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Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Enchiladas are a beloved Mexican dish, and the green sauce used in them is key to their flavor. This homemade green enchilada sauce recipe is perfect for those who want to experiment with creating their own version of this classic sauce. It's spicy, tangy, and absolutely delicious. You'll love having this sauce on hand for all your enchilada making needs.

Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Photos of Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe

The ingredients in this recipe should be fairly easy to find, but there are a few you might not have in your pantry. The diced green chiles are a key ingredient for the authentic flavour of the sauce. They can usually be found in the international aisle of most supermarkets. Additionally, the recipe calls for vegetable stock, which is a common ingredient in many recipes but if you don't have it, you can also use chicken stock.

Ingredients for Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Olive oil: This is used to sauté the onion and jalapeño, providing a base flavor for the sauce. Olive oil is chosen for its health benefits and mild flavor.

White onion: Adds a gentle, sweet flavor to the sauce, balancing out the heat of the other ingredients.

Jalapeno: This gives the sauce its kick. Adjust the amount based on your spice preference.

Garlic cloves: Brings a pungent flavor and aroma that's essential in Mexican cooking.

Vegetable stock: This adds a savory depth to the sauce. Chicken stock can be used as a substitute.

Green chiles: These are the heart of the sauce, providing a unique, tangy flavor.

Ground cumin: This earthy spice is common in Mexican cuisine and gives the sauce an added layer of flavor.

Sea salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. Use fine sea salt for best results.

Black pepper: Adds a bit of heat and sharpness to the sauce.

One reader, Carola Beaulieu says:

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This homemade green enchilada sauce recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are vibrant and authentic. It's so easy to make and tastes even better than store-bought. I love how versatile it is, and it adds a delicious kick to my dishes. Highly recommended!

Carola Beaulieu

Techniques Required for Making Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

How to sauté the vegetables: Sauté the onion and jalapeño in the olive oil over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until the onion is softened and translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.

How to puree the sauce: Transfer the sautéed onion mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the vegetable stock, green chiles, ground cumin, salt, and pepper. Puree the mixture until it is completely smooth.

How to adjust seasoning: Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or cumin if needed.

How to store the sauce: The sauce can be served immediately, refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.

How To Make Green Enchilada Sauce

Bring out the Mexican flavors in your favorite Mexican dishes with this homemade green enchilada sauce. It’s rich and bursting with spiced flavors. You’ll surely enjoy serving this on your freshly baked enchilada dish.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes



  • 1tbspolive oil
  • 1smallwhite onionpeeled and diced
  • 1jalapeñocored (seeds removed) and diced
  • 4garlic clovespeeled and minced
  • 1cupvegetable stock
  • 4ozdiced green chiles
  • 1tspground cumin
  • tspfine sea salt
  • ½tspblack pepperfreshly-ground


  1. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add onion and jalapeño and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent.  Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.

  2. Transfer the onion mixture to a blender or food processor.  Add vegetable stock, green chiles, cumin, salt and pepper.  Then puree until completely smooth.

  3. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or cumin if needed.

  4. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


  • Calories: 65.24kcal
  • Fat: 4.15g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.57g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.93g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.48g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.95g
  • Fiber: 1.21g
  • Sugar: 2.75g
  • Protein: 1.29g
  • Sodium: 301.28mg
  • Calcium: 27.28mg
  • Potassium: 182.54mg
  • Iron: 0.98mg
  • Vitamin A: 24.02µg
  • Vitamin C: 86.09mg

Crucial Technique Tip for Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce Success

When sautéing the onion and jalapeño, make sure to stir occasionally to prevent them from burning. The goal is to soften the vegetables and bring out their natural sweetness, not to brown or caramelize them. Also, when blending the sauce, ensure it is completely smooth for a more refined texture. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, you can pulse the blender a few times instead of blending continuously.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Prep ahead: Chop and measure all the ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonder: Consider using a single pot for both sautéing and blending to minimize cleanup.

Efficient blending: Opt for a high-powered blender to achieve a smooth consistency in less time.

Freeze in batches: Portion the sauce into smaller containers before freezing for convenient use in future recipes.

Label and date: Clearly mark and date the containers to easily identify the sauce in the freezer.

Substitute Ingredients For Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe

  • olive oil - Substitute with avocado oil: Avocado oil has a similar mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a suitable substitute for olive oil in this recipe.

  • white onion - Substitute with yellow onion: Yellow onions have a slightly stronger flavor than white onions, but they can be used as a substitute in this recipe without significantly altering the taste.

  • jalapeno - Substitute with serrano pepper: Serrano peppers are similar in heat level and flavor to jalapenos, making them a suitable substitute for adding a spicy kick to the enchilada sauce.

  • garlic cloves - Substitute with garlic powder: If fresh garlic cloves are not available, garlic powder can be used as a substitute, with 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder equivalent to one clove of garlic.

