spoonful of gluten free enchilada sauce made at home with simple ingredients

Easy Homemade Red Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce Recipe


Easy Homemade Red Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce Recipe

This easy homemade gluten free enchilada sauce recipe comes together quickly with just a few pantry staples. It is a flavorful sauce for Mexican food and has better ingredients than many store-bought enchilada sauces.

bowl of gluten free enchilada sauce with a spoon drizzling the sauce down into the bowl

Easy Homemade Red Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Traditional versions of enchilada sauce are often thickened with wheat flour, which definitely is a no-go when living a gluten-free lifestyle. This homemade red enchilada sauce uses a GF flour blend along with chili powder, tomato sauce, oil, and other spices. It comes together quickly to make your favorite Mexican dishes for an easy dinner.

water, oil, tomato sauce, gf flour blend, brown sugar, and other spices in containers on countertop

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Ingredients for this Easy Enchilada Sauce Recipe: Gluten Free

Aromatic and savory spices create a delish yet simple sauce for your Tex-Mex food recipes.

Chili Powder: Chili powder gives the main flavor profile for this sauce. It usually is mild to medium in heat range, depending on how much cayenne pepper is in your specific blend.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: King Arthur’s Measure for Measure is my preference.

Avocado Oil: I prefer avocado oil because of its high smoke point. (A light-flavored olive oil can be substituted if desired.)

Ground Cumin: Cumin is a key ingredient in adding depth of flavor to this gf enchilada sauce.

Onion Powder: Onion powder adds a sweet depth to the sauce, without the bite that raw onions would give.

Garlic Powder: Garlic powder subtly enhances the sauce with a gentle dose of garlic flavor without being too overpowering.

Salt: Salt is an essential part of any flavor profile. Salt to your personal preference.

Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is added to bring a touch of sweetness but also some depth because of the added molasses that is in it. (Coconut sugar could also be substituted if desired.)

Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce adds a rich, bright flavor to this sauce. (You can substitute tomato paste if you desire. See recipe notes for how to.)

Water: Water helps to thin out the sauce to the correct consistency. Alternatively, you can use chicken broth for more flavor.

Equipment Needed To Make this GF Enchilada Sauce

Medium-sized Saucepan: I prefer a stainless steel option like this one, Duxtop Professional Stainless Steel Sauce Pan with Lid.

Whisk: a good wire whisk is a versatile tool to have in the kitchen.

Spatula: I like having heat-resistant spatulas when working with hot foods, that way I don’t worry about them melting!

Storage container: If not using the gf enchilada sauce right away, store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. These Ello Duraglass Glass Food Storage Meal Prep Containers are some of our favorites for storage or meal prep.

How to Make Homemade Gluten-Free Enchilada Sauce

This recipe is a simple variation of a traditional homemade enchilada sauce.

gather ingredients, add gf flour blend with chili powder into oil. Then stir well and bring to a simmer

1: Gather all ingredients.

2: Add oil to the saucepan and warm it over medium heat.

3: Mix in the gluten-free flour blend and chili powder.

4: Simmer over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

add tomato sauce, whisk well and add the other spices, add water and then simmer on low while stirring often. Replace lid when not stirring.

5: Remove the saucepan from the heat then add the tomato sauce, and stir to fully combine. (Tomato sauce splatters when heated too high. Removing the saucepan prior to adding the tomato sauce will hopefully help from having the sauce splatter.)

6: Combine the rest of the seasonings and brown sugar with the sauce. Stir well.

7: Carefully add in the water, (or chicken broth if you prefer), and whisk till everything is smooth.

8: Simmer over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Replace the lid in between stirring to help keep any splattering from happening.

9: You have now made approximately 2 cups of your own enchilada sauce! Use in your favorite enchilada casserole recipes or in gluten-free chicken enchiladas. (Or any of your other favorite Mexican recipes.)

How to Store This Gluten-Free Enchilada Sauce

If you aren’t using this homemade enchilada sauce right away, you can make it ahead of time. Then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

If you’d like, you can also freeze it to use at a later date. Simply let it cool down to room temperature, then put it into a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. (It will stain plastic.) Date and label and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

red and green enchilada sauce brands at the store


If for some reason you don’t have less than 20 minutes to spare to make your own homemade gluten-free enchilada sauce with this recipe, you may be interested in checking out my post about store-bought sauces, Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce Brands: Red and Green Options and Comparisons. It gives many options that you can find at your local grocery store or online retailer.

