Get my newest recipe via email:

Green Enchilada Sauce

Since we’re on the cusp of St. Paddy’s Day, bring on the green. It’s been a month since I posted this recipe for authentic red enchilada sauce made with dried chiles. Don’t you think 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

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? Remove the seeds and veins.

ingredients for Green Enchilada Sauce

I can’t leave well enough alone; I play around and change my Mexican green sauce every time I make it. In a green salsa 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.

The year before that, salsa ingredients in this recipe spent minute or so on a hot griddle to give everything a good char, adding a smoky accent. There are times I make salsa verde without cilantro, too.

Green Enchilada Sauce

The difference in today’s sauce is that it’s cooked. First, boil tomatillos until they are just soft. (If you can’t find fresh, or if you want/need to save time,open a can of tomatillos.) Liquefy the tomatillos with raw serrano chiles, cilantro, onion, garlic and salt. Then heat the sauce with a tablespoon or so of oil. That little time in the skillet changes the flavor and color.

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 my new favorite. So far.

Thanks for reading. Get the latest recipe posts by email—subscribe here.

Are you following me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest?

Green Enchilada Sauce
Green Enchilada Sauce
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?
  • 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 []Real Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  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.)
  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.


  • 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

  • […] parsley. Tuck into soft corn tortillas with a dose of melty cheese and bathe liberally in a tangy tomatillo green salsa. That’s how you make these easy green enchiladas—emerald and sparkling with oh-yes spicy […] Reply · 7 March, 2015

  • […] over tortas de espinaca, is unique in that there’s no cilantro, which I (used to) always put in tomatillo sauce. I even called Carmen in Mexico to confirm that this salsa verde doesn’t include cilantro. Sí, […] Reply · 13 March, 2015

  • […] she ladles over tortas de espinaca, is unique in that there’s no cilantro, which I always put in tomatillo sauce. I even called Carmen in Mexico to confirm that her salsa verde doesn’t include cilantro. Sí, […] Reply · 14 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

Leave a Reply