Home » Ingredient Substitute » Paste & Sauce Substitutes » Substitutes For Enchilada Sauce – The 5 Best Alternatives

Substitutes For Enchilada Sauce – The 5 Best Alternatives

Maria Foster
Last Updated on
by Maria Foster

One of the most popular dishes within Mexican culture is enchiladas – the sauce of which is lauded as being some of the best within the whole cuisine. Utilizing tomatoes, onions, and red peppers, it is a comforting, wholesome sauce that perfectly complements enchiladas. 

Substitutes For Enchilada Sauce - The 5 Best Alternatives

However, if you happen to find yourself running low on enchilada sauce, or seeking something different for a change, then there are various alternatives you can choose from – each of them offering something a little different. 

These can include many different things, including: green enchilada sauce, taco sauce, salsa sauce, sofrito sauce, and chiltomate sauce. 

Enchilada Sauce Alternatives: Nutritional Values

One Serving Of:CaloriesFatCarbsProteinFiber
Green Enchilada Sauce251.5g3g0g0g
Taco Sauce50g1g0g0g
Salsa Sauce100g2g0g0-1g
Picante Sauce00g0g0g0g
Sofrito Sauce252g2g0g0g

What Does Enchilada Sauce Taste Like? 

While there are certainly variations with regards to taste and spiciness, enchilada sauce is generally a rich, tomato-based sauce that is packed with peppers and some mild spice. 

This is included with the enchilada dish, where it is then spooned over the top of the beef enchiladas, covered in cheese, and then baked in the oven. 

As you might imagine, this is a popular dish for many people all around the world, and while culturally significant to the Mexican people, it is a source of comfort for countless people. 

The 5 Best Alternatives For Enchilada Sauce

Now that we know a little more about enchilada sauce, and how it is used, it is now time to examine some viable alternatives to the sauce – each of them serving a great purpose, and adding something a little different to the dish. 

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

1. Green Enchilada Sauce

While most common enchilada sauces tend to be red – consisting heavily of tomatoes and red peppers – it is also possible to have green enchilada sauce, which can make a major change to the overall flavor of the dish. 

The main secret here is green chili peppers and avocado – however some recipes also incorporate pesto to add more to the overall flavor and color. Whichever way you choose to go with this sauce though, you certainly won’t regret it. 

Somewhat subtler and lighter than red enchilada sauce, this is great if you want that same enchilada comfort without the rich tomato taste. 

As with regular enchilada sauce, there are variations to this sauce, ranging from mild to spicy, and this means that you can perfectly cater the dish to the needs of yourself and your guests – ensuring everyone can enjoy Mexican food in the manner of their choosing. 

2. Taco Sauce

Of course, if you really are not a fan of enchilada sauce, but you still want a sauce reminiscent of Mexican cuisine, then why not use taco sauce? 

As you might imagine, this is the sauce traditionally used on tacos, and while similar to enchilada sauce in principle, it can make a great deal of difference to the overall taste and finish. 

This is because, while both are somewhat spicy, tomato-based sauces, enchilada sauce relies on chili peppers to increase the heat, while taco sauce instead uses cayenne pepper. 

This means that taco sauce can not only be more spicy, but also have a sharper taste than enchilada sauce. 

3. Salsa Sauce

If you are looking for a chunkier, more vegetable heavy alternative to your typical enchilada sauce, then one of the best choices you can make is salsa sauce. 

While similar in principle, salsa is usually noticeably less spicy, has chunkier tomatoes – which are an integral part of the sauce – and has an all round more subtle taste. 

This makes it a great choice for those who only like minimal spice, or who do not like spice at all, and means that people with all preferences can enjoy the meal in the same way. 

4. Picante Sauce

Now this is where things get a little different. This is really one for the spice lovers, with its main ingredients being tomatoes, jalapeno chilis, and hot pepper sauce – meaning it certainly packs more of a punch than the other sauces on this list. 

One bug bear that enchiladas have for some people – namely spice lovers – is that the sauce is not hot enough for their tastes. However, with this handy alternative, this will no longer be a problem. 

This also has the benefit of being much lighter in texture than enchilada sauce – as, after all, it is a part of the salsa family. This means that it can be a spicy, light option for summer meals, or for those who are wanting something less filling. 

5. Sofrito Sauce

Last on our list, but by no means least, we have sofrito sauce. In Spanish, the word ‘sofrito’ means to lightly fry (or fry slowly), and this is an integral part of the flavors created. 

This dish relies more on seasoning than spice, and the unique, wholesome flavor comes from the combination of onions, tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. However, there are numerous ways that this dish can be prepared – as with much of Mexican cuisine. 

This is a great dish to have with enchiladas, but also with stews, soups, served over rice, or even as part of a stock to create other dishes. 

The whole point of sofrito is that it is versatile, and can be used in all manner of dishes – making it a great alternative for those who want to avoid traditional enchilada sauce. 

Substitutes For Enchilada Sauce - The 5 Best Alternatives

Now that we know a little more about enchilada sauce, let’s look at some great recipes that you might wish to try!

Picante Chicken Enchiladas

First we have picante chicken enchiladas – a great way to utilize picante sauce, and a great one for spice lovers to try. 

This is a little more dangerous and exciting than the classic enchilada, and there are countless different ways that you can jazz this dish up to make it to your liking. 

Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole

For enchiladas with a twist, why not opt for green chicken enchiladas casserole? This really is a great way to enjoy Mexican cuisine in a different and tasty way. 

Utilizing the green enchilada sauce, this really is a tasty way to explore new flavors and colors in your food. This is also a great way to make your food go further, and feed the whole family with ease. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about enchilada sauce, and the 5 best alternatives that you can use instead. 

Enchiladas are incredibly popular all across the world – with countless people enjoying it for its rich tomato flavor, its spicy aftertaste, and the cheesy goodness.

What’s more, there have never been so many alternatives – allowing people with all tastes and dietary restrictions to enjoy the cuisine in their own way. 

So if you are looking for alternatives to enchilada sauce, then be sure to give some of these a try!

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *