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Savory Tweaks: 5 BEST Green Enchilada Sauce Substitutes

Are you looking for a delicious alternative to green enchilada sauce? You’re in the right place.

This article will explore five different substitutes that have unique flavors and textures that you can use to elevate your dishes.

So keep on reading to find out what these alternatives are and how they can help bring a new level of flavor to your kitchen.

What is Green Enchilada Sauce?

Green enchilada sauce is a traditional Mexican sauce used to make enchiladas.

It is traditionally made with fresh tomatillos, green chilies, onion and garlic, but there are many variations.

Depending on the region of Mexico, you may find versions of green enchilada sauce made with other ingredients such as cilantro or red chilies.

Making green enchilada sauce at home can be done in just a few simple steps.

Start by blending together the tomatillos, chilies, onion and garlic in a food processor until they are combined but not completely smooth.

Next heat up a large pan and add some oil or butter before stirring in the tomato mixture along with any extra seasonings you wish to include such as cumin, oregano or other spices for added flavor.

Cook until it has reduced and thickened slightly before adding chicken stock to thin and bring everything together into a sauce-like consistency.

Taste here for any additional seasonings if desired before pouring this delicious sauce over your enchiladas for an authentically Mexican-style dish.

Here are some tips on making and serving the best tasting green enchilada sauce:

  • Make sure to taste your mixture often throughout cooking so that you can adjust any flavors that need it.
  • Start off with small amounts of seasoning because you can always add more if desired.
  • Adding some grated cheese at the end of cooking will give it an irresistible creamy flavor.
  • Ensure your green enchilada sauce is completely cooled before serving – otherwise it could become too watery when poured over cooked enchiladas.

5 Best Green Enchilada Sauce Substitutes to Consider

It has a mild yet tangy flavor which pairs well with the sweetness of monterey jack cheese, veggies like zucchini and squash, chicken, beef or pork.

If you don’t have any green enchilada sauce on hand, these five substitutes will do the trick:

1 – Taco Sauce

Taco sauce is a popular substitute for green enchilada sauce because it carries many of the same flavors.

Taco sauce is typically made out of a blend of tomatoes, peppers, and spices in a base form that can range from water to cream or oil.

You can find taco sauces with different levels of spiciness such as mild, medium, and hot levels.

In addition to being used as an enchilada sauce substitute, it is also great for adding flavor to tacos and burritos.

It can also be used as a marinade for meats such as chicken or steak that are eventually going to end up in an enchilada dish.

The flavor of taco sauce may vary significantly depending on the brand so you’ll need to experiment before settling on the one you prefer.

2 – Tomatillo Avocado Sauce

Tomatillo Avocado Sauce is made from tomatillos, avocados, jalapenos, garlic and cilantro.

It has a bright, tart flavor and a creamy texture that makes it an excellent substitute for green enchilada sauce.

It can be served as a topping for tacos or burritos or used as a dip with chips.

To make the sauce, combine one cup of diced fresh tomatillos with one ripe avocado, two tablespoons of chopped jalapeños (optional), two cloves of minced garlic and two tablespoons of chopped cilantro in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

The sauce can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days in the refrigerator.

3 – Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is often used as a substitute for green enchilada sauce since they are both made with tomatillos.

Tomatillos are a bright, tart-tasting fruit that adds a depth of flavor to salsa verde.

They can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores and come in fresh and canned versions.

For this recipe, canned tomatillos should work just fine.

To make the salsa verde, you’ll need to combine prepared tomatillo salsa or canned tomatillos with diced onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapenos and lime juice.

This mixture can be processed in a blender or food processor until it reaches the desired consistency — chunky or smooth.

The jalapenos can be adjusted to a milder version if you want to lower the heat level of this sauce substitute.

Serve Salsa Verde over cheese enchiladas for an authentic taste experience.

4 – Tomatillo-Chipotle Sauce

Tomatillo-Chipotle Sauce is quickly becoming a favorite among enchilada makers.

It provides a slightly smoky, mildly spicy flavor and is easy to make.

The ingredients are simple — tomato sauce, tomatillos, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, garlic and cilantro blended together until smooth.

If you can’t find canned chipotles in adobo sauce at your local grocery store or Mexican market, you can substitute chili powder for a milder flavor.

Tomatillo-Chipotle Sauce has a relatively short shelf life so it’s best made shortly before use or frozen for later use in small batches or ice cube trays.

This versatile sauce can also be used as a marinade for chicken or beef, as well as sautéed vegetables for burritos and tacos.

5 – Chiltomate Sauce

Chiltomate sauce is a Mexican sauce made with ground tomatoes, jalapenos, and garlic.

It has a bright red color and a smooth texture similar to that of green enchilada sauce.

When using chiltomate sauce as a Green Enchilada Sauce substitute, be sure to adjust for the level of spiciness since jalapenos can vary in intensity.

Chiltomate sauce is best used when making dishes like quesadillas, tacos and other Mexican favorites.

To prepare the sauce, simply blend together the tomatoes, jalapenos and garlic with salt and pepper to taste.


In conclusion, when you can’t find or don’t have green enchilada sauce on hand, simply use a salsa verde or top the enchiladas with a combination of sour cream, mayonnaise, and cheese.

For different levels of spiciness, there are plenty of options to choose from including tomatillo salsas and chile sauces.

For those who prefer a mild flavor without the kick, two cups of chicken broth combined with one tablespoon each of flour and oil make a helpful substitution.

Finally, for an exciting twist, guajillo and chihuacle negro sauces offer complex flavors in every bite.

No matter which option you go with, there is definitely no lack of interesting substitutes for green enchilada sauce that will add delicious flavor to your enchilada dish.

5 Best Green Enchilada Sauce Substitutes to Consider

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Taco Sauce
  • 2 – Tomatillo Avocado Sauce
  • 3 – Salsa Verde
  • 4 – Tomatillo-Chipotle Sauce
  • 5 – Chiltomate Sauce


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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