Chili Gravy Enchiladas
Chili Gravy Enchiladas - This recipe lets you in on the secret to restaurant quality enchiladas! I keep it simple and yummy with peppers and gooey cheese!
Chili Gravy EnchiladasJump to Recipe
Have you ever made enchiladas at home, sat down to eat them, and thought, “These are good, but they are missing something.”
It just seems like really good restaurant enchiladas are somehow more flavorful than the enchiladas that most home cooks make.
Well, guess what? This post contains the secret.
The secret is this crazy addictive stuff called chili gravy that is half enchilada sauce, half brown gravy, and 100% amazing. You could make enchiladas out of soggy cardboard as long as you drenched them in enough of this stuff.
You could slather this stuff on any enchilada, but it really shines in a very basic cheese enchilada. No need to get fancy when you have the gravy on hand.
Chili Gravy Enchiladas
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups beef stock
- 12 corn tortillas
- ¼ cup vegetable oil + 1 tablespoon
- 2 peppers various, sliced thin
- ½ onion diced
- 3 cups cheddar cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 400 °F.
- In a medium pot, whisk together vegetable oil and flour for the gravy over medium heat. Keep whisking until the mixture turns a light, tan color, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk in all the spices and cook for another 30 seconds. Then start whisking in beef stock in a thin stream. Once stock is whisked in, bring gravy to a slight simmer and cook until it thickens nicely, about 2-3 minutes, whisking occasionally.
- To make enchiladas, Slice peppers and grate cheese. Add peppers to a large skillet with a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat. Add diced onions (reserve a few tablespoons for top of enchiladas) and a pinch of salt. Cook until veggies are just soft, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add 1/4 cup oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Working with one tortilla at a time, let it heat in the oil for 5-10 seconds per side. Then remove tortilla and let drain on a paper towel. Repeat with all the tortillas.
- Once all tortillas are warmed and flexible, work with one at a time. Fill it with some of the peppers and onions and a small handful of cheese. Roll it tightly.
- Lightly oil an 9×13 baking dish and pour in 1/2 cup of the chili gravy. Then add rolled enchiladas to the baking dish. Fit as many as you can. You should be able to fit 12 at a minimum.
- Pour most of the chili gravy over the top of the enchiladas once they are all in the pan. It’s okay to reserve some gravy to serve on the side later. Cover enchiladas with leftover cheese and onions.
- Bake for 15 minutes and then let cool briefly before serving.
Did you make this?
Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.
- Need an enchilada version for two? Try this Small Batch Chicken Enchilada Recipe!
Chili Gravy Enchiladas
The base of the chili gravy is a simple roux. You need a fair amount of it to get the right consistency so start with about 1/4 cup of fat (I used vegetable oil) and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk this together over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until it’s turning a light tan color.
Meanwhile, you can prep your spices.
Almost all of the flavor in this dish comes from this gravy so the spice levels are intense. Just go with it.
Once your roux is the right color, whisk in all those lovely spices. Your house will immediately smell like a taco shack. This is a good thing.
Let the spices cook and get happy for 30 seconds and then start whisking in the beef stock (you could use veggie stock). As it heats, the gravy will thicken. The finished gravy shouldn’t be super-thick, but it should coat a spoon lightly.
Go ahead and taste it at this point. It’ll be really strong, but you’ll probably go back for more.
Once the gravy is done, you can take it off the heat. No need to keep it warm.
Making the Chili Gravy Enchiladas
You could honestly just wrap some tortillas around cheese, slather them in the gravy and call it a day, but I wanted to add some other colors and textures to my enchiladas.
I just sliced a few different peppers really thinly and diced up an onion. I cooked those over medium heat with a drizzle of oil and some salt until they were tender, but not completely cooked, about 3-4 minutes.
Then I heated some oil in a small skillet (1/4 cup, say) and once hot, I warmed my tortillas in the oil for just 5-10 seconds per side. You don’t want them to cook at all, just get warm and flexible in the oil. Once the tortillas are warmed let them drain on a few paper towels and do all the tortillas before you start making the enchiladas.
Then it’s as easy as filling each tortilla.
Rolling it up!
And piling them in a baking dish!
Be sure to lightly oil your baking dish and pour about 1/2 cup of chili gravy in the bottom.
Then pour on the rest of your gravy, the rest of your grated cheese and a smattering of diced onions. If you want you can also reserve some of the gravy to serve on the side.
This will only need to bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. You just want to heat everything through and make sure the cheese is bubbly.
These tasted super-authentic.
I’ll be hard pressed to not make this gravy every time I make enchiladas now.
Now you know. That brown sauce on your enchiladas is pretty easy to make at home.
Chili gravy enchiladas will change your Tex-Mex life.
201 Responses to “Chili Gravy Enchiladas” Leave a comment
Thanks for the recipe. I have always wanted to make my own enchillada sauce and that looks good!
Looks good. I heat my tortillas in microwave at one time—-works great.
This looks great! I’ve done a similar sauce with a slightly different mix of spices + chicken broth, but I’m excited to try your version…it sounds awesome!
So there is no meat in this?
Nope. I used beef broth in the gravy, but you could use veggie stock. The filling is just cheese and peppers!
These look great. Betsy was right to get the trophy, when you tire if it in the living room, It’ll make a great towel rack.
Good God, those look good.
