Quick and easy Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce made with tomatillos, peppers, onion, and cilantro that is packed with flavor and freezes well too.
Easy Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe
Green enchilada sauce is surprisingly easy to make with fresh tomatillos, peppers, onion, garlic, and cilantro. It’s made smooth in the blender and then cooked down to a thick texture.
Green enchilada sauce is one of those things you didn’t realize you were missing in your life until you try it for the first time. It’s so much better than anything you can buy in a can at the grocery store and you’ll be shocked that you ever used anything else.
Have you had homemade enchilada sauce before? It’s so magical! It’s such a simple way to add so much flavor to your favorite dishes and it’s easy.
I grow most of the vegetables called for in this recipe in my garden and I’ll often make a few large batches late in the summer and freeze them to use all winter long. It’s a great way to use up seasonal produce and store all that flavor away for the winter.
How long does enchilada sauce last?
Keep leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. When tomatillos and peppers are in season, late in the summer, I always make large batches to freeze for later in the winter.
What else can I use green enchilada sauce for?
This is one of those magic sauces that is so much more than it appears. Use it as a marinade for chicken and pork chops (I just add a little chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water to thin it out), cook your protein in it for tacos (pressure cooker or slow cooker both work great), or add a little olive oil to it to make a delicious salad dressing. It’s so full of flavor – put it on everything!
How do I pick the best tomatillos?
When buying tomatillos pick ones that have crispy tan husks and no blemishes.
What makes this sauce green?
This enchilada sauce is green because it has a base of tomatillos, Anaheim peppers, and cilantro. Those three things all blended up make this recipe very green.
Red enchilada sauce has a red chili base which gives it its color.
Video of how to make green enchilada sauce:
- Tomatillos: these are a fun vegetable that might not be known to you. They come in a papery husk and are smooth and limey green on the inside. When buying them look for tomatillos that have a crispy tan husk on the outside and feel firm to the touch. The tomatillo size doesn’t matter a lot (they can mature even at small sizes), but be sure it doesn’t have any obvious blemishes or soft spots where it’s starting to go bad.
- Anaheim peppers: these mild to lightly spicy peppers are easy to find and easy to work with. I’d say if they have any heat it’s normally just above a bell pepper and definitely less than a jalapeno.
- Cilantro: this fresh herbs gives it that classic Mexican flavor that we all love.
- Other herbs and spices: onion, garlic, jalapenos, and salt. These simple additions add a robustness to the sauce and give it a lot of flavor.
Can I freeze enchilada sauce?
Yes! It freezes wonderfully and that’s my preferred method of preserving it when I make large batches in the summer. If you aren’t making a large batch, consider simply doubling the recipe and saving half for later. I’m a big fan of cooking once and eating twice. To freeze, simple let the mixture cool and store it in a freezer safe container. Mark the lid and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
Ways to use homemade green enchilada sauce:
- Easy Shredded Meat and Corn Enchilada Bake
- Easy Chicken Enchiladas
- Cilantro Rice and Bean Bake (vegetarian enchilada casserole)
- One Pan Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchilada Bake
- You can also make your own enchilada filling with recipes like Instant Pot Chipotle Chicken Taco Meat or Easy Crispy Instant Pot Pork Taco Recipe and just roll them up and cover them with enchilada sauce and cheese.
- I also like to use green enchilada sauce as part of my homemade chili, it’s full of great flavor and is a nice addition to things like chili, taco soup, and bean dishes.
Quick and easy green enchilada sauce made with tomatillos, peppers, onion, and cilantro that is packed with flavor and freezes well too.
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 5–6 cloves garlic
- 2–4 Anaheim peppers, chopped
- 1–2 jalepenos, seeded
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and cut in half
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- Place all of the ingredients in the blender and process until smooth. (If the jar of your blender doesn’t fit it all, add all of the ingredients except for the chicken or vegetable stock. Add only enough stock to allow the blender to process everything until smooth. Add the rest of the stock to the pan before cooking)
- Add the blended mixture to a large pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 30 minutes. If the sauce is thicker than you like, add a little more chicken or vegetable stock.
- Serve inside burritos or pour it over enchiladas for a smothered styled meal. I also use this as part of my liquid in tortilla soup and chili!
- Freeze any extras for later use or make a double batch to keep some on hand in the freezer.
- If you’d like your enchilada sauce extra smooth, blend it a second time after you cook it to achieve a more velvety texture.
- Poblano peppers can be substituted for Anaheim in this recipe.
- To freeze, simply let the mixture cool and store it in a freezer safe container. Mark the lid and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before using.
- Category: Sauce
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: homemade enchilada sauce recipe, enchilada sauce recipe, easy enchilada sauce recipe, how to make enchilada sauce
Want To Save This Recipe?
I hope this quick and easy Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce makes your dinner just a little easier and as tasty as ever! Plus it freezes great, so make a double batch and keep some in the freezer for a busy night. Enjoy!