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Enchilada sauce in jar surrounded by dried chiles and oregano.

Red Enchilada Sauce

Easy homemade red enchilada sauce made with dried chiles and a few seasonings in the blender.
Course Condiment, sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword red enchilada sauce, authentic Mexican red enchilada sauce, guajillo enchilada sauce, how to make homemade enchilada sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Blending time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Kelly Wildenhaus


  • 12 dried guajillo chiles
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste


  • Prepare chiles. Snip off stem ends. Empty out as many seeds as possible, discard seeds. No worries about the seeds, you'll be straining the blended sauce later.
  • Place chiles in bowl, cover with boiling water and top with a plate. Let reconstitute for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove chiles from water to blender, reserving soaking liquid. Add garlic, oregano and salt. Add some soaking liquid, about ¼ cup to start. Blend until smooth and thick, adding more soaking liquid as needed, up to about ½ to ¾ cups total. I find ½ cup soaking liquid to be ideal. Taste for salt, adding another ½ teaspoon, if needed.
  • Pour sauce into fine mesh strainer over a bowl and press through, leaving a small amount of solids behind. Transfer sauce to jar or container and store in refrigerator, or freeze. Makes about 1 cup.


  • Totally optional: add a very small piece of Mexican chocolate to the blender (preferably Abuelita brand).
  • Can use a mix of dried chiles, like 8 guajillo, 2 ancho and 1 arbol.
  • If you make more or double the recipe, watch the amount of soaking liquid you add so it's not too thin/watery and taste for seasonings.