I use cooked hamburger meat onions cheese and some of the sauce to make my filling I microwave tortillas between damp and paper towels for 30 seconds fill tortillas with filling and then top with sauce and cheese bake covered for 30 to 40 minutes 350 I also make about double the sauce would very much like to try this version that’s just what I grew up on
All I can say is wow! Made it tonite. the gravy can be called a “secret sauce”…I think
I made the Chili Gravy tonight for our own enchiladas and they were GREAT. My husband thinks this is the best recipe I have used in years, and I have to agree. I used hot smoked paprika because we like things quite spicy, but otherwise followed the recipe for the gravy to the letter. Thank you so much for a wonderful addition to our dinner repertoire!
Thanks Juill! Really glad you liked it. Definitely one of my favorites also. ;)
I wish you had Pinterest! So I could post all the recipes I still want to make…
This might sound stupid but do the tortillas have to be corn tortillas or can they just be normal tortillas?
They can be flour tortillas Kian. Corn is just my preference for enchiladas. For fllour, skip the frying in oil step and just microwave the tortillas for a few seconds wrapped in damp paper towels to make them really flexible. GOod luck!
You should be able to find a Pintrest SAVE and Share tab/button for web browser. I have one from Chrome, but any “share” app should offer it as well (such as Add This or Share)
absolutely delicious! I made some mushrooms and stuffed mine with some mushrooms. I come to this recipe every time I want cheese enchiladas.
Can the sauce be frozen or will it break/separate? It is sooooo good I would like to keep on hand.
Hey Michelle, I didn’t actually try it because I ate it to darn fast, but I think it would freeze fine. Typically, sauces like this will freeze okay. Sometimes if they are cheesy they will break when you reheat them though, but I think you would be okay in this case.
This freezes beautifully–this is my go to enchilada sauce and I typically make an extra pan for the freezer whenever I make for dinner. I’ll pull out the day before and stick in the fridge and bake as usual; I’ve never had any issues with the sauce separating.
I’m going to try this, it looks creative. I need your help, however. I made my own chili powder mix from dried peppers yesterday (coincidentally almost identical to yours on on your chili powder trials post) It had the bulk of these ingredients.
Do I just take the 2 TB of chili powder up to 3-4 TB of my stuff to compensate? Or am I going to have to judge this based on roux+broth consistency? Or do your words stay the same in this case (“The finished gravy shouldn’t be super-thick, but it should coat a spoon lightly.”)
Thanks and sorry for the painful math question.
Hey man, sounds good! I would start with 3TBSP of your homemade stuff. You’ll probably still need to add salt and pepper I’m guessing. Then you can kind of eyeball it. It’s a loose recipe honestly. If your finished sauce looks a little light, just stir in another tablespoon of chili powder and you’ll be in good shape.
Good luck man!
Appreciate the advice–that will be the route I will go. Need me some of this gravy!
Man this is delicious. Thank you so much !!! Today is mothers day I’m be making this mouth watering meal .At moment my tummy is growling, cant wait to smell it cooking. Will enjoy with my family and friends for second time I’ve Made this! Yum yum!
I, too, am a homesick Texan. I am making this right now and the house smells luscious! I have always wondered why enchiladas didn’t taste like home and this sauce is the answer. I can’t wait til it comes out of the oven with all of the cheese and tortillas. :-) thanks for the recipe!
I wet my tortillas with water and put them in a hot non stick frying pan and the water steams them soft. I flip them once. Easy to roll and not a lot of extra grease.
Oh my gosh! This recipe is heaven <3 I am not really a fan of many tomato-based sauces, and so this recipe sounded like a try. Since the first try, I have made them approximately six times, different fillings many times – sometimes browned ground turkey, or browned ground beef, shredded rotisserie chicken, whatever! DELICIOUS. Just the right amount of spice, and quick and easy. I warm my extra-thin corn tortillas in the microwave (six at a time, 15 seconds – flip – 15 seconds) rather than warming them in oil. Thank you so much!
You posted this on my birthday, I see :) So that’s a sign it’s the right recipe for me. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try this tonight!
Have made cheese enchiladas a couple times but as you said “were good but tasted like they were missing something.” We tried this recipe tonight and my boys , 14 and 11 were excited to help make it and thought it smelled Great! They posted pics of finished product on Instagram (which they never do) and both had a second helping…they were Delicious!! While enchiladas were in the oven my 11 yr old kept going back to the pan and scraping last bit of gravy out…oh and he did say he would dream of enchiladas.
Awesome Marta! Yea… still one of my favorite Tex-Mex recipes on the site. :) Glad you and the fam liked it!
Tried to rate this 5 stars and it grabbed a 3.!! This gravy ( without the cayenne and 1/4t. White pepper instead) was so good that my 4 year old asked for seconds. I used it over 2 pounds cooked g.beef with a sauteed chopped bell pepper, an onion , and 2 cloves garlic to make a pot of chilli that will be the new ‘go to’ recipe!
Hello! Did you mean you made this sauce with ground beef? I’m looking for a sort of “chili” enchilada sauce. Or at least a sauce with ground beef in it! I’m wondering if that’s what you did and how it turned out!
I cook hamburger meat with onions and whatever seasoning you want to use and I put meat and cheese in the tortillas and what meat is left I add it to the sauce cook a bit pour over enchiladas, top with cheese and onions and bake. Makes a great chili gravy
I made a spicy ground turkey with peppers and onion filling. But what made it shine was the spicy brown sauce. Served it with white rice and home made guacamole and sour cream.
Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Awesome Linda! Glad you liked it. Cheers!
Yo dude! This rocks! Trying to duplicate restaurant enchiladas with store bought sauce was always disappointing. I’ve tried recipes from various websites that have me rehydrating chilies, to the blender then simmer… Not only did your recipe have that homemade authentic flavor but it was WHAM! BAM! THANK YOU MAN! Quick and easy! Thank you for sharing! I will be making this for my family again! Mos def!
Awesome Collette. Sounds like you nailed it. Thanks for the comment!
These are yummy! I prefer grating cheese myself for the taste but this time I decided to use already shredded cheese. This isn’t easy over in Belgium and I was pleasantly surprised to find a bag of “Spcial Mix” cheese. It was Affligem, Grimbergen, and cheddars cheeses. Delicious on the enchiladas!
I’ve been making these since you first posted them. Sometimes I modify the content ever so slightly based on what I have, but it’s amazing as written. I only ever add a little chicken or jalapeno once in awhile.
I just made this “gravy” exactly as posted, however, I didn’t have stock, so I made my own using bouillon cubes. It was a bit spicy to me, so next time I’ll use a little less cayenne or maybe just leave it out. Otherwise, it tastes delicious. My house smells amazing. I’m sure dinner will be a hit. Thank you!
This sauce over Mexican stuffed peppers should almost be illegal! Using a ground beef filling with onions, black beans, corn, rice, spices and salsa and stuffing it into red bell pepper halves, baking with sauce poured over the too and adding cheese at the last 10 minutes of cooking – oh my goodness! Pan was licked clean, my friend! Whew! You raised the bar on these peppers! And they freeze beautifully fully assembled (minus the cheese) covered in this wonderful sauce! Thank you for posting a great recipe. I have only ever commented on 2 other recipes in my whole life, but I HAD to thank you for this. Blessings to you and yours!
Awesome idea Jenn! To be honest I’ve never thought to use it on anything other than enchiladas. Thanks for the comment! :)
I tried this enchilada sauce tonight and we loved it!!! Thank you! It was easy to make and it tastes wonderful!
I made these Enchiladas with Chili Gravy tonight, 3/2/2015. I served them with my own Spanish Rice & Refried Beans. They were Outstanding:) My new go-to Tex-Mex recipe, Thank you. Sincerely, Debra(angelswhiskers)Creech
Hey Debra, I’m so glad you and your family liked them. Happy eating!
This sounds like it would make a great dish of chili-cheese fries / poutine.
Many Thanks! I’m a homesick South Texan & this recipe was perfect. I followed this fairly closely; the only modest changes, I used chicken stock & only made 6 enchiladas. Since everything is hot, I simply broiled for a fee minutes. Again, many, many thanks.
Hey Dana! Thanks for the comment and really glad it brought you a little piece of Texas. ;) Cheers!
if you want to go really tex-mex crazy use Velveeta. :-)
Okay…not only am I mexican but also live in Texas…and this recipe is spot on!!! I made it last night for my hubby who loves cheese enchiladas and he was so impressed with this dish!!! To even say “NEW FAVORITE DINNER” so thumbs up on this dish!!! Will be making it more in the near future!!!
Hey Mili! That’s awesome! I’m so glad it passed the test. :) Cheers!
I’m making the sauce for enchiladas for my husbands trip with old friends,,I know they will like ,it’s smell so good in my kitchen,,,guys always like home cooking when they can get it,,
Do you think this would be good with huevos rancheros? Or is it too “beefy”?
I think it would work okay as a sauce for almost any Tex-Mex dish honestly!
Looks delicious ! Can I use natural butter instead of all the vegetable oil?
Hey Kate! Absolutely. I’ve made it with butter frequently. Good luck!
What is I don’t have any broth? Is the broth needed or will it taste good without it?
You definitely need the broth or base with water. Maybe you could try just water and more spices??
Hey Maureen, you could use water, but broth is best. It won’t be as deep without it. I’ve made it with just water (or veg stock) in a pinch though.
Made this tonight! Fabulous! I LOVE chili gravy (thanks to a local TexMex restaurant that has me hooked!). I cut the cayenne in half because I’m a wuss, but it was still wonderful. Hubs loved it too! Nice idea to add the peppers and onion to the enchilada filling – I’m going to always do it this way. Thanks for the great recipe, Nick!
So glad you liked it Susan! Thanks for the report back!
I just made the sauce to use on cheese enchiladas tonight. It’s amazing! I used veggie broth and gluten-free flour, and I didn’t have oregano – and it worked great. I have to stay away from the kitchen now so I don’t eat too much of it before dinner, just as it is!
How is it possible I missed this recipe. I’m trying this with chicken enchiladas this week.
This. Is. Simply. Amazing. We serve “something” Mexican once a week. My menfolk: 45, 23, 20 & 15 are singing my praises! This is going on a recipe card to be saved for the ages. Muchas Gracias! Merci! Danke! Mesi Anpil! (We all speak a different 2nd language)
Ha! Amazing Sondra. So glad the whole crew liked it. :)
Really great I added meat to it but it was awesome had to thank the creater of this one
I made chicken enchiladas with this sauce. Super easy and super delicious. My husband called it liquid gold lol. Wish I could post my picture. This will be a family regular. No more canned sauce ever again.
