Difference Between Enchilada and Taco Sauce (With Table)

Mexican Food and Sauces are inseparable. The mouth-watering hot sauces add flavour to the dishes you intend to have. Incidentally, the usage of sauce in the food changes the entire taste of it. The mouth-watering taste of the sauce not only adds flavour to your food but also arouses the craving to eat more. There are different type of sauces that Mexican cuisine has, most of them look alike. 

However, there are subtle differences in the taste as well as the ingredients used as well. The Enchilada Sauce and Taco sauce is in the same category. The critical differences might give you a clear idea of the taste as well as the method to make.

Enchilada vs Taco Sauce

The difference between Enchilada and Taco Sauce is the ingredients used. While both the sauces are hot, Enchilada sauce is made by using chilli powder or chillies, while Taco sauce uses paprika. This s the vast difference because paprika is made out of dried red pepper. The chillies used in Enchilada sauce can be fresh or canned, while the spice for the taco sauce is derived from the cayenne pepper.

Enchilada sauce, typically smeared generously on Enchiladas, is a Mexican sauce that comes in different varieties. The different types of sauce differ in their ingredients. But the main ingredient is the chillies. The soaked Enchilada on the sauce gives a mouth-watering experience for its colour and texture. It is ideally made thick with soupy consistency that is stuffed inside the enchilada along with other ingredients.

As the name implies, Taco sauce is used to eat tacos. But the best part is, taco sauce can be used to eat fries, nachos and the likes. Though the consistency is similar to that of Enchilada sauce, it is more preferred light as you eat along with Tacos. The best part is, you can store the Taco sauce in the refrigerator for a longer period.

Comparison Table Between Enchilada and Taco Sauce

Parameters of ComparisonEnchiladaTaco Sauce
ConsistencyEnchilada Sauce is thick and always used the same way to give the savoury taste for the food items. Taco sauce is as thick as Enchilada can be diluted by adding water or vegetable broth.
Level of HeatEnchilada is considered hot when compared to Taco sauce.Taco sauce has honey or sugar syrup added that makes it less hot than the Enchilada Sauce.
Primary UseThe sauce is used to eat Enchiladas. It is added to the ingredients that are stuffed in the Corn Tortilla.Taco sauce is used to eat tacos, nachos, burritos and chips.
Main IngredientGreen ChilliesPaprika
Additional IngredientEnchilada uses Tomato paste.Taco Sauce uses Tomato sauce and not paste.

What is Enchilada?

Enchilada is a Mexican dish made by stuffing the corn tortilla with vegetables or meat. Enchilada sauce is added to add a savoury taste to the dish. The enchilada sauce is made using the following ingredients.

  1. Tomato Paste
  2. Olive Oil
  3. Chili Powder or Crushed Green Chilies
  4. Cumin
  5. Garlic
  6. Oregano
  7. Salt and Pepper

The ingredients are properly grounded and mixed with water or broth of vegetable or meat to add consistency to the sauce. The taste of the sauce largely depends on the chilli powder, while other ingredients add to the taste.

There are different types of Enchilada sauce available in Mexican cuisine. There is a slight change in the ingredients in each of them, but the usage of chillies is never restricted.

  1. The typical red sauce has tomato paste and other ingredients, as mentioned above.
  2. The green enchilada sauce uses green chillies, and no tomato paste is used while making this sauce.
  3. The white enchilada sauce is made by adding butter and cream.

The least spicy of the three is the third sauce. And that’s one of the reasons why it is little Mexican and not a complete Mexican savoury.

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What is Taco Sauce?

Taco sauce is also a Mexican sauce used to eat along with Tacos. The sauce is equally good to eat with chips and burritos. The sauce is argued to be hot, but for the sugar syrup that is added. Of course, you can customize the sauce as per your preference and avoid adding the sweetener.

However, the main ingredient that adds taste to the sauce is paprika. The ingredients used to make Taco sauce is

  1. Paprika
  2. Cumin
  3. Garlic
  4. Oregano
  5. Cayenne Pepper
  6. Onion Powder
  7. Salt and Pepper to taste

The highly customizable sauce is preferred to be light while eating tacos. At the same time, you can customize it for the spice by adding Oregano to the sauce too. Though there is a slight difference in taste between Enchilada and Taco sauce, the latter can be easily converted to the Enchilada sauce without much effort.

The tomato base used in the taco sauce makes the difference. Here the sauce is used, and there are no other variations in taco sauce, unlike the Enchilada sauce. Vinegar is also added to add spice to it, but it gives a tangy taste a few people may not like.

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Main Differences Between Enchilada and Taco Sauce

  1. The main difference between Enchilada and Taco Sauce is the usage of spices. The Enchilada sauce uses chillies, while paprika and cayenne pepper is used in Taco sauce.
  2. Enchilada sauce uses Tomato paste in one of its varieties of sauce, while Taco sauce uses only tomato sauce.
  3. There are different types of enchilada sauce available, whereas there is only one type that exists
  4. The enchilada sauce is good to use along with enchiladas, but taco sauce can be used in burritos and chips.
  5. Enchilada sauce does not contain any sweetener, while Taco sauce has a small amount of sugar syrup or honey added to it.


Both the sauces are incredibly good while eating their respective dishes. Enchilada will not be good if it is diluted, but Taco sauce retains its taste and best used in the diluted form with the tacos. The best part about the tacos sauce is it can be converted to enchilada by adding chilli powder to it. But the vice versa does not taste good. The richness of the sauce is experienced with enchilada as it also has meat broth or vegetable broth added to it.


  1. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jfp/article/44/4/284/188712/Microbial-Spoilage-of-Mexican-Style-Sauces
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2214799315001393

Last update on 2021-12-09 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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