Drown Me In Sauce, Baby: It’s the 5 Best Enchilada Sauces

Who doesn’t love enchiladas? Enemies of the state, that’s who. Few things are as satisfying as a plate of stuffed and rolled corn tortillas absolutely drenched in tangy, peppery, viscous sauce. Also, I believe they’re the perfect breakfast food, especially if you’re hungover. Give me a plate of enchiladas over a stack of pancakes, I say. 

During our enchilada sauce taste test, we looked for a nice thickness first and foremost. It would be a crime to soak enchiladas in a thin, watery sauce. Yuck. In addition to thickness, we wanted additional flavors like tartness, smokiness, salty, and spice. While we did taste some mild enchilada sauces, we always appreciated a little spice. Mild doesn’t have to mean bland. We expect an enchilada sauce to bring flavor and substance—and these five brands did just that.

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las palmas green chile enchilada sauce

Best of the Best

Las Palmas Medium Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

This is a big honkin’ can of green enchilada sauce, and it’s damn good. What I really like about it is how fresh it tastes. After this taste test, I’m inclined to think that green enchilada sauce just cans better than red. The tang here is really nice, and there are also some subtle spices included like garlic and onion. Plus, it’s a little savory (MSG). There isn’t much heat, despite the addition of jalapeño peppers, but the can does say mild. This sauce would be great for chicken enchiladas.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

frontera red chile enchilada sauce

Best Red

Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce with Roasted Tomato & Garlic

Frontera is Chicago chef Rick Bayless’s brand of enchilada sauce, so it does feel just a little bit “chefy.” It’s smoky, garlicky, and has a nice aromatic bite from the onions. There’s a nice rich layer of oil on top, too. It’s really smoky, tart, and incredibly well salted (chefs know what they’re doing, gang). This is a damn good product that you can use for any style of enchilada. It really wowed us.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

la victoria green enchilada sauce

Best Spiced Green

La Victoria Mild Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

Another green sauce here, and this one has the signature green sauce tartness, but it’s a little smoky, too. It’s got cumin, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to help balance out the sourness. You can really taste the cumin, so beware of that, but overall, the additional flavors are a nice addition to a traditional green enchilada sauce.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

la victorial red enchilada sauce

Best Salty

La Victoria Mild Red Enchilada Sauce

This is mouth-smacking and savory, which is why it’s the second best red enchilada sauce on this list. It lacks in other areas, however, as there isn’t much by way of spice or aromatics. There’s more sodium, too—about 6% more than La Victoria’s Green salsa. Personally, I think the red is better than the green, but you might disagree. It’s just so savory and salty. Add your own chili peppers, though. You’re going to need heat.

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

hatch green chile enchilada sauce

Best Thick

Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

This is thick and a bit more viscous than the other sauces. It’s a little spicier than the other mild salsas on this list, too, so if you find mild to be too tame, go for the Hatch brand enchilada sauce. There’s some cane sugar in here, too. It’s not as complex as the top two, but it’s still got enough going on flavor-wise to make it a good buy.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tasted: Las Palmas Medium Red Enchilada Sauce, El Pato Green Enchilada Sauce, Frontera Green Enchilada Sauce, Old El Paso Red Enchilada Sauce, Old El Paso Green Enchilada Sauce, La Preferida Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • I don’t see my go-to brand, La Preferida green enchilada sauce. Don’t like it? I think next time I will try Frontera (the green one). I use the stuff to make a great five-ingredient green chicken enchilada recipe. (1 rotisserie chicken, 2 cans of green enchilada sauce, shredded Mexican cheese blend, cilantro, and corn tortillas. Astonishingly good, considering how the recipe reads.)

    Reply
    • Where can you find these sauces?

      Reply
  • macayo’s Enchilada sauce
    It covers the best it’s thick
    great taste

    Reply
  • Nothing at all will ever compare to Macayo’s red or green sauce. The restaurant in Phoenix is the very best has been around since the 1950’s

    Reply
  • Do you still make the enchiladas sauce? I can’t find it anywhere, it is the very best

    Reply