This Green Enchilada Sauce recipe is made from roasted green chiles, onions, garlic, and some classic Mexican herbs and spices all in only 20 minutes! It’s easy to make and great for making enchiladas, chilaquiles and more.
One of my favorite things about Mexican food is all the flavorful sauces. And today we’re bringing you another one!
I’ve shared this authentic enchilada sauce made with whole dried chiles and Mexican chocolate, easy enchilada sauce made with common pantry ingredients like chili powder and this salsa verde recipe with you. And now I’m excited to finally be sharing this green enchilada sauce recipe! It’s about time, right?!
Ready in only 20 minutes, this sauce is super easy to make and better than any store-bought green enchilada sauce that I’ve ever tried. The best part is that you can customize the spice level and make it as hot or mild as you want!
Green enchilada sauce ingredients
Everything in this homemade green enchilada sauce is easy to find and source at your local grocery store. Here’s what you need:
- Green Chiles: I used Anaheim and Jalapeno peppers, but you could use others as well. See the ‘substitutions’ section below for more green chile pepper suggestions.
- Onions + Garlic: Always a winning duo in sauces, these two ingredients perfectly compliment the peppers.
- Mexican Herbs + Spices: A touch of ground cumin and dried oregano to add some earthy flavors.
- Cilantro + Lime Juice: Adds some brightness and acidity to compliment the roasted green chiles.
- Olive Oil: To lightly fry the sauce and help meld all the ingredients together.
- Broth: I used vegetable broth but you could also use chicken broth. This thins out the sauce to your liking.
Substitutions and Variations
If you don’t have Anaheim peppers (which are fairly mild), you could use Poblano Peppers (also fairly mild), Hatch/New Mexico chiles (mild-medium) or Cubanelle peppers (extremely mild).
Don’t want it spicy? Omit the jalapeno pepper. You could also remove and discard all the seeds and veins of the chiles since that’s where a lot of the heat comes from.
If you’re a chili lover and want to add more heat, you can use a serrano pepper instead of a jalapeno. (Learn more about chile peppers and their spice level on the scoville scale here.)
Love roasted tomatillos? You can roast one or two along with the green chiles to add in some of that bright acidic tomatillo flavor.
Ways to use green enchilada sauce
There are so many ways to use this green enchilada sauce in your everyday tex mex cooking! Here are some of my favorites:
- Enchiladas! You can use this sauce in pretty much any enchilada recipe. Just swap it out for the sauce in these weeknight enchiladas verdes or red chicken enchiladas.
- Easy Dinners! Use this sauce in dishes like quinoa enchilada bake or chicken enchilada stuffed sweet potatoes.
- Tex Mex Breakfasts! Drizzle it on top of migas or chilaquiles.
- 4 anaheim peppers (see notes for substitutions)
- 1 jalapeno pepper (optional – see notes)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, packed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
- Roast the peppers: Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and place anaheim peppers and jalapeno (if using) on top.
- Set your oven rack directly underneath the broiler and turn the broiler on. Broil peppers for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the skin is blackened and blistered.
- Remove them from the oven and loosely cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil or plastic wrap to keep in some of the heat and help them steam. Let them sit for 5 minutes.
- Pull and rub off as much of the loose skin on the peppers as possible. It doesn't have to be perfect, just as much as you can.
- Discard the stems. Make a vertical slit down the middle of the peppers with a knife and remove the seeds and veins. (You can leave them in if you prefer your sauce extra spicy.)
- Blend: Add the roasted peppers, onion, cilantro, garlic, cumin, salt, oregano and a splash of the vegetable broth to a large blender. Blend until completely smooth.
- Heat: Heat the olive oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Add the blended green enchilada sauce and lightly fry for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Season: Remove from heat and add the remaining vegetable broth and lime juice. Mix together, taste and season with more salt if necessary.
- Serve: Serve immediately or store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
- If you don’t have Anaheim peppers (which are fairly mild), you could use Poblano Peppers (also fairly mild), Hatch/New Mexico chiles (mild-medium) or Cubanelle peppers (extremely mild).
- Don’t want it spicy? Omit the jalapeno pepper. You could also remove and discard all the seeds and veins of the chiles since that’s where a lot of the heat comes from.
- If you’re a chili lover and want to add more heat, you can use a serrano pepper instead of a jalapeno.
- Love roasted tomatillos? You can roast one or two along with the green chiles to add in some of that bright acidic tomatillo flavor.