My recipe for Slow Cooker Enchilada Sauce - a subtly complex blend of savory, spicy, sweet, and smoky - all comes together in just 15 minutes of hands-on prep time. | The Good Hearted Woman

Slow Cooker Enchilada Sauce

A mild enchilada sauce with a smoky, slightly sweet finish. You will never use canned sauce again.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Renée B. ♥ The Good Hearted Woman


  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or 1 14-ounce can
  • 1 14- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 12- ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 8- ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoons ground pasilla pepper**
  • 2 teaspoons ground New Mexico chili pepper**
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper**
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Heat butter or coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute until it turns golden brown. Add minced garlic and saute 30 seconds more.
  • Put sauteed onion and garlic mixture along with all the remaining ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4-6 hours. Sauce is ready to use immediately.
  • OPTIONAL STEP: If you prefer your enchilada sauce smooth, simply use an immersion blender to puree it right in the slow cooker. (You can also just pour everything into a stand blender.)


**Substitution: Omit all 3 dried ground peppers, and add 2 tablespoons of regular chili powder. The flavor will be slightly less complex, but delicious just the same.
*This recipe freezes well, but it can also be canned in a pressure canner. Use 10 lbs. for 50 minutes for pints and 60 minutes for quarts.
Tried this recipe?Mention @TheGoodHeartedWoman or tag #thegoodheartedwoman!