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Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce



Learn how to make the BEST homemade roasted green enchilada sauce. This sauce is a spicy blend of blackened peppers, garlic, onions, and tomatillos; perfect for soups, burritos, and green enchiladas.

The Best Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce | Kitchen Cents

THEE best roasted green enchilada sauce ever. This sauce is perfect for smothering burritos, making enchiladas, or adding to any Mexican food table spread.

Roasted green enchilada sauce is easy to make and so delicious. This sauce carries bold and delicious flavors from a variety of peppers, spices and other vegetables.

I love making a double or triple batch so I can process and preserve it for later. This helps me create delicious easy dinner options in no time. Recipes like this White Chicken Chili or a pan of Homemade Green Enchiladas smothered in this amazing sauce.

The Best Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce | Kitchen Cents



When the peppers and veggies are roasted and blacken, the flavors change. Blackening the peppers deepens the flavor and richness of the green enchilada sauce.

Don’t skip this step.

The smokey, rich flavor that comes from the blackened peppers (especially if you completely blacken over a fire) is like no other. I believe this is the secret in making this the BEST green enchilada sauce.


There are a couple ways to roast the peppers.

  1. Roast in the oven – pepper cut in half
  2. Blacken over a flame (campfire, coals, camp chef, grill, etc) – pepper kept whole
The Best Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce | Kitchen Cents

In this case, blackened peppers mean “burnt skins.” As the pepper roasts over high heat the skin blackens and inside cooks. The skin of the pepper becomes bitter and the inside infuses with a smokey, rich flavor.

The hot-off-the-fire or out-of-the-oven blackened peppers are placed in an airtight container (or bag) to “sweat.” This makes the blacken skins loosen from the pepper and peel more easily. When cool enough to handle, the blackened skin is peeled off.

The Best Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce | Kitchen Cents

PRO TIP #1: Wear gloves when handling hot peppers (latex or food-handling plastic gloves). This will ensure you don’t tough the capsaicin (the chemical in peppers that make them spicy). If handling hot peppers without gloves the capsaicin can linger on your hands and under fingernails which can cause irritation or burning.

PRO TIP #2: The white ribbing attached to the seeds of a pepper is where the majority of capsaicin is (the chemical that makes peppers spicy), not the seeds. If you’d like to lessen the spiciness of this sauce, make sure to remove all seeds AND RIBBING. On the contrary, if you like it spicy, leave the seeds and ribbing for an extra spicy kick.


To roast garlic, separate each clove. Leave skins of each clove on. This helps retain moisture during the high heat roast.

Place whole garlic cloves on roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and roast at 450°F. The garlic cloves with cook and sweeten.

When the garlic is roasted they will have lost some moisture and shrunk slightly. This will allow the whole garlic cloves to easily slip from the skins when the tip is squeezed.


If you want to add even more flavor into your roasted green enchilada sauce, try grilling your tomatillos. This adds a depth of flavor you won’t get from roasting in the oven.

It creates a warm, smokey flavor that is top notch! It only takes 5-10 minutes to grill tomatillos depending on how hot your grill is.

The Best Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce | Kitchen Cents


Place all roasted veggies, blackened (peeled) peppers, and garlic in a blender to puree. Pulse if you prefer a chunkier sauce.

Once pureed, pour into a large stockpot. Add chicken stock, spices (cumin, sugar, salt, pepper) then simmer until desired thicken is achieved. This usually takes 15-45 minutes.

Remember to stir occasionally to avoid sticking on the bottom.

When the sauce is as thick as you’d like remove it from the heat. Next, add fresh cut cilantro.

The sauce is ready to use or can for later.

The Best Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce | Kitchen Cents


If your green enchilada sauce is TOO SPICY, add some kind of acidic juice such as lime juice. The high acidity will lessen the spice level.

It won’t mask all the spicy but will help to lessen it. Lime juice is a great choose as it pairs well with the Mexican flavors of this sauce.

Start with 1-2 tablespoons. Taste as you go.


To preserve or save long term (1 year) use your method of choice: pressure canning or water bath method like with this Homemade Salsa recipe.

