Recipe: Enchilada Sauce

You may have noticed I’ve been a bit quieter than normal. There is a good reason for that. 

The flu.

Yes, I’ve spent a number of days on my sofa/in bed coughing, sneezing, aching, and feeling sorry for myself for the majority of the last week. My taste buds were on hiatus, my throat felt like someone had swapped out it’s tender tissue for a combination of needles and razor blades, and someone kept messing with my personal thermostat. One minute my fingers were blue and I was shivering, the next just existing made me sweat like a teen on a first date. 

It’s been…. Gross. 

Of course that means not only did my diet reduce to a combination of painkillers, vitamin C, Strepsils and toast, but my visual diet wasn’t much better. I didn’t have the brain to actually take anything in, so it’s mostly been repeats of Midsomer Murders (that I didn’t see the first time anyway, so…), confused episodes of Neighbours where I try and figure out why Plain Jane Superbrain is back again and dating Paul Robinson (it’s like going back in time, didn’t she have a thing for him before?) and Pioneer Woman on Food Network.  

Ree Drummond’s Pioneer Woman is my perfect mindless TV (I’d say guilty pleasure, but no pleasure should be guilty). There’s enough to love – I have hair envy, it’s almost always sunny and hot on the ranch in Oklahoma, the kids are cute, the scenery is stunning and have you seen her kitchen and pantry at the lodge? I mean… Le sigh.

But it balances out, because I get to be a bit critical. She’s not afraid of a shortcut – biscuits from a can, store bought bread rolls still in dough form. Is coating a pork chop with flour and frying it, and frying beans and spinach to go with it really a recipe?  How do two trays of food feed fifteen people? And in the space of four days I saw her make versions of rice krispie treats four times. I mean rice krispie cakes are good, but come on. 

And then I get to see the size of the local farmers market, the variety of fresh produce she can get her hands on and the outdoor space again, and we’re right back at the envy. 

So when my appetite finally started to come back, I had cravings for the food I’d spent the last few days watching her make, and enchiladas were on my mind.  There was of course, one barrier to this. I got my appetite back in Stretford, on a Sunday. 

Yeah. So I adapted. Some things were easy – corn tortillas, coriander, grated cheese, easy peasy. Refried beans, and enchilada sauce? Nope, not even a jar of something basic.

So, rather than a bought sauce, this is a recipe for a full on home made enchilada sauce. And again, it’s an adaptation. For most Tex-Mex recipes there’s a combination of chicken stock, tomatoes, and chilli/spices. Whereas for a traditional Mexican sauce, it’s chilli peppers all the way. Again, this was Stretford, on a Sunday. Finding the right peppers was always going to be a challenge, let alone being limited to my local Aldi. So this is an amalgamation of the two. The sauce is primarily pepper based, but does have some tomatoes in it, but no chicken stock, so it’s totally vegan and veggie friendly. 

But, and perhaps more importantly, tasty. I’m definitely not going bought sauce again. 


Home Made Enchilada Sauce

Servings 4


  • 2 Green peppers
  • 2 Yellow peppers
  • 2 Red peppers
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp Rapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Red chilli flakes
  • 500 grams Passata


  1. Begin by charring the peppers on your hob top. Once the skin is nice and blackened, put them in a plastic ziplock bag and leave to cool. 

  2. Once cooled, scrape away the core, seeds and stem, and as much of the blackened skin as you can.

  3. Chop the charred peppers, and put a pan on a medium heat, and add the oil. 

  4. Add the peppers to the pan, along with the garlic and spices. Cook until the garlic is just golden. 

  5. Add the passatta, bring to the boil and gently simmer for five minutes. 

  6. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool. Once cool, blend until smooth. 

  7. Use as a sauce for your favourite enchiladas - or even as a base for chilli, or for dunking tostadas into, or whatever takes your fancy!

Leave a Reply