Home Canned Enchilada Sauce
June 24, 2021


I’m to the point where I don’t buy pre-made salsa, meat stock, pizza sauce, pasta sauce, Dijon mustard, barbecue or even Asian dipping sauce anymore. I can all of these things, for healthy, inexpensive, and to-my-taste pantry staples. I recently added enchilada sauce to my pantry preps. Along with my home canned meat and beans, this enchilada sauce means any night I can put together homemade pork, chicken, beef, or bean enchiladas in a couple minutes. Now that’s fast food.

We crave this enchilada sauce, even for just for chip dipping. Pop open a jar, add some cheese and warm up for a ranchero cheese sauce. Besides enchiladas and dip, serve over burritos or as a dip for rolled tacos. I’ve seen homemade enchilada sauces using dried chilies, and while that looks incredible, this uses dried chili powder making it a cinch to put together.

Because this is a canning recipe, I’m using Clear-Jel instead of flour or common corn starch. Some prefer a thin enchilada sauce, but I like mine with some heft, so just make it your desired thickness. Yes, I know there is a large amount of chili powder and cumin, but if you are making food from scratch, particularly canning, buying spices in bulk is the way to go to save money. Savings can also be earned with buying industrial cans of tomatoes, including tomato sauce. I paid $3.50 for a 6 pound, 6 oz can of tomato sauce. I also recently switched from canola oil to avocado oil as a healthier alternative, but use any appropriate oil here.

  • Note – I followed Ball’s canning instructions for enchilada sauce, but this exact recipe has not been tested by the USDA.

Home Canned Enchilada Sauce
Yield – 8 1/2 pints

3/4 cup avocado oil, or canola oil
1 cup chili powder
1/4 cup cumin
8 cups beef broth, or 8 cups of water and 8 tsp bouillon
10 cups tomato sauce
2 tsp Mexican oregano, crushed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup Clear-Jel

Warm oil and toast chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic.

Add broth, tomato sauce and salt/pepper to taste.

Bring to a simmer. Take enough hot mixture out to make a slurry with the Clear-Jel. Add Clear-Jel mixture to pot and stir until incorporated. Bring back to a simmer and cook until desired thickness.

To clean, pint canning jars, add enchilada sauce leaving one inch head space. Pressure can for 50 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, following your canners instructions.






  1. Jerry Roberts

    Sounds great. We were eating at a TexMex Restaurant once or twice a week. My wife’s favorite is Cheese Enchiladas and she wants me to make several dozen and freeze them. I guess I can’t stall any longer. Do you have a recipe for Pechuga de polo Asada? My favorite.

    • Laura

      I’ve never heard of Pechunga de polo asada, but it sounds delicious! :) I have found freezing enchiladas with the sauce doesn’t turn out well, so I would put together the enchiladas and freeze, then just add the sauce before cooking.

  2. Jerry Roberts

    Now we need the next step. How about a recipe for Cheese Enchilada’s. The Mexican Food Restaurants prices are going through the roof.

    • LauraM

      Jerry, all you need for the enchiladas is the cheese (beans too if you want), or meat and cheese, fill the tortillas, pour the sauce over, cover the cheese and bake. How about I post another recipe using the enchilada sauce just for you this week? :)

  3. Jenny

    Glad you switched from canola. I think you know that it really bothers my stomach, and when I do research on it, I don’t think I’m the only one. I believe other oils are definitely healthier. I’ve never tried avocado though.

    • LauraM

      I guess I’ve just always used corn, canola or vegetable oil, but after doing some reading avocado oil is a better choice. However, avocado oil is also expensive. I don’t deep fry much, but when I do it will have to be in like a corn oil because of the amount I need to use. I have been baking with avocado oil too. Since bread bothers your stomach too you might want to consider switching to bread made with ancient grains, or bread made with non-GMO grains. This has made a big difference for a lot of people. I’m working on a blog article on this topic.

  4. Susan Rodriguez

    This sounds awesome, and I can’t wait to try it. How many jars did you end up with? Thanks!

    • LauraM

      Hi Susan! Oh goodness, I forgot to put the yield! I will edit right now. It makes 8 1/2 pints, so I just took that other half pint and used it for chip dip. I’m actually using a jar of this tonight in chicken enchilada soup. I hope you enjoy this, and thank you!

      • Susan Rodriguez

        Awesome! I believe that I have all of the ingredients on hand except the Mexican oregano, which I will pick up today. Thanks for the quick response!

        • LauraM

          You can use regular oregano, but the Mexican oregano is special and has a hint of lime in my opinion. I get mine at the Mexican grocery for a good price. :)



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