Enchilada Sauce vs. Taco Sauce – What’s The Difference?

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Are you a Mexican food lover? If you want to try cooking all your favorite dishes at home, and you are confused about which sauce will be suitable to enhance the taste. Well, this is the article, which will ease all your troubles.

Mexican food is incomplete without sauce addition and the most common sauces added are enchilada and taco sauce. Both the sauces are hot and spicy with a delicious mouthwatering taste. Especially people who like spicy food must be aware of both kinds of sauces.

Taco sauce and enchilada sauce are almost the same with little difference. The main difference between both types of sauce is the ingredients used to prepare them. In enchilada sauce, chili powder is used, whereas, in taco sauce, paprika is used. In enchilada sauce, fresh chilis are used, while cayenne pepper is used in taco sauce.

To help you better understand both kinds of sauce, we have mentioned in detail the description of enchilada sauce and taco sauce.

Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada sauce is a spicy flavored sauce added to many Mexican dishes. The taste of enchilada sauce is savory and perfect for dipping or adding in baked items such as lasagna. It is a thick consistent sauce with many ingredients.

Enchiladas are filled with meat, cheese, veggies or potatoes. The word enchilada comes from enchilar, which means chili in Spanish. According to the meaning, enchilada is the sauce made from chilies.  This sauce is best to be baked as the taste is enhanced more.

Enchilada Sauce Types

 Some of the types of enchilada sauces are:

1. Red Enchilada Sauce

The red chili sauce made up of tomato paste, chili powder, and other ingredients is the most common type of enchilada sauce. It is savory and spicy. Some of the spices added in red enchilada sauce are oregano, chili powder and basil.

2. Green Enchilada Sauce

This type of enchilada sauce is creamy and spicy than red sauce. It is also called Verde sauce and is made from mixing green chilies, tomatillos, garlic, and vinegar. The main ingredient is green chilies or peppers, which give extra heat and a spicy taste to the sauce.

3. Green Chili Enchilada Sauce

There is no addition of tomato paste in this enchilada sauce, but green chilies are blended and added. These blended chilies are added for extra heat, and jalapeno is added.

4. White Enchilada Sauce

Lastly, the most common enchilada sauce added to the chicken is white enchilada sauce, creamy and less spicy.  It is made from sour cream or butter with green chilies. The green chilies provide extra heat to the sauce and make it spicier.

Ingredients of Enchilada Sauce

The main ingredients that are present in enchilada sauce are:

  • Olive oil
  • Chili powder
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Jalapeno
  • Vinegar
  • Flour


The formation of enchilada sauce at home is very easy, and anyone can make it. The steps involved are:

  1. Combine all the dry ingredients and add them to the saucepan.
  2. Add a little amount of oil and form a rich tomato paste.
  3. Stir the sauce until it is thickened.
  4. One can also add cinnamon to the sauce to give an extra savory taste, but some people are not fans of cinnamon, so it depends on personal choices.
  5. Add a little amount of vinegar to give a sour taste.
  6. The canned enchiladas sauce has some artificial flavors like monosodium glutamate, which increases the shelf life of the sauce, but the homemade sauce doesn’t contain such ingredients, which means you can’t preserve it for long.

As we have learned thoroughly about enchilada sauce, let us move towards taco sauce and its preparation methods.

Taco Sauce

Taco sauce is a common sauce made from paprika and some other spices: cayenne pepper, onions, and garlic. Tomato sauce is also added to taco sauce to enhance taste and maintain thick consistency. The process of making taco sauce includes addition of dry ingredients to the base of tomato paste and mixing them well for ten minutes at least.

Taco sauce is also used as dipping for chips like burritos and nachos. Some customized ingredients can also be added to enhance taste according to a person’s liking. These ingredients include avocados, honey, maple syrup etc., depending upon the taste you want.

Ingredients of Taco Sauce

Taco sauce has almost the same ingredients as enchilada sauce but is combined in a unique way to give a different taste. Some of the main ingredients it includes are:

  • Cumin
  • Tomato sauce
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne
  • Onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup


The formation of taco sauce at home is very easy, and the steps include:

  1. Stir the tomato sauce, vinegar, water, garlic, onion, cumin and chili powder altogether. Add sugar, paprika, salt and pepper to the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Add these ingredients that are mentioned above in a saucepan and cook them on low heat.
  3. Sti the sauce until thick.
  4. Cook for at least twenty minutes.
  5. Let the sauce cool down before serving.

So what’s the difference between Enchilada Sauce and Taco Sauce?

Enchilada sauce and taco sauce are quite similar yet different. To summarize the article, let us sum up the main points, which are:

  1. The ingredients and their quantities make both sauces different.
  2. Enchilada sauce includes chilies, while taco sauce includes cayenne pepper.
  3. Enchilada sauce contains chili powder addition, while taco sauce contains smoked paprika.
  4. Taco sauce includes tomatoes, peppers, onion, vinegar but enchilada sauce contains a cooked form of these ingredients to get a thick consistency.
  5. Enchilada sauce doesn’t contain tomato paste most of the time, but taco sauce has a tomato paste base.
  6. Enchilada sauce is divided into white, red, chili, green sauce, but taco sauce is one of a kind with no types.
  7. Lastly, taco sauce is used as dipping for chips like nachos, while enchilada sauce is added to baked foods like lasagna.