This is the BEST vegan red enchilada sauce recipe! Throw out the cans and be amazed at how great this tastes! Completely vegan, gluten free, and Top 8 Allergen Free.
This completely from scratch red enchilada sauce recipe will blow your mind with how good it is! Whether you are constantly rotating Spanish/Mexican style dishes in your meal plan, for Taco Tuesday or another other time, you are going to want to keep this red enchilada sauce stocked in your fridge.
We are making this vegan red enchilada sauce completely from scratch and the results are mind blowing. It does take a little while to make it, but we promise it’s so worth it.
Our recipe is completely Top 8 Allergen Free + Vegan, so if you are serving a meal for guests, then is a great one to throw into the mix since it’s perfect for so many.
What ingredients do you need to make vegan enchilada sauce?
When making an authentic red enchilada sauce recipe from scratch, you are going to need quite a few ingredients. All the ingredients together really merry well and bounce off each other to create an absolutely delicious sauce that you can use for a variety of dishes.
The ingredients that you need for the best enchilada sauce are:
- red onions
- ancho chilis
- vegetable stock
- chipotles in adobo
- tomato paste
- garlic powder
- marjoram (can sub thyme)
- smoked paprika
- apple cider vinegar
- brown sugar
How do you make red enchilada sauce?
To start making an authentic red enchilada sauce, you want to chop your red onion and garlic roughly. All the ingredients are going into a blender later, so don’t worry about making them super small or anything. Then, remove the stems and seeds from your dried ancho chilis. Once you de-stem the chilis the seeds can usually just be shaken out.
Once your vegetables are chopped up, add some oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Saute your onions until translucent. Then add in the garlic and cook for another minute. You want to constantly stir so the onions don’t burn. It will alter the flavor of your sauce and you don’t want that.
Then, add in your dried ancho chilis. Let them cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then flip them over and cook another 3 minutes.
Add in your vegetable stocks and stir. Next, open your can of chipotles in adobo and pull out one of the chilis. Add it to your skillet and then carefully take out a tablespoon of the adobo sauce. Reserve the rest of the chipotles for another time.
Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce and cook for 5 minutes. After that, add in your tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, marjoram, smoked paprika, salt pepper, vinegar, and brown sugar. Stir well. *If you do not have marjoram, you can sub thyme.
Cook this mixture for 10 mins. Then, remove from heat. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth & creamy.
In the same skillet you used, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Heat over medium high.
Once hot, pour the sauce from the blender back into the skillet and fry the sauce. Cook for 1 minute then turn heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
*This is frying the sauce. See below for more details.
Use immediately or let cool completely and store in an air tight container for up to 4 weeks.
Can you make this a Top 8 Free red enchilada sauce?
Yes! Our easy enchilada sauce recipe is Top 8 Allergen friendly as written. You do want to ensure that your spices and the can of chipotles in adobo sauce do not contain allergens.
Pin this vegan red enchilada sauce for later:
Red Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- 1 red onion
- 8 cloves garlic
- 3 oz dried ancho chilis
- 2 tablespoon oil (olive or avocado) + more to fry
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 chipotle in adobo
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from can
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram (can sub with thyme)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Roughly chop 1 red onion and 8 cloves garlic. *If doesn’t have to be finely chopped or minced as this will go into a blender later.
- Remove the stem and seeds from dried ancho chilis.
- Add 2 tablespoon oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
- Saute red onions for 3-5 minutes, until translucent, stirring often so they don’t burn.
- Add in garlic. Cook 1 minute.
- Add in the de-stemmed mild ancho chilis. Let cook for 3 minutes on each side to bring out flavors of the chilis.
- Add in 3 cups vegetable stock, along with 1 adobo chili and 1 tablespoon of the sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce.
- Bring to boil, reduce and cook for 5 mins.
- Add in tomato paste, cumin, garlic powder, marjoram, smoked paprika, salt pepper, vinegar, and brown sugar. Stir well.
- Cook for 10 mins.
- Remove from heat.
- Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth & creamy.
- In the same skillet you used, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Heat over medium high.
- Once hot, pour the sauce from the blender back into the skillet and fry the sauce. Cook for 1 minute then turn heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes. *This is frying the sauce and developing a deeper and richer taste. You could skip this step and use from blender, but it’s much better this way.
- Use immediately or let cool completely and store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.