7 Best Homemade Enchilada Sauce Substitutes

Looking for an Enchilada sauce substitute? Find here the best substitutes for an enchilada sauce with a nearby taste.

Enchilada sauce is a Mexican sauce with a strong and spicy taste. It’s the most popular hot sauce enjoyed with various recipes including meat, beans, potatoes, vegetables to enhance the flavors of the dishes.

For many food lovers like me, trying different things from time to time is important. Whether you are making chicken soup, tortilla soup, enchiladas, or lasagna; enchilada sauce is used in most Mexican recipes.

However, if you want to try a different taste, get these good substitutes of enchilada sauce for your next cooking dish. These substitutes are the best sauces and they bring exact taste to your dishes with some moderation of spiciness and sweetness.

I have found 7 substitutes sauces with enchilada to give you unique taste profiles.

Let figure out the enchilada sauce substitutes in the article below.

Where To Use Enchilada Sauce?

Enchilada sauce is mainly used to make enchilada dishes. It’s an amazing option for utilizing in many other dishes. The sauce wins on its versatility and amazing taste.

The classic enchilada sauce consists of garlic, onion, and vinegar. You can use any chilies like Ancho chili pepper, chipotle pepper, or Serrano pepper to match your spice levels. Pair enchilada sauce with chicken soup, enchiladas, tortilla soup, lasagna casseroles.

Why Find The Substitute Of Enchilada Sauce?

There are two main reasons for fining substitute of famous enchilada sauce:

a. You get different tastes

Enchilada sauce comes with a spicy flavor. However, if you want to try some tangy base flavors or fresh flavors of green peppers, you can always try different sauces for a change.

b. Non-availability of enchilada sauce

If you can’t find enchilada sauce when you need it, a substitute will always work for you.

7 Best Options As Enchilada Sauce Substitutes

Taco Sauce As Substitute For Enchilada

Taco sauce is the nearest substitute to enchilada sauce. This spicy flavored taco sauce has been a staple of Mexican cuisine for years. Taco sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for nachos, tater tots, and other foods.

It’s a lovely option and tomato-based sauce with a spicy taste. This sauce is made with tomato sauce, vinegar, and dried spices like cayenne pepper, oregano, onion, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, and red paprika.

The flavor is different from enchilada but the spiciness of the sauce is the same. Although, both sauces work amazingly with a wide arena of dishes. It can be poured over eggs, fajitas, seafood, boiled potatoes, grilled beef, and roast chicken. See, how dynamically one can use taco sauce?

Texture-wise, enchilada and taco sauce can be thin or thick based on your preference.

Looking at the nutritional profile, taco sauce is low in calories and contains little fat.

Take your dishes to the next level with this smoky taco sauce.

Salsa Sauce As Substitute For Enchilada

Salsa sauce is not just a sauce. It is served as a salad, a side dish, and on tacos and tortilla chips. It is prepared with fresh and raw ingredients.

The salsa sauce is different from the enchilada sauce because of its fresh ingredients and flavors. Salsa can be made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chilies, garlic, salt, pepper, and chili powder. Simply combine the chopped ingredients and season with a few drops of lime juice for a tart flavor.

If you wish to use salsa as a substitute for enchilada, make sure that these sauces are different can be distinctively served with dishes. One of the major differences is enchilada sauce is mixed right into dishes whereas salsa is served cold along with dishes.

This replacement will change the dish’s taste profile because of ingredients and spice levels. So, make your recipe with a different approach while using salsa sauce. Surely, your experiment will get successful. 

Green Sauce As Substitute For Enchilada

Green enchilada sauce is made differently than red enchilada sauce. The only difference is the green flavor imparted from green chilies. It’s tangy, spicy, rich, and has a fresh flavor whereas red enchilada sauce has an earthy flavor.

You can make this amazing sauce with roasted green chilies, onion, garlic, jalapenos, and some Mexican spices. You can customize the spice level and make it hot or mild according to your preference.

