Homemade Idaho Green Enchilada Sauce – It’s Easy!

Share Button

My husband loves burritos with green enchilada sauce.  I mean, LOVES them.  All slathered up with sour cream and heavily coated with cayenne pepper powder.  He will request them for many meals in a row, including breakfast. (I’ll be posting the burrito recipe soon too!)

Well, imagine our chagrin when we found that our beloved green enchilada sauce contains MSG! I started examining all the cans of enchilada sauce at the store, and almost ALL of them have it. Pooh. Not cool, most definitely a bubble-bursting discovery.

So in the spirit of pluckiness, I decided I would try to overcome my fear of tomatillos and create my own homemade, full of wholesomeness, Idaho Enchilada Sauce. (I know, it just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?)

[Skip to the printable recipe]

Ingredients | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce | PluckyMom.comHere are my ingredients. This is all that’s in there!  (Tomotillos don’t start out like this. They grow in a husk, which you remove and give them a little rinse. I had already done that in this photo.)

Everything is now chopped | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |
I coarsely chopped the onion since I knew I’d be pureeing the mix later.

Summarily dump the onions into a 2 quart pot. (This one I inherited from my Grandma!) Make sure it’s big enough to start with because the Pluckeasy Kitchen Philosophy dictates that the fewest dirty dishes you can get away with, the better. Drizzle with “enough” olive oil, and saute for a minute or two.

Saute the onions and garlic with olive oil | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |

I added the garlic and continued sauteing till the onion was fairly wilty and translucent. Don’t add the garlic at the beginning since it will overcook and just disappear in all that onionness.

I know, some purists may go nuts that I used pre-minced garlic, but in my life right now, dominated by the short attention span and impending boredom of a 7-month-old boy, this is one thing I feel a-ok taking a shortcut on.

Add chicken broth and simmer | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |

Add chicken broth, green chiles, tomatillos, and cumin.

Since I didn’t have any broth in the freezer, I took a shortcut again and used Better Than Bullion soup baseCheck out this soup base and support this blog! to make up the stock. I LOVE this stuff— not too salty, no added MSG, and you can even get it organic.

Simmer for about 4 minutes, until the onion and tomatillos are soft. 

After simmering, onions and tomatillo are limp | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce | PluckyMom.comHere’s what it looks like when it’s simmered and ready to blend.

The next step is fun. If you have a stick blenderCheck out stick blenders and support this blog!. (This is one kitchen tool that will definitely be on my must-have list for another post!)

Use stick blender to liquify | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |

Blend ruthlessly.

Now give it a smell with the olfactory senses — isn’t it heavenly?? While this isn’t required for the recipe, savoring the aromas is one of my favorite traditions.

I like a little bit of chunks of green chiles in my enchilada sauce, so I added another 7 oz. can of chiles after it was all blended.

Delicious, with chunkcs of chiles | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |

That’s all there is to it! This recipe made a whopping 8 cups of Idaho Enchilada Sauce.

8 cups of enchilada sauce | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |

You can consume the entire batch of deliciousness now, or do as I did and freeze it in a muffin pan for easy-to-thaw servings.

Freeze in a muffin pan | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |

Frozen pucks of green sauce | Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |

We ate about half of my batch at dinner that evening, poured generously atop our Favorite Burritos.  Not only was it delish, but it felt so good to know exactly what ingredients were going into my family.

Favorite Burrito with Homemade Idaho Enchilada Sauce |

A note about cost, since I prefer homemade stuff to make sense economically too.  The store-bought canned green enchilada sauce is usually somewhere around 11¢/oz. The healthier, no-MSG kind can be had for 20¢-35¢/oz. This recipe cost me 9¢/oz., and that’s with it being winter time!  The price goes down (and nutrition goes up) if you grow some or all of your own ingredients.

Note to self: grow tomatillos in this years’ garden.


The Recipe:

Be sure to rate this recipe in the comments below!

Homemade Idaho Green Enchilada Sauce - It's Easy!
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yummy homemade green enchilada sauce is great for burritos, enchiladas or in dips. Use as you would any prepared green salsa or canned enchilada sauce, only without the MSG guilt!
Recipe type: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 16
  • 2-4 T. Olive Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1-1/2 T. Minced Garlic
  • 1 lb. Tomatillos, husked, rinsed and chunked
  • 1 T. Cumin
  • 1 4 oz. can Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 7 oz. can Diced Green Chiles
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 c. Chicken Broth or Stock
  1. Saute onion in olive oil till wilted; add garlic and saute till translucent.
  2. Add chicken broth, 4 oz. can of chiles, tomatillos, and cumin. Simmer for about 4 minutes, or until tomatillos are soft.
  3. Blend with immersion blender till smooth.
  4. Add 7 oz. can of green chiles and pinch of salt (to taste). Simmer for another 3-5 minutes.
  5. Serve or freeze. Yields 8 cups.
You can substitute canned fire roasted peppers or add roasted jalapenos to kick up the heat. (To roast jalapenos, blacken it over flame, slide off skins, and remove seeds.) Add when you add tomatillos.


Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: