7 Authentic Quick Substitute for Enchilada sauce

Do you miss your dinner party just because Enchilada sauce is out of stock!

Don’t worry, enchilada sauce is easy to make, you know that right! But don’t have the time to prepare it, then use my best substitutes for enchilada sauce.

These enchilada sauce substitutes are included salsa Roja, taco, tabasco, moles, cheese-based sauce and chili-based sauce, etc. Shocking right! 

I also mention how to use them instead of enchilada sauce in the recipe calls for it. So stay with me.

What is Enchilada Sauce? 

Enchilada sauce is a chili pepper sauce that is mainly used in Mexican cuisine. It can be made from many different types of chili peppers and spices that give it its distinct flavor. 

What is enchilada sauce made of?

Enchilada sauce is typically chili peppers, water or broth, cornstarch, oregano, and cumin. Although some recipes may contain garlic powder or onion powder for additional flavor. Enchiladas sauce is used to make enchiladas but can also be used in soups and dips.

What does enchilada sauce taste like?

Enchilada sauce has a spicy chili pepper flavor that enhances the flavors of dishes it is added to instead of covering them up. 

Most people would describe the taste as smoky with a little bit of heat (the type of chili pepper will affect how spicy it tastes). The heat gets slightly reduced when you cook the enchilada sauce with other ingredients.

What is the same as enchilada sauce?

Enchilada is a savory sauce similar to spicy chili-based sauces, various moles, cheese-based sauces, and Spicy-tangy tomato sauces.

What is a substitute for enchilada sauce? ( 11 Autentic Enchilada sauce alternatives)

1. Use TACO SAUCE Replace of Enchilada sauce 

Taco Sauce is often used as a replacement for enchilada sauce! You can also use it to make Mexican dishes like Tacos, Tostadas, and more!

2. GREEN ENCHILADA SAUCE- Perfect Substitution for Enchilada sauce

Green Enchilada sauce is a green-colored, tomatillo-based sauce. It’s often used to smother burritos or enchiladas with green goodness! 

It can be served as a side plate. Still, most likely, you’ll want to use this green beauty as an enchilada sauce recipe for rolling up your own favorite enchilada recipe.

green enchilada sauce is a perfect substitution for enchilada sauce.

The green sauce is similar to red enchilada sauces, but it’s more than just swapping red tomatoes for green tomatillos!

We’re using tomatillos as the base for this fantastic green sauce, with some cilantro, onions, garlic, and of course green Chili peppers to make a truly unique sauce. It has a beautiful flavor and a delicious freshness from the tomatillos, green chili peppers, and cilantro!

3. CHILI-BASED SAUCES- Similar to Green Enchilada sauce

A handful of capsaicin-rich peppers are well going instead of enchilada sauce and provide the heat in these types of sauces, which come in various consistencies.

Habanero-based hot sauces are usually thinner than enchilada sauce, with habaneros’ fruity flavor shining through. 

The fiery Scotch bonnet pepper is also used to create thin hot sauces. 

Jalapeño-based sauces are slightly more viscous, with medium heat. 

The most well-known jalapeno sauce is Tabasco sauce, created from tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt.

Chipotle chili hot sauces tend to be thicker than enchilada sauce, making them ideal for dipping or brushing on grilled meats during cooking. 

The intensely smoky flavor of the chipotle chilies works well with rich foods such as cheese, chocolate, and caramel.

Read More- Green Chili substitutes

3. SALSA ROJA – Easy Alternative for Enchilada sauce

Salsa Roja, or simply Salsa, is a spicy sauce made of stewed tomatoes, peppers, and onions. 

Salsa Roja is generally used as a condiment (for tacos, tostadas, etc.), an ingredient (in soups, stews, etc.), or as taco/nacho/tostada chips dip. The recipe’s name comes from the Spanish word “Roja,” which means red.

salsa roja is an easy alternative for enchilada sauce.

What’s the difference between Salsa and Pico de Gallo? They look very similar.

Salsa, as we talked about above, is a spicy sauce. In contrast, pico de Gallo ro (literally: Oster beak) is a fresh uncooked mixture of finely chopped raw vegetables and is an uncooked sauce.

4. MOLES- A decent Replacement for Enchilada sauce

The moles are a Mexican dish based on stewed and ground sauce, usually with cocoa and chocolate used in all its varieties. 

The number of ingredients in this dish can vary depending on the geographical zone where it is prepared: meat, avocado, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut milk, or condensed milk and dark or light cacao, and chiles serrano or anchos combined with dozens of ingredients that give it its unique flavor.

