Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Is it normal for one to get insanely excited about homemade enchilada sauce? Is it? Come on, tell me the truth; you don’t have to spare my feelings. I must be really ok with my nerdiness to confess that I think I let out a little scream of joy when my friend, Liz, sent me this recipe for homemade green enchilada sauce. I don’t think I knew until that moment that I’d been waiting my whole life for this. Insert angels singing.

I frequently use the sauce part of this recipe when I want homemade red enchilada sauce but a delicious green variety has eluded me and I am so very happy to add this to my DIY collection. It tastes a million bazillion times better than the brands I’ve bought in the past and is pretty darn simple. Just wait until you see the first recipe I used it in. Think: 30-minute skillet meal bursting with all sorts of Tex-mex fall flavors. Check back in Friday for that gem!

I can’t wait to use this mean green sauce in some of our family favorites that call for green enchilada sauce:
Smothered Sweet Pork Burritos
Skillet Chicken with Mexican Green Rice
White Chicken Enchiladas
Honey Lime Chicken or Pork Enchiladas
Chicken Enchilada Pasta

Be still my green enchilada sauce loving heart.

Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

One Year Ago: Classic Tomato Soup (and Tuna Melts!)
Two Years Ago: Creamy Garlic Alfredo Sauce {My Go-To Dinner Saver!}
Three Years Ago: Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Soup

Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Yield: Makes 2-3 cups of sauce

Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Sadly, I cannot find fresh Anaheim or poblano chiles where I live (a travesty, I know) so I've only made this sauce with canned chiles. The canned variety usually have added sodium so that's why I rinse them prior to using. I can only imagine how fresh and delicious this will taste with roasted fresh chiles. To roast them, the chiles can be placed on top of a low flame on a gas stovetop and rotated until they are blackened all over. Let them cool slightly in a covered bowl before sliding off the skins and using in the recipe (alternately, the chiles can be broiled in the oven until the skins are bubbly and blackened).

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup Anaheim or poblano chiles, roasted and peeled OR 1 cup canned diced green chiles, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium jalapeno, finely diced (optional)

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and garlic and cover. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring once or twice to make sure the garlic and onions aren't sticking (adjust the heat if they are). Cook until the onions are soft but not browned.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. It's ok if the flour clumps around the onions, just keep stirring to let the flour get golden and toasty.
  3. Gradually add the broth, whisking quickly and constantly to smooth out any lumps.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce should be silky and thickened - able to coat a spoon but still drip off. Add more broth to thin out if needed.
  5. Add additional salt to taste, if needed. The sauce can be processed in a blender if you prefer a smoother consistency. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Otherwise, it can be frozen - probably up to a month or two if well sealed.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/homemade-green-enchilada-sauce/
Recipe Source: from my friend, Liz K. (thanks, Liz!)

57 Responses to Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

  1. gardenpat says:

    This is perfect! I just picked some last of the season peppers yesterday before the big frost came and was wondering what to do with them! Thanks, Mel, you helped me use them up in a really tasty way!!!

  2. kandi v says:

    I have to admit that you have made my WEEK and maybe even month with this recipe. My friend Jen is an amazing cook and introduced my family to black bean burritos cooked in a green enchilada sauce, and we love it! But I was so sad to read the ingredient list for sauce-think msg. I guarantee that my kiddos will shout for joy when they see the burritos back on our meal plan! (They love being fed everyday. Wierd, huh?) Thanks so much for restoring this goodness back to our family! (PS: I recently received my rockin’ apron. It is awesome!)

  3. Teresa R. says:

    Who knew you could make green enchilada sauce at home with only 12 easily found ingredients?!? I actually have all the ingredients, even the diced green chiles which I keep on hand for your creamy white chili recipe. I will be making this today to use in your green chili chicken enchilada recipe that I plan to make tomorrow. Yes, I cook something from your site at least five nights a week! ( Last night we had the green lentil soup with curried brown butter. Delicious.)

  4. Sheila says:

    Yes! Excited but not to the point that I hear angels singing. :-) Truthfully, I was always a little irritated when you posted those delicious recipes calling for green enchilada sauce that I make for my family without recommending a good sauce. Quality ingredients affect how a recipe comes out and a sauce is a huge factor in taste in any recipe. I have to drive 35 minutes to find a sauce that is mediocre without the addition of lots of sour cream or heavy cream and other spices. Thank you bunches and bunches, Liz and Mel!

  5. Oh yeah! I definitely want to try this. For some reason I am in the mood for enchiladas lately. Can’t wait to try this!

