measure and pour spices into a small bowl
  • stir ingredients safely*
  • serve family and friends
  • learn to properly clean up the kitchen
  • learn to store leftovers and limit waste

* Supervise and consider age appropriateness for each task. Always supervise your kids in the kitchen. You know your children the best.

What are some recipes that use enchilada sauce?

Here are a few of our favorite meals that use enchilada sauce:

  • Baked Enchiladas (chicken, veggies, beef, or venison)
  • Enchilada Soup
  • Mexican Pizza
  • Mexican Chili
  • Enchilada Stuffed Peppers

I’ll come and update you with the full recipes soon.

A fresh pot of red homemade enchilada sauce stirred with a wooden spoon.

How to Make Kid-Friendly Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe?

Ingredient List

  • 3 tbsp salted butter (adjust salt as needed if using unsalted butter)
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups broth (chicken, beef, or bone broth)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp fine sea salt (recommend salt to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano

Step-by-Step Instructions for Red Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe

  1. First, heat pot over medium-high heat. Once the pot is hot, turn down to medium-low heat and melt the butter.
  2. Next, whisk in flour to make a roux. Add seasonings and whisk together for about 30 seconds.
  3. Then, slowly pour in broth while continuing to whisk. Next, add tomato paste.
  4. Continue to whisk. The enchilada sauce will thicken. Time for a taste test (be careful the sauce will be hot). Bring to a simmer, remove from heat, and serve.

Notes for Making Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Mix Spices before turning up the heat

Combine all dried spices in a small bowl to limit multi-tasking. This is worth the few minutes of prep time.

How do I store homemade enchilada sauce?

Store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for 5 to  7 days. This recipe freezes well and keeps for up to 3 months. I recommend making a big batch and freezing the leftovers.


Add heat as desired. This recipe was created with the entire family in mind (I have toddlers).

Other Deliciously Easy Kid-Friendly Favorite Recipes

Easy Cheesy Black Bean Quesadilla

Black Bean Quesadilla Recipe for for Kids with tortilla wedges scattered along a white surface with halved limes and sprinkled cheese.

Get the Simple Recipe HERE.

Simple and Creamy Asiago Creamed Spinach Recipe: The Rebel Way

asiago creamed spinach sprinkled with Parmesan cheese in a large black skillet sitting on an old barn wood table with shredded cheese, garlic cloves, and spinach leaves sitting beside the skillet.

Get the Recipe HERE.

Easy Homemade Brownies from Scratch Recipe

Single homemade chocolate brownie from scratch on parchment paper and chalkboard serving board with sprinkles of chocolate powder and chocolate chips.

Get the Easy Recipe HERE.

Thanks for Stopping By!

Lastly, I want to thank you for stopping by! Please say Hi in the comment section and share your favorite spicy or southwestern meals. We are loving all things enchiladas right now. If you make this flavorful enchilada sauce from scratch, please leave a comment and give this recipe a star rating. I hope you make time to enjoy some good cooking with your friends and family today and maybe even had this sauce to your favorite homemade recipes.

– With Great Joy, Katie


A glass jar filled with red mild homemade enchilada sauce with a wooden spoon, and a wooden cutting board with chopped green bell peppers and spices.
A white ceramic bowl filled with beef enchilada soup recipe topped with green onions and fresh avocado.

Instant Pot Homemade Beef Enchilada Soup Recipe

Turn your favorite Mexican Dish into a cozy soup. This soup recipe can be modified with chicken, venison, or additional vegetables. Perfect with sliced avocados, a spoon of queso cheese, tortilla strips, and diced jalapeños for spice.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Mexican, southwestern
Servings 8


  • Instant Pot (pressure cooker)


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can fire-roasted corn drained
  • 15 oz red enchilada sauce
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or 2 tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
  • 1/4 cup broth (bone, beef or chicken)


  • First, gather all ingredients. Wash and chop produce.
  • Next, press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot. Heat the olive oil in the insert pot. Once the Instant Pot reads "HOT," brown the pound of ground beef, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces. Drain excess grease.
  • Then, deglaze the pot with a 1/4 cup broth, scrap the bottom of the pot, and remove any stuck pieces. Press the CANCEL button on the Instant Pot. (Please properly deglaze the pot to prevent burning.)
  • Next, add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and place the lid on the Instant Pot and lock it into place. Make sure that the valve on the top is pushed to "seal." Turn the pressure cooker function on HIGH and set the manual timer for 20 minutes. It will take the Instant Pot approximately 15 minutes to pressurize.
  • Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for 10-15 minutes. Then, following your Instant Pot manual, Quick Release the remaining pressure from the pot. I do not allow my kids to assist with this function. The steam is too hot, and the risk too great.
  • Lastly, serve hot with tortilla strips (or chips). Optional toppings: Sliced avocado, diced jalapeños, queso, or sour cream. ENJOY! Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


  • Storage: Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. This recipe freezes well and keeps for up to 3 months. 
  • Heat: Add heat as desired. This recipe was created with the entire family in mind (I have toddlers).
Keyword Instant POt, Soup, Southwestern

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