Need a quick enchilada sauce without a grocery store run? How to make 1-minute homemade enchilada sauce from spaghetti sauce.
how do you make homemade enchilada sauce?
Now, when I say “homemade enchilada sauce,” I’m taking some liberties. I’m sure that chefs who are purists about authentic Mexican and Italian cuisine are shuddering at this hack. And shudder away. This move from Italy to Mexico in seconds saves me many minutes at dinnertime and it tastes delicious.
So I’m mighty proud of this 1-minute “homemade” enchilada sauce from spaghetti sauce I created. (Disclaimer: If you have to search through your cluttered spice cabinet to find the right spices, as I do, this may take two minutes. Or, if you have trouble opening the jar of sauce, two and a half minutes.)
quick weeknight dinner
Here’s the deal. If you add spices to spaghetti sauce you get enchilada sauce. Or, a sauce that isn’t really but sure as heck tastes like it.
Because this sauce is so easy, I make enchiladas alllll the time. It’s a quick weeknight meal to make. As for the tomato sauce, use any of your favorite store-bought jars, cans or homemade. I’ve used store-bought plain sauce, sauce with basil and herbs, sauce with cheese, even sauce with wine. It all works, pretty much.
The sauce is quite forgiving. Add a little more or less of spices to your taste. Need more than a cup? Double the recipe. Or just pour a little extra tomato sauce in the bowl and use heaping teaspoons of the spices.
I added salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, basil, oregano, and chili powder to spaghetti sauce. You can also add some onion powder, if you like. I live in a house with a staunch no-onion eater, so I didn’t. (Eye roll-sigh.)
Come back tomorrow and I’ll share with you my recipe for chicken and kale enchiladas using this sauce. And if you like that, you’ll love my smoky chipotle chicken and kale pot pie.
Want to make more than enchiladas? I found a few ideas for you.
This roundup from Home Cooking Memories includes casseroles, lasagna and even mac n’ cheese.
So, if you have a spare few seconds, you can make “homemade” enchilada sauce.
1-minute enchilada sauce from spaghetti sauce
How to make 1-minute "homemade" enchilada sauce from spaghetti sauce, an easy shortcut recipe adding herbs and spices to store-bought sauce.
- 1 cup spaghetti or tomato sauce, any preferred
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste, if needed
- Stir the spices into the tomato sauce to make enchilada sauce.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 187mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
Yum! So perfect, as I always seem to be out of enchilada sauce.. probably because I never buy it, thinking I will never use it. I’m obsessed with chipotle powder lately, and may have to add that in for an extra kick! 😀
Thank you Amy! Forehead slap – chipotle powder! Brilliant. My husband has some and he will give me the thumbs up to try next time. Thanks for the idea!!
Thanks! I used this in making my pork for tacos al pastor. I thought I had two cans of sauce, but had to make the second. I didn’t really want to cook since it was late, and I had only planned on putting everything into the crockpot and going to bed.
That’s great, thanks Tara! It’s just sooooo much easier.
Hubby said this was the best enchiladas he’s eaten. I omitted the chili spice and used a whole jar of spaghetti sauce (Whole Foods fat free marinara sauce). I took out 3/4 cup of sauce for the topping and bottom side and mixed in white rice with the sauce and put it together with chicken sausage, black beans, and sprinkled cheese in each tortilla. I don’t eat gluten or dairy but hubby liked it and it smelled so good too!
This just made my day!!! I’m so so glad Mimi! Love the idea of rice and chicken sausage… I’m going to try that. Thanks so much for letting me know!!!
Tanya Yelenskaya says
Sounds delish.. I will definitely try this variation 😉
I don’t have any spaghetti sauce at the moment, Would tomato sauce work too?
Hi Kaylene, Absolutely! I’ve done this with tomato sauce. Even better, actually, because it wouldn’t have any competing flavors some traditional spaghetti sauces might have.
I am so excited to try this! My husband is allergic to bell peppers (but not chili peppers) and all the store bought enchilada sauces that I can find use red bell peppers, so I am so happy to have found this recipe!
That’s fantastic! This way you can choose any safe spaghetti sauce. Love it, thank you for commenting!!
Donna Nowak says
You saved the day! I did not have any enchilada sauce and so I improvised with your recipe and garlic tomato sauce. I used every spice except cumin which I did not have and will need to add to my grocery list. What I like is the flexibility of this recipe in that you can use spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce. Have you ever tried Picante sauce or is it too runny? Thanks again for a simple recipe!
Thank you so much Donna! Yep, I use whatever jar we have available, even if it’s flavored with anything (basil, garlic, whatever). I haven’t tried Picante. Might be a bit runny, but maybe worth trying?
Can I use chunky vegetable type spaghetti sauce? I love veggies in my sauce.
Absolutely! I think that would be a great idea.
Thanks…I am going to give it a try.
This was exactly the recipe I needed. I had frozen enchiladas, no sauce and no desire to make a complicated recipe. Thank you
That’s so great to hear, thank you Linda!
Exactly what I was looking for. My spaghetti sauce was too sweet, so I added a 1/2 tsp of lime juice. Perfect!
I’m so glad it worked for you, Veronica! Adding lime juice is so smart. I’m going to try that next. Thank you for sharing!
Mary c g m says
thank you for recipe converting pasta sauce into enchilada sauce. I always always have oodles of pasta sauce on hand.therefore your recipe extremely helpful.yahoo!!!!
Thank you Mary!