  • vegetable stock - Substitute with chicken stock: Chicken stock can be used as a substitute for vegetable stock to add savory flavor to the enchilada sauce.

  • diced green chiles - Substitute with serrano chiles: Serrano chiles can be used as a substitute for diced green chiles to add a similar level of heat and flavor to the enchilada sauce.

  • ground cumin - Substitute with coriander: Coriander can be used as a substitute for ground cumin, providing a similar warm and earthy flavor to the enchilada sauce.

  • fine sea salt - Substitute with kosher salt: Kosher salt can be used as a substitute for fine sea salt, with a slightly coarser texture but a similar level of saltiness.

  • black pepper - Substitute with white pepper: White pepper can be used as a substitute for black pepper, providing a milder and slightly different flavor profile to the enchilada sauce.

Presenting Your Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the enchiladas, carefully arrange them on the plate, ensuring that each one is placed with precision and attention to detail. The presentation should be visually appealing and showcase the vibrant green color of the enchilada sauce.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle a generous amount of freshly chopped cilantro over the enchiladas to add a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor. The vibrant green hue of the cilantro will complement the green enchilada sauce beautifully.

  3. Incorporate texture: Consider adding a crunchy element to the dish, such as a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds or crispy tortilla strips. This will provide a delightful contrast to the smoothness of the enchilada sauce.

  4. Use high-quality serving ware: Opt for elegant, minimalist plates or platters that allow the enchiladas to take center stage. The serving ware should enhance the overall presentation without overshadowing the dish itself.

  5. Emphasize symmetry and balance: Arrange the enchiladas in a visually appealing manner, ensuring that the components are balanced and harmonious. Pay attention to the placement of each element to create a sense of artistry on the plate.

  6. Consider the negative space: Utilize the empty space on the plate to create a sense of elegance and sophistication. The strategic use of negative space can draw attention to the enchiladas and elevate the overall presentation.

Storing and Freezing Your Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

  • To store the homemade green enchilada sauce, let it cool to room temperature first. Once cooled, transfer the sauce to an airtight container or jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Label the container with the date and contents for easy identification later on.
  • Place the container in the refrigerator, where the sauce will keep for up to 4 days. The cool temperature will slow down bacterial growth and keep the sauce fresh.
  • If you want to keep the sauce for longer, freezing is an excellent option. Pour the cooled sauce into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top to allow for expansion during freezing.
  • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents, then place them in the freezer. The green enchilada sauce will maintain its best quality for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw the frozen sauce, transfer the container from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight. Alternatively, you can thaw the sauce in the microwave using the defrost setting, stirring occasionally to ensure even thawing.
  • Once thawed, give the sauce a good stir to redistribute any separated ingredients. Reheat the sauce gently in a saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches the desired temperature.
  • If the thawed sauce appears slightly watery, you can simmer it for a few minutes to reduce and thicken it back to its original consistency.
  • Note: Avoid refreezing the sauce once it has been thawed, as this can negatively affect its texture and quality. Only thaw the amount you plan to use within a few days.

How To Reheat Leftover Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

  • Stovetop method: transfer the leftover enchilada sauce to a saucepan and reheat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure the sauce is evenly warmed without burning or sticking to the bottom of the pan.

  • Microwave method: pour the leftover sauce into a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel to prevent splatters. Heat the sauce in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it is heated through. Be careful not to overheat the sauce, as it may cause the garlic and onion flavors to become bitter.

  • Oven method: preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover sauce to an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Place the dish in the preheated oven and heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce is warmed through. This method is particularly useful if you are reheating a larger quantity of sauce or if you are reheating the sauce alongside other dishes.

  • Slow cooker method: if you have a small slow cooker or crockpot, you can use it to reheat your leftover enchilada sauce. Simply pour the sauce into the slow cooker, set it to low heat, and let it warm for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. This method is ideal if you want to keep the sauce warm for an extended period, such as during a party or gathering.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to stir the sauce well before serving to ensure that the flavors are evenly distributed and the sauce is heated through. If the sauce appears too thick after reheating, you can thin it out by adding a small amount of vegetable stock or water until it reaches the desired consistency.

Interesting Fact About Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

The green enchilada sauce is a versatile and flavorful addition to many dishes. It can be used as a sauce for enchiladas, a marinade for meats, or a topping for tacos. The sauce's vibrant green color comes from the combination of green chiles, jalapeño, and cumin. Additionally, this homemade sauce is a healthier alternative to store-bought versions, as it allows you to control the ingredients and avoid any unnecessary additives. Embrace the homemade green enchilada sauce and elevate your dishes with its fresh and zesty flavor.

Is Making Green Enchilada Sauce at Home Cost-Effective?

This homemade green enchilada sauce recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. With simple and affordable ingredients like onion, jalapeno, and vegetable stock, it offers great value. The versatility of this sauce also adds to its cost-effectiveness, as it can be used in various dishes, from enchiladas to tacos and more. I rate this recipe a solid 9 out of 10 for its budget-friendly nature and delicious results. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10, making it an economical and flavorful choice.

