Being from Southern California, Mexican food is my favorite and I normally splurge on enchiladas and margaritas - Denise Austin
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Food should always be more than the fuel that you need to keep your motor running.
It should make your taste buds tingle and your stomach rumble whenever you daydream about it, and when you really want to send your culinary imagination into overdrive, the best way to do that is with a little Mexican-inspired food fantasy.
Bursting with flavor, brimming with species and all sorts of savory and sweet surprises, just thinking about the innumerable delicious dishes from Mexico makes us feel hungry.
And at the pinnacle of the Mexican food mountain is the one thing that we crave more than anything else, enchiladas.
If you’re anything like us, as soon as you start thinking about enchiladas, your stomach takes control of your brain and it refuses to let you back into the driving seat until you’ve satisfied its need to eat.
But with the hectic pace of modern life, and time being a commodity that we all have far too little of, that all-consuming desire for enchiladas isn’t quite as easy to fulfill as we’d like, or want, it to be.
And knowing that you won’t be able to scratch that enchilada itch isn’t just disappointing, it can be absolutely heartbreaking.
There is, however, some light at the end of the tunnel, and we’re about to make you a lot happier than you were five minutes ago. It’s time to turn your savory frown upside down as your days of enchilada doom and gloom are about to come to an end.
We grew weary of facing that sort of enchilada misery, so we set out to find a way to make it even easier to cook up a dish of great-tasting enchiladas and after a lot of trial and error, we found the seven best canned enchilada sauces that you can use to make your own magnificent enchiladas.
Our goal is to show you the best enchilada sauce available since we don't always have time to make homemade enchilada sauce using an enchilada sauce recipe. What follows works for both a beef enchilada or chicken enchilada. It's as close as you can get to authentic enchilada sauce without all the effort. Incidentally, making homemade sauce can be easy if you have tomato paste, vegetable broth, chili pepper (or cumin), and maybe some onion powder. I'll share that recipe shortly.
And to make it EVEN easier for you to enjoy your favorite Mexican meal, we’ve made a list of them, so you can just pick and choose which sauces you want to use. De nada…
OUR TOP PICK
Founded by the Guerrero family in Arizona in nineteen forty, Rosarita’s had only one goal when they began and it’s the same goal that drives everything that they do eighty years later.
To bring great tasting, authentic food to anyone and everyone who yearns for the real flavor of Mexico. Tradition means everything to Rosarita’s and enchilada sauces don’t get any more traditional than their family recipe, which they want to share with the world.
As there are twelve cans of Rosarita’s in every case, you’ll have enough to prepare a fresh batch of enchiladas as often as you want, and you’ll be able to cook your favorite Mexican delicacy whenever you want to.
And whatever type of enchilada you decide to make, Rosarita’s sauce is the perfect accompaniment for it - it’s not too hot, it’s not too mild, it’s just right and is perfect for every palette, regardless of how picky it might be.
All of the ingredients that Rosarita’s use to make their enchilada sauce are natural, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary preservatives or additives, as this sauce, just like everything else that Rosaritas make, adheres to the original Guerrero family vision.
And Rosarita’s proves that just because sauce comes in a can, it doesn’t mean that it can’t taste great.
- Flavor And Heat - Rosaritas isn’t too hot, and doesn’t rely on spices to give it the flavor-filled kick that all great enchilada sauces need. All of its incredible taste is derived from the fresh, natural ingredients that are used to make it.
- Keto Friendly - While we’re on the subject of ingredients, every ingredient that goes into every single can of Rosarita’s is Keto friendly, so you won’t have to skip a day of your plan to enjoy a dish of enchiladas, as with a little help from Rosarita, they’ll fit straight into your Keto schedule.
- The Enchilada Dozen - Rosarita’s supply their sauce in batches of twelve cans, so you’ll have more than enough to be able to cook and enjoy, a dish full of enchiladas where you want to.
- Customer Care - More than a few customers have complained that the cans they received were damaged and dented, which made it almost impossible to open them. Rosarita’s could probably benefit from an overhaul of their shipping procedures and could, and should, probably devote a little more care and attention to customer service.
It all started with La Victoria Brava Salsa Hot Sauce in nineteen seventeen and having found their purpose with it, La Victoria soon began to spread their culinary wings.
For more than a century, the La Bacas family has followed a simple plan - to create and share the very best flavors and taste ideas from Mexico with the rest of the world.
And their traditional enchilada sauce takes their family recipe straight from the La Bacas dinner table to yours and ensures that your enchiladas will be filled with all of the flavors that you want and demand from the very best Mexican food.
At the heart of every, La Victoria recipe is the same ingredient, pure fresh tomatoes. And the tomatoes that they use are the same as they’ve always used and are grown on exactly the same vines that fruit La Victoria made their very first batch of hot sauce with.
