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Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro

This green enchilada sauce with fresh citrus-spicy serrano chiles, tart green tomatillos, and a handful of emerald cilantro is super easy to make in your blender. You can make it with fresh tomatillos or to make it even quicker, use canned tomatillos. Bathe your enchiladas, or try it as a sauce for grilled veggies—yum! Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro

CLICK HERE TO PIN 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.

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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Nutrition Facts
Green Enchilada Sauce with Tomatillos and Cilantro
Amount Per Serving
Calories 36 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Sodium 195mg8%
Potassium 111mg3%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Sugar 1g1%
Vitamin A 95IU2%
Vitamin C 5.4mg7%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • 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

  • Carolyn Sterrett

    So easy and so delicious! Reply · 12 January, 2020

    • Thank you so much Carolyn! I’m delighted you like this recipe! Reply · 13 January, 2020

  • Melanie Yassini

    Can this be frozen to be used in future dishes? I’m making a big batch Reply · 15 August, 2020

    • Absolutely you can freeze this sauce! Make that big batch and enjoy later too. Reply · 16 August, 2020

  • Patricia

    I made this recipe and it was delicious but more of a salsa than a sauce or maybe you need a high end blender? The liquid in my sauce separated from the “pulp” and I couldn’t get it the correct consistency. Any tips are appreciated! Reply · 10 June, 2022

    • Thanks Patricia. You’re absolutely right. You want to blend the sauce until it’s smooth with no chunks remaining. It might take a minute in a blender to get it smooth. Reply · 11 June, 2022

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