Is Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce Healthy or Unhealthy?

The homemade green enchilada sauce recipe is relatively healthy, as it primarily consists of wholesome ingredients like onion, jalapeño, garlic, and green chiles. The use of olive oil provides healthy monounsaturated fats, while the vegetable stock keeps the sauce low in calories. Additionally, the recipe is free from processed ingredients and artificial additives, making it a cleaner alternative to store-bought sauces.

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to boost its nutritional value:

  • Increase the amount of vegetables by adding more onion, jalapeño, or even incorporating spinach or kale for added vitamins and minerals
  • Reduce the salt content to lower the overall sodium levels, especially for those with high blood pressure concerns
  • Use low-sodium vegetable stock to further decrease the sodium content
  • Experiment with adding other spices and herbs, such as oregano or cilantro, to enhance the flavor profile without relying on excess salt
  • Consider using a portion of the olive oil with heart-healthy avocado oil, which has a higher smoke point and is rich in monounsaturated fats

By making these minor adjustments, you can elevate the nutritional profile of the enchilada sauce while still maintaining its delicious taste. The beauty of this recipe lies in its simplicity and versatility, allowing you to customize it to suit your dietary preferences and health goals. Incorporating this sauce into a balanced meal plan, alongside lean proteins, whole grains, and plenty of fresh vegetables, can contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.

Editor's Opinion on This Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe

This homemade green enchilada sauce recipe is a delightful and versatile addition to any kitchen. The combination of fresh ingredients, such as jalapeño, garlic, and green chiles, creates a vibrant and flavorful sauce that can elevate any dish. The use of vegetable stock adds depth to the sauce, while the cumin and black pepper provide a subtle warmth. This sauce is perfect for enchiladas, tacos, or as a flavorful marinade for meats and vegetables. Its smooth texture and balanced flavors make it a must-have for anyone who enjoys Mexican cuisine.

Enhance Your Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mexican Street Corn: Grilled corn on the cob slathered with a creamy, tangy sauce and sprinkled with cheese and spices.
Chile Rellenos: Poblano peppers stuffed with a savory filling, dipped in a light batter, and fried to perfection.
Mango Salsa: A refreshing and sweet salsa made with ripe mango, red onion, cilantro, and a hint of lime juice.
Tres Leches Cake: A light and airy sponge cake soaked in three different types of milk and topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Delicious Alternatives to Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Spicy Chicken Tacos: Marinate the chicken in a blend of spices and citrus juices for a flavorful kick. Serve in warm tortillas with your favorite toppings.
Mango Salsa: Combine diced mango, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice for a refreshing and sweet salsa that pairs perfectly with grilled fish or chicken.
Butternut Squash Soup: Roast butternut squash, carrots, and onions until caramelized, then blend with vegetable broth and warm spices for a comforting and creamy soup.
Chocolate Avocado Mousse: Blend ripe avocados with cocoa powder, maple syrup, and vanilla for a rich and creamy dessert that's secretly healthy and indulgent.

Appetizers and Desserts That Complement Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory bites are filled with a creamy mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs, then baked to perfection. They are the perfect elegant appetizer for any gathering.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: This creamy and cheesy dip is packed with flavor from the spinach, artichokes, and a blend of spices. Serve it with crispy tortilla chips or fresh veggies for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Apple Pie: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a classic apple pie, with a flaky golden crust and a hint of cinnamon, served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and spice.

Why trust this Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe:

This homemade green enchilada sauce recipe is a must-try for any Mexican cuisine enthusiast. Made with fresh jalapeño, garlic cloves, and diced green chiles, this sauce bursts with authentic flavors. The addition of ground cumin and vegetable stock elevates its taste profile. Trust this recipe for its simplicity and use of wholesome ingredients, ensuring a delicious and flavorful result every time.

Have you tried this Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe? Share your experience or ask any questions you may have in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
How spicy is this green enchilada sauce?
This green enchilada sauce has a mild to medium level of spiciness. The jalapeño adds a subtle kick, but it's not overpowering. If you prefer a spicier sauce, you can add more jalapeño or even a spicier pepper to suit your taste.
Can I use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock?
Absolutely! You can use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock in this recipe. It will add a slightly different flavor profile, but it will still work well with the other ingredients.
Can I make this sauce ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this green enchilada sauce ahead of time. It can be refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container.
Can I omit the garlic from the recipe?
While the garlic adds a wonderful flavor to the sauce, you can omit it if you have dietary restrictions or simply don't enjoy the taste of garlic. The sauce will still be delicious without it.
How can I adjust the consistency of the sauce?
If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can reduce the amount of vegetable stock used. On the other hand, if you prefer a thinner consistency, you can add a bit more stock until it reaches your desired thickness.

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