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Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro

Since we’re on the cusp of St. Paddy’s Day, do you agree it’s time for a green enchilada sauce with fresh citrus-spicy serrano chiles, tart green tomatillos, and a handful of emerald cilantro? 

Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro

For green enchilada sauce the tomatillos are boiled until they are just soft, about 5 minutes. (If you can’t find fresh tomatillos, open a can of tomatillos.) When the tomatillos are soft, liquefy them in a blender with raw serrano chiles, cilantro, onion, garlic and salt. Lastly, heat the sauce with a tablespoon or so of oil–a few minutes of skillet time changes the flavor and color of this green sauce.

CLICK HERE TO PIN Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro

Mexican green sauces, like Mexican red sauces, come in different shades of both color and picante bite, some spicy hot, some not so. The variations depend on the ratio of green chiles, cilantro and tomatillos, whether or not you char the ingredients, and if the sauce gets cooked after it’s blended.

You want spicy green salsa? Chop the chiles with the seeds and veins intact. Want flavor but mild spice? Just remove the seeds and veins.

ingredients for Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro

I can’t leave well enough alone. I play around and change Mexican green sauce, depending on its use. In the green salsa verde table sauce recipe I posted last year, I kept the ingredients raw, except for the tomatillos to make refreshingly tart salsa that’s nice for chip dipping.

In another recipe, I show how to roast the salsa ingredients for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with a delicious smoky accent. And there’s my salsa verde without cilantro, a simple sauce for incredible spinach tortas.

Final quick cook of Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro

I love these tart green sauces poured over enchiladas, and any combination of tomatillos, chiles and cilantro suits me just fine. This green enchilada sauce is the one you want to pour and bake over filled and rolled tortillas for green enchiladas!

For a colorful casserole, pour green enchilada sauce on one long side of the pan, and authentic red enchilada sauce on the other, then sprinkle white cheese down the middle. Your baked enchiladas will look like the Mexican flag!

Make it a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and get spicy!

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Green Enchilada Sauce
Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro
Prep Time
5 mins
Total Time
5 mins
 

This sauce is super easy to make in a blender. To make it even quicker, use canned tomatillos. Bathe your enchiladas, or try it as a sauce for grilled veggies—yum! Makes about 3 cups sauce.

Course: Component
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan
Servings: 3 cups.
Author: Letty Flatt | Letty's Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 12 medium tomatillos , or 1 (26-ounce) can, drained
  • 1 large onion , coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , minced
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves , chopped
  • 2 serrano chiles (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. Drop the tomatillos into boiling water and cook for several minutes, mostly to remove the paper-like skin. (Alternatively open a can of tomatillos and drain off the water.)

  2. Place the clean tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro, serrano chiles and salt in a blender. Whirl until smooth.
  3. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet. Add the tomatillo mixture; cook and stir for 3 or 4 minutes. If you think the sauce is too thick, thin with a little water.
Recipe Notes

For maximum picante heat, chop the chiles with the seeds and veins intact. For milder heat yet the same wonderful chile flavor, remove the seeds and veins.

6 comments

  • Judi G.

    I have never seen canned tomatillos but I have never looked for them, always use fresh ones. Reply · 28 February, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks for the note. I have seen canned tomatillos in Latino markets and in grocery stores too! Reply · 2 March, 2015

  • Happy Monday! Just letting you know that I featured this recipe in my Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb Recipes Round-Up for last month. Hope a lot of my readers will click over here and try it! Reply · 2 March, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Kalyn! I appreciate you! Reply · 2 March, 2015

  • niki

    I JUST made this….Heaven! I used the can tomatillos and it is delicious and was SO easy. Reply · 18 December, 2015

    • So glad you found it easy—I have the fresh ingredients in the fridge here in Los Barriles but need to make this asap too! Reply · 18 December, 2015

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