You can’t have enchiladas for dinner without this Green Enchilada Sauce. It’s easy to make and full of Mexican flavor!
What's In This Article
Homemade enchilada sauce doesn’t get any better than this Green Enchilada Sauce recipe. Fresh and delicious, it’s perfect for topping any Mexican dish!
A couple of weeks ago, we had an entire Mexican fiesta, complete with tacos, nachos and, of course, enchiladas. When we have Mexican at home, I like to go all out- there are just so many delicious dishes to choose from, that I usually make several.
So along with all of the other ingredients I needed for our in-home fiesta, I picked up a bottle of green enchilada sauce at the store to go with our enchiladas.
Make sure you PIN Green Enchilada Sauce!
While the enchiladas were excellent (if I do say so myself,) the store bought sauce was kind of lackluster. It was missing something that I just couldn’t put my finger on.
So in typical foodie fashion, I set out to make my own homemade enchilada sauce recipe.
Do you ever make your own condiments? I love making sauces and condiments at home because I know exactly what goes into them. Plus I can season and flavor them to my liking, unlike a store bought version.
There are so many variations of green enchilada sauce. Different ingredients, some are smoked and others roasted. Or like mine, just straight up ingredients, simple and easy. This is a mix between my pork chile verde and tomatillo salsa.
Enchilada sauce doesn’t have to just be for enchiladas either. You can use it on smothered burritos, nachos, as a dipping sauce for tortilla chips or really as a topper on any delicious Mexican food dish.
Some call for roasting the onions, tomatillos, garlic and jalapeno. This extra step dramatically changes the flavor of your green enchilada sauce. While I love this flavor, I don’t have time for that.
To make this green enchilada sauce, you start by heating vegetable oil in a heavy-bottom pan over medium high heat. Next, add the tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic and onion and stir until softened (about 5-8 minutes.)
Once softened, add in the cumin, chicken broth, green chiles and cilantro and simmer for about five minutes. Then with an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it is smooth.
Next, you’ll want to mix the cornstarch with a small amount of water (to prevent clumps) and then add it to the enchilada sauce mixture. Whisk it all together until the sauce begins to thicken.
Once your sauce reaches a consistency that you like, mix in the lime juice and honey. And that’s it! You can serve this sauce right away, or save it for later use.
How to Roast Your Own Chiles
If you want to do a roasted enchilada sauce, instead of softening the vegetables in the sauce pan, place them on a baking sheet at 350 for about 20-30 minutes, or until they are softened.
Turn the broiler on high for 2-3 minutes or until they start to char to finish them off. Transfer the vegetables to a heavy bottom saucepan and pick up at step two.
You can also make Christmas style enchiladas or smothered burritos by using half red enchilada sauce and half green enchilada sauce!
Questions you might have about how to make green enchilada sauce:
Is green enchilada sauce gluten free? My recipe for green enchilada is gluten free! While most use flour, I use cornstarch, a natural gluten free thickener. You can also use arrowroot.
Can I make enchilada sauce without cilantro? You sure can. Nearly 50% of the population have an identifiable gene that makes cilantro taste like dirt or soap. Just omit it and you’ll still have a delicious green enchilada sauce.
Do I need to use an immersion blender or food processor? I would highly suggest it, but if you don’t, you’ll still get all the flavors, just with a little more texture. I would recommend finely mincing all the vegetables instead of a rough chop if this is your plan.
However, if you aren’t doing this because you don’t have one or either of these appliances, I highly suggest purchasing one or both. They are my cheapest and most highly used kitchen tools! See links below for the ones I use.
Do I need to peel the skin off my tomato? For this enchilada sauce recipe, I leave them on, but you are welcome to peel them if you’d like. Check out my tutorial and video on How to Peel a Tomato!
I want to make my homemade enchilada sauce spicy! I hear ya, if my nose doesn’t have sweat beads, it isn’t spicy enough. If you’d like to amp up the spice, simply add a couple more jalapenos!
Can I freeze green enchilada sauce? You sure can! Follow my easy steps for freezing and keep it good for up to 6 months!
If you liked this green sauce recipe, check out these other homemade sauces:
Tools for making Green Enchilada Sauce:
Heavy Bottom Sauce Pan– this will be one of your most used kitchen tools. Having something that is heavy bottom will distribute heat better and prevent burning whether you are using an electric or gas range.
Mini Food Processor– I use this thing daily! It is by far my most used kitchen appliance, it is small and I throw all the parts into the dishwasher, well except the base and cord, of course!
Immersion Blender– Also known as a stick blender, these are excellent for processing food while still in the cooking vessel. great for soups and sauce.
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Green Enchilada Sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tomatillos , roughly chopped and and cored
- 3 garlic cloves , peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 white onion , chopped
- 1 jalapeno , seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 12 ounces diced green chiles , canned
- 2 tablespoons cilantro , chopped and optional
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
- Heat vegetable oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium-high heat.
- Add tomatillos, garlic, onion and jalapeno. Stir until ingredients have softened, about 5-8 minutes.
- Add cumin, chicken broth, diced green chiles and cilantro. Bring to a low simmer, about 5 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender (stick blender), blend sauce until smooth.
- Whisk cornstarch with a small amount of water, adding to to enchilada sauce. and whisking until sauce starts to thicken.
- When sauce reaches desired texture, whisk in lime juice and honey or agave nectar.
- Serve immediately or store for later.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was!