An elderly woman at church was recently in need of some gluten free meals that she could easily pull out of the freezer, heat, and eat. One of her favorite meals listed was Chicken Enchiladas. Knowing that if a non-gluten free person volunteered to bring her enchilada’s, there would be a strong possibility of it being contaminated with gluten in the form of a prepared/canned sauce, I promptly signed up to bring her chicken enchiladas made with my tasty Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce.
Unfortunately wheat/gluten is hidden in all sorts of pre-packaged foods. You really have to know how to read a label, be willing to do so, as well as talk to other gluten free individuals, to stay on top of what truly is gluten free and what isn’t. Add to that the fact that most gluten free individuals often have cross-reactive responses to other foods (the body often mistakes foods like corn, soy, dairy for gluten because the protein looks so much like gluten), and it really is best to just make it yourself. You’re also eliminating the preservatives, excess sodium, and dyes.
Plus, you get to decide how spicy you want it. The recipe below calls for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. However, if you’ve got small children, don’t prefer spice, or are serving an elderly person like I was, simply omit the chipotle peppers. Speaking of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients list as some contain gluten, soy, high fructose corn syrup and dyes.
Want to make chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from scratch? The Paleo Foodie Cookbook has a fabulous recipe for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
This recipe for Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce makes enough sauce for one 9″x12″ pan of enchiladas. I like to double it so that I can freeze a jar of sauce for later, or, so that I can make an extra pan of enchiladas to freeze for another time. Enchiladas can be popped directly in the oven from the freezer for a quick week night meal.
I also need to mention that this is a creamy enchilada sauce if you choose to add the coconut milk (or half and half). It not only makes the sauce absolutely lovely, it also extends it, and helps to soften corn tortillas (if that is what you’re using). If you decide to omit the coconut milk/ half and half, then you’ll want to double the recipe just to be sure you have enough.
Speaking of tortillas, Udi’s makes gluten free tortillas that are readily available at many of the big chain grocery stores, however, these tortillas get such rave reviews from fellow gluten free foodies that I think I’d try them first! That being said, if you do not have a food sensitivity to corn, I highly recommend corn tortillas (Trader Joe’s has really good white corn tortillas!).
So aromatic and flavorful, you can either make this a mild or super spicy enchilada sauce. Honestly, I love it either way.
When the sauce has been cooked through, simply puree it. Once it’s cooled, you’ll blend or stir in the coconut milk for a rich and creamy texture, that is beyond compare!
5 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Enchilada Sauce
Serves: 2 cups
1 Tbsp. coconut oil*
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (omit if you don't prefer spicy foods)
1 cup chicken broth
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
pepper to taste
½ cup canned coconut milk, or half and half (**optional, but oh so good!)
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat coconut oil.
Add onions and cook until translucent.
Stir in garlic and chipotle peppers.
After about 30 seconds, or when garlic is fragrant, add arrowroot powder. Cook briefly, just long enough to combine with vegetables.
Add broth, tomato sauce, and spices.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
Simmer to combine the flavors for 15-30 minutes, or while preparing the enchiladas.
Remove from heat, and puree.
Stir or blend in coconut milk or half and half when cooled.
Use in enchilada recipe.
This is enough sauce for one 9"x12" pan. I like to double this recipe so that I can freeze a jar of sauce for later, or so that I can make an extra pan of enchiladas to freeze for another time. Enchiladas can be popped directly in the oven from the freezer for a quick week night meal. *Expeller pressed coconut oil is best for high heat applications, but virgin coconut oil will work in this situation as well. **If you decide to omit the coconut milk/ half and half, then you'll want to double the recipe just to be sure you have enough.