So glad you liked it Lorraine! Thanks for the comment. :)
It is good but it would be better with less paprika. Paprika is bitter and the chili gravy has a faint taste of bitterness. Taste a tiny taste of paprika by itself and you will know what I mean. Some may like this bitterness but I think it would be better with less bitterness. I used College Inn beef stock and it has plenty of salt in it so you could leave the salt out of the gravy if your stock already has plenty of salt in it. Also if you don’t like it hot enough to make your nose run – you might want to use less cayenne pepper. Personally I like it hot,. but some do not. Overall good recipe.
Why, WHY, would you eliminate the garlic? (Native Texan shakes head, wonderingly……)
Some people can not eat garlic. Life can be so mean.
I’ve been looking for a chili enchilada sauce and this has been the best recipe I have found, hands down. I worked as a server in a Tex-Mex restaurant for years and I’ve been trying to recreate the chef’s recipe since the restaurant is now closed. So happy to have found your recipe as it is almost identical to the chili sauce I miss and love so dearly. Awesome job! Pleased the entire family with this one.
Hey Natalie! So glad you tried it and it got the family seal of approval. Thanks for reporting back!
My husband who is Hispanic always says I cook like a white girl! I made this tonight with ground beef stuffing in the enchiladas and he loved it!!!! Definitely keeping this recipe. Thank you
High Praise! thanks for reporting back Brooke. ;)
great sauce recipe. Found it to be a tad salty, but I also used regular salt as opposed to kosher. Had just the right amount of spice to it and I think next time I make it I’ll try to use a little chipotle chile powder.
I’ve used your recipe for enchilada sauce several times now, and it is delicious! My mother in law who is mexican taught me her recipe, which starts like yours except she uses water and chili seasoning packets. I prefer your recipe! Thank you!
That’s awesome Lea! I so glad you and your family liked it. :)
I still make these like, once a month or so?
I’m from the southwest and Hubs is from Califoria, and we lived in the far NE most of our lives, where in the 70s they had never tasted a taco, and Old El Paso sold a few tortillas in a can, kept in the gourmet food section! I would have died then for some chile gravy, but in retirement I use an almost identical recipe, coaxed from an old Texas resturant by a cookbook author named Rob Walsh. Now I make TexMex food at least twice a week, and this week one dish will be shredded beef enchiladas in chile gravy. I keep a jar of chicken base in the fridge all the time so I can have chicken stock for chile gravy and other dishes whenever I want. It is so concentrated that it takes up very little room, and you can make a small amount or gallons from the small jar.
ok, so i made this previously but added protein in the enchiladas. I think it was chicken. Anyway, I’m making two huge pots of chili for our friday night Cards Against Humanity party. one with beans and one without. i remember my husband saying at the time (he is my taste tester), that is some really fine tasting gravy, it would be great in chili. So that’s what i’m doing, starting off the chili with your gravy and adding the rest. Can’t wait to see how it turns out! Thank you!
This was way too spicy for me and my boyfriend and he loves spicy foods.
These are simply the best cheese enchiladas I have ever made. I have made these several times since finding this beautiful recipe on your website. I make mine with just a little less cayenne because that can get a little to much heat but wow I love love love these. Thank [email protected]!
So glad you liked it Kelly! Thanks for the report back. ;)
this turend out EXCELLENT. Been looking for an original recipe for years. I love spicy, but I believe next time I will cut the cayenne pepper in half since you have a lot of black pepper and I like to add roasted Pablano peppers to my dishes. thank you!!
my thought exactly! Poblanos!
Being from San Antonio, the best enchiladas are from Blanco cafe. This recipe comes close to theirs. I found your recipe a couple of weeks ago and have already made the gravy three times! I did add meat to the gravy. It is delicious!
Oh My Goodness Nick,
My Mother, 87, and I made these recently for dinner. These were so outstandly great. I will make them again very soon. My mother has always loved Mexican Food, but, I usually buy it, not make it. However, this was the recipe I have searched for for many years to sate our Tex Mex Jones. Thank you so much for posting it.
Hollee and Betty
Thanks for reporting back Hollee! So glad it worked for you!
Made these tonite, after discovering it on Pinterest.. Honestly, these are the BEST enchiladas I’ve ever made! The gravy makes it! Thanks for posting this, I will use it the rest of my life.
Awesome Steve! So glad you like it man. Happy Tex-Mex cookin’!
Umm. This sauce… I want to put it on everything! Just made it tonight, added Quorn “beef” mince to the stuffing. I was pretty tempted to just not make the enchiladas and just eat this with a spoon out of the pan. I might have done that for a few minutes anyway. Thank you for this recipe!
Nick, l started to make the gravy today and could not find the recipe. After searching for an hour at least, luckily I found it. I’m going to make enchiladas tonight. Thanks for the recipe. I will keep it in a safe place forever.
I am a native born Texan who grew up eating Tex-Mex and worked in a Tex-Mex restaurant for over a decade.
I made this last night and everyone went nuts over it. This was the best enchilada gravy any of us has ever tasted.
I did use half beef and half chicken broth instead of all beef, because that was the way they made it in the restaurant I worked in. All I needed was the amounts and ratios for the seasonings.
We LOVE the kick this recipe has, PERFECT!!! (folks used to more mild flavors should back off on the cayenne quite a bit)
This sauce is delicious!!! I used to use a sauce by old el paso that was like a brown sauce. They quit selling it so i quit making enchiladas because i dont like the red sauces, until i came across this recipe. So much better than the canned stuff!!!!
