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Fire Roasted Red Enchilada Sauce

Fire-Roasted Red Enchilada Sauce

My mom gave me this huge box of tomatoes from her garden … I promised her I would process them right away because some of them were starting to get soft … so I was fire roasting them on the grill, thinking I would make some sort of sauce with them, when my friend Mia from Mia’s Domain suggested enchilada sauce. Oh yes! Perfect! I really wanted to make my sister’s recipe, but I didn’t have any red chile powder, so I had to make up my own recipe. That’s more fun anyway, right?

I have a great recipe for green enchilada sauce (that I haven’t yet shared here … kicking myself), but this is the first time I’ve attempted a red sauce. It was quite easy, really. I can’t wait to make enchiladas now! I have some other fun ideas rolling around in my head for other fun dishes that would use this yummy, smoky sauce.

Red Enchilada Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6.5 cups of enchilada sauce

Red Enchilada Sauce


  • 2 cups fire-roasted tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of tomato juice (preferably the juice you caught when peeling/chopping your fire roasted tomatoes)
  • 3 bell peppers (best if they are red, but you can use green too), fire roasted
  • 1 ancho chili pepper, fire roasted
  • 1 medium onion, cut into fourths and fire roasted
  • 1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, fire roasted (use more or less depending on how spicy you want your sauce)
  • About 5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Fire roast the tomatoes, the onion and peppers on a hot grill ... or set them on a baking sheet and broil till the peels of the tomatoes and peppers are black, turning once or twice to roast all the sides of the vegetables. The tomatoes should be soft and juicy, the onion should be soft and charred, the skins of the peppers should be black.
  2. Over a bowl, pull the peels off the tomatoes, removing any stems or core. (Do this over a bowl to catch all the tasty juices from the tomatoes.) Take the outer skin off the onion, too, but leave the skin on the peppers. Just cut off the stem end of the hot peppers and remove the core from the bell peppers and ancho.
  3. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth. Add more tomato juice if the sauce is too thick and blend again. Use over burritos or enchiladas or Mexican lasagna.


I'm guessing on how much time it takes to roast the vegies and remove the tomato peels because I was roasting over 9 pounds of tomatoes that night. Blending the sauce only takes a few minutes, once you have completed the fire roasting. You can use canned fire roasted tomatoes if you don't have good fresh tomatoes at hand. Also, feel free to substitute other hot peppers for the jalapeno and ancho peppers.


I thought I would share a few recipes from some of my favorite food blogger friends that would work really well with this sauce … I think they all look totally scrumptious! Click on the recipe name or the image for the recipe.

Black Bean Lasagna from Citronlimette

Black Bean Lasagna from Citronlimette

Shredded Beef Enchiladas from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen

Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas from Running with the Deviled Eggs

Chicken Enchiladas

 Chicken Enchilada Chili from Zestuous

Chicken Enchilada Chili

Easy Cheesy Beef Enchiladas from Moore or Less Cooking Blog

… and my own creation! Smoky Red Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

Smoky Red Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe was shared at Cast Party WednesdayFull Plate ThursdayTastetastic ThursdayFantastic ThursdayTasty ThursdaysFrugal Food ThursdayFoodie FridayFarm Girl Blog FestClever Chicks Blog Hop, Strut your Stuff Saturday, Weekend Potluck, Everyday Mom’s Meals and Recipe Box.

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18 Responses

  1. Hi Ann, what a fantastic recipe! I’m delighted you shared my enchiladas, can’t wait to ty your sauce! Thank you, Melissa

    October 18, 2012 at 4:08 pm

  2. Thank you for featuring my Easy Cheesy Beefy Enchiladas Ann! Nettie from Moore Or Less Cooking <3

    October 18, 2012 at 7:11 pm

  3. Hello, new follower here! I would love to have you link up with my Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!
    I hope to see you there!
    The Chicken Chick

    October 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    • Ann

      Thank you so much Kathy for the invite! I will be there 🙂

      October 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

    October 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm

  5. I just shared this over on my Facebook page (via Weekend Potluck) and I was wondering about the technique you use for roasting the tomatoes. Any tips and tricks?

    October 21, 2012 at 10:35 am

    • Ann

      Thanks for sharing, Tabitha! I just set them right on the hot part of the grill, turned them after a few minutes when they were getting a little brown/looking “cooked” on that side, and then removed them once they were soft and plumped. I put them all in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch pan to catch the juices.

      October 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

  6. Diane Balch

    The fire roasted tomatoes and the cocoa powder along with the chilies just sounds like it makes an amazing sauce. Thanks for sharing it on foodie friday.

    October 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm

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  8. love the homemade fire roasted enchilada sauce. please sign up to be a contributor on our food blogger pinterest board – http://pinterest.com/feedyoursoul2/blogger-recipes/

    November 7, 2012 at 10:52 am

    • Ann

      Thanks for the invite, Peter! I would love to be a contributor to the board, but I think you have to add me as a contributor … http://pinterest.com/sumptuousspoons/ 🙂

      November 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

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  11. Shelly

    Looks terrific, but no place to print out recipe and you have to click too many places – one for the meatballs, one for the sauce, etc. Stupid. But it’s a good idea and I will create my own by looking at this recipe. Too bad you can’t print it out.

    January 4, 2013 at 7:09 am

  12. Ann

    Hello Shelly … I was just providing a recipe for homemade enchilada sauce in this post and some ideas of what to do with it with links to some of my friends’ delicious recipes. There is a “print” button for my recipes, both the meatballs and the sauce, right next to the title of the recipe …

    January 5, 2013 at 10:10 am

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