Low-Calorie Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Healthy Enchiladas
Healthy Enchiladas. Kimberley K. Eggleston
    35 min

Perhaps unfairly, most Mexican cuisine we are familiar with has gotten a bad rap for being loaded with fat and calories. And enchiladas--a sort of casserole made of rolled tortillas filled with meat and/or cheese and topped with a red sauce (and more cheese)--are certainly among the culprits.

Which is unfortunate since enchiladas are a great make-ahead meal that will please the entire family. So how do we make this rich, cheesy dish not exceed our calorie count for the day? By starting with a low-calorie sauce, setting you on your way to a healthier version. 

This homemade enchilada sauce is easier to make than you might think. With diced tomatoes and a few other staples from your pantry, you will have a healthy, low-calorie homemade enchilada sauce in a short amount of time. Serve atop your favorite enchilada recipe, or over low-calorie chicken and vegetable enchiladas for a hearty but healthy meal.

What You'll Need

  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • One 28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf

How to Make It

  1. Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute the onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Lower the heat to medium, add the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic doesn't brown.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. If the sauce is splattering, partially cover the skillet.
  3. Remove the bay leaf. Puree the sauce in batches in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  4. Pour over your favorite enchilada recipe.

Makes 3 cups

Calories per 1/2 cup 65