Cocoa Infused Enchilada Sauce     www.pinchofnutmeg.comOK, y’all, I have a confession. Prior to creating this cocoa infused enchilada sauce I was using canned enchilada sauce. And not just any old canned enchilada sauce, but the cheap stuff. The watery stuff. The barely has any taste stuff. It was embarrassing. I just refused to make my own even though so many food blogs begged me to believe that homemade really was easy and it really was a thousand times better. Well, they were right.

I began to experiment with enchilada sauce recipes and was just blown away with the flavor, color, and consistency of homemade. But I wanted mine to be a little different. That’s where the unsweetened cocoa powder comes in.

Cocoa Infused Enchilada Sauce

When I told hun buns I was using cocoa powder in the enchilada sauce, I got a look. It was a mixture of uncertainty, mild disgust, and concern. I personally didn’t think using cocoa powder in Mexican food was strange as it’s a very common ingredient in their savory cooking, but I understand that not everyone thinks of cocoa powder as a savory ingredient. Many of you have probably experienced cocoa powder in savory cooking if you’ve ever had Mole sauce and will know exactly what I’m talking about. For anyone who has not experienced it, let me assure you that we’re not dumping Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix into our food.

Unsweetened cocoa powder should really be thought of as a spice in its own right and not just for making desserts. It really adds a darkness and depth to savory recipes and pairs especially well with spice like chili powder and cinnamon. Cocoa powder can be a bit bitter though so it’s important to think of it as an assistant and not the star of the show when it comes to savory recipes.

Cocoa Infused Enchilada Sauce

I think this cocoa infused enchilada sauce will convince you to never turn to canned sauce again and will also get you thinking about cocoa powder in a different, non-dessert way. The flavor profile is rich, dark, and smoky and I know you’ll love it! It also comes together super easily while the rest of your meal is cooking away.

My favorite recipe to use this sauce with is my creamy, dreamy enchiladas. They are chock full of meat, black beans, corn, and a touch of cream cheese for a melt in your mouth experience. Check out the recipe here!

So tell me, do you make your own enchilada sauce or do you buy it canned? Do you have any secret ingredients?

Cocoa Infused Enchilada Sauce
Homemade enchilada sauce is infused with unsweetened cocoa powder for a rich, deep, and smoky flavor.
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4 cups
  • 3 T oil
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 t unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ t cumin
  • ¾ t garlic powder
  • ½ t cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  1. In a medium pot, combine oil, flour, and chili powder. Whisk over medium heat until bubbles appear. Cook for an additional minute once mixture begins to bubble.
  2. Add chicken broth, tomato paste, cocoa powder, cumin, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Whisk until smooth. Allow to simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Lower heat as needed so mixture does not boil.
  3. Salt to taste as needed.

recipe notes free to use water instead of chicken broth or a combination of the two. You’ll lose some of the richness, but it will still be delicious. I also recommend using low sodium chicken broth whenever possible. You can always add salt to taste.

-Cocoa infused enchilada sauce is perfect for any of your Mexican dishes including my favorite creamy, dreamy enchiladas, burritos, tacos, fajitas, you name it! It’s even great on eggs! My Mexican Rice is a great side dish for any of those as well.

cocoa infused enchilada sauce



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12 thoughts on “Cocoa Infused Enchilada Sauce”

  1. I am SO going to try this recipe! I use chocolate in my chili and mole, and have been looking forever for a good enchilada sauce and I do believe I have finally found it!!! Carrie, A Mother’s Shadow

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