Make this double batch Gluten-Free Enchilada Sauce, then freeze it for later! It’s way more delicious than the canned stuff and way easier than you think. You’ll never go back!
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I’ve been making my own enchilada sauce for a while now. Homemade enchiladas was a favorite of my Personal Chef clients because they are freezable and really delicious!
Normally, enchilada sauce is thickened with flour, and that’s what I normally do. But every once in a while I’d get a client who was gluten-free or grain-free, and that’s when I’d use this recipe instead.
What is in enchilada sauce?
First, you need chilis.
There are many different ways to make enchilada sauce, and I do not claim that this one is authentic. It’s not! But it’s really delicious.
You can use one type of dried chili if you like or if that’s all you can find, but I like to use a mixture of chilis for more depth of flavor.
The three chilis that are my go-to flavors for gluten-free enchilada sauce are New Mexico, California and Guajillo Chilis. Before I left California at the end of 2018 I filled up bags of them from Vallarta (a Mexican grocery chain) to bring with me.
If you live in the Southwest of the US, these ingredients are very easy to find. If not, you may have to do some searching or order them online.
In my gluten-free enchilada sauce I also put onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and cumin.
How to make gluten-free enchilada sauce
Step 1 – Clean and seed your chilis
Chilis are hot in large part because of the seeds and the ribs. So, if you want a spicy sauce, go ahead and leave the ribs on and some seeds in. I live with little kids, though, so I always make my enchilada sauce very mild.
To do that, I always take all the seeds and the ribs out of the chilis before I soak them. You can see in the photo below what the chili looks like before I removed the rib and after.
CAUTION!! WASH YOUR HANDS VERY WELL AFTER HANDLING DRIED CHILIS.
Step 2 – Soak in hot water
Soaking the dried chilis in hot water softens them up so that you get a silky smooth sauce when it is all blended up. I also like to soak the onion and garlic with the chilis, but you don’t need to.
Step 3 – Blend it up!
In my time as a Personal Chef I made A LOT of enchilada sauce, and I’ve used a bunch of different blenders. In my experience, no other blender gets sauces as smooth and silky as a Vitamix. I’ve had my Vitamix for 6 years and I JUST sent it in to get the motor fixed because it was still under warranty! I used it a ton for that entire time, too. You just can’t beat this blender. It’s worth all the monies.
Step 4 – Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer
This part is what makes it gluten-free! I use a slurry of corn starch and water to thicken instead of a flour roux.
Making a slurry is very easy. You just dissolve corn starch into very warm water, then add it to your soup or sauce, and simmer until thickened!
Use a whisk to stir together all of the ingredients with the blended chili sauce, then bring it to a gentle simmer. A skin will form on the top if you don’t whisk continually, but you can just mix that right in and it won’t affect the final product.
Step 5 – Simmer for 15 minutes
You don’t have to babysit this gluten-free enchilada sauce while it simmers. Just make sure you give it a good whisking every few minutes, and then just let it do its thing.
Chef note: add more honey if you like it sweeter and less honey if you like it very savory! Just taste as you go and add to your own individual taste buds.
What do I do with it now?
I’m so glad you asked! This recipe makes a double batch so that you can meal prep it. Meaning, one it’s cooled you can store it in freezer safe containers (like in the picture at the very top) and then freeze until you need it! Or, use half to make enchiladas and freeze the other half for later, OR make two dishes of enchiladas, eat one that night or the next, and freeze the second dish for another time!
There are just so many ways to meal-prep with this gluten-free enchilada sauce.
What do I freeze the sauce in?
These 16oz freezer safe liquid containers with lids are the ones I like to keep around for sauces and single portions of soup.
These 32oz freezer safe liquid containers with lids are great for transporting sauces and soups, and for freezing bigger batches of liquids like homemade broth.
BONUS! They are both washable and reusable.
Looking for more gluten-free Mexican recipes? I have tons!
– Taco Muffin Tin Eggs
– Healthy Refried Beans for the Instant Pot
– Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Mexican Casserole
– Pressure Cooker Chicken for Tacos
– Vegetarian Tostadas with Black Beans and Corn
– Veggie Tacos Loaded with Guacamole
– Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup
– Chicken Taco Baked Sweet Potatoes
And try out these gluten-free Mexican food recipes from other great bloggers!
- Easy Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas from Tasty Thin
- Instant Pot Mexican Rice from Cook with Manal
- Oven Fried Chicken Taquitos from Hungry Hobby
- Vegan Green Corn Tamales from Create Mindfully
I think every serious cook needs a Vitamix in their kitchen. There is just no beating this work horse when it comes to speed (read: smooth sauces) and durability (you can use this thing daily for YEARS and it will not give out on you!). They have a lot of options for all budgets. Do yourself a favor and invest in this amazing kitchen tool! I listed some great models below.