What can I use Instead of Enchilada Sauce?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “what can I use instead of enchilada sauce?” and provide you with insights on how your enchilada sauce can be delicious with other sauces in place of enchilada sauce.

What can I use instead of enchilada sauce?

You can use taco sauce, salsa sauce, and even bolognese sauce at times instead of enchilada sauce. All these sauces can constitute a great taste in your enchiladas. 

Enchilada sauce is made up of tomatoes, peppers (either hot or sweet), and onions. You can skip the tomatoes in certain recipes when making your own sauce but typically it consists of these main ingredients.

Taco Sauce

Taco sauce can account for a great substitute for enchilada sauce. It has a sort of spicy and deeper flavor than a normal enchilada sauce but it works great if you prefer that sort of a flavor profile and love tacos.

Taco sauce is made by cooking tomatoes with cayenne pepper, vinegar, salt and pepper, cumin, sometimes fennel, oregano, and other herbs that make the tacos stand out.

It is a very commonly used sauce and is very famous in Mexican cuisine. To use the sauce in enchiladas, you can use it exactly like you would use enchilada sauce

The quantity should be exactly similar to the quantity of enchilada sauce normally used in the recipes. Even though taco sauce has a stronger flavor, it does tend to add a bigger depth to the dish.

Salsa Sauce

Salsa sauce is another form of primarily tomato-based sauce with a little more tang in terms of the flavor profile. It is one of the favorite sauces all over the world.

It is not to be confused with actual salsa which includes chunks of tomato and onion in it along with a lot of chilies and earthy flavors including lemon.

Salsa sauce is essentially made by combining all the salsa ingredients into a puree sort of consistency and cooking them on low heat for a larger period of time.

It is used in a lot of recipes and can be very easily substituted for enchilada sauce. It has almost the same flavor pattern as enchilada sauce and counts as a perfect alternative.

The way to use salsa sauce in enchiladas is to replace enchilada sauce with the exact same amount of salsa sauce. The amount essentially depends on how much sauce you want in your dish.

Bolognese Sauce 

Research. Bolognese sauce is quite different from enchilada sauce. It is a meaty tomato sauce with a sort of lumpy consistency and is generally used in spaghetti and also some types of lasagna.

Bolognese sauce is made up of well cooked beef in tomato sauce with added condiments and herbs. It has a meaty taste and adds an amazing flavor as well as texture to many dishes.

Enchiladas normally have a lot of flavor and texture in terms of meat in them. So, adding another meaty sauce to it might overpower the actual enchilada flavor and not many people might like it.

But, if you are a meat lover and can not get enough meat in any of your food, then this sauce is for you.

What is the difference between all these sauces?

All of these sauces are tomato based and constitute a “red sauce” flavor. It is up to you what you prefer and where you want to go in terms of the flavor. 

Essentially the main ingredients of all these sauces are more or less the same. The only differences are in terms of their flavor and texture in some.

For example, taco sauce has a bit more spice to it. Bolognese sauce is a bit more meaty. Salsa sauce tends to be more tangy in flavor. 

But all of these can be substituted for enchilada sauce depending on what type of flavor profile you prefer. All these sauces are a bit different but also very similar. 

Therefore, all of them make great alternatives for enchilada sauce.

What is enchilada sauce used for?

Enchilada sauce is used for making, as the name suggests, enchiladas. They are tortilla rolls filled with either meat or vegetables or normally both. 

They are stacked in a dish and enchilada sauce is poured over them. They are then set to be baked. 


In this brief article, we answered the question, “what can I use instead of enchilada sauce?” and provided you with insights on how your enchilada sauce can be delicious with other sauces in place of enchilada sauce.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.