This homemade enchilada sauce is low carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free. It comes together in just a matter of minutes with ingredients that you probably have in your pantry right now.
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Prepare to be amazed. You won't believe how easy it is to make homemade low-carb enchilada sauce that tastes better than anything you will ever buy in the store.
Ingredients and substitutions
As I mentioned above you likely have most, if not all of the ingredients for this sauce in your pantry right now.
- Olive Oil - any mild flavored oil suitable for medium heat will do.
- Ground Cumin
- Garlic Powder or fresh minced garlic to taste
- Chili Powder
- Dried Oregano or fresh chopped oregano
- Canned Tomato Sauce - you could also use canned whole or diced tomatoes, then use an emersion blender to reach the desired consistency.
- Vegetable Broth or chicken broth
- Salt and pepper
- Apple Cider Vinegar
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Homemade Enchilada Sauce
This recipe is seriously easy, and easy is my favorite kind of recipe
Start out by heating the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Then stir in the spices and cook them for just a minute or two until they become aromatic.
Next add in the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together and bring to a boil.
Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to suit your preference.
Remove the sauce from the heat, stir in the vinegar, and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.
Hint: Since the sodium content can vary greatly between brands of tomato sauce and vegetable broth, the salt added in step 2 is a fairly small amount. After the sauce is finished cooking and has cooled some, give it a taste and add more salt if needed.
After the sauce has finished cooking, you can use it immediately to make your favorite enchiladas OR allow it to cool and store it for later.
Here are a few ways to change up this enchilada sauce:
- Spicy - add cayenne pepper to taste. I suggest starting with ¼ teaspoon.
- Fire Roasted - Substitue a can on fire roasted tomatoes for the tomato sauce. After step 2, use an immersion blender to smooth the sauce.
- Slow Cooker - Add all of the ingredients except the vinegar to a slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 4-8 hours. After the cooking time is complete, stir in the vinegar.
Be sure to check out my Keto Mexican Chicken and Cauliflower Rice! Drizzle a few tablespoons of this enchilada sauce over the chicken for a delicious twist!
Equipment can have a big impact on how a recipe turns out. Luckily this recipe doesn't really need much! To make this keto enchilada sauce you will need:
- a 2 quart saucepan
- measuring cups and spoons
- a whisk or other spoon for stirring
You can store leftover enchilada sauce in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to 6 months. For freezing, I am loving these twist and lock plastic containers (affiliate). The lids are super secure and there is no worry about glass cracking in the freezer.
Also, be aware that it is normal for the tomato pulp to separate a bit from the liquid when the sauce has been sitting for a day or two. If you notice this it's fine, just give it a stir and it will be good as new.
Store-bought enchilada sauce can have anywhere from 3 to 5 net carbs per serving. This recipe for low-carb enchilada sauce has just 1 net carb!
If you aren't up to making your own enchilada sauce, you can substitute your favorite salsa or even taco sauce.
Some store-bought enchilada sauces do use wheat as a thickener, while others do not. You will also notice that many recipes for homemade enchilada sauce call for a wheat flour thickener. I find that a thickener is pretty unnecessary so this recipe is gluten and grain-free. Note: Be sure to read the labels for each individual ingredient to ensure that there are no allergens present.
The longer you allow this sauce to simmer, the thicker and stronger in flavor it will become. If you find that the sauce has become too thick or the flavor is stronger than you would like, simply add additional vegetable broth.
Low Carb Enchilada Sauce
- 2 quart Saucepan
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the spices and cook them, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes or until they are fragrant.1 tablespoon Olive Oil, 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin, ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder, 1 tablespoon Chili Powder, ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano, pinch Cinnamon
- Add the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper to the saucepan. Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a boil. After it begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low.15 oz Tomato Sauce, 1 cup Vegetable Broth, ¼ teaspoon Salt, Black Pepper
- Continue simmering the sauce, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently until it has thickened to your liking. Stir in the vinegar and season with additional salt and pepper if desired.1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
- Use immediately or allow the sauce to cool and store in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week, or in a sealed freezer-safe container for up to 6 months.
Be sure to read the entire post for tips, tricks, and help troubleshooting.
The nutrition information listed here is only an estimate and is simply provided as a courtesy. It nor any other information within this post should constitute medical or nutritional advice. Be sure to read all packaging and ingredient labels for potential allergens. Optional ingredients are not included unless otherwise specified.