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The enchilada sauce, which is typically used to bake the renowned enchilada meal, may also be used for a variety of other foods. It’s a flexible sauce with a lot of heat and flavor.

But, despite their flexibility and popularity, you may be looking for decent enchilada sauce alternatives for a variety of reasons.

If you can’t stand the spicy flavor or strong taste of enchilada sauce, or if you’re out of it, you may substitute anything else, some of which may be indistinguishable.

Taco sauce, salsa sauce, ranchero sauce, chiltomate sauce, Picante sauce, and other sauces are excellent alternatives for enchilada sauce.

Best Enchilada Sauce Substitutes

There are a few sauces that may be used in place of enchilada sauce. If possible, attempt to prepare your own enchilada sauce since it is the greatest replacement.

When you prepare your own enchilada sauce, you avoid the preservatives found in store-bought versions and may adjust the spice level to your liking.

If you can’t create your own sauce, use one of the following:

Related: How Hot Is Green Enchilada Sauce?

1. Green Enchilada Sauce

The flavor of green enchilada sauce differs from that of red enchilada sauce owing to the varied components utilized in its manufacture. The green enchilada sauce has an unique hue and a fresh taste, as opposed to the red sauce, which has an earthy flavor.

Roast the tomatillos, chiles, and spices of your choice to improve the flavor of the meal; you may adapt the components to your preferences.

You may use green enchilada spice sauce for red enchilada sauce in your recipe.

2. Taco Sauce

Tomato sauce, vinegar, cayenne pepper, oregano, onion, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika are common ingredients in taco sauce. Tacos, burritos, nachos, and enchiladas work nicely with taco sauce as an enchilada sauce alternative.

Both sauces are hot and include tomatoes, but their flavors are somewhat different. Taco sauce is tomato-based, while enchilada sauce contains tomatoes, but only a little quantity is required.

What Is the Different Between an Enchilada and a Burrito?

3. Salsa Sauce

Salsa sauce is a catch-all name for a variety of sauces. This sauce may be made with raw or fresh ingredients and served with soups and stews. Salsa may also be used as a dip or sauce for different types of fish.

Salsa is created with diced tomatoes, chilies, garlic, onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, and chili powder, mixed with a few drops of lemon to keep the veggies from becoming brown.

Salsa may be eaten as a salad, as a side dish, or over tacos or tortillas. Since salsa and enchilada sauce have different textures, it might be difficult to get the same taste and texture when substituting.

4. Chiltomate Sauce

Chiltomate sauce is also classified as salsa. It has habanero chili peppers, tomatoes, onion, and coriander in it.

The tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions are grilled before being combined with the other ingredients for added taste.

This sauce is a spicy, sweet, and delectable combo. It is paired with other traditional Mexican foods such as enchiladas, papadzules, and tacos.

5. Ranchero Sauce

Tomatoes, serrano or jalapeño chile, oregano, garlic, onion, salt, and oil are all ingredients in ranchero sauce. It may be blended with vegetables, pig, beef, or chicken meat, or used as a dipping sauce, base sauce, taco filler, or dressing.

Ranchero sauce complements enchiladas well, however it has more tomatoes. This sauce tastes somewhat different than enchilada sauce but is an excellent replacement.

Related: What Is the Different Between an Enchilada and a Chimichanga?

6. Picante Sauce

Picante sauce is made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeño chile, clove, chili powder, salt, spicy pepper sauce, lime juice, and lime zest.

This smooth and thick sauce may be used for fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, tacos, or as a dip for tortilla chips.

7. Sofrito Sauce

In Spanish, sofrito means “lightly fried” or “slowly fried.” It is more about the cooking procedure than the food itself. This sauce is generally served with rice, stews, beans, soups, and stocks, or as a stuffing for empanadas.

The recipe for sofrito differs based on where it is created. This implies that there are a few different types of sofrito, with distinctions ranging from colors to ingredients to tastes.

Sofrito is a Spanish dish comprised of onion, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic cooked in olive oil. Chili peppers, coriander, bay leaves, black pepper, cilantro, and other spices are also included in certain variants.

