Green Enchilada Sauce is the epitome of balanced. Seriously, it's sweet but sour, bursting with savory flavor, and has just the right amount of spice. Look no further for your new go-to green sauce recipe, cause this one has everything you need with none of the extra fuss or hassle.
No roasting, no whisking, and no crazy stovetop work, just a quick and easy, straightforward salsa verde recipe any novice cook could slam out and be proud of! Plus, this is a naturally gluten-free sauce made from only the best, real ingredients, so you can feel great about serving it.
THE EASIEST (AND BEST) VERDE SAUCE
Of the Mexican salsas, this Verde sauce just might be my all-time fave for topping off enchiladas. (Give it a try on our Green Enchiladas!)
Rather than using canned roasted green chiles or roasted tomatillos, this Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce recipe is your standard "boiled salsa" recipe. It doesn't sound all that appetizing, but rest assured -- it is. And, that's largely thanks to a small list of simple, fresh ingredients!
Here's what the boiling does for our tomatillo salsa: It softens the flavor of the garlic and onion, while still allowing the flavor of the vegetables to stand front and center.
Green enchilada sauce is made up mostly of tomatillos. If you've never worked with a tomatillo before, don't be one bit intimidated. They are very easy to handle!
A tomatillo is a nightshade vegetable very similar to a tomato, but be sure not to confuse the two. Contrary to what many might believe, a tomatillo is by no means an unripened, green tomato! In fact, tomatillos on the vine (and in the grocery store) look nothing like a tomato. They come wrapped in a paper shell called a husk.
As far as flavor goes, they are both sour and sweet, with a crisp texture, and pair perfectly with ingredients like lime juice, hot peppers, and cilantro. Can you guess where we're going with this? Time to talk Green Enchilada Sauce ingredients.
GREEN ENCHILADA SAUCE INGREDIENTS
The ingredient list for this easy Verde sauce from scratch consists of fresh tomatillos, white onion, jalapeño peppers, fresh cloves of garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper. As you probably guessed, the tomatillos are non-negotiable, but you do have a little wiggle room when it comes to a few of the others.
If you want to make a green enchilada sauce with a little more heat, feel free to sub in serrano peppers in the place of jalapeno peppers. As far as the onion goes, white onion is traditional and Mexican cooking, but if you only have a yellow or red onion on hand, you can sub that in, no problem.
And, while fresh cilantro and garlic are highly recommended, these ingredients can be left out if they are a bother to you. Cilantro adds a balance of sweetness to the green sauce, so if you intend to leave it out, add a tablespoon of granulated sugar in its place.
HOW TO MAKE GREEN ENCHILADA SAUCE
- Prep the tomatillos.
- Add veggies and water to a saucepan.
- Simmer 10-15 minutes until softened.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and blend.
1. PREP THE TOMATILLOS
The first thing you'll need to do is prepare your tomatillos. Peel away the tomatillo husks and rinse them under warm water to get the stickiness off of their skin. Then wipe them down with dry paper towels and cut each tomatillo into quarters. Transfer your tomatillo quarters to a medium-size saucepan and get to work on the rest of your veggie prep.
2. ADD INGREDIENTS TO THE SAUCEPAN
You will also need half of a white onion cut into chunks. No need to dice anything fine for this recipe; it'll soften up nicely in the boiling water and eventually goes straight into the blender or food processor!
You'll also want to have three jalapeños ready to go. If you like your green enchilada sauce spicy, leave a couple of jalapeños with the seeds in. If you don't like it spicy, take care to remove the seeds and scrape away the interior membrane.
Halve or roughly chop the jalapeños and add them to the saucepan along with four cloves of garlic (paper removed) and 4 cups of water.
3. SIMMER 10-15 MINUTES
Place the saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as you see the water is boiling, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer the veggies for about 10 to 15 minutes until they are fork tender.
Remove the pan from the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove your vegetables from the saucepan, and transfer them to either a blender or a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
4. SEASON AND BLEND
Add the cilantro, salt, and pepper. Then, pop on the lid and remove the centerpiece of your food processor or the blender cap. Cover with a dish towel and blend until your Verde sauce is smooth to your liking.
Your green enchilada sauce is officially ready! You can use it to top off your favorite enchilada recipes and Mexican dishes!
6 MORE MEXICAN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
This incredibly simple Green Enchilada Sauce is absolutely going to be your new go-to for all your Tex-Mex needs!
- 1 ½ pound tomatillos (about 10-12 small to medium-sized tomatillos)
- ½ white onion cut into chunks
- 3 jalapenos stems removed, deseeded, and halved
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 cups water
- 2 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
Peel away the tomatillos' husks, rinse, and wipe dry with paper towels. Cut each tomatillo into quarters and transfer to a saucepan.
Add the onion, jalapenos, garlic, and water, and bring to a boil. Then, cover, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until all of the ingredients are fork-tender.
Remove the ingredients from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a blender or food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Add the salt, pepper, and cilantro.
Secure the lid and remove either the feed tube or the lid center cap, cover with a kitchen towel, and blend until smooth to your liking.
Makes 2 cups.