What brand of red enchilada sauce is gluten-free?

There are several gluten-free red enchilada sauce brands you can buy at the store. Siete, Hatch, Sky Valley, and Frontera all have certified gluten-free red enchilada sauces.

Which enchilada sauce is gluten-free?

Las palmas, Old el Paso, Rosarita, Sprouts, and La Victoria do not have any listed known containment. Although Frontera, Sky Valley, Siete, and Hatch do have certified gluten-free enchilada sauces.

What brand of green enchilada sauce is gluten-free?

For gluten-free green enchilada sauce, Sprouts, Hatch, Siete, and La Preferida have certified gluten-free options.

Does store-bought enchilada sauce have gluten?

Many store-bought enchilada sauces do contain gluten in them as a thickener agent. But there are also many options that are gluten-free. See the full post for more information on this post, Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce Brands.

a pan stuffed with gluten free enchiladas with cheese and cilantro on top
Homemade gluten-free chicken enchiladas

If you’re looking for a recipe to make enchiladas tonight, may I suggest my recipe of Homemade Gluten-Free Chicken Enchiladas.

Trouble Shooting

This homemade GF enchilada sauce is meant to be mild to medium in spice. As mentioned earlier, the main heat level will be from the chili powder and each company’s blend is different. If you are worried it may be too spicy, decrease the amount of chili powder at the beginning and add more later in the recipe if you need more spice.

If you want to kick it up a notch, you could add 1 Chipotle pepper in ado sauce. Just puree it before adding it to the mix.

What to Serve This GF Enchilada Sauce With

The obvious first answer would be gluten-free easy chicken enchiladas. I like making this recipe with some corn tortillas, shredded chicken breast, and some melty cheese all baked together with this red enchilada sauce.

You can also use this GF red enchilada sauce in Danielle Walker’s ENCHILADA STUFFED SWEET POTATOES.

We like to serve our enchiladas with sour cream, and refried beans and if I happen to have any leftover The Best Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce For Tacos, I use that too!

Closing Thoughts

I hope this gluten-free homemade enchilada sauce recipe will be a much-loved favorite for the future of your cooking life. It is such a basic recipe with simple pantry ingredients, that can really transport your taste buds to a happy place. Make sure to pin it so you have it for later!

You May Also Like:

Gluten Free White Sauce Béchamel Recipe Gluten-free white sauce is one of the five “mother sauces” of French cuisine and also is referred to as Bechamel sauce. This basic sauce recipe makes a deliciously creamy white sauce. That can be adapted into many different variations and uses. It is a must-know recipe, whether you follow a gluten-free diet or not.

King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour, Certified Gluten-Free is my recommended gluten-free flour blend.

bowl of homemade gluten free enchilada sauce red

Easy Homemade Red Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce

This easy homemade gluten free enchilada sauce recipe comes together quickly with just a few pantry staples
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 Cups


  • Medium-sized Saucepan
  • Wire Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Storage container


  • 1/4 Cup Avocado Oil or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Gluten-free flour blend I recommend King Arthur's Measure for Measure blend
  • 2 Tbsp Chili powder
  • 1 8 oz Can of tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup Water Alternatively, chicken broth can be used for more flavor.


  • Heat avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Stir in gluten-free flour blend as well as the chili powder into the oil.
  • Whisk till smooth.
  • It should be at a simmer, stir it often over medium heat for about 3 minutes.
  • (Each stove is different, so if your medium heat is too hot and it's sputtering a lot, turn down the heat some.)
  • Remove saucepan from heat for the next step.
  • Carefully add in the tomato sauce. (Tomato sauce tends to splatter when hot. Which is why you remove the pan from the heat.)
  • Add in the rest of the seasonings and brown sugar.
  • Add in the water.
  • Stir/ whisk till smooth.
  • Return to the stovetop and cook over medium-low heat.
  • Simmer with lid on, stiring occasionally for 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve/ use immedietly in your favorite Mexican recipes. Or cool down to room temperature before storing for later use.


Tomato paste can be substituted for the tomato sauce with these changes: Use 4 oz of tomato paste instead of 8 oz of tomato sauce. Increase water  to 1 1/4 cup. 
I recommend King Arthur, Measure for Measure Flour gluten free flour blend. The link is listed above.
Keyword dairy free, gluten free, vegan


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