I made this! I did fill with ground beef instead though. Came out so good! Yummy!
Thanks for this recipe! This is exactly what have been craving, I’m throwing out my old enchilada sauce recipe and switching to this one :)
Thank you so much Nick.
I have wanted for years to make enchiladas at home. I live in a small town in TN, out in the boonies now, there are several Mexican restaurants here (which is odd for a town this size, I think we have a lot of illegals here) but I prefer Tex-Mex. and I have no where to go. This will better than going out!
Very heave on the chili powder for our taste.. otherwise it had nice color and made for a nice presentation. Will try it again with less chili powder and red pepper. Maybe we are just TexMex wusses!
YUM!!!! I have been searching for years to find an enchilada recipe like this. My husband said these are “Restaurant quality!” I will be making this recipe regularly. Thanks a billion!
I made pork enchiladas, the chili gravy is the best I’ve ever made! 5 stars
I’ve been on the hunt for a restaurant style enchilada sauce recipe for years and this one delivered! We loved the gravy texture, but missed the tomato flavor. Any suggestions on adding tomato paste or something similar to give it a bit of a tomato base?
Hey Jillian, you definitely can. I would add 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste when you add the spices and let it cook a little bit before adding the stock. Should work great!
Great! I might have to make it again this week and give it a try. No such thing as too many enchiladas in one’s life, right? Thanks for responding.
I am just making this tonight for dinner…and havent had the enchiladas yet…in the oven now…..but wow…..the sauce is fantastic!!! Thanks for this recipe!!!
Home-sick Texan living in SoCal, and This sauce hit the spot! It’s is sooo delicious!! It’s soo good it made me break my diet! However, next time I think I will use arrowroot powder in place of flour, and coconut oil(refined) in place of vegetable oil.
My boyfriend and I have been at a loss to figure out what was in the fabled Mexican brown sauce that we have enjoyed at top restaurants. The Old Ortega variety enchilada sauce just wasn’t cutting it. Then, I discovered this recipe through a random search. I am not kidding when I say this is sheer perfection. Thank you for letting us in on the “secret.” My food snob boyfriend is at a loss for words and has literally no criticism to offer.
I made this for my husband, who is from Texas. He was amazed! He told me he’d been trying for years to come up with a decent Tex-Mex enchilada sauce like he grew up with, and told me “You hit it out of the park!” High praise indeed. Even throwing in some hamburger for my meat-lovers, it was wonderful. Thanks so much for this keeper!
I’m an enchilada snob, and have to say this is great stuff! Love it!
Living in Texas my whole 58 years, love my Texmex and I’m simple, give me Cheese Enchiladas. Now, you have to use the correct cheese. Probably 90% of the mexican restaurants use American cheese for their cheese enchiladas. The other 10% cheddar. Now i’m in Florida and all use cheddar so still searching for that real Texmex. This sauce does sound spot on!
Keith….I’m a displaced San Antonio boy living in Virginia and I miss my Tex-Mex. I like to do my own Mexican cooking as many of our restaurants are not authentic. Cheese was the one item I was missing. Cheddar wasn’t working well and yellow American was totally out of the question. Occasionally we opted for white American, but we were still left looking for the answer. Casco Fresco at the grocery didn’t really make it either. Then in a Cheese shop I noticed a cheese called Farmers Cheese. It is a white cheese produced by the Amish in Ohio. I ask for a sample and left with 3 lbs. It is the closest in taste and texture of the original cheeses I remember in Texas. It is a white basic cheese with minimal processing and all natural flavor. Very inexpensive. Try it This may serve your palate.
My husband is from Texas and I surprised him with this recipe.He can’t stop talking about it!Thank you.We had them again for the tenth time!
For those that do not have broth,I save the stock from oven fried chicken or juice from grilled steaks.Just put them in sandwich bags and freeze them.Now you have chicken broth or beef broth:)always on hand.
I moved away from my beloved Arizona, and I dearly miss traditional regional dishes. Being an imagined whiz in the kitchen, my home-made TAMALES now have the perfect accompaniment! I cannot thank you enough! You are truly a blessing for posting your recipe for chili gravy! Three thumbs up, hermano!
Tried this recipe many times with different variations chicken beef and vegetables great either way
I have made enchiladas for many many years. I just never could duplicate the sauce that I liked the most. Found your recipe a month ago. Never did I think of making a rue. I made it and My sister and I could not believe that it made all the difference. I have made this now once a week and will never make enchiladas without this gravy.
This looks fantastic and just what I’m looking for. Love enchiladas but I find the recipe I was using was too tomatoey (I know, that’s not a word!) Gravy sounds like a great addition and can only improve the flavor. Looking forward to trying this at the weekend
Have been looking for a chili-gravy recipe and this one rocks! My kids love it but it is a bit spicy so I just tone down the cayene pepper and we are good to go. OUTSTANDING FLAVOR!!! TY!!!
