Green Enchilada Sauce

Homemade green enchilada sauce is perfect for pouring over cheesy enchiladas. Filled with just a little spice and plenty of cilantro flavor.

The flavor of green enchilada sauce is undeniably delicious. It melts perfectly into the cheese, chicken, and tortillas. Try pouring it over Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Smothered Burritos, and Green Chili Enchiladas.

Homemade Green enchilada sauce in jar.

Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Homemade sauces are always better than store-bought. It’s just a fact. This homemade green enchilada sauce is so good it’s almost drinkable… almost ?.

Enchiladas are one of my go to meals. They are great for family dinners or for bringing dinner to friends in need. And even though I love red enchiladas, my favorite kind of enchiladas are recipes that call for the green sauce.

Have you ever made homemade green enchilada sauce? If you haven’t, I want you to try this recipe! I promise that it is SO easy and you will never want to buy enchilada sauce in the store ever again. Your enchiladas will taste 100% better with a homemade sauce.

Red vs Green Enchilada Sauce

The type of chili used makes the difference in color and flavor. Red sauce relies on red chilis or red chili powder. This green enchilada sauce uses a combination of a Mexican green tomatoes called tomatillo, green bell peppers and jalapeños.

We have a recipe for homemade Red Enchilada Sauce as well, so be sure to check it out too! It’s perfect for Red Cheese Enchiladas and Beef Empanadas.

Tomatillos cut up for green chile enchilada sauce recipe.

How to Make Green Enchilada Sauce

SAUTE. After you’ve cut up the tomatillos, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño, set them aside. Heat up the olive oil over the stove in a large pot or pan. Throw in the onions and garlic and sauté them until they are tender.

BLEND. Add the tomatillos to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the green peppers, jalapeños, and cilantro and blend until the clumps are smooth. Then add in the sautéed onions and garlic and blend everything together until smooth.

SEASON & SIMMER. After it’s all blended together, pour the tomatillo mixture into a big pot. Add in the chicken broth, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and sugar. Simmer over medium high heat for 30 minutes.

If there are still clumps you can add it back into your blender or food processor to make it smoother.

Make in a slow cooker:

The sauce can also be simmered in a slow cooker on LOW for 3-4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours.

This is a great option if you need to leave the house or need to do other things while the sauce cooks itself. What would we do without our slow cookers??

Serving suggestions

Use this enchilada sauce to add extra flavor for chilaquiles, nachos, migas, Mexican soups, casseroles and more. We obviously love green enchilada sauce so we have a ton of recipes on the site that use them. Here are some of our favorite green enchilada recipes:

Green enchilada sauce recipe process pics in a collage.

REcipe tips + SToring info

Spicier Sauce: You can use the jalapeños to adjust the level of heat in this sauce. For a spicier sauce add in the jalapeños seeds. For amore mild sauce be sure that you remove the seeds as well as the membrane found inside the jalapeños.

Vegan: This is an easy recipe to adjust, simply replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. It’s also gluten-free, dairy free and nut free.

To STORE. Pour the green enchilada sauce in airtight containers and keep them in the fridge. Tupperware or mason jars with lids are both great options! Just make sure to use the sauce within one week.

FREEZING green enchilada sauce is a great idea. Sometimes I make a double batch of this recipe and freeze whatever I don’t use for enchiladas.

Then whenever I need it, I just take it out of the freezer and let it THAW overnight in the fridge. Then, you just reheat it back in the pot for making enchiladas.

Tomatillos on cutting board

Tomatillo Tips:

  • This recipe calls for 1.5 lbs of tomatillos. That is about 14-15 tomatillos and they can be found in the produce section at the grocery store. If you’ve never cooked with a tomatillo, here are some tips!
  • Make sure to peel the outer skin off of the tomatillos before you cut them in quarters. They can be a little sticky and sometimes dirty inside the outer skin. I always rinse them off after I have peeled them.
  • Then cut them into quarters before you throw them into the blender or food processor.
  • Try canned whole tomatillos. One 28 oz can has about 20 already peeled tomatillos. Drain the liquid, and set aside 14-15 to use in the recipe.  Another option is to buy a can of crushed tomatillos. You will need about 1 ½ cups.
Homemade green enchilada sauce in jar close up image.

