Green enchilada sauce is an easy way to get fresh, authentic flavors in your dishes. Try this recipe and you may never buy canned sauce again.
If you like my Easy Red Enchilada Sauce, you will love this alternative. I’ll show you how to make green enchilada sauce in a few simple steps.
Difference between red and green enchilada sauce
The biggest difference between the two enchilada sauces is the flavor. Red sauces usually have more of an earthy flavor, while green sauces can be more herbal and have a wider range of spice.
How to make green enchilada sauce:
- Roasting the onion, garlic, and peppers is the secret to my recipe. It gets them nice and charred on the outside, which brings out extra flavor and adds a little more heat.
- After broiling the vegetables, it’s important to allow the ingredients to rest and steam for a few minutes. This cools things down a little before the blending process. As a result, it is also easier to remove the skin from the green chiles.
- When everything is cool and ready to go, toss all the ingredients in your blender or food processor to get them nice and smooth.
- Before the sauce is complete, it needs to simmer so that all the flavors can combine and the sauce can thicken a bit.
- For the Anaheim green chiles, Hatch chiles and Poblanos make a great substitute. I like to leave mine whole, but you can remove the seeds and membrane before blending for a milder sauce.
- For the jalapeños, you can use a Serrano chile instead to make the enchilada sauce spicier. If you want your sauce to be milder, omit the jalapeño altogether.
Using Authentic Spices
It’s important to use Mexican oregano for authentic flavor. If you can’t find Mexican oregano, whatever you have on hand will work fine.
Mexican oregano is a relative of Lemon Verbena and is native to Mexico. Similar in that it’s pungent like Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has notes of mild licorice and citrus.
Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and most often is used in Greek and Italian recipes. Mediterranean oregano is the one most found in spice racks and supermarkets.
This green enchilada sauce recipe is a favorite of mine because it is really versatile. Here are just a few ways you can use it:
- Huevos rancheros
- Drizzle onto tamales or nachos
If you want to step it up with a more traditional way of making enchilada sauce, check out my Authentic Red Enchilada Sauce. It’s a little more work, but well worth the time. If you’d like it a little spicier, than check out my Tomatillo Salsa Verde, too. All you do is thin it a bit to the consistency you prefer with chicken stock. Enjoy!
Watch how to make this below!
Green Enchilada Sauce
- 8 Anaheim green chiles (See Note 1)
- 2 Poblano chiles
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 jalapeño stem removed (See Note 2)
- 1 large white onion quartered
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano (See Note 3)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Peel the outer skins off the onion and garlic and discard.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and add the green chiles, garlic, jalapeño and onion. Place under the broiler until charred all over, turning over half way through, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from broiler, cover with foil and allow to rest and steam for 5 minutes. Peel and rub the charred skins off of the green chiles as best you can. (See Note 4)
- Place all the roasted green chiles, garlic, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, cumin, oregano, kosher salt and chicken stock in a food processor, blender or Vitamix, and pulse until smooth. If you prefer it a little smoother, then add more chicken stock to suit your needs.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan with the oil and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Season to taste with salt. Optional: add a teaspoon of white vinegar or lime juice to adjust taste to your liking.
- Hatch Chiles as well as Poblanos can be substituted for the Anaheim chiles. I prefer a combo.
- If you'd like this spicier, substitute a Serrano chile or if milder, omit the jalapeño all together.
- Mexican oregano is a relative of Lemon Verbena and is native to Mexico. Similar in that it’s pungent like Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has notes of mild licorice and citrus. Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and most often is used in Greek and Italian recipes. Mediterranean oregano is the one most found in spice racks and supermarkets.
- If you prefer the sauce to be milder, make a vertical slice into each chile and remove the seeds and membrane.
- Optional: add a teaspoon of white vinegar or lime juice to adjust taste to your liking.