  6. Barbara Ostergaard says:

    You photographed this in a canning jar. Did you process this for later use? I would love to have it on hand to use quickly in the future.

    I too have used the red enchilada sauce from your chicken enchilada recipe several times in other recipes. I haven’t known that I’ve needed a green one, since I haven’t had a problem with the canned sauce I’ve bought so far. But I love diy sauces, giving me more control over what goes into us, and feeling empowered that I can do this. I love smothered pork enchiladas and thank you for this sauce recipe to try!

  7. Love this green sauce on SO many things!! Can’t wait to try it homemade :)

  8. Stacey says:

    I didn’t scream, but I am excited about this!

  9. Nathalie says:

    I am glad you posted this recipe I have had a hard time finding this sauce around here and had to get it cross border so I guess I can now make my own which I’m sure taste much better! :)

  10. Rachel says:

    Do you know if this recipe can be canned in a water bath? Homemade sauce is way better than the stuff you buy at the store. ATK also has a great green enchilada sauce recipe, but I don’t know how to tell if they are safe for home canning.

  11. Love this recipe! I haven’t seen one for a green enchilada sauce before and I hate always having to use canned/jarred. Do you have a go-to recipe for red enchilada sauce?

  12. Laura says:

    I shrieked out loud when I read the title of this post. I’ve been searching for a recipe for green enchilada sauce because I can’t find it to buy in this part of the world. (Southern Ontario)

  13. Wilda says:

    I’m also happy to have this recipe. I live out west and Mexican food here is very different from Tex-Mex. Do not rinse the green chiles, if sodium is a problem, just leave the 1/2 t. Salt out of the recipe. The liquid from the green chiles is packed full of flavor. If I find a can of chiles with a lot of liquid, I save it in the fridge, use it in other sauces, dips and salad dressing. Add the liquid with some cilantro to your favorite Ranch dressing. I also save the liquid from the jar of roasted red peppers. The liquid from the peppers will elevate your food and give depth like nothing else can. I make a similar sauce with sour cream and frozen corn added, as a topping for cheese tamales for a meatless meal. We have roasted a 25 lb gunny sack of Hatch green chiles many times, but I prefer the canned, because of the ease. It’s a messy, time consuming job. Thank you for this good basic sauce.

  14. Girl you are not alone! Hatch green chiles are my favorites and can’t wait each year for the season to roll around. I never seem to buy enough to last ALL year. I did a post not long ago on my love of the green chile ( http://tinasdeliciousdishes.com/burrrrr-chile-today)
    I’ve printed all of your recipes so I can have some new ones for this years stash! Especially looking forward to the Honey Lime Chicken!

  15. Andreya says:

    You have made my day by posting green enchilada sauce!!! I am super excited to put this into our menu! Thanks!!!

  16. queenann says:

    This. This right here. This is why I love your blog so much Mel. You constantly read my mind! I just made honey lime enchiladas this week and was thinking, “gosh, it’s too bad I don’t have a green enchilada sauce recipe to use for these.” Then here is this post!

    Thanks for being a little bit uncanny with your timing.

  17. Lindley says:

    I am so glad to see this recipe!! I just moved from Texas to Missouri and cannot find my favorite green enchilada sauce anywhere (Hatch brand). The store brands are not cutting it! I will definitely have to try this out. Thanks!

  18. Rachel says:

    So glad to see a recipe that has chiles instead of tomatillos. Green chiles are so amazing, tomatillos not so much.

  19. Mel says:

    Hi Laura – I use the red enchilada sauce from these enchiladas when I want a homemade version.

  20. Mel says:

    Rachel (and others who inquired) – I have not canned this sauce (I keep it in canning-type jars in the refrigerator or freezer). I am not enough of a canning expert to give advice on whether or not this can be canned but I’ll take a glance in my Ball book of canning to see if they have a recipe for green enchilada sauce and the different factors in their recipe versus this one (acidity and ingredients play a huge role in whether a food needs to be water bath canned or pressure canned – my guess is this doesn’t have enough acidity for a water bath canner).

  21. Alisha says:

    Thank-you! I can’t even find canned green enchilada sauce where I live. Your red enchilada sauce is one of our favorites so I’m sure this will be too.

  22. Alisha says:

    Thank-you! I can’t even find canned green enchilada sauce where I live and your red enchilada sauce is one of our favorites.

  23. Rita Foust says:

    Hi Mel,
    Sorry if this comment was already submitted, no time to read them all, the last recipe I looked at had dozens of comments, you have quite a following. Instant trust! I just printed out the Alfredo and the Green Chile Sauce. I am in N.TX. You might try growing Poblanos? Peppers are a little hard to grow ,but with the right temps, they will flourish. We grew them year and gave them partial shade (full sun here is just too hot in mid summer for peppers) and they looked and tasted great. There are other nice roasting peppers that are not that hard to grow either. We have “Red Marconi” going now and dozens of peppers on the plants are turning red. Good luck!

