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Oct 29, 2009 01:53 PM

Not because I think it is too hard to make, so please don't crucify me, BUT

Is there any decent canned/jarred red enchilada sauce out there? I have not yet undertaken my own taste test or anything, was hoping I might get some guidance here before I resort to that. We have regular chain grocery with large sections of mexican/hispanic foods, plus Whole Foods or Wegman's as options.

It's not that I am against making it from scratch, but husband is super-picky so I don't want to bother wasting my time coralling ingredients and trying out different recipes on him if I can buy a canned sauce, doctor it up, and make him happily eat his enchiladas. He doesn't want mole, he doesn't want green sauce, he doesn't want cream sauce. Plain ol' red sauce enchiladas for this (former) Texan. The less fuss the better for me! Surely someone can tip me off to something that will meet with his picky-yet-not-too-discerning taste. Help please!!

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  1. I have to say that the only canned sauce Ive ever used is Old El Paso. They are passable I suppose. But I did want to tell you about this website in case you havent heard of it. The Homesick Texan. There are some recipes on there you might want to make for him :) Like King Ranch Chicken....sigh. I miss Tejas :)

    1 Reply
    1. re: jenwee

      Funny you mention it. I was all set to make her Sour Cream enchiladas....but he doesn't really want that, he wants red sauce. We're lucky, things like Ro-Tel abound so he's doesn't miss too much. No good BBQ of course but that we can order online if we want to splurge. Enchiladas, however, we are not ordering online. Thanks!!

    2. West Texan chiming in. If he wants plain old red enchilada sauce, it's hard to beat either Hatch brand for a more mellow & slightly richer taste, Old El Paso for more of a bitter bite, and in my house, a blend of the two. I do two versions of red enchiladas - homemade and store bought sauce. So, if it's store bought, I generally mix my meat with Old El Paso hot, but dip the tortillas in either OEP or Hatch medium.

      2 Replies
      1. re: shanagain

        I'm a fan of Hatch too. The medium enchilada sauce is my go-to for easy chilaquiles for breakfast, and the hot has plenty of heat.

        1. re: Rubee

          Third Hatch -- you can buy it at Whole Foods, if you have trouble finding it other places.

          I hate the canned sauces that have vinegar in them: there's invariably way too much. While brightness is good in an enchilada sauce, sourness is not.

      2. We use the Herdez or La Palma brand in SoCal.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          Does Herdez make a red enchilada sauce? I use their salsa verde all the time for green enchiladas, but have never seen a red ench. sauce.

          1. re: shanagain

            Yeah, I was just wondering that- I don't think I have, either.

            1. re: EWSflash

              The Herdez red sauce I use for enchiladas is labeled Salsa Casera. Ingredients: tomatoes, onions, serrano peppers, salt, cilantro. Simple and delicious!

          2. re: Phurstluv

            I think it was La Palma (or Las Palmas?) that I used in California. They had a red enchilada sauce and a red chile sauce, and they were almost identical. The ingredients were basically red chiles and water! I thought they worked fine.

            1. re: Phurstluv

              Another vote here for the Herdez red Salsa Casera widely available in NYC. Only problem is it can be hard to find in larger size cans.

              1. re: ratgirlagogo

                That's interesting. I've never seen salsa used as an enchilada sauce. (Texas bias showing.)

                1. re: shanagain

                  Eh? Didn't you say above that you "use their salsa verde all the time for green enchildadas?"

                  1. re: ratgirlagogo

                    I assumed you knew what I was speaking of. I'll be extra sure to be more clear the next time.

                  2. re: shanagain

                    Herdez makes a wide range of salsas, both canned and jarred. In general the jarred ones tend to be more the fresh chip-dipping type and the canned ones better suited for use in cooking, but their 5-chile jarred sauce is quite smoky (from chilpotles) and excellent for enchiladas. As is the canned Salsa Casera mentioned above.

                    And they're all called salsa, which as you know just means sauce.

                2. re: Phurstluv

                  Herdez also.

                  The small can of red salsa is the base for my guacamole. Learned it from Mexican women.

                3. I would bet you will find a mercado in your town if you do some searching. It should have what you want.

                  1. I know you didn't mention it being near you, but if you have access to Trader Joes I really like their red enchilada sauce. I use it whenever I make enchiladas and people love it ... although none of them are Texans :-)