We really are so glad we finally mastered our homemade green enchilada sauce. It’s taken us awhile, but this recipe is perfection. Be sure to also check out our red enchilada sauce which is amazing!

For more Mexican recipes, check out:

Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe

5 from 14 votes
Homemade green enchilada sauce is perfect for pouring over cheesy enchiladas. Filled with just a little spice and plenty of cilantro flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 183 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna


  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra-virgin
  • 1/2 red onion minced
  • 5 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 green bell peppers chopped
  • 1-2 jalapeños seeded (or 1 tsp. canned chopped jalapenos)
  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos husked and quartered (about 14 tomatillos)
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot or pan and saute onions and garlic until tender.
  • While onions are sauteeing, add tomatillos to the blender and blend. Add green peppers, jalapeno peppers and cilantro the blender and process until most clumps are out. Add the sauteed onions and garlic and process until mostly smooth.
  • Pout the tomatillo mixture into a large pot. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper, cumin, oregano and sugar. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • At this point, there will still be some clumps, so add this back to your food processor or blender and puree in batches until smooth.
  • The sauce can also be simmered in a slow cooker on LOW for 3-4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This sauce takes more effort but is defiNetly worth it. Ive always made red sauce but this is the first time ive tried green. Will do this again.

  2. 5 stars
    Oh, wow! I was looking for a green sauce for enchiladas, as I like those more than the red ones & stumbled across this recipe. It was so delicious! I wouldn’t change anything!

  3. 5 stars
    The homemade sauce really makes A difference in the dish. Yum! Im thinking ill have to make a large batCh to bottle for my pantry.

  4. 5 stars
    Making Colorado chili and Needed some green enchil sauce. This is simmering right now. It is soooooooooo good.thank you for the recipe!!!!

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious sauce! My four kids and Husband loveddd It!! Im going to make it spicier next time, but still great!

  6. How much is the yeild? I plan to can the sauce in pint jars. Would the processing time be 15 to 20 minutes?
    Thank you

    1. It will last in the fridge for about a week or you can freeze it & when you want to use it, thaw it out & re-heat or use in recipes 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Delicious, but i QUESTION the nutrition facts. HOw is it possible that there are 730 calories per servinG of the sauce if most of thE INGREDIENTS are Very low calorie other than thE 2 Tbs of oil? Whats a serving size? I count calories and it seEms way to high fOr just the sauce. Would lovE clarification please. Thank you!

  8. Curious, if I wanted to make a huge batch, do you know if I could can it…like tomato/spagetti sauce? I would pressure can it of course. I use a lot of green chili sauce…and grow many of my own ingredients, so planting tomatiillos is not something I have done yet, but am willing to give garden space to it.(freezer space is premium retail space around here)

    1. You know, I have never tried canning it. So, I can’t say for sure how long it would last. I do stick it in the freezer, though. Let me know if you try 🙂

  9. This was good but when I make it again I will cook all the ingredients together rather than putting the raw ingredients into the food processor and then cooking it together. It was really grainy but tasted amazing. I think cooking the ingredients first would help.

    1. Thanks for your feedback! Glad you enjoyed the flavor. You’ll have to let us know how it turns out if you cook the ingredients first. 🙂

    1. I’ve heard a common substitute for tomatillos is green tomatoes. You can also try to use canned tomatillos.

  10. Do you add any liquid to the tomatillo mixture in the blender? I don’t see this in the blender blending well without liquid. What indicator should I have it on? Purée?

    1. The water content in the tomatillos/jalapenos/peppers will help them to blend real nicely. And yes, you can use it on puree.

  11. Is there anyway to speed up the process using a slow cooker? If so, how much time would you recommend?