Spicy Red Enchilada Sauce

| Last Updated: August 17, 2019 | ,

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Smoky and bold…

You can’t go wrong with a delicious smoky and spicy red enchilada sauce. Whether you want to layer it atop of your enchiladas prior to baking or simply use it as a dipper side to the plate, it provides a ton of flavor to any enchilada type. This recipe makes enough sauce for four enchiladas (1/2 cup each of sauce) if you’re going the baking route. Adjust up if you’re baking more.

Chipotle peppers provide both heat and smokiness here, with additional spiciness coming from cayenne pepper. Of course, adjust as you need based on your spicy food tolerance. The cayenne pepper can be removed completely without a change to overall flavor (beyond the spiciness).

spicy red enchilada sauce

Spicy Red Enchilada Sauce

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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 servings



  • Heat the oil in a high sided pan or pot over medium heat.
  • Add the all-purpose flour and mix to combine with the oil.
  • Add the chili powder, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, salt, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano. Mix well while allowing the ingredients to heat for 30 seconds.
  • Add the chicken broth and tomato sauce. Stir well to combine.
  • Continue to stir often until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency (5 to 10 minutes). 
  • Use immediately with enchiladas or as a dipping sauce. 


Want more heat and smokiness? Add more chipotle pepper. Want just more spiciness? Substitute in an additional 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or more, but start there) to the recipe and remove an equal portion of the chili powder. This will provide a bump in heat with a more neutral flavor profile than chipotle pepper. 
Tried this recipe?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale!
Matt Bray

Matt Bray

Chief Chilihead at Cindermint
Founder of PepperScale and Cindermint LLC. Sucker for a good scotch bonnet. Spicy food super-fan. Current fiery fascination: Datil hot sauces.


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