In the past, I’ve used a water bath method; placing the jars of green enchilada sauce in a pot of boiling water and boiling to process. The processing time will vary depending on how high elevation you live.

Process times for pints: 25 minutes if you’re at sea level to 1000 feet elevation. Add 5 minutes if you live at 1001-3000 feet. If at 3001-6000 feet elevation add 10 minutes. Add 15 minutes if you live at 6001-8000 feet elevation.

I live around 5500 feet elevation so I process pint jars for 35 minutes.

The Best Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce | Kitchen Cents


The Best Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce | Kitchen Cents

Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce

Yield: about 8 pints or 15 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Process Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes

A spicy blend of blackened peppers, garlic, onions, and tomatillos. The perfect sauce to add to soups, burritos, or enchiladas. SO MUCH BETTER than store-bought!


  • 4 lbs tomatillos, husked and quartered *See notes*
  • 1 bulb garlic, cloves separated but skins left ON (about 10 cloves)
  • 1 ¼ lbs pasilla, Anaheim or poblano peppers, halved and seeded (about 4-5 peppers)
  • 1 ¼ lbs green bell peppers, halved and seeded (about 3 peppers)
  • 1/3 lb jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded (for more heat do not seed) (about 3-4 peppers)
  • ¼ lb serrano peppers, halved and seeded (for more heat do not seed) (about1-3 peppers)
  • ¾ lb onions, quartered (about 2 small, 1 large or 1.5-2 cups)
  • 2-3 T. olive oil
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock, (if a thicker sauce is desired only add 4 cups)
  • 2 T. cumin
  • 2 T. sugar, add more if needed *See notes*
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste, start with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and add more if needed
  • 1-2 T. lime juice, optional *See notes*


    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Place halved and seeded peppers, garlic cloves (do not peel), tomatillos, and onion quarters onto a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until pepper skins are blackened. (See notes for alternative methods of roasting and blackening).
    3. Place in an airtight container to cool. Once cooled enough to handle, peel blackened skin from peppers. Squeeze garlic for the skin. They should slip right out after roasting.
    4. Put all peeled and roasted vegetables in a blender and puree. If you prefer a chunkier sauce, pulse blender until desired consistency is met.
    5. Pour blended mixture into a large pot. Add chicken stock, cumin, sugar, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 15 to 45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency. Turn heat off and add fresh
      chopped cilantro.
    6. If the sauce is too spicy for your liking, add the lime juice. This can help reduce spiciness but will change the flavor slightly.
    7. Use your preferred canning method to can. Or store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Keeps in the fridge for up to one week. *See notes or post for process time - water bath method).


  • When handling hot peppers, wear latex or food-handling plastic gloves to avoid skin irritation or burns.
  • Tomatillos are ripe and ready when they are green and filled or split their husks. If tomatillos have begun yellowing, they may be overripe. Using overripe tomatillos will alter the flavor (make it much sweeter). The amount of sugar added may need to be adjusted if using yellow tomatillos rather than green.
  • If you have access to an open fire or high heat grill, roast/blacken over fire or grill. For me, this speeds up the process and doesn’t require turning on the oven. Once blackened place in an airtight container or bag. This helps loosen the blackened skins so they will peel easily.·
  • If the sauce is too spicy when completed, add lime juice to counter spiciness. This will change the flavor slightly. Lime juice will help offset the spiciness level but will not take it away.
  • When making this recipe, I double or triple the batch to can for later. I use a water bath or pressure cooker method to sterilize and seal sauce in jars·
  • Process pints in a water bath for 35 minutes (for 3,000-6,000 feet elevation).

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 2g

1 thought on “Roasted Green Enchilada Sauce”

  1. Thank you so much for the link to our Horchata -that was very kind of you! Your enchilada sauce sounds incredible. It is funny but Newton was just telling me about how he didn’t think that it was a good idea to use overripe tomatillos, and explaining to me how I could tell if they were overripe. He likes dishes a lot hotter than I do. When he makes omelets, he makes individual ones for me and for him so he can spice his up.


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