Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

This is Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce. Most people know what salsa verde is, and if you like salsa verde you probably like Enchiladas Verde, which is salsa verde on top of enchiladas. Or is it? I wanted to find out if there was an actual difference, and there is.

Verde Enchilada Sauce

I have some news to share today, but let’s get to the food first!

I’m a huge Mexican food fan, and although I love so much about this cuisine, I have to say that salsa verde holds a special place in my foodie heart. I absolutely adore it.

I typically order it on the side of whatever I’m having at any Mexican/Tex Mex restaurant, especially if the restaurant is new to me, because…well, I have to kinda review it.

I simply must.

Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

There has to be a good balance of tartness, salt, heat (mild heat) and a teensy tiny bit of sweetness to balance it all out.

Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

Of course, I love Enchiladas Verdes, but I make them with flour tortillas instead of corn.

I’ve also made different versions of salsa verde in the past, and not only used it as a dip for tortilla chips but poured it over enchiladas and burritos. 

Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

What is Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce?

Recently, I was asked if there is a difference between salsa verde and salsa verde enchilada sauce. It could also be tomatillo enchilada sauce.

What a fantastic question.

Now, why didn’t I name this salsa verde enchilada sauce?

Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

That’s because I literally just recently discovered that I’ve been name hogging salsa verde to label ONLY Mexican green salsas. I didn’t know this, but there is definitely a misconception that it only refers to salsas.

Salsa Verde actually refers to a group of green sauces used to marinate, finish with or dip in. These include vinegar-based or oil-based, like my Flank Steak with Basil Chimichurri or Bon Appétit’s Duck Confit with Olive Relish and Salsa Verte. Salsa verte is a French “salsa” with parsley, chives and mint, with the addition of Sherry.

I’m very intrigued.

Verde Enchilada Sauce

In my search for the answer, I found many different recipes and opinions, articles and quora answers.

What I discovered is that it boils down (pun intended) to this – the addition of chicken stock and the method of cooking transforms salsa verde into tomatillo enchilada sauce. *Voila*

Let’s make Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

Yield: 8 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Enchilada sauce for salsa verde lovers.


  • 1 lb Hatch chile peppers, or Anaheim
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos, little husks removed (paper coverings)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (you may not need it all)
  • Coarsely ground sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Handful fresh cilantro, washed
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange chiles, jalapeno, garlic, onion and tomatillos in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt Roast for 30 minutes, then transfer to a plate and cover,
  3. When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel skin, remove ribs and seeds, then roughly chop.
  4. With a little oil in a medium size sauce pan, turn heat up to medium and add sauce ingredients. Stir for a minute, then add broth and cumin.
  5. Turn heat up to medium high and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Blend using an immersion blender or food processor until smooth*. Salt to taste.


* If sauce appears too thick, add more chicken broth a little at a time until desired consistency.

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  • Shea

    Shea Goldstein is a writer and the voice behind Dixie Chik Cooks. She's also a recipe developer and brand ambassador. She has been published in several media platforms such as Redbook, Parade, Food Blogger Magazine and more. She has been developing recipes and writing since 2009. Shea is a Southern Belle Who's Thinking About What's For Dinner While Eating Lunch

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