Roasted peppers and tomatillos create the most flavorful homemade green enchilada sauce, perfect for chicken or vegetable enchiladas, chilaquiles or casseroles!

Add an avocado to make this recipe into a creamy enchilada sauce! It’s gluten free, vegan and easy to make in 20 minutes!

green enchilada sauce in mason jar

Making your own homemade sauce takes a little extra time, but is SO WORTH THE EFFORT! It’s amazing the difference in taste when making a fresh, homemade sauce, instead of using a store bought sauce out of a jar.

When making red enchilada sauce, I ALWAYS double the recipe, and you better believe I’m doing the same for this green enchilada sauce! Having extra on hand means you can make multiple recipes with the sauce in one week, or you can freeze extra for later.

This green enchilada sauce was inspired by my desire to make a Chilaquiles Verdes that was just as delicious as my popular Chilaquiles Rojos! Of course, the most important part of chilaquiles is the sauce. I’ve been making a creamy avocado green enchilada sauce for years, but never a traditional green enchilada sauce.

After weeks of testing the perfect flavor to spice ratio, I’m here today to introduce you all to THE BEST green enchilada sauce! It’s got tons of flavor and a little spice. It’s healthy, vegan and easy to make, a winning combination!

ingredients for homemade green enchilada sauce

Ingredients you’ll need

  • Tomatillos – these are the little green guys, wrapped in husks at the top left of the picture. They’re found in almost every major grocery store in the produce section. A tomatillo is also known as a Mexican husk tomato and it’s a main ingredient in salsa verde. It’s also used in other Mexican green sauces, soups, stews and salads.
  • Anaheim peppers – these peppers are slightly spicier than poblano peppers. If you can’t find anaheim peppers, poblanos are a great substitute. If you can’t find either of the peppers, or would rather not roast your own peppers, you can use a can of diced green chilies instead.
  • Jalapeno pepper – a jalapeno is spicier than an anaheim or poblano pepper, so I like to throw one in the mix to spice up the sauce!
  • Red onion – other colors of onions will also work for this recipe. I simply prefer red for it’s flavor and color!
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Lime juice – always fresh squeezed, please! It’s so much better than the stuff from the squeeze bottle.
  • Garlic cloves
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Vegetable broth – chicken broth or water may also be used. If using vegetable broth or water, this recipe is vegan. While vegetable broth or chicken broth will add more flavor, if you don’t have any on hand, water can be used in it’s place. If adding water, taste the sauce after it’s complete, it might need a little more salt without the broth.
collage of images showing how to make green enchilada sauce

Step by step instructions

  1. Roast the tomatillos, peppers and onions.
    • Turn the oven broiler on to high
    • Remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse the outside, then place the fruit on a foil-lined baking sheet.
    • Add the anaheim and jalapeno peppers to the baking sheet.
    • Cut half of a red onion in half again and place the quarters on the baking sheet.
    • Place the baking sheet on a rack 6-8 inches from the broiler in the oven.
    • Broil everything for 5 minutes.
    • Remove from the oven and flip the peppers, tomatillos and onion, then place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
    • Remove from the oven and add the roasted tomatillos and onions to a blender.
  2. Peel the peppers.
    • Cover the anaheim and jalapeno peppers on the baking sheet with another piece of foil to keep in some of the heat and help steam the peppers.
    • Let them sit under the foil for 5 minutes.
    • Remove the top piece of foil and peel the black skin from the peppers.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
    • Roughly chop the roasted, peeled peppers and add them to the blender with the roasted tomatillos and onion.
    • Add cilantro, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and vegetable broth to the blender.
    • Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.
  4. Store in a mason jar in the refrigerator until ready to use.
green enchilada sauce in mason jar

Frequently asked questions

  • How much enchilada sauce does this recipe make? It makes approximately 3 cups, or 24 ounces of sauce. This should be enough sauce to make 16 enchiladas, or two pans of 8 enchiladas each.
  • Is this recipe gluten free? Yes, this recipe is gluten-free. While most vegetable broth is naturally gluten-free, it’s always a good idea to check the label if you’re gluten-intolerant.
  • Is this recipe vegan? Yes, as long as vegetable broth is used in this recipe, it is vegan.
  • What is the difference between salsa verde and green enchilada sauce? A salsa is served raw, whereas a sauce is cooked. While the enchilada sauce is not cooked yet, it will be cooked into whatever recipe you use it in. Also, salsa verde does not typically contain any added liquid, like vegetable broth or water. It’s just straight blended tomatillos, peppers and spices.
  • What is the difference between red enchilada sauce and green enchilada sauce? Red enchilada sauce is made with tomatoes and ground red chili powder, whereas green enchilada sauce is made with tomatillos and roasted green chilies.
  • Is red or green enchilada sauce hotter? It depends on the amount of chilies and type of chilies used in the sauce. This recipe for green enchilada sauce is spicier than my recipe for homemade red enchilada sauce.

Tips and tricks

  • If you can’t find anaheim or poblano peppers, or want to skip roasting your own peppers, you can use a can of diced green chilies. Replace the 4 anaheim peppers and 1 jalapeno pepper with an 8 ounce can of diced green chilies. If using mild diced green chilies in the can, the enchilada sauce will be much milder than if using roasted anaheim and jalapeno peppers.
  • If you want to make a mild enchilada sauce, ditch the jalapeno. This sauce is on the spicier side because I use the entire pepper, seeds and all, to make the sauce. The anaheim peppers are on the mild side, so you can still make a mild sauce using these peppers. Just ditch the jalapeno and feel free to add another anaheim pepper in it’s place, or roast a green bell pepper instead.
  • To make a double batch, or triple batch, of the sauce simply hover over the number of servings in the recipe card below. To double the amount of sauce, slide the servings up to 48 ounces. The ingredient amounts in the recipe card will automatically update for the desired serving amount.
  • The sauce will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • This sauce can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure if you’re storing it in a glass container, such as a mason jar, that you leave at least 1 inch of space at the top of the jar for the sauce to expand. You can also store the sauce in freezer-safe bags, making sure to push any extra air out as you’re sealing the bag.
  • To make a creamy green enchilada sauce, add one avocado to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.
green enchilada sauce in mason jar

How to make chicken enchiladas with green sauce

This quick and easy enchilada recipe will definitely become a new weeknight favorite!

