A sheet pan and a blender are all you need to make this fresh, flavorful green chili enchilada sauce and it’s hands down better than anything you can buy in the store. Make a double batch and freeze the leftovers for later.
I love how quick and easy this recipe is. There’s no need to sauté the veggies or boil the tomatillos.
I place the washed vegetables on a sheet pan and roast them in the oven before blending them in a blender.
Don’t be freaked out by the entire bulb of garlic in this recipe. The bulb is roasted in the oven too, which has a mellowing effect on the sharp bite of raw garlic, and since we are blending it into the mixture, we don’t need to worry about chopping or mincing.
Before roasting, I drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil into the cut bulb. The garlic slides right out of the bulb and skin. Easy peasy!
Along with some traditional seasoning, I like the addition of some mesquite smoke. I use Colgin Liquid Smoke. If you haven’t tried Liquid smoke in a while, give it a try. Things have changed. The smell of mesquite reminds me of my childhood in Arizona and the aroma from grilling in the backyard as well as the Sonoran Mexican and Mexico City style foods so ubiquitous down there. I guess I really took for granted all the different Mexican restaurants we had to choose from.
My favorite restaurant in AZ is called La Parilla Suiza. All of their meats are grilled the proper way, and everything is super fresh. I make it a point to go there every time I’m back down there. I highly recommend trying it! Get a number 44, it’s my favorite.
Everything goes right into the blender where it gets whizzed until smooth. I use parchment paper when roasting the tomatillos. The pan stays clean and it makes it super easy to pour all the juices into the blender so nothing is wasted. You want those juices, for sure!
This versatile enchilada sauce will change the way you make Mexican and southwestern cuisine at home. Think fresh tacos stuffed with grilled seafood, chicken or beef with a drizzle of this fresh green chili sauce, or serve it with fajitas as a salsa verde, or bake up some tried and true Enchiladas Verde for a night of Mexican comfort food.
Once you see how easy it is to pull this sauce together and how good it is, you’ll think twice about buying that canned enchilada sauce again.
I bought a couple pounds of hatch chilies a couple weeks ago. I roasted them on the grill and froze about four of them to a freezer bag to preserve them. Check out my post on Roasting Hatch Chilies and Freezing them here. The technique applies to all large chilies, actually. They are great to have on hand for recipes like this one. Again, why buy canned?
You’ll notice the sweetener in the recipe below. Some people like their enchilada sauce a little sweeter, or you may want it sweeter for some dishes. I personally, don’t use sugar, but you certainly can. You can also forgo the sweetener altogether, which is something I do most of the time. Keep in mind, the onion and bell pepper add sweetness too. It’s delicious either way. 🙂
If you make this sauce, I want to see! Tag your pic with #basilandoregano on Instagram.
- 1 ½ pounds tomatillos
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 small white onion
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 roasted hatch or another hot chili of choice
- 2 cups chicken broth (more or less as needed)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 6-10 drops Colgin Liquid Mesquite Smoke (optional)
- Sweetener of choice (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Slice the entire bottom off the bulb of garlic to expose as many cloves as possible. Place the bulb on a parchment lined sheet pan. Drizzle with the teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt.
- Remove husks from tomatillos and wash/dry your veggies.
- On the parchment lined sheet pan, lay out the bell pepper, onion, tomatillos in one layer.
- Roast in the oven for 15 – 30 minutes, watching and turning as you go. Remove the veggies when the tomatillos look nicely browned, and the onion is soft. The veggies will be very hot so set them aside for a couple minutes to cool.
- Using a knife, fork or spoon, push all the cloves of garlic out of the bulb. They should come out effortlessly.
- In a heat-proof blender, toss in the roasted veggies, garlic, at least a cup of the cilantro, hot chili, salt, pepper, cumin, liquid smoke, if using, and about 1 cup of the chicken broth. Blend until smooth. Add more chicken broth and mix or blend to thin, as needed. Add sweetener, if using. Season to taste with additional cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin and/or chili.
Freeze leftovers in freezer bags or freezer-safe container. This sauce can be made ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator for up to two days. The flavor will continue to develop over time.