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What Is Green Enchilada Sauce?

Have you just perused a Mexican menu and stumbled upon the term “green enchilada sauce”?

Not quite sure what it was or what it tastes like?

Well, you’re in luck!

I’m here to walk you through all there is to know about it, what to expect from it, how to get the most out of it and best of all, how to make it!

But first things first…

What Is Green Enchilada Sauce?

Green enchilada sauce is a tangy, slightly spicy, and savory sauce made from tomatillos, green chilies, onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices. It’s perfect for smothering over enchiladas, tacos, burritos, and more, adding a mouthwatering burst of flavor to a variety of dishes.

What is green enchilada sauce made of?

Green enchilada sauce is typically made of tomatillos, green chilies (jalapeños, serranos, or poblanos), onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices like cumin and oregano.

Ingredient variations for green enchilada sauce may include swapping green chilies for milder peppers like Anaheim or Hatch chilies.

You can also add roasted poblano peppers for a smoky flavor.

Lime juice can be incorporated for extra tang, while using vegetable or chicken broth as a base adds depth.

Some recipes even call for adding sour cream or yogurt for a creamy, rich texture.

These variations allow you to customize the sauce to your taste preferences and desired level of heat.

What does green enchilada sauce taste like?

Green enchilada sauce tastes tangy, slightly spicy, and savory, with flavors from tomatillos, green chilies, onion, garlic, cilantro, and spices.

Its zesty, mouthwatering taste creates a delightful harmony in dishes, making it a popular choice for smothering over enchiladas, tacos, burritos, and more.

What To Eat Green Enchilada Sauce With


Obviously, green enchilada sauce was made to be drizzled over cheesy, stuffed tortillas.

Chicken, cheese, or veggie enchiladas are all great options to be smothered in this scrumptious sauce.

Burritos or Tacos

Give your next burrito or taco night a twist by swapping out your usual salsa for green enchilada sauce.

Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Huevos Rancheros

Pour some of that green goodness over a plate of huevos rancheros for a breakfast that’ll make you want to jump out of bed.


Amp up your chilaquiles game by swapping out the traditional red sauce for green enchilada sauce. Your taste buds will thank you.

Baked Chicken or Fish

Looking for a way to jazz up a simple protein? Coat your chicken or fish in green enchilada sauce and bake it to perfection.

Things To Know About Green Enchilada Sauce

Dishes It May Be Served With

Green enchilada sauce has its roots in Mexican cuisine and is often used in traditional dishes like enchiladas, chilaquiles, and huevos rancheros.

Spice Level

The spice level of green enchilada sauce can vary depending on the type of green chilies used.

If you prefer a milder sauce, opt for Anaheim or Hatch chilies, while jalapeños, serranos, or poblanos can kick up the heat.

Homemade vs. Store-Bought

While store-bought green enchilada sauce can be convenient, making your own sauce at home allows you to control the ingredients and adjust the flavors to your liking.

Plus, homemade sauce often tastes fresher and more vibrant.


Green enchilada sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If you’d like to keep it longer, consider freezing it in small portions for easy use in future meals.

It’s Adaptable

Green enchilada sauce is incredibly versatile and can be adjusted to suit various dietary preferences.

For a vegan version, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and for a creamier sauce, try adding sour cream or yogurt.

Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe

This homemade green enchilada sauce recipe combines tangy tomatillos, spicy green chilies, and savory spices to create a mouthwatering sauce perfect for drizzling over your favorite Mexican dishes. It's easy to make, adaptable, and suitable for various dietary preferences.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 1 lb tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2-3 green chilies (jalapeños, serranos, or poblanos, depending on heat preference)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


    1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place the tomatillos and green chilies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast them for 15-20 minutes, or until the tomatillos are softened and slightly charred.
    2. Remove the tomatillos and chilies from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, remove the stems and seeds from the chilies.
    3. In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted tomatillos, green chilies, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.
    4. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Pour the blended sauce into the saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    5. Add the vegetable or chicken broth to the saucepan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
    6. Your green enchilada sauce is now ready to serve! Pour it over enchiladas, tacos, burritos, or any other dish that could use a zesty kick.


  • Vegetarian: Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Vegan: Use vegetable broth and ensure that any dishes you serve with the sauce are also vegan-friendly.
  • Gluten-Free: This sauce is naturally gluten-free, but always check your spices and broth for potential gluten-containing ingredients.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1/4 Cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g
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