There are varieties of ways you can serve this sauce. Apart from spreading on enchiladas, it’s great with tacos, nachos, and even fish tacos too.

Chiltomate Sauce As Substitute For Enchilada  

Chiltomate sauce is one type of salsa sauce with rich flavors. It is made with tomatoes, habanero chili peppers, coriander, and onions. To enjoy its best flavors, onions and tomatoes are roasted before blending with other ingredients.

The chiltomate sauce has a thick consistency with some chunks remaining in the salsa. It creates an amazing feeling in the mouth. It’s spicy, sweet, and smoky and you can enjoy it with enchiladas, tacos, tortillas, beans, toasts, or eggs.

Ranchero Sauce As Substitute For Enchilada

Ranchero sauce is a spicy, smokey, and tomato-based sauce used in Mexican dishes. It consists of tomatoes, jalapeño, onions, salt, oil, garlic, dried chili peppers, and seasonings.

A good ranchero sauce tastes earthy, and drizzling over any dish creates a poppy flavor. It’s a super versatile sauce that is flavorful and piquant.

However, ranchero sauce tastes different than enchilada sauce but you can utilize this sauce  over any Mexican dishes.

Picante Sauce As Substitute For Enchilada

Picante means ‘spicy’. It’s a spicy smooth sauce and puree-type sauce made with tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, and spices. However, Picante is often considered as another type of salsa sauce. But it’s not the same.

It has semi chunky texture and contains more pepper than salsa sauce. Even the texture is thinner and soupier which makes it Picante sauce.

You can enjoy this sauce with fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, and tacos.    

Sofrito Sauce As Substitute For Enchilada

Sofrito sauce is a Spanish sauce that consists of tomato paste, olive oil, garlic, herbs, and peppers. Sofrito means ‘lightly to fry’ and as the name suggests, the making process is the same. It consists of all aromatic ingredients cut into small pieces and sautéed in cooking oil.

It’s a fragrant sauce with slightly spicy and pungent. Moreover, it’s the base of an infinite number of dishes from paella to soups, eggs dishes, stews, and enchiladas. You can cook with it or marinate meat in it or dip your chips.

Which Sauce Is The Best Substitute Of Enchilada Sauce?

We have seen 7 different sauce substitutes for enchilada sauce. Each one is different from the other and provides a unique taste.

The winner is taco sauce as the best substitute for enchilada sauce. The only difference these two sauce makes is enchilada sauce uses chili powder whereas taco sauce uses paprika.

Taco sauce is an amazing smoky, spicy, and delicious Mexican sauce that works great with number of recipes. Hence, taco sauce is the clear winner and a nearby substitute of enchilada sauce.

However, using any sauce depends on the ingredient of your dish. Green enchilada sauce is good with chicken meat. Taco sauce is best to pair with tacos. Chiltomate sauce creates a magic affair with Yucatan dishes.

Ranchero sauce is best to pair with burritos and Picanto sauce is the best dipper for tortilla chips and tacos. Whereas sofrito sauce is great to enjoy with Spanish dishes like paella.   

You can cook any of the dishes with these 7 sauce substitutes of enchilada for different tastes and flavors.

Frequently Asked Questions (H2)

1. What is the best substitute for enchilada sauce?

The best and versatile enchilada sauce substitute is taco sauce. The spice level is the same as enchilada sauce.

2. Is salsa similar to enchilada sauce?

Salsa sauce is thicker and has a chunkier texture than enchilada sauce. Salsa sauce is more redolent of chutney. It’s made with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and coriander. Both sauces are different from each other in terms of texture and taste as well.

The Final Thought

There are many sauce options that you can use in place of enchilada sauce. If you love to create different flavors and texture dishes, it’s possible with these amazing condiments.

Let us know in the comment section about which substitute works best for you.

Image Source: thespruceeats


Saloni Desai


A Content writer for The Chai Magazine. I enjoy reading and using my skills to contribute an amazing piece of content to my readers. I write for food, lifestyle, and psychology.