  1. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on a large plate.
  3. Place a tortilla in the plate of sauce and press down to make sure the bottom of the tortilla is covered in the sauce.
  4. Spoon a thin layer of sauce on the side of the tortilla facing up.
  5. Add 1/4 cup cooked, shredded chicken to the middle of the tortilla and sprinkle with shredded pepper jack cheese.
    • Note: The cooked, shredded chicken could be removed from a rotisserie chicken, or you could use this recipe to make Pressure Cooker Chicken Taco Meat. It’s made quickly and easily in an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker.
  6. Roll the tortilla up and place it in the baking dish.
  7. Repeat the 4 steps above another 7 times to create 8 enchiladas.
  8. Spoon another light layer of sauce over the enchiladas in the baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle shredded pepper jack cheese in an even layer over the enchiladas.
  10. Bake in a 350°F oven for 20 minutes.

How to make slow cooker chicken enchilada soup

This super easy soup recipe can be prepped in just 5 minutes. Let the slow cooker do it’s thing, then come home to a delicious dinner!

  1. Add 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts to the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Add 1 cup diced onion, 4 cups chicken broth and 2 cups of green enchilada sauce.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours, or high for 4 hours.
  4. Shred the chicken in the slow cooker with two forks.
  5. Serve the soup, topped with shredded cheese, diced avocado, chopped cilantro or tortilla strips.
collage of images showing green enchilada sauce in jar and mixed into chilaquiles on plate

What else can you make with the sauce?

  • Veggie Enchiladas – ditch the red sauce and try using green sauce in these vegetarian enchiladas filled with mushrooms and squash.
  • Low Carb Enchiladas – replace the tortillas in your next batch of enchiladas, with strips of zucchini. These low carb enchiladas are traditionally made with red sauce, but are also delicious with this green sauce!
  • Chilaquiles (pictured above) – make a delicious dish of chilaquiles verdes with this scrumptious sauce!
  • Tex Mex Migas – instead of salsa, try mixing this green enchilada sauce into these Tex Mex migas. A fun Texas-style breakfast recipe that I know you’re going to love!
  • Chicken Enchilada Casserole – shredded chicken, quinoa, enchilada sauce and plenty of cheese, make this a casserole you’ll want to eat again and again!
  • Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers – this fun spin on enchiladas is easy to make and perfect for a weeknight meal!

More homemade sauce recipes to try

mason jar of green enchilada sauce
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Green Enchilada Sauce

Roasted peppers and tomatillos create the most flavorful homemade green enchilada sauce, perfect for chicken or vegetable enchiladas, chilaquiles or casseroles!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 4 anaheim peppers, or poblano peppers
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • ½ red onion, quartered
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh-squeezed
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable broth, or water

Instructions

  • Turn the oven broiler on to high.
  • Place the tomatillos, anaheim peppers, jalapeno and red onion on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet on a rack 6-8 inches from the broiler in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven, flip the peppers, tomatillos and onion and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove them from the oven and move the tomatillos and onions to a blender.
  • Loosely cover the peppers on the baking sheet with aluminum foil to keep in some of the heat and help them steam. Let them sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the top layer of foil and peel the black skin from the peppers.
  • Roughly chop the peppers, then add them to a blender with the roasted onion and tomatillos.
  • Add the cilantro, lime juice, garlic, cumin, salt and vegetable broth to the blender.
  • Blend all of the ingredients together until smooth.

Notes

  • This recipe makes approximately 3 cups, or 24 ounces of sauce. This should be enough sauce to make 16 enchiladas, or two pans of 8 enchiladas each.
  • If you can’t find anaheim or poblano peppers, or want to skip roasting your own peppers, you can use a can of diced green chilies. Replace the 4 anaheim peppers and 1 jalapeno pepper with an 8 ounce can of diced green chilies. If using mild diced green chilies in the can, the enchilada sauce will be much milder than if using roasted anaheim and jalapeno peppers.
  • If you want to make a mild enchilada sauce, ditch the jalapeno. This sauce is on the spicier side because I use the entire pepper, seeds and all, to make the sauce. The anaheim peppers are on the mild side, so you can still make a mild sauce using these peppers, just ditch the jalapeno and feel free to add another anaheim pepper in it’s place, or roast a green bell pepper instead.
  • To make a double batch, or triple batch, of the sauce simply hover over the number of servings in the recipe card below. To double the amount of sauce, slide the servings up to 48 ounces. The ingredient amounts in the recipe card will automatically update for the desired serving amount.
  • The sauce will stay good in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
  • This sauce can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure if you’re storing it in a glass container, such as a mason jar, that you leave at least 1 inch of space at the top of the jar for the sauce to expand. You can also store the sauce in freezer-safe bags, making sure to push any extra air out as you’re sealing the bag.
  • To make a creamy green enchilada sauce, add one avocado to the blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 87kcal (4%)Carbohydrates 18g (6%)Protein 2g (4%)Fat 2g (3%)Saturated Fat 1g (5%)Sodium 1185mg (49%)Potassium 482mg (14%)Fiber 6g (24%)Sugar 10g (11%)Vitamin A 410mg (8%)Vitamin C 38mg (46%)Calcium 28mg (3%)Iron 2mg (11%)
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