Yucatan sofrito sauce, made with habanero peppers, may be used as a hot enchilada sauce replacement. You may also add chili powder to any other sofrito sauce to increase the heat level.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

The most genuine alternative is homemade enchilada sauce. In fact, you could become so enamored with how delicious and simple it is that you’ll never go back to store-bought sauce again.

Here’s a simple recipe for roughly 2 cups of delicious enchilada sauce.


  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • a teaspoon of salt, to taste
  • Optional cinnamon pinch
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • To taste, freshly ground black pepper


  1. Begin by combining the dry ingredients (flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and cinnamon, if using) in a small mixing bowl. Additionally, prepare the tomato paste and broth and have it on hand.
  2. The spice combination is added. This might take a few minutes, so don’t hurry and keep an eye on the stove! In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until it sizzles when a little sprinkling of flour is added.
  3. When it’s done, whisk in the flour and spice combination and stir continually for 1 minute, or until it becomes aromatic and has a tiny color change. Add the tomato paste to the mixture, followed by the broth, whisking frequently to eliminate any lumps.
  4. Raise the heat to medium-high and allow the mixture to come to a soft simmer before lowering the heat. Sauté, whisking continually, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened somewhat and gives some resistance when stirred. Note that the sauce thickens even more as it cools.
  5. Take the sauce from the heat, add the vinegar, and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. If required, add a bit of salt, and your wonderful enchiladas sauce is ready to serve!

Related Post: Anchovy Substitutes


What can I substitute in place of enchilada sauce?

Taco sauce, salsa, ranchero sauce, Picante sauce, and sofrito sauce are some of the greatest enchilada sauce replacements. With so many possibilities, there’s no need to settle for a boring enchilada recipe.

Can I use chili sauce instead of enchilada sauce?

Red chile sauce may be used to make enchiladas, but it will be much less hot. If you’re going to use red chile sauce for enchiladas, I’d suggest adding some more chili peppers or chili powder to give it a bite.

Can you use taco sauce in place of enchilada sauce?

If you don’t have fresh jalapenos but have leftover taco sauce from the night before, use it to make enchiladas. Enchiladas need a sufficient amount of liquid so that the tortillas can absorb the sauce. The idea is to make the taco sauce more liquid rather than thicker.

What are the different enchilada sauces?

Enchilada sauces, which include salsa roja (red enchilada sauce), chile con queso (cheese-based sauce), verde sauce (green enchilada sauce), and mole sauces, are smooth, chili-based sauces.

What makes enchilada sauce different?

The primary distinction between red and green enchilada sauce is the kind of chile used. Red chilies are used to make red enchilada sauce (in this recipe, ground red chilies or chili powder). Since green enchilada sauce is created with green chilis, tomatillos, and occasionally jalapeos, it has a higher heat range.

What is enchilada sauce made of?

or Cascabel chiles, onion, garlic, tomatoes, broth, cumin, oregano, and other seasonings combined and cooked until thickened. Pasilla is from New Mexico. What exactly is Enchilada Sauce? Red enchilada sauce is also known as salsa roja, salsa roja para enchiladas, or rojo mole. It is a sauce prepared from anchovies.

Does salsa work as an enchilada sauce?

Salsa is another excellent option for enchilada sauce. Oven-roasted tomato salsa and restaurant-style salsa, in particular, are excellent replacements. What exactly is this? Restaurant-style salsa and roasted tomato salsa have a chunkier texture than conventional enchilada sauce.

Can I use red chili sauce instead of enchilada sauce?

This New Mexico red chile sauce is a flavorful and genuine Mexican sauce that goes well with meat, veggies, and dishes like enchiladas. This basic sauce, similar to mole sauce, begins with dried chili peppers but is considerably simpler to produce. It’s great as an enchilada sauce or tamale sauce.

Is Mexican red chili sauce same as enchilada sauce?

Red enchilada sauce is a sort of red chili sauce from Mexico. Chili sauce is a catch-all name for a hot sauce produced from any of a number of peppers.

Is Taco Bell sauce enchilada sauce?

You may be most familiar with it from the original Bean Burrito on the menu today. This enchilada-style sauce, however, has been around for decades. In every way, this is a Taco Bell® experience. Red sauce has had plenty of time to perfect its taste-bud teasing, delectably disarming tactics.

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