Green Chile Enchilada sauce is tangy and rich and, best of all, so easy to make yourself! Just roast green chiles, then simmer them with onions, garlic, jalapeños and spices. Give the mixture a quick blend and you’re ready to make enchiladas from scratch! Watch the video at the bottom to see the step by step process of making homemade enchilada sauce – you won’t believe how easy it is.
When it comes to comfort food, green chile chicken enchiladas are hard to beat. I love the tender chicken, melty cheese and tortilla, soft in the middle with edges that get perfectly crisp in those last few minutes in the oven. For years I made enchiladas with Hatch brand Green Chile Enchilada Sauce. But one day I read the ingredient label and began my search for a homemade green enchilada sauce recipe that would compare.
The first few recipes that I tried were okay, but were largely flavored by tomatillos. I like tomatillos in things like pork chili verde, but for enchilada sauce they make the sauce too tangy for my taste. Now my go-to green chile sauce is a simple combination of roasted Hatch or Anaheim chiles, olive oil, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cumin and water. It’s a great copycat version of the Hatch brand sauce, but without the ‘extra’ ingredients.
I started this post with a photo of finished enchiladas, which is kind of a bait and switch. Like I should have a disclaimer, “Serving suggestion only.” But the enchiladas I make barely need a recipe, so here goes:
- To make a pan of 8 enchiladas, I start with a store-bought rotisserie chicken or a chicken that I’ve cooked in the slow cooker (my preferred method, read tip below), 8 flour tortillas, 10 ounces of cheese (a mix of cheddar and mozzarella), a can of olives (these are my favorite) that I’ve sliced and 1/2 a recipe of this green chile enchilada sauce.
- I pour a cup or so of enchilada sauce in a glass baking dish that I’ve drizzled with oil. Then, one by one, roll up each tortilla filled with 1/8 of the chicken, 1 ounce of cheese and a sprinkle of sliced olives and arrange them in the pan.
- Next I pour enchilada sauce over all and top with remaining cheese and olives. I cover the pan with foil and bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Then uncover and bake 15 minutes more until the cheese is lightly brown and bubbly.
- And finally serve them with fresh cilantro, sour cream and hot sauce, for those who want some extra kick.
Tip: you can put a whole chicken in a slow cooker, season it with salt and pepper and cook it on low for 4 to 5 hours if thawed, 6 to 7 hours if you start with a frozen chicken. No liquid required. The chicken comes out rotisserie tender and shreds beautifully for salads, tacos, tostadas and, of course, enchiladas.
Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce
Green Chile Enchilada sauce is tangy and rich and, best of all, so easy to make yourself! Just roast green chiles, then simmer them with onions, garlic, jalepenos and spices. Give the mixture a quick blend and you're ready to make enchiladas from scratch!
- 1 3/4 pounds Anaheim or Hatch Chiles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 white onions thinly sliced
- 1 head garlic cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 jalapeños stem, seeds and membrane removed, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 3 cups water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange chiles on it in a single layer. Roast chiles for 25 minutes then transfer to bowl and cover for at least 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
When chiles are cool enough to handle, remove stems, skin and seeds; coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeño; cook and stir until soft, about 15 minutes. Add chopped chiles, cumin and water; cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Blend in 2 or 3 batches, covering the blender with a towel not the lid if the sauce is hot.
Pour sauce into canning jars or other heat-safe containers and let cool. Refrigerate or freeze sauce or use it right away!