  24. Emily says:

    This is a happy day!!! Every can of green chili enchilada sauce that I have looked at in the last 10 years contains gluten. It has definitely been a food I’ve missed! I tried a recipe this summer that was okay, but I’m sure yours will be better!! I can easily substitute the 3 T. of flour and make this gluten-free! That will open up our menu options to at least 5 new meals that I’ve been hungry for…. For a long time! I agree with the other comment that the only thing that would make this even better is to know how to can it and keep it shelf stable. Due to allergies, everything is prepared from scratch at my home. I don’t mind the ingredients required, but TIME is really hard to come by!

  25. Bonnie says:

    Emily: how about freezing it? (if you have the space). I bet it would come out fine!
    Also…has anyone tried making a green enchilada sauce with roasted tomatillos? I have a salsa recipe that is basically identical to this using tomatillos instead of the poblanos and it is DEEvine. I’m thinking it might work for this too. Thanks Mel!

  26. angela says:

    This looks good! Being a New Mexico gal, I’m so happy your recipe does not include tomatillos! So many I look at do, and it bugs me, quite frankly. Just a heads up, you can order green chile from Hatch, NM online! They will ship it to you roasted, frozen, and packaged. Try biadchili.com or hatch-chile.com. I personally like the Big Jim variety!

  27. angela says:

    Oh, and you can process green chile, but I’m not sure how to do the sauce. You have to pressure can rather than water-bath. There are instructions via NMSU on how to do it, but I can’t post the link for some reaaon. Google “canning green chile” and there will be a pdf file that comes up on the search. It has good information about why you have to pressure can. Good luck!

  28. Angela…just had to say “Love your state!” My husband and I eloped to Santa Fe and was married in the most beautiful old courthouse there and honeymooned in Taos. That’s where I was introduced and fell in love with the “green”. Once a year I stock up on Hatch greens when the season rolls around. Whole Foods and several other grocers in New Orleans will carry them. I roast them on my bbq pitt, make my green chile sauce, freeze some whole and some chopped. They freeze beautifully. Same goes for the sauce.

  29. Jess says:

    Totally normal to get so excited over this. I’ve been so happy ever since I discovered making my own enchilada sauce, but this green version must be added to my list! Sounds fantsatic!

  30. Stacey says:

    This looks great. How much greater would it be if it could be canned and stored on the shelf ready to use anytime you wanted to cook up another great Mel’s recipe?

  31. Cammee says:

    Hallelujah!! THIS is what my life has been lacking! The sad part is we had Honey Lime Enchiladas for dinner last night with canned enchilada sauce…but that will be the last time.

  32. Kimiko says:

    I am SO glad you posted this one!!! I make your honey lime chicken enchiladas ALL the time. In fact, I just made them last weekend for my friends from school, and they all wanted your recipe because they loved them so much. Now I have an excuse to make them again, since I have to try it with this homemade sauce. :)

  33. Kim says:

    Is the one cup of fresh peppers measured after they are chopped, or before. Sorry to be clueless on that one. Thanks for posting this, I will be sure to give it a try.

  34. Mel says:

    Kim – the peppers are measured after they are chopped.

  35. Kim in MD says:

    Mel- thank you for your constant quest to rid your pantry (and ours!) of artificial, preservative laden foods. This looks amazing, and I can’t wait to try it!

  36. Sam says:

    Mel- Thank you for the wonderful recipes.. Yesterday for dinner, I made honey lime enchiladas using this green sauce, shredded the chicken as you suggested in simple shredded chicken. So all in all, it was a combination of your 3 recipes and the result was ammmmmmazzzinggggg !!!! My husband loved it,he is taking that for lunch today….Thanks dear !!!

  37. Christine says:

    Made this sauce yesterday (just used these great marinated chiles that I use in everything) and made spinach and mushroom enchiladas. They were so good they reminded me of my favorite tex-mex restaurant. Thank you so much for the recipe! I didn’t think I even really liked enchiladas until this sauce!

  38. Amy says:

    I’m a Mexican food addict! This looks like it would be perfect with so many recipes! It’s going straight to the list of things to do this weekend! Can’t wait!

  39. Brittany C says:

    I made this tonight and my whole family LOVED it! Definite keeper! Thanks Mel!

