Raisin Red Chile Enchilada Sauce

Cheese enchiladas in a raisin red chile enchilada sauce

I wasn’t always a sugar freak. In fact as a young girl I would lean toward the savory side always buying chips and pickles instead of candy. When I did want sugar I grabbed for a piece of fruit, and it was always special if I could get some raisins. My Mom use to buy me little boxes of raisins, brown or golden, I just adored eating them.

A bowl of California raisinsAs I got older I was fascinated when I found out raisins were part of a recipe. It could be cookies, arroz con leche, but what really made my head spin was the fact that people used raisins in mole as a way to naturally sweeten the recipe.

There is a Mexican restaurant here in Los Angeles that I absolutely love, and when you first arrive they serve this little bowl of red chile that has a slight sweet taste after the chile kick. It took me a long time to figure out what that special little sweetness was. Finally I asked the chef of the restaurant what that special after taste was, and he said raisins. Just raisins.

A few weeks ago I craved enchiladas with a slight sweetness in the chile, the way they serve it at that Mexican restaurant I love. I started to play with different combos til I got exactly what I was craving. What I found was if I used a combo of golden and brown raisins it made the perfect sweet taste in my chile.  Once the sauce was made, I prepared a simple batch of cheese enchiladas with queso quesadilla. I poured my raisin red chile enchilada sauce over the top, then topped it off with a nice variety of California raisins. This was one of the best sauces I had ever had on enchiladas. I will make it again and again.

ingredients for raisin red chile enchilada sauce

Ingredients for raisin red chile enchilada sauce:

  • 3 – dried ancho chiles
  • 2 – dried California chiles
  • 2 – dried New Mexico chiles
  • 1 – tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 – onion
  • 1 – tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/3 – cup mixed California raisins
  • 4 – garlic cloves
  • 2 – cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place all dried chiles in a pot filled halfway with water over a medium flame. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 30 minutes or until soft. Set to the side. Reserve the water chiles were boiled in. Ancho, new mexico and california chiles boiling to soften
  2. In a small frying pan over a medium flame add vegetable oil and allow it to get hot. Fry the onion until browned on all sides. an onion browned on all sides by frying
  3. Remove stems from chile and place in a blender along with onion, sesame seeds, raisins, garlic cloves, 1 cup of water chiles were boiled in, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. all ingredients for raisin red chile sauce in blender
  4. Pour sauce through strainer and pour chicken broth on top to help strain the chile. strain blended enchilada sauce through sieve
  5. Make a simple batch of cheese enchiladas. cheese enchiladas about to go in the oven
  6. Pour raisin red chile enchilada sauce on top of cheese enchiladas.
  7. Enjoy!

A batch of cheese enchiladas topped raisin red chile sauce

For more information about all-natural, no-sugar added California raisins and for recipe inspiration, please visit www.loveyourraisins.com, or get social at www.facebook.com/californiaraisins.

This is a sponsored post by California Raisins.  The recipe and opinions are my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.