5. CHEESE-BASED SAUCES- Mild Enchilada sauce alternative 

The cheese-based sauce is a favored condiment for steaks, fish, and fried foods. It is also applied as a dipping sauce or spread on sandwiches. 

The cheese-based sauce varies from region to region. Still, the most common ingredients include cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and processed cheese.

Stir in spices: For every quarter-pound of cheese, stir in about a teaspoon each of chili powder, garlic powder, and ground cumin. Season with pepper and salt to taste, but go easy on the salt because cheese is already pretty salty.

6. CHILE CON QUESO- A Unique Enchilada sauce Replacement

Chile Con Queso is the one-of-a-kind sauce that will change your view on Chile Con Queso forever! It is my family’s recipe, and it has been passed down for generations. 

I grew up eating this cheese sauce over just about everything, including tortillas filled with rice & beans or stuffed with slow-cooked BBQ beef or pork!

7. Use SRIRACHA SAUCE place of Enchilada sauce for spicy Kick

Sriracha sauce is an excellent replacement for enchilada sauce for various dishes. Flour tortillas, Red enchilada sauce, Pepper jack cheese, cream cheese, chicken.

Sriracha Sauce 1/2 cup or to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Splash a couple of tbsp sriracha sauces on the bottom of your casserole dish. Fill each tortilla with 2 tbsp. 

Shredded cheese and 2 tbsp. Cooked chicken (or whichever meat you like). Roll up tortillas tightly, place in casserole dish seam side down. 

Mix 1 cup of Red Enchilada Sauce with the cream cheese, pour over enchiladas. Pour remaning red enchilada sauce over top of enchiladas. Bake for 45 minutes, chop up fresh cilantro, and sprinkle on top. 

8. TABASCO SAUCE- Most easy Enchilada Sauce Substitute

Tabasco Sauce is a hot sauce brand produced from tabasco peppers, salt, and vinegar. It is currently the only commercially available product in this category that has been allowed to display a royal warrant in addition to a trademarked name.

Tabasco Sauce is very tasty! The tastes are mainly spicy, sour, and salty. All three flavors are blended to a delicious taste.

Tabasco enchilada sauce mixes are available in your grocery stores, but did you know that it is effortless to make enchilada sauce yourself using Tabasco Sauce? And if you’re looking to cut calories, this recipe is ideal.

You would think that fresh ingredients are best for dishes. Still, when making enchiladas, many people swear by the convenience of a sauce mix. 

The pre-made sauces may be more expensive than making your own from scratch, but not by much. Once you have both components on hand, making your own sauce takes less time than driving to the store and purchasing a bottle!

Read More- Ideal Alternatives for Tabasco Sauce

9. Try Hot-Fruity Flavor Enchilada substitute – PIQUE SAUCE

Pique Sauce is a sauce made from tomato ketchup and mayonnaise, with added ingredients such as horseradish, Worcester sauce, lemon juice, or Tabasco. 

Pique Sauce usually goes by other names in different parts of England – home counties are known as red sauce, Essex girls call it sexy sauce, Londoners ask for it as green sauce, and in the East Midlands, they order it as okey dokey sauce.

10. BUFFALO SAUCE- A Prepackage Enchilada Alternate

Buffalo sauce is a traditional hot sauce served primarily on chicken wings. The sauce’s flavor can be described as spicy with butter or margarine flavors. 

Buffalo sauce has often been considered high in calories and fat; however, fewer ingredients are needed to make homemade buffalo sauce than many think.

11. PICANTE SAUCE- Another Excellent Alternative to Enchilada

Picante Sauce is a spicy sauce usually made with any combination of chili peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, garlic, cilantro, or culantro. Other ingredients may include vinegar and spices. Also known as salsa Picante.

The term “picante” in Mexico can refer to hot sauce or salsa specifically, even though it can also mean “spicy” or “piquant,” etc. Salsa Picante is commonly just called pico de gallo, which means “rooster’s beak” in Spanish.

How to make homemade enchilada sauce? (Best Enchilada Sauce Recipe )

Enchilada sauce can be prepared in a variety of ways. There are numerous recipes available online, and it is really simple to prepare. One of the most popular recipes is as follows:


1. 2 tbsp vegetable oil or lard (or a mix of both)

2. 1 cup chili powder (more if desired) 

3. 1 tbsp cumin powder

4. 2 tsp oregano leaves (dry or fresh)

5. 1-2 teaspoons garlic salt (or 1-2 cloves of crushed fresh garlic) I recommend using dried ingredients for this recipe; however, you can also sub them out for fresh.

