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Green-rimmed bowl with Ancho chile sauce.

Ancho Chile Sauce Recipe

Valentina K. Wein
Ancho Enchilada Sauce is a super delicious red sauce recipe. It has just enough heat, and it's full of warming spices that will have you licking your plate. It was created for enchiladas, but it can be added to all sorts of dishes.
*Makes about 3 cups
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Condiments, Sauces
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 16
Calories 28 kcal



  • 4 ounces dried Ancho chiles
  • water
  • 1 cup ancho chile hydrating liquid, reserved (see recipe instruction no. 2)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 4 small peeled and smashed garlic cloves (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, like vegetable


  • Hydrate dried peppers. Place the dried chiles in a medium-sized sauce pot and add just enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, and then cover the pot and and turn off the heat. Let the chiles hydrate in the hot water until they're soft, at least 20 minutes.
  • Prep peppers. Remove the chiles from the pot. Use your hands or a paring knife to gently remove the stems and seeds. Add the hydrated chiles to the blender. (If you're very sensitive to the heat, I suggest wearing cooking gloves.)
    Remove 1 cup of the hydrating liquid from the pot and pour it in the blender. (Do not throw out remaining liquid as you can use it as a stock in other recipes.)
  • Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend. Add the stock, sugar, garlic, spices, salt and pepper to the blender. Purée in the blender until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Season to taste with salt and sugar if necessary. (Here's how.)
  • Use or store. Stir in the oil and it's ready to use. Or, pour the sauce into a storage container with a tight sealing lid, and place in the refrigerator, where it should keep for at least 3 weeks.


Calorie count is only an estimate.
Keywords Mexican sauces, using dried chiles
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