5-Minute Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce

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Side view of a glass jar of pumpkin enchilada sauce

Introducing the world’s easiest enchilada sauce! This pumpkin enchilada sauce comes together in a blender (no cooking required!) in just 5 minutes with 9 pantry staple ingredients.

It’s rich, smoky, spicy, and a beautiful vibrant orange color (hello, antioxidants!). What’s not to love!? Let’s make this thing!

Spices, salt, adobo sauce, tomatoes, vegetable broth, chipotle peppers, pumpkin purée, and cashews

Origin of Enchilada Sauce

The word enchilada comes from “enchilar,” which means “to season with chile.” And chilies are at the heart of enchilada sauce (a.k.a. the most essential ingredient in making enchiladas).

Enchiladas may have evolved from a similar Mayan dish and date back to at least 1831, with the first published recipe in a cookbook called El Cocinero mexicano (source).

The following is a fall-inspired take on enchilada sauce made with chili powder and similar flavors, but with a pumpkin-y twist.

How to Make Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce

This started as an attempt at a 5-minute version of a more traditional red enchilada sauce but quickly became PUMPKIN enchilada sauce, and we have no regrets! It comes together fast without skimping on flavor.

Simply add a handful of pantry staples to a blender and give it a whirl until it becomes a smooth, creamy sauce.

Blender with cashews, chipotle peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, spices, and pumpkin purée

This sauce gets its bold, smoky flavor and spiciness from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, while pumpkin contributes a vibrant orange color and balances out the flavor of the tomatoes. No overly tomatoey enchilada sauce here!

Then for the remaining ingredients, we include cashews for creaminess, cumin for smokiness, chili powder for classic enchilada flavor, and vegetable broth as the liquid that gets it blending. Lastly, we add sea salt to enhance all the flavors.

Creamy pumpkin enchilada sauce in a blender

We hope you LOVE this pumpkin enchilada sauce! It’s:

Creamy
Rich
Smoky
Spicy
Quick & Easy
& Lick-from-the-spoon delicious!

It’s a versatile sauce ready for enchiladas, bowls, chilaquiles, and more.

More Savory Pumpkin Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Cashews, chipotle peppers, and pumpkin purée next to a jar of our pumpkin enchilada sauce recipe

5-Minute Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce

Creamy, rich, and smoky pumpkin enchilada sauce! Perfect for topping enchiladas, chilaquiles, or bowls with BIG fall flavor! Just 5 minutes and 9 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Top down shot of a jar of creamy homemade pumpkin enchilada sauce
5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 10 (1/2-cup servings)
Course Sauce
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Mexican-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin purée (or sub homemade // we like Libby’s)
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews*
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (or store-bought)
  • 2 tsp chili powder (or store-bought)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 2 Tbsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo)

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth, stopping to stir a few times to encourage blending.
  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more adobo sauce for smokiness and heat or salt for overall flavor.
  • This sauce is delicious on enchiladas, in bowls, or on chilaquiles.
  • Leftover sauce will keep stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for 1 month.

Video

Notes

*If using a Vitamix or other high-speed blender, soaking the cashews isn’t necessary. If you’d prefer to soak the cashews to help with blending, you can quick soak them in hot water for 20-30 minutes, then drain and add the soaked cashews to the blender.
*Loosely adapted from the lovely Ambitious Kitchen.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 half-cup serving Calories: 59 Carbohydrates: 7.5 g Protein: 1.9 g Fat: 2.4 g Saturated Fat: 0.4 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 359 mg Potassium: 134 mg Fiber: 2 g Sugar: 3.3 g Vitamin A: 4464 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 27 mg Iron: 1.2 mg

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  1. Jessie says

    I made this sauce and it was very flavorful and yummy! I found my texture to be far less fluffy (much thinner) than y’all’s—Any idea why?

  2. Yasi says

    First time at making this enchiladas sauce! It was soo easy ro follow and make. Used my Ninja blender :-)

    Thank you !!

  3. Casey says

    Cannot wait to try this! Question, what would you sub for chipotle in adobo? Found a few options on Google but curious which you would pick. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Casey, if you can find chipotle powder that would be best for keeping the flavor similar. If not, you could use some smoked paprika for smokiness and a bit of cayenne for heat. Let us know how it goes if you try any subs!

  4. Melissa says

    This is a delicious pumpkin recipe–wow! So flavorful! I used sunflower seeds due to nut allergy, and it was very creamy! I also made the black bean & kale enchiladas–also great! Ate much of this enchilada sauce on its own with a spoon too!

  5. Elise C says

    This looks amazing but I have a bad cashew allergy. I’m wondering if there’s another nut or something else you’d use to substitute for cashews? Love your stuff and thanks in advance!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Elise, we haven’t tried this recipe without cashews so we cannot guarantee results, but you could possibly omit the cashews and increase the pumpkin, and the sauce just won’t be as creamy. It’s also possible that coconut cream would work (if you can have coconut) or possibly hemp seeds, silken tofu, or sour cream (vegan or dairy).

  6. Emma says

    This sounds amazing and I’d love to make the enchiladas with this sauce but I have a cashew allergy :( Is there something else I could use instead to make it creamy?

  7. Ariel says

    I made this last night for spinach, refried black beans and roasted cauliflower and potato enchiladas and it was absolutely delicious. Though mine did have some added cheese, the pumpkin sauce is so creamy and flavorful, I could have easily omitted the dairy. Thanks for another great recipe!

  8. Monica says

    This looks amazing!! I’d love to make this sauce but my family has a cashew allergy. Any idea for substitutes for cashews?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Monica, we haven’t tried this recipe without cashews so we cannot guarantee results, but you could possibly omit the cashews and increase the pumpkin, and the sauce just won’t be as creamy. It’s also possible that coconut cream would work (if you can have coconut) or possibly hemp seeds, silken tofu, or sour cream (vegan or dairy). Let us know if you try any subs!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Porsche, we haven’t tried this recipe without cashews so we cannot guarantee results, but you could possibly omit the cashews and increase the pumpkin, and the sauce just won’t be as creamy. It’s also possible that coconut cream would work (if you can have coconut) or possibly hemp seeds, silken tofu, or sour cream (vegan or dairy). Let us know if you try any subs!

  9. SM says

    Hi! thank you for the recipe. As a Mexican, this is a very interesting one and I’m looking forward to trying it out!… One thing though, the original red enchiladas sauce don’t have tomatoes in them. Maybe Tex-Mex ones :) Thought I’d point it out when I read with this comment ‘No overly tomatoey enchilada sauce here!’
    Thanks again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Great point! Thanks so much for sharing that. Some quick enchilada sauce recipes we’ve come across online rely on tomatoes, but they must be Tex-Mex ones :)