Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada sauce recipe

Cooked tomato-based sauces such as this enchilada sauce is a great way to enhance southwestern-style specialties, especially ones that are tortilla-based. It’s a good bet for those who are wary of super-hot chili-based sauces—you can give it a milder flavor, especially if you use poblano peppers rather than the smaller, hotter varieties.

Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium green, red, or yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chopped ripe juicy tomatoes,
    or one 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 to 2 small fresh hot chili peppers (jalapeño or serrano), seeded and minced,
    or 1 mild poblano pepper, seeded and minced (if fresh chili peppers are unavailable,
    use one 4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium-low heat until the onion is translucent.

Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté for another minute or so, then add all the remaining ingredients and simmer over very low heat, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and use as directed in enchilada recipes.

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