6. 1 cup chopped onion (yellow onions provide the best flavor)

7. 2 liters of water (16 cups, or 32 standard American measuring cups), divided. You can use beef stock for this recipe instead of using part of the water. Just make sure not to add it before you start cooking since it has a high chance

How is enchilada sauce different from salsa?

Salsa is a sauce made from stewed tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Enchilada sauce is more like a gravy, often with tomatillos as an ingredient (tomatillos look like green tomatoes).

Salsa has acidity from the tomatoes and peppers. Most salsas will sit on your shelf for long periods without spoiling. Enchilada sauce usually has some sort of meat in it, so it is closer to a gravy than salsa and needs refrigeration after opening.

Enchilada sauce is red, usually tomato- or chili pepper-based, and quite spicy. Here’s our recipe for a simple enchilada sauce from scratch. 

On the other hand, salsa can be green, yellowish-orange, purplish – it all depends on what color chilies and tomatoes were used. 

While enchilada sauce is usually spicier, salsa can be hotter depending on which chili peppers are used. 

Although the two sauces couldn’t be more different, they’re both toppings for Tex-Mex dishes like tacos, burritos, and nachos.

Try our Best Stewed Tomato Substitutes

What is the difference between Taco and Enchilada sauce?

Taco sauce is generally milder than enchilada sauce with a thinner consistency.

The taco sauce typically contains chili powder and cumin, while the enchiladas sauce may also include garlic or oregano. 

Most of us think of salsa when we hear “taco” (tomato), but the term is actually generic for any style of meat placed inside a fried corn tortilla shell and covered in some sort of tomato-based sauce. 

Meanwhile, an enchilada is considered by many to be similar to a burrito, except that it is often closed on two sides while being heated instead of being completely enclosed. 

MY Favourite Enchilada Sauce Replacements

  • · Taco Sauce
  • · Salsa Roja
  • · Sriracha Sauce
  • · Tabasco Sauce
  • · Cheese Based sauces

Hey! Don’t forget to check our best truffle Burrata Alternatives. 

FAQs Related To Enchilada Sauce & Its Alternatives

Q1. Can I use salsa instead of enchilada sauce?

Although enchilada sauce and salsa are Mexican staples, the two are easily interchangeable. 

Salsa is typically made with fresh ingredients that have simply been chopped or pureed. On the other hand, Enchiladas sauce contains additional spices to give it a reddish hue and a more complex flavor. 

Salsa VS Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce is usually tomato-based with added chilies, garlic, onion powders & cumin/coriander. They often contain sugar & vinegar too. They’re typically red in due to the chilies included.

Salsa is made up of fresh chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and garlic with the occasional addition of peppers or lime juice. No vinegar or sugar is typically added. Salsas are generally green in color due to the peppers included.

Q2. Can I substitute tomato sauce for enchilada sauce?

Tomato sauce is not enchilada sauce. Enchilada sauce starts with a sofrito of garlic, onion, chili powder, and cumin mixed in oil. Tomato sauce does not have these ingredients added to it before canning.

Yes, you can substitute the enchilada sauce for tomato sauce in many recipes, including enchiladas or pasta sauces that are tomato-based. 

You cannot substitute the red enchilada sauce for tomato sauce in recipes, though, because the flavors are just too different.

Q3. What is the difference between Ranchero and Enchilada sauce?

The terms ranchero and enchilada sauce and the dishes they go with are often used interchangeably.

Checking out ingredients on a bottle of each will reveal that ranchero sauce is quite similar to enchilada sauce. There are some differences between the two. 

Ranchero sauce tends to be smoother and thinner than enchilada sauce. It has a stronger flavor (probably because it’s made with dried ground chilies). 

Enchilada sauces usually contain tomato puree or paste, which gives them their red color; ranchero sauces tend to be red due to adding other ingredients like carrots and tomatoes.

Q4. Can Enchilada sauce be used as ranchero sauce?

You can use enchilada sauce as ranchero sauce. Still, the flavors of enchilada sauce are more intense than those of ranchero sauce, so you should remember when making the substitution. 

Additionally, if using canned enchilada or taco sauces for ranchero sauce, check the label to see that they don’t contain any dairy products (for example, cream) because if they do, it won’t work very well. 

Some recipes use enchilada sauce as a substitute for ranchero sauce, but these are regional dishes. If you want to avoid using canned products, it might be best to make your own ranchero sauce.

Q5. Where can I buy enchilada sauce?

Enchilada sauce is typically available at Latin American, Hispanic, or international grocery stores and major supermarkets. If you want to make your own, it’s simple!

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