This authentic red enchilada sauce recipe is made with a mixture of Mexican chili peppers that are lightly toasted then rehydrated and processed to form a deeply rich and flavorful sauce. It is one of my very favorites for homemade enchiladas.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce Recipe


  • 8 dried ancho peppers (stemmed and seeded)
  • 8 dried guajillo peppers (stemmed and seeded)
  • 8 dried chiles de arbol (stemmed and seeded)
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 small onion chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • 4 teaspoons coarse sea salt (or to taste)
  • Water as needed


  • Dry toast the dried chili peppers (stemmed and seeds removed) in a heated pan over medium heat. Toast them a couple minutes per side, until they start to puff up slightly.
  • Cool, then set them into a heavy bowl with enough hot water to cover them.
  • Let them soak for 20 minutes, or until they become very soft. Remove them and place them in a blender or food processor.
  • Reserve 1 cup of the dark soaking water.
  • In the same heated pan, add the olive oil. Cook the onion about 3 minutes, or until they become translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook another minute, until they become fragrant.
  • Add them to the food processor along with the sea salt.
  • Pour in the reserved soaking liquid and process to form a sauce. It will be very thick at this point.
  • Add in more water, a half cup at a time, until you achieve your desired consistency.
  • Strain, if desired, and serve as needed.