This easy green enchilada sauce recipe is tangy and delicious with roasted chilies, tomatillos, and fresh herbs, so much better than store bought!
Easy Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe
You know what I love about a good green enchilada sauce? It's the combination of roasted tomatillos and roasted chili peppers. Tomatillos are staple Mexican ingredients and they're easy to cook with.
While they look just like little green tomatoes with a papery outer layer that you must peel away, they have a different taste and are quite different from the tomatoes you're used to.
You can eat tomatillos raw, but they are so good when roasted and blended, especially with other staple Mexican ingredients, like the chili peppers, fresh herbs, and all those outstanding seasonings.
It's a lot like a salsa verde, but for enchiladas!
You can customize a recipe to your personal preference that particular day. In the mood for more garlic? Toss in a couple more cloves. I usually do!
So much better than anything you'll get from the grocery store.
Let's talk about how to make green enchilada sauce! So quick and easy!
Green Enchilada Sauce Ingredients
- Tomatillos. We'll roast them for delicious flavor and body.
- Garlic. Also roasted for depth and mellowness.
- Fresh Chili Peppers. I'm using a combination of jalapeno peppers, poblano peppers, and serrano peppers for a nice balance of heat and flavor.
- Spices. Fresh cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and salt and black pepper.
- Chicken Broth. You can also use vegetable broth.
- Lime Juice.
How to Make Green Enchilada Sauce - The Recipe / Method
Prep the Tomatillos. First, let's roast our tomatillos. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Peel away the dry husk and rinse the tomatillos.
Chop them in half and set them skin sides up onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
Prep the Chili Peppers. Next, slice all of the peppers in half lengthwise and set them onto the baking sheet. You might need more than one sheet.
Also, remove the innards of the poblano before placing them.
Broil the Tomatillos, Chilies, and Garlic. Add the garlic to the baking sheet and bake for 20 - 30 minutes, or until the pepper skins are nice and charred.
You can also broil them, but don't set them too close to the heat source. Remove from heat and let everything cool a bit.
Peel the Skins. Peel the skins from the roasted green chiles and add the peppers to a food processor with the tomatillos.
Squeeze the garlic from their skins and into the food processor they go.
Add the Spices and Process. Toss in the cilantro, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper. Process everything to combine the mixture.
Chicken Broth. Next, pour in the chicken broth and process the whole thing until nice and smooth.
Simmer the Sauce. Finally, pour the green chili enchilada sauce into a pan or a pot and simmer for 5 minutes or so to let the flavors fully develop.
Use as desired! It's time to make some enchiladas verde, my friends!
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Feel free to adjust the ratios of ingredients to your preference, such as doubling the lime juice or cutting back on the fresh herbs.
- Consider other herbs, such as fresh Mexican oregano or parsley, as a flavorful variation.
- For a thinner sauce, add a bit more chicken broth or water to achieve a consistency you prefer.
Adjusting the Heat Factor
Want to keep it milder? Omit the serranos and even the jalapenos if those are too hot for you, and focus on the poblano peppers, which are outstanding peppers in their own right, especially when roasted.
Serving Ideas for Green Enchilada Sauce
Green enchilada sauce is a versatile and flavorful sauce that can be used in a variety of ways to add a burst of flavor to your meals, and not just for making enchiladas. Here are some other serving ideas.
- Enchiladas. Enchiladas are the obvious use for this amazing sauce. Try my Chicken Enchiladas Verde recipe, or these others: Chicken Enchilada Casserole Verde, One-Pot Enchilada Stew.
- Tacos or Taco Bowls. Use green enchilada sauce as a taco sauce to add a tangy and spicy kick to your tacos. Drizzle it over grilled or roasted meats, seafood, or vegetables, and top with your favorite taco toppings. Patty LOVES it on Cochinita Pibil.
- Eggs. Elevate your breakfast game by serving green enchilada sauce over scrambled eggs or as a base for a breakfast skillet, like this huevos rancheros.
- Nachos. Use green enchilada sauce as a topping to change up your favorite nachos recipe. Layer tortilla chips with shredded cheese, black beans, diced tomatoes, and jalapenos, then bake until melted and bubbly. Drizzle with green enchilada sauce and serve with sour cream and guacamole for a crowd-pleasing appetizer or snack. Try this breakfast version of chilaquiles verdes.
- Dressing. Mix green enchilada sauce with Mexican crema, sour cream or yogurt for a creamy, tangy and dressing for salads, bowls, or dip.
- Marinade. Use it as a marinade for meats or vegetables for a few hours or overnight before grilling, roasting, or sautéing for a burst of flavor.
These are just a few ideas for serving green enchilada sauce. It's great with any Mexican food. Get creative and experiment with different dishes to enjoy the delicious flavors of this classic Mexican sauce.
You can store your green enchilada sauce in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 5 days, though it may last a bit longer with the acidic lime juice.
Green enchilada sauce freezes very well. Just freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 6 months.
To enjoy it again, thaw it and gently warm in a pot. Then it's enchilada time!
If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #ChiliPepperMadness on Instagram so we can take a look. I always love to see all of your spicy inspirations. Thanks! -- Mike H.
Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound tomatillos
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 2 poblano peppers
- 2 serrano peppers
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- ½ tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon spicy chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Juice from 1 lime
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel away the dry husk and rinse the tomatillos. Chop them in half and set them skin sides up onto a lightly oiled baking sheet.
- Slice all of the peppers in half lengthwise and set them onto the baking sheet. You might need more than one sheet. Also, remove the innards of the poblano before placing them.
- Add the garlic to the baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the pepper skins are nice and charred. You can also broil them, but don't set them too close to the heat source. Remove from heat and let everything cool a bit.
- Peel the skins from the peppers, if desired, and add to a food processor with tomatillos. Squeeze the garlic from their skins and into the food processor they go.
- Add cilantro, cumin, chili powder and salt and pepper.
- Process to combine.
- Add chicken broth and lime juice and process until smooth.
- Pour the green enchilada sauce into a pan or a pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes or so to let the flavors fully develop.
This recipe was updated on 4/28/23 to include new images and a video because it is such a great recipe! Originally published on 4/23/15.