That’s why the familiar and universally loved flavor of this red enchilada sauce is like welcoming an old friend into your kitchen because it only uses the finest ingredients that are bursting with the taste that generation after generation of enchilada lovers have fallen for, and sworn by.
Rather than use heat and spice to disguise the flavor, La Victoria relies on a traditional, tried, tested, and true family recipe to deliver a sauce that makes every enchilada it graces taste like a little slice of heaven.
It may not be the hottest enchilada sauce in the world, but La Victoria will always be one of the tastiest that you’ll ever eat.
- Flavor First, Everything Else Second - La Victoria follows a simple rule, flavor first and everything else second, That’s why they only use healthy, natural ingredients in their enchilada sauce.
- Every Enchilada, Every Palate - Created to accompany every kind of enchilada, this mild, tasty sauce will find favor with any, and all palates and won’t inflame or be the reason for anyone’s taste buds spontaneously combusting.
- Kosher Certified And Gluten Free - Is there anything we need to add? La Victoria ticks both boxes.
- The Tasty Dozen - That’s right folks, you get twelve cans of this delicious sauce every time you order from La Victoria, so you’ll have all the enchilada sauce you’ll need to cook up a batch whenever you want to.
- It’s Incredibly Mild - If you’re looking for an enchilada sauce to bring a little extra heat to the party, then you’re going to need to look elsewhere, as La Victoria just doesn’t believe in giving their sauce that kind of kick.
When most of us think about Mexican food, one of the first brand names that springs to mind are Old El Paso.
They’ve been one of the major driving forces behind the ever-rising popularity of Tex-Mex home-based cuisine and have become one of America’s most instantly recognizable and famous brands.
And there’s a reason for that. It’s because they’re incredibly good at what they do and every single sauce that they make hits all of the right flavor notes.
Old El Paso hasn’t made their sauce to buck you off the enchilada bronco, but it still packs enough mild, flavor filled punch to inspire your imagination and make your taste buds dance.
Even though the list of ingredients in the sauce isn’t quite as healthy as some of the other brands on our list use, it’s still an impressively fresh sauce that can be used to bring any and all enchiladas to life and will add a little flourish to your Mexican culinary adventures.
Because they understand that when you need to scratch that enchilada itch nothing else will do, Old El Paso supplies their sauce in a case of twelve cans, so that you can dip and dive into the world of enchiladas as, and when, you want to without having to think or worry about running out of sauce.
After all, it’s always better to have a little more than you need rather than too little, or none at all.
- What’s In A Name? - We don’t subscribe to the philosophy that names are for tombstones, Old El Paso is a brand that we trust implicitly. As far as Old El Paso are concerned, your name isn’t just your calling card, it means everything.
- Not Too Hot – While it might not be hot enough for the most serious chili fanatics, Old El Paso’s enchilada sauce is more than hot enough for everyone else. And they don’t sacrifice flavor for heat either. It’s a perfect combination of both.
- The Big One Two – And as they supply twelve cans of their sauce, you’ll always have enough Old El Paso on hand to whip up a delicious dish of enchiladas.
- Health-O-Meter - It’s not quite as healthy as some of the other sauces on our list and does contain added sugar and sodium, so if either is a concern, it might be wise to give this sauce a hard pass.
While a lot of commonplace, supermarket brands claim to add authentic Mexican flavor to your food, Las Palmas is one of the only brands that actually prides itself on doing that with style and flair.
And as they’ve been adding Mexican flair and passion to the enchiladas made in American kitchens for more than seventy-five years, they must be doing something right.
Pursuing the path of least heat resistance seems to be the most prudent course of action for most enchilada sauce brands and its flavor road that Las Palmas have also chosen to follow.
While they’re not the hottest sauce on the market, thanks to using authentic Mexican ingredients and spices, if you cook with Las Palmas, you’ll be adding a little taste of Tijuana to your enchiladas and that’s worth sacrificing all of the heat in the world for.
- A Little Taste Of Mexico – As La Palmas only uses authentic ingredients and spices, all of your enchiladas will have a little Mexican kick.
- That Kick – While it’s there, the heat in Las Palmas sauce is mild and doesn’t, and won’t take anything away from the flavor of the sauce.
- Any And All – It was created to accompany any and all enchiladas, so it'll fit right in with, and sit comfortably alongside, your menu
- A Little Bland – Even though it’s been made using only Mexican ingredients and spices, some more discerning diners have complained that it lacks the authentic flavor that Las Palmas claims it possesses.
Heading straight to your plate from New Mexico, Hatch’s enchilada sauce has been made to add just enough zing to your enchiladas to make them instantly memorable and ensure that you enjoy every single mouthful, from your first to your very last, of this much-loved sauce.
