Enchilada sauce is one of the most famous spicy Mexican sauces. It’s a staple of many Mexican dishes and it has a strong pepper base along with the usual additions of garlic, onion, and tomato.
Nearly every family has its own unique recipe for making this sauce so there’s little chance that any particular recipe can be replicated by someone else.
Canned enchilada sauces, while they don’t come with the emotional connection of an old family recipe, are undoubtedly more convenient for those who don’t have the time to make their own.
This article will review all the different canned enchilada sauce brands available on the market and what to consider when buying canned enchilada sauce.
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Considerations when Buying Enchilada Sauce
Since we are talking about Mexican food here, it should come as no surprise that many versions of this sauce can be very spicy. Much spicier that the average western consumer is used to.
Fortunately, there are more mild versions available for those of us who aren’t used to very spicy food. The packaging of the sauce should clearly indicate how spicy the sauce is and you should pay close attention to this when making your choice.
It’s always better to go for a sauce that is milder than you would like because you can easily make it spicier. However, you can’t make a sauce that is too spicy any milder.
There are two different bases used for enchilada sauce. Green chilis (such as jalapenos) and red chilis.
Sauces with green chilis are often simpler because they have fewer ingredients, this makes them a great option for more complex dishes.
On the other hand, red chili sauces are often more complex since they often add tomatoes to the base and they have more ingredients on average
Red Chili VS Green Chilis sauces
Deciding which base do you want for your sauce will come down to several factors. The first one is, of course, your personal preference. If you don’t have a set preference yet, try a good sauce with both bases. That should give you have a much better idea of which you prefer.
However, some recipes specifically call for red or green chilis. In such cases, it is recommended to use what the recipe calls for if you want the best results.
One thing that is not a part of the equation is the spiciness since the chilis used in the base do not solely determine the level of spiciness of the sauce.
Just be sure to find a sauce that uses high-quality ingredients. No matter what the base of the sauce is, low-quality ingredients can ruin even the best base.
Top Enchilada Sauce Brand Comparison[wptb id=4128]
Best Canned Enchilada Sauce Brands
La Preferida Mexican Foods Red Chile Enchilada Sauce, Mild
La Preferida’s mild red enchilada sauce is made in the USA but it follows the traditional Mexican recipe quite well. Its unique blend of spices has been described as very appealing and authentic by many customers and the amount of spice inside is just right not to be overwhelming.
It will make a great topping for most of your favorite Mexican foods. It uses tomato paste alongside red chilis, so you’re bound to like it if you’re a fan of tomatoes. Keep in mind that you should shake the can well before opening it and keep it in the fridge after opening.
For best results, you should heat the cause up in a pan before serving it. The only possible knock to be found when it comes to this sauce is that it uses an artificial red color to enhance the appearance. With 12 10-ounce cans per pack, you should have enough sauce to last you for quite a while.
Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce, Mild
If you decide to order this sauce, you will have quite a supply since it comes in packs of 12 28-ounce cans. The flavor of the sauce deserves a special mention. Given that it is a red chili sauce, the flavor is going to be complex. Alongside complexity, it is very traditional and authentic.
Even more important than that, it is very good and nearly every customer that has purchased this sauce has praised it for its taste. The source of its amazing taste is the recipe which was originally conceived by a Mexican housewife all the way back in 1992.
Today, it is one of the best-selling sauces in the US, most likely because it has stayed authentic to its roots and uses high-quality ingredients. It is probably the best choice for those looking to taste an authentic enchilada sauce.
Old El Paso Mild Enchilada Sauce
Old El Paso claims to be America’s #1 enchilada sauce which is a pretty bold claim. It comes in a 10-ounce can. This particular sauce is a red chili version with some tomato in the base.
It is made with very high-quality ingredients and many people consider it the best overall enchilada sauce on the market. The spiciness level is milt and you can feel a bit of spiciness but it is not overbearing and there is definitely no sacrificing of taste for spiciness.
If you are looking for a sauce with an amazing taste, look no further. It is very consistent and well-balanced so you are bound to enjoy it. Just make sure to put any leftover sauce in an open can in the refrigerator.
Best Enchilada Sauce Mixes
McCormick ENCHILADA Sauce Mix
This sauce mix comes in packs of 3 1.5-ounce bags. Since it is just a sauce mix and not an actual sauce, you should be willing to take the time to actually prepare the sauce. This will require water, tomato sauce, and the mix.
These ingredients should be mixed in a pan, boiled, and then simmered until the sauce achieves a thickness you are satisfied with. The mix has a blend of 18 different spices and it is quite versatile when it comes to the foods it can be paired with.
There are also no artificial flavors found in the mix and it is a great option for those who would like a greater degree of control of the final taste of their sauce. Mixing your own sauce also opens some interesting culinary possibilities that you may want to try out.
Frontera Foods Red Chile Enchilada Sauce
We’ve already featured a green chile sauce from Frontera on this list and now we have a red chile sauce from Frontera to round out the list. Similar to the green chile version, the red chile version contains roasted tomatoes and garlic.
The green chile version is prepared in under 20 minutes and the red chile version is a bit faster with a preparation time of under 15 minutes. Unlike the green chile version, the red chile version contains no milk but it is also gluten-free.
This makes it less of a concern when it comes to allergies. The spiciness level is mild and you should not at all find it too hot. Overall, pretty similar to Frontera’s green chile enchilada sauce and a great option overall for fans of red chile enchilada sauce.
Frontera Pouch, Enchilada Skillet Green Chili sauce
Frontera’s green chili sauce comes in packs of 6 8-ounce pouches and it contains roasted tomatillo and garlic. The mix inside the pouch is designed to be ready to serve in under 20 minutes, you just need to heat it up. Poblano chilis and serrano peppers are the two headline ingredients of the sauce.
One important consideration with this sauce is that it contains milk. This is something to keep in mind in case you have any allergies or if you are lactose intolerant. When it comes to spiciness, you should not expect it to be completely mild but it is not hot spicy either.
It’s somewhere in the middle in terms of spiciness. The sauce is also gluten-free, which is another thing that might be important to you. One more thing to keep in mind is that the sauce does not require refrigeration.