  40. Joan says:

    Hi Mel – just wanted to let you know that I can no longer get your “Print recipe” button on your website to work. I’ve tried it on several recipes and I just get a blank page. I used to be able to use it and it worked great. Not sure if settings changed on your end or mine, but just wanted you to know. Of course, I still can do a copy/paste to save the recipe to my files, but your little “Print recipe” button was really quite convenient! Thanks for all the great recipes and tips.

  41. stephanie says:

    Hallelujah! I get absolutely giddy over any food I can begin to make at home verses buying it from the store! I always thought I would need tomatillos for green enchilada sauce, I’m stoked that I don’t (I will be using canned green chiles, though, because I’m pepper-naive and don’t know how to find them in the store much less prepare them at home). One thing I found when making this, in case it’s helpful – I had extra green chiles so I one-and-a-halved the recipe and still only came out with 2.5 cups.

    Okay – I’d better go, time to make your black bean and butternut squash skillet enchiladas to go with the sauce I just cooked up!

  42. Julie says:

    Mel, I don’t know if you have already checked, but here, they sale frozen diced green chile in the freezer section. You might check to see if you can see it. Its just diced green chills that are frozen. It makes phenomenal green chili!

  43. Dave says:

    I made this last night to use in a recipe that I got from Food.com for Creamy Corn, Spinach and Chicken Enchiladas. The original did not have the chicken in it but I had some left over roasted chicken from the night before that I added. The recipe called for a jar of Green Tomatillo Sauce I used this instead and it was perfect. I made it with the canned chilies. Next time I will double the recipe as the enchiladas were a little dry.

    Thank you so much for sharing and God bless you and your family.

  44. LaDonna says:

    Curious to see if I can can this. The ingredients look awesome and since I live 30 miles from Hatch, I get fresh green chile every August and store (hoard) it away for a year. Told my husband when I was reading the recipe that it sounded “right”. He asked me how I could tell. I told him it didn’t have strange ingredients and that it was very simple and didn’t consist of 20 different ingredients as well. He just looked at me. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you.

  45. Tammy says:

    I tried this recipe today and had to use a mix of canned chiles and frozen roasted chiles I had on hand. I also ended up using chicken bouillion instead of broth. Despite these substitutions the sauce came out great. My son liked it so much he said it was ” An unending party in my mouth”. I liked how easy it was to make. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  46. […] Mel’s Kitchen Café – Homemade Enchilada Sauce […]

  47. […] Scrambled Egg and Ground Beef Stacked Enchiladas with this green enchilada sauce […]

  48. Paula says:

    You forgot the tomatillos…

  49. JMcQ says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I needed a tasty green sauce for spinach enchiladas and this sauce was perfect. I used canned chilis (Macayo brand) because that is what I had handy and the sauce was great tasting, quick and easy to make. It will be our go-to recipe and we know we can vary the flavor by what green chilis we choose to use, be it fresh or canned. Thanks again.

  50. Bessie Fielding says:

    Hi Mel,
    I have dried Poblano chillies, can I use them for the homemade enchilada sauce, and if so, please advise on how to use them in the recipe.

  51. Mel says:

    Bessie – I’ve never used dried chiles in the recipe so you will have to experiment; perhaps you could google how to use dried chiles in place of fresh. Good luck! Report back in the comment thread how it works out for you. I am sure there are other readers who would want to try that as well.

  52. Sheila says:

    I prepared this sauce last night to make the Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Stack for tonight. I will NEVER, EVER go back to store brought sauce — EVER! This sauce is so succulent and tasty nothing like the many varieties I have tried from the store. I made it with freshly roasted polano chilies. Such a cool, first time experience for me. Thank you so much for this excellent recipe and for the foresight on giving instructions on how to roast peppers. I learn so much through your blog!

  53. CinnaMom says:

    Hi Mel, thanks for posting this yummy looking recipe. Just want to let you know that WalMart Superstores carry frozen diced new Mexico Green chiles in both mild and Hot. They are far superior to the canned green chilies, especially when cooked. If using them as a garnish, I will saute them in a frying pan. Hope that helps.

  54. Kate says:

    Wow! I just made this sauce this evening. It was so easy to follow and super tasty! Thanks!!

    Kate

  55. Rosemary says:

    I m looking forward to trying several of your recipe, they look delicious. I am trying to pin them to my boards but do not see a Pinterest link. thanks for your help.

  56. Mel says:

    Rosemary – There is a Pin It button on any image if you hover over the picture. Also, there is a Pinterest link below the Recipe Source. Let me know if you continue to have issues.

  57. […] 2 cups green enchilada sauce (preferably homemade) […]

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