Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce is an easy, roasted tomatillo enchilada sauce recipe that’s fresh, flavorful and comes together in minutes!

green enchilada sauce in bowl with spoon pouring

I can’t tell you how often I develop recipes and I don’t have time to fit them all in.  They sit on the back burner until I can, and sometimes it’s not until the next season.  

I’ve wanted to share this green enchilada sauce recipe with you for what feels like forever!  I made it a few times back in March, but wasn’t able to share it as my editorial calendar was filled with other posts to publish.

Talk about a traffic jam. 🙂

I was originally going to publish something else today, but I shifted things around in order to get this recipe to you in time for Cinco de Mayo. 

You need it…trust me. 

bowl of enchilada sauce with chopped cilantro on top

Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — homemade always tastes best.  This sauce is living proof.

You can tell how fresh it tastes just by looking at it, can’t you?  You’ll never get that from a can or a jar.

What is green enchilada sauce made of?

Green enchilada sauce, or verde sauce, primarily consists of tomatillos, green chilies, onions and garlic.  

Sometimes spices such as cumin are included, as well as cilantro.

I prefer green enchilada sauce because I adore tomatillos.  See my tomatillo produce guide for more information and recipe inspiration!

plate of tomatillows, cilantro and jalapeno

Green enchilada sauce vs. salsa verde

The main difference between green enchilada sauce (verde sauce) and salsa verde is that enchilada sauce is cooked, and salsa verde is raw.

Enchilada sauce also requires liquid (either stock or water), but salsa verde ingredients are simply blended together and eaten as is.

How to make green enchilada sauce

The best part about this green enchilada sauce recipe is that it’s extremely easy to make.  There are a few steps involved, but they’re simple steps.

I chose to roast mine because I love the flavor, but you can skip this step and boil the tomatillos by following this green enchilada sauce recipe.

Toss the tomatillos, chilies, onion and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven until browned on all sides, turning as necessary, for about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Remove the garlic from the skins and remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.  If you like a spicy green enchilada sauce, go ahead and use those seeds, or even more chilies. 🙂

Place the mixture and all of the juices into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. 

Place the sauce, water or stock, and salt to taste in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce reaches the desired thickness, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as needed and stir in the chopped cilantro. 

bowl of enchilada sauce with spoon

Recipe tips and substitutions

Increase the amount of chilies to make a spicy green enchilada sauce.  Jalapeños, hatch, anaheim and poblanos are all great options.

For a delicious low FODMAP green enchilada sauce, see the recipe notes.

Enchilada sauce is great for meal prep!  Make the sauce in advance or freeze until ready to use.

enchilada sauce in bowl with spoon dripping sauce

More tomatillo recipes!

Chicken Verde Enchilada Bake with Heirloom Cherry Tomato Salsa

Mango Tomatillo Guacamole

Slow Cooker Chicken Salsa Verde Tortilla Soup

Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Yield: About 3 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce is an easy, roasted tomatillo enchilada sauce recipe that's fresh, flavorful and comes together in minutes!
Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or neutral flavored oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs. tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 1 large white onion, peeled, halved and sliced into 1" thick half moons
  • 2-4 large chile peppers, such as Jalapeños, hatch, anaheim and poblanos (use more chilies if you'd like a spicier sauce)
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 1/2 cups water or reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss the tomatillos, chilies, onion and garlic with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sea salt, to taste on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven until the vegetables have browned well on all sides, for a total of about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Remove the garlic from the skins and remove the stems and seeds from the chilies. If you like a spicy green enchilada sauce, go ahead and use those seeds.
  4. Place the vegetables and all of the juices into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. 
  5. Place the sauce, water or stock, salt and pepper to taste in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce reaches the desired thickness, about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning as needed and stir in the chopped cilantro. 

Notes

  • For low FODMAP green enchilada sauce, omit the white onion and garlic, and use water instead of stock. Add 1/2 cup raw chopped green onions (dark green parts only) to the sauce and blend in the blender with the tomatillo mixture. Proceed as directed from there!
  • For a spicy green enchilada sauce, increase the amount of chili peppers according to your taste.
  • I love adding my cilantro at the end for the flecks of green, but you may also blend the cilantro leaves with the tomatillo mixture instead and proceed as directed.
  • Sauce will keep in an air tight container in the fridge for up to one week or in the freezer for 3 months.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1/2 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 84 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 4mg Sodium: 191mg Carbohydrates: 10g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 6g Protein: 4g
Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made.

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