I’m a homesick Texan in Upstate NY and always make sure to have cheese enchiladas when I visit family in TX. I made these enchiladas tonight and loved the sauce! Left the cayenne out completely, and it still tasted almost too spicy on its own but like you said I kept going back for another taste as I got the last bits of it from the pan after having assembled the enchiladas, and as I waited for them to finish cooking in the oven. I diced up the bell peppers for the filling instead of the thin strips and loved it like that with the diced onion and cheese. I wonder if some restaurants mix cheddar and Velveeta for the cheese? Thank you for the recipe, I’ll be making this sauce again :) Also just curious, who were your sources for all the research you did in developing this recipe? Side note: for the tortillas I softened mine by heating up canola oil, water, and chili powder in a pan and putting each tortilla in one at a time til soft. That’s how my mom did it and her mom too, we’re Mexican-American.
Hey Erica! So glad you liked it! RE: sources, I always cite any sources that I used for inspiration (especially other blogs) right below the recipe. :) Happy cooking!
Made this for the second time just to pour over tamales! The first time I made enchiladas with left over carnitas turned out great. Thanks!
This is sooooooo delicious. Since I was making chicken enchiladas I used chicken broth. I love the versatility though. I will be using this every time. I don’t know how anyone could buy enchilada sauce in a can. Your options are red or green only. This roux takes five minutes to make!!!
Been looking for exactly this recipe! I always thought the redness of the sauce came from tomato paste. Boy, did I have it wrong! Love, love, love this!!
A lot of people think this and erroneously use tomato products in their Mexican food. This was an addition for north of the border. Canned sauces use tomato products so everyone thinks it is used. Tomatoes are generally only used for salsa and pico de gallo or salads. We don’t use garlic either in traditional Mexican food.
We try to eat low-carb, so found some really tasty tortilla’s (flour). I have been trying various sauces on our enchilada’s-including fresh tomatillo sauce as well as jarred green and red sauces from Trader Joe’s.
Then we found YOUR gravy…it is by far my husbands favorite! Plan on making it this week. Thanks for your time and creativity to give us this great recipe!
*Please* don’t use flour tortillas for enchiladas. They are only used for quesadilla (traditional is corn), burritos or chimis.
I’m in Texas and love some TexMex food! I made these for dinner tonight. I just filled them with cheddar. I sprinkled cheese and onion on top. They were fantastic!!! OH MY GOSH! Seriously, my daughter said it was the best thing she ever ate. Thanks for the recipe!!!
THat’s awesome Kelly! So glad you liked it. :)
One of my favorite Tex-Mex restaurants adds meat to the gravy. It makes it over the top amazing. It is the first place I eat when I come home! Now if I could just get them to ship!
So many rave review. I haven’t had good enchiladas yet (since my trip to Guatemala, wow, that sounded unintentionally snobby), but im gonna give this a try tonight. Hoping for the best!
I’ve tried this twice now and my gravy tastes pasty and like flour. What am I doing wrong?
You didn’t cook the flour in the fat long enough. This is a must to avoid your sauce/gravy from tasting like flour. I think you will have better success if you cook the flour a bit longer before adding in the liquids.
Me and my family love enchiladas, I have been making the chili gravy using your recipe for a little over a year, and it has actually become my signature dish. Whenever we have I party, am asked to bring my famous enchiladas :) I live in Europe so people are not familiar with the TexMex flavors that much.
I do not take all the credit though, I always refer people to your wonderful recipes. So I just wanted to say thanks for the wonderful food!
Awww. Thanks Marina! So glad you like it and are sharing it with your people. :)
I followed the recipe & there is not a whole lot of the gravy to cover as many enchiladas that you suggested cooking up for the recipe. A larger amount of gravy is needed, I shall do some tweaking of the recipe to get enough of it.
The cheese that Tex-Mex restaurants use is Land of Lakes easy melt american cheese. I live ni Texas and have never seen it in the grocery stores. It is made for commercial use.
Sorry, I think it is called extra melt not easy melt. Amazon has it but it is super expensive there. Some of the food clubs carry it, ie Sams or Costco.
Is it possible to use corn starch or Wondra in place of the flour
It probably is as they are great thickeners but you would have to experiment with the amount. I think you’d probably need less, but I’ve never tried it. Good luck!
What about regular table salt in place of kosher salt does it measure the same? What the difference in the two salts?
Hey Dorene, The only serious difference is kosher salt takes up about twice as much volume as table salt (roughly). So you can use it more liberally without worrying about oversalting. Generally if a recipe calls for kosher salt and you are substituting table salt, half the amount of salt and you’ll be all set! Good luck!
I made the chili gravy enchiladas was very good but I left out the chili powder and put half the amount of salt in there and it tasted great
This is the best enchilada recipe I’ve ever tried , most definitely beats the canned enchilada sauce. My family, friends and coworkers love it!
Thanks for the recipe it upgraded my enchiladas.
What brand beef stock would you recommend? I’ve never used packaged broths of any kind and I’m scared to get the wrong one. Or would using beef bouillon cubes do the same job? And if so how much dp you think I should use?
Hey Viri! Sorry for the delay in answering. Any beef stock works great for this since there are so many other flavors. A specific brand isn’t super important. You could use beef bouillon cubes if you reconstitute them in water first. I’d use the guidelines on the buillon to make stock and then add that stock to the recipe. Good luck!
