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An overhead shot of quick red enchilada sauce.

Quick Red Enchilada Sauce

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5 from 29 reviews


This recipe is inspired by a few recipes, namely this one that calls for canned tomatoes, and this blistered salsa roja, which calls for charring vegetables stovetop. Here, the vegetables are broiled for 10 minutes, then puréed with fresh lime juice and a chipotle in adobo sauce.

To freeze: I like using these quart containers for freezing. Freeze for up to 3 months. 


  • 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded if you are sensitive to heat, roughly chopped
  • 28 ounces (5 heaping cups) cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 chipotle in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  1. Heat the broiler to high.
  2. Place the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and tomatoes on a sheet pan. Toss with the oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Transfer to the oven and broil for 10 minute or until the vegetables are nicely charred.
  3. Transfer vegetables to a food processor. Add the chipotle, the lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Add 1/2 cup water. Purée until smooth. Taste. Mixture should taste both sweet and spicy with a nice balance of acidity. Adjust with salt to taste. Add water by the 1/4 cup till it is thinned to the right consistency — it should have some texture because of the vegetables, but it should be pourable as well. 
  4. Use in your favorite enchilada recipe or store in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Broil
  • Cuisine: Mexican, American