They may not share the same level of brand recognition as Old El Paso, but Hatch is snapping at the heels with their flavor filled sauce that rejects additives and preservatives and instead focuses on using natural ingredients and authentic spices to create a flavor that’s hard to beat.
It’s little wonder that Hatch, who used to be one of the best kept secrets in the world of the chili devotee, has suddenly started to make a name for themselves on the national stage.
When a sauce tastes as good as theirs does, it’s only going to be a matter of time until they surpass everyone’s expectations and become one of the premier enchilada sauce makers in America.
- Authentic Flavors – Made to a strictly Mexican recipe, this sauce only includes authentic ingredients and spices. If you want your enchiladas to actually taste as if they made in Mexico, then you’re going to want to use Hatch sauce to make them with.
- A Little Bit Healthier – Almost all of the ingredients that Hatch uses are healthy and add to the flavor profile of their sauce instead of imbuing it with more heat than it needs
- A Little Too Hot – Some more fearful types who aren’t used to eating Mexican food have complained that Hatch’s sauce is a little too hot for their liking. If you don’t like heat, stay out of Hatch’s kitchen.
It might not be from a can, but Simply Organic Sauce has been formulated from poblano and jalapeno base to create a rich, spice filled sauce that’s perfect to use with pork, cheese or chicken enchiladas.
All of the ingredients and spices that it uses are one hundred percent authentic to bring a little taste of Mexico to your dining table.
And as well as being one hundred percent authentic, all of the ingredients that they use to make their sauce are sourced from organic and sustainable farms and suppliers, so it’s completely free from any artificial preservatives.
All that matters to Simply Organic is the same thing that matters to you, that their sauce tastes good and that it will improve the flavor of your enchiladas.
- Bringing The Heat – It's a green enchilada sauce, so if you like your food a little hotter as we do, it’s the perfect sauce to prepare your enchiladas with.
- One Hundred Percent Natural – It's a completely natural, organic sauce so it’s healthy and doesn’t include any artificial flavors or preservatives
- Affordability – All of the goodness comes at a price, and that price is one that you’ll feel in your pocketbook as Simply Organic’s sauce isn’t exactly cheap.
Remember what we said about Hatch? Well, it turns out that they don’t just make red enchilada sauce, they also make green enchilada sauce and their green sauce is even better than their red sauce is.
Made to add a resounding kick to your pork, chicken, and cheese enchiladas, this really is the enchilada sauce of champions.
If you like life to be a little spicier and hotter than most people, then you’re going to want to stop at Hatch’s red sauce and hit go with their green instead, because this is the only enchilada sauce that’ll give you all the heat you want, and need from your enchiladas.
Authentic Ingredients – Hatch believes in doing things the right way, so all of the ingredients that they use in their green enchilada sauce are completely authentic. And the spices are too.
Choosing The Healthy Option – And because all of the ingredients are authentic and sourced properly, they’re also a little bit healthier than those used in most sauces.
- A Little Bit Of Heat – It's a green enchilada sauce, so it’s a little bit hotter than red sauces are, and as it wears the Hatch name, it’s hotter than most green sauces are too. If you don’t like it hot, step away from the Hatch.
Best Canned Enchilada Sauces Buying Guide
Which Canned Enchilada Sauce Is The Right One For Me?
Honestly, while we’d normally suggest that you check your budget and make a decision based on that, as most of the canned sauces on our list are similarly priced, the only thing that really matters is how they taste.
That’s why we’d always recommend Hatch and both of their sauces. Whatever you prefer, green or red, Hatch makes both and they’ll be able to cater to accommodate all of your enchilada demands.
Whether you like your enchiladas hot or you prefer them to be mild, the only choice you can make when it comes to canned sauce is Hatch. They’re our brand of choice, and as soon as you’ve sampled what they have to offer, we’re sure that they’ll be yours too.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Enchilada Sauce?
Enchilada sauce is a sauce that is used to cover enchiladas before they’re cooked to add a little extra flavor to the dish.
Usually made from fresh ingredients like chili’s, tomatoes, and a variety of spices they are an authentic part of Mexican cuisine and are used to imbue enchiladas with regional flavors, tastes, and heat.
Enchilada sauce, while usually red, can also be green, and even though both varieties serve essentially the same purpose, they can and do taste very different from each other. And while some enchilada fans prefer red sauce, others tend to favor green
Red Or Green Enchilada Sauce?
As they’re made from green and red chilis, which help to give them their different colors, the only thing that you need to think about when choosing either green or red enchilada sauce, is the amount of heat that you like in your enchiladas.
If you prefer your enchiladas to be spicy and hot, then you’re going to prefer a hotter sauce, so you’ll want to cover your enchiladas in green sauce. If you prefer your enchiladas slightly milder, then the only sauce that you’ll ever need is a red one.
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