These look very Mexican more than Tex-Mex! Thank goodness. We live in Texas and we are a Mexican family. We don’t care for Tex-Mex. It was invented by and for people north of the border. LOL I chopped the onions and cook them until they are transparent, then I add a spice/herb mixture of mild chili powder, flour, oregano and cumin to make a roux. I add water then Better Than Bouillon chicken broth (no MSG). Its flavor does not compete with the spices and herbs or you can use the water from boiled chicken as this is very authentic. But, if you do, you will have to use salt. (I use other ingredients but they are secret.) I simmer for 30 minutes. I steam my tortillas in the microwave (5 sec. per tortilla) you can steam them all at once. So 12 tortillas would heat for one minute. We only make cheese enchiladas and I put in black olives in the center (or green are good too but that is Honduran I think). Hubby won’t eat enchiladas anywhere else although I push him to do so.
I like mine montana. I stack them like they do in New Mexico, cover them with sauce and top with a little cheese.
I like many of your recipes BTW.
Hello! I’m wondering if you’re able to make this recipe but just add ground hamburger meat if it will taste ok? So with the meat and also still use the beef broth? I’m a first timer so someone please help me:( lmao
Hey Donna, don’t add meat to the sauce. The sauce should be smooth. You could fill the enchiladas with anything you wanted though! Good luck!
That is the way I make cheese enchiladas, I add about 1/2 to 1 lb cooked hamburger meat and add a bit more liquid.
And I also add the broth or beef gravy.
These were awesome I made them couple weeks ago! I will make from now on!
I made thess! Fantastic! Ill never use a can sauce again! Super easy and they are so good! I used shredded beef and cheese.
OMG–You NAILED the gravy! You deserve immortality for that alone!!!
YESSSS!! I concur, Terrie!! I made these for the first time last week with shredded chicken. SO GOOD. But it’s true – the sauce with the melted cheddar cheese is pure heaven. I’m making them again tomorrow, but trying ground beef in the enchiladas this time. THANK YOU!!!
this is the best enchilada sauce ever……so glad I found it
Love this enchilada sauce. I admit I was skeptical at first, but made it anyway. Fabulous! I used ground beef and onion inside the enchiladas, topped with Nick’s chili gravy. My husband said they were the best I’d ever made! Thanks for sharing!
My gravy didn’t taste that good after and I followed recipe to the letter. Does it mellow out in the oven? It’s cooking now, I feel like I did something wrong! Help!
If you’re like me and substituted regular table salt it’s too salty. Is that what you did too lol?
I didn’tt use table salt, but I wondered if some of my spices are old bc it didn’t have that fragrant Mexican smell…almost a little bitter. I did notice that after they were baked it mellowed out some. I’m going to try it again with newly purchased spices.
Really great recipe! Will definitely be making again!!
This sauce was so incredibly salty we couldn’t eat it. I followed the recipe except didn’t have kosher salt and used regular salt but did not know they’re not completely interchangeable as a 1:1 ratio. I have since read an earlier comment that says to use half what it calls for if substituting so I will def try again! Aside from saltiness it was a good flavor.
Hey Amber, sorry for the salt troubles you had. Yes. You definitely cannot substitute kosher salt and table salt unfortunately. A nice way to think about it is instead of volume, think of weight. If you weighed out 1 ounce of kosher salt and 1 ounce of table salt you would see that the kosher salt takes up about twice as much volume. Salt is salt, but the structure of kosher salt leaves more air in between the grains so it takes up more space. I like to cook with it for that reason because it has more wiggle room and there is less of a chance of oversalting something. I hope that helps!
It is quite salty so I will just reduce the salt. Other than that we love the flavor!
Dear Nick my name is Glen I made this I also added some garlic and a pound of hamburger and poured it all over some homemade biscuits along with some rice I made I will be using this on enchiladas thank you for putting it out there brother keep on cooking my stomach and I appreciate it
Nick thanks for this awesome gravy! I tried several receipts for a chili gravy for enchiladas but after I tried this one I found what I was looking for. Yes I modify it a bit with some tomato paste, cinnamon, and brown sugar (what cook worth his/her salt doesn’t experiment to suit their own tastes) but the base recipe is spot on Brother!
This is delicious – I like my home enchiladas with this sauce better than at the restaurant. It’s deceiving to people browsing recipes, the rating is low but the comments are great. I can’t find the star rating to give mine.
Thanks Carie! Honestly I think people mis-click the star ratings a lot or don’t understand that 1 star is bad and 5 stars is good. :) The rating stars are right under the recipe name. you Just click what star you want to give it. :)
I made this for Christmas Eve. And all I heard the entire time they were eating these..was..nom nom nom ummm..heaven! My niece, who I married to a direct descendent of a Mexican family COULD NOT EAT ENOUGH of these! They are just amazing the day they are made.but..the leftovers were even better! Great recipe!
Yay! So glad your crew liked them Christina. Thanks for the report back. :)
I never write reviews. But I have brag about a good recipe. The sauce is good when I make it I always triple because I make a lot and I do add hamburger meat. This sauce is gooooood. You can always taste it and if you want to add a little something more feel free to do so to your taste. I printed this recipe out and save it in my file.
These not only look great but are wonderful! I didn’t go with the cheese and pepper filling though . I cooked roast beef in spices for a few hours and made shredded beef and cheese instead. The chili gravy is awesome for sure! Thank you! It is so much better than the store bought enchilada sauce that I will never buy it again! This was just too easy!!!
Holy cow!!!! Just made these for dinner and now I’m miserable…in the best way possible!!!! With all the lockdowns going on with all this Corona madness, I was craving some enchiladas some my favorite place for them. This recipe looked to be the closest & I was right!!! We did ground beef instead of just cheese, but I think next time I’ll do beef for him and cheese for me because now that I’ve tasted this from heaven sauce, I can have my true restaurant experience lol. Thank you!!!
We do ground beef too!! Made these again just this week!! Sooo delish!
I used the grease from the hamburger as my fat base for the gravy. It was just shy of 1/4 c so I added a little extra vegetable oil to keep to the measurements. I did break the “smooth gravy rule” from one of Nick’s previous replies though lol. There was some leftover meat that didn’t make it inside the enchiladas so I mixed it into the sauce then poured it on top. The restaraunt I mentioned has a little meat in their gravy so that just added to my attempt to duplicate theirs.
Hey Mandee! YAY! So glad you tired them and they gave you a little bit of comfort during their weird times. Cheers!
Ohhhh…sinfully delicious!! Thanks for the tip! Trying this next time!
Oh my goodness, these look incredible! Like many people, I’m on lockdown, but I just picked up these ingredients and can’t wait to give this recipe a try!
My favorite tex-mex restaurant here in Austin moved and I’ve been craving their chili gravy for weeks now. This is the first time EVER I’ve made a roux. This is absolutely spot on the flavor I was hoping for and so missed. I ended up adding more flour and beef broth to achieve the consistency I like, but this is the only chili gravy I’ll ever make. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Do you use unsalted beef broth or regular beef broth? Sounds delicious!!
If you use salted broth, I would add the kosher salt until you taste it. It’s delish!
Great chili gravy recipe. I’ve made it a few times now for guests and have been told weeks later that they crave these. The chili gravy is outstanding-and you can tone down the heat by reducing the cayenne. And I’m always overley generous with my cumin measurements. Thank you for sharing!
I saw this recipe about a year ago and have procrastinated making it until today. Holy. Cow. I will never use store bought enchilada sauce again. Can’t go back. Only thing I did differently was to add 3 tbsp of vegan sour cream to cool the flavor down a bit.
Made these again…I just want to keep bringing the recipe to the forefront! These are our favorite enchiladas! I eat the leftover gravy with a spoon!
I saw this looking on Pinterest and it looked so much like the local family “Ohio” mex restaurant we go to. It was spot on delightful with some day 2 pork roast /potato enchiladas with a little Monterey Jack on top.
Yum! So glad you liked it Christine! Thanks for the comment. :)
Thank you for this recipe, Nick! I have been looking for an enchilada gravy recipe that is restaurant grade….Best Enchilada gravy I’ve had since leaving Texas. It was so good I could have just dipped some flour tortillas or tortilla chips and used the gravy as a dip. So Yummy!!
This Texas woman will be making this for next church luncheon!! It turned out GREAT!! My family all gave it big thumbs up! Definitely tastes authentic Tex-Mex and definitely a KEEPER!
Crazy GOOD !! So good I immediately made a second batch to smother the 20 enchiladas I just made.. Thanks for a great recipe.
This is so good I immediately made a second batch to use on enchiladas. Thanks for the recipe.
I have been using this (your) recipe for years and I believe I will for the rest of my life. This gravy is honestly life changing. When I eat it a wave of comfort envelopes my entire being. Thank you.
ha! Thanks Morgan. I couldn’t agree more!
This is not what I would call “enchilada sauce” (I’m a Southwest-type Mexican food girl), it’s definitely Chili Gravy for enchiladas LOL — and it’s WONDERFUL!! There are different times that you want different kinds of sauces and I am SO HAPPY to have found this! Someone mentioned comfort food? Yes, it DEFINITELY fits THAT bill! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing ;-D
Delicious! I’ve been looking for a really good Tex-Mex recipe for a long time, and this is it. I made the sauce and poured it over tamales and topped with cheese.
Great recipe will alter it a couple ways but great base recipe
Awesome, we love it!! About to make it for the second time! My family likes a ground beef and black bean filling with flour tortillas. This gravy was exactly what I was looking for and it is so delicious! Thank you very much!
Chili Gravy Enchiladas is the best!!! I have never like the chili sauce out of the can. This is the best #1 It is homemade and taste delicious. If you don’t want to use salt leave it out because cheese is salty any way I add everything like the recipe stated.
This recipe is great!!! I don’t care for store bought enchilada sauce. I’m not a big fan of chili powder. In this recipe i only put 1
Covered or not?
Been making this for years now and it’s possibly my favourite recipe!! My daughter and niece absolutely love this too. They are in their early 20s now and it’s still their favourite meal. We are all vegetarian so I use veggie beef Oxo cubes for the stock and chicken Quorn, red pepper, onion and sweetcorn in the filling. It’s only 8.30am here, but I could eat it now!!
I am in love with this recipe! I will never buy canned again!!! Thank you so much! So much flavor, my family loves it too!
Holy moly! The best gravy for enchiladas, burritos pour over tamales or just dunking taquitos in it. This will be my go to gravy! This has so much flavor, I made a triple amount so I could freeze the rest for other times. Thank you so much!
Do you have a type of chile powder you prefer? Or are you using chili powder blend, like Tone’s or McCormick’s?
Heya! for this sauce I like a really mild chili powder- nothing with too much heat. Any brand is fine. I usually buy it in bulk from the latin market, but I’ve used a variety of brands for this sauce. Just make sure the chili powder is straight chili powder and doesn’t have salt or anything in it. Good luck!