Roasted Tomatillo Enchiladas

Enchiladas Verde
Servings: 4


  • 1pound (about 8 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles
  • 1small white onion, sliced ½ inch thick plus A few slices for garnish (divided use)
  • 2tablespoons vegetable oil, olive oil, bacon drippings or fresh-rendered pork lard
  • 1 1/2cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
  • 1/4cup chopped cilantro or parsley OR a large sprig of epazote
  • 2 3/4cups (12 ounces) cooked, coarsely shredded, boneless chicken, pork or beef (this is a good place for rotisserie chicken or leftover roasted or braised meats) OR 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded Mexican melting cheese (such as Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar OR 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) goat or dry-ish ricotta cheese
  • 8 corn tortillas, preferably from a local tortillería
  • Dollops of Mexican crema, sour cream, crème fraiche or Greek-style yogurt thinned with a little milk OR A few tablespoons grated Mexican queso añejo or other garnishing cheese such as Romano or Parmesan OR A handful of shredded Mexican melting cheese (such as Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar —you can sprinkle it over the enchiladas before they go into the oven
  • A handful of cilantro leaves (if I have them)


First make a roasted tomatillo base: On a rimmed baking sheet, spread out tomatillos, garlic, serrano, and the small white onion, sliced ½ inch thick.  Slide the baking sheet as close up under a preheated broiler as possible. After 4 or 5 minutes, when everything is blotchy-black and softening, turn the vegetables and roast the other side until everything is cooked through (they should be soft), while taking on an attractive bit of rustic char.  Once the vegetables are roasted, they go on the stove top to cool down a little.

When the vegetables have cooled down enough to handle, slip the skins off the garlic and pull the stem off the chiles.  In a blender, combine the tomatillos (and any juice on the baking sheet), garlic, chiles, onion and a scant teaspoon salt, and blend everything to a coarse puree.

In a large (10-inch) skillet over medium-high heat measure the oil or lard.  When it’s hot, add the roasted tomatillo sauce base.  Let the sauce reduce and concentrate, stirring it frequently, for about 4 minutes. When it’s thicker than spaghetti sauce, stir in chicken broth and cilantro or parsley.  Season the sauce with salt, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer while you prepare the filling.

Measure out your choice of filling.  Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. Spray or brush with oil on one side of the tortillas then stack them up, slip them into a plastic bag, fold it over and microwave them at 100% for 1 minute. Let them stand for a minute (to uniformly absorb the heat) while you stir a little sauce into the meat to moisten it (the cheese needs no sauce). Then lay out the tortillas on the counter, top them each with a portion cup of the meat or cheese, roll them up and fit them into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.  Spoon the hot sauce over them (covering the whole tortilla avoids dry ends), slide them into the oven and bake just until heated through—about 4 minutes.  Longer in the oven means mushy enchiladas. 

To serve the enchiladas, simply use a spatula to transfer them to dinner plates.  Garnish the enchiladas with the topping(s) of your choice, crema, cheese, white onion, and or cilantro leaves.


  1. A good way to get lots of BPA is to heqt the tortillas in plastic bags. I would put them in a ceramic bowl or on a plate with ceramic cover to hold in the moisture but avoid the BPAs.

  2. I have a bumper crop of tomatillos and this is far and away the best sauce recipe I’ve found. I did add 2 roasted Anaheim chiles and it turned out great.

  3. How do I get the enchiladas not to be soggy? It seems like pouring hot sauce makes them soggy even after only putting them in oven for 4 mins.

    1. My Mexican friend told me you have to fry them in oil first and then the sauce doesn’t penetrate the tortilla and make them soggy

  4. I put the corn tortillas on the stove burner flip them over until they are a little charred.i actually make this layered versus rolled.one of our favorite meals. I put some prosciutto in this last time I made this recipe

  5. This is my go-to green sauce. So very flavorful. When my tomatillos are ready at the end of the summer, I make as much as I can and freeze portions for the rest of the year. Thanks Rick!

  6. Oh, forgot to say, since I don’t have a microwave, I put the lightly oiled stacked corn tortillas on parchment and then in foil and warm in the oven. They are fantastic!

  7. Rick I don’t know if you’re reading this but I watch all your shows you are the best at it for a gringo! Lol I want to know where I can get the soundtrack to one plate at a time. I love your choice in Mexican music a little more contemporary I would love to play it during my Mexican Monday night fiesta! For the senoritas with the margaritas!

  8. This verde is somewhat bitter in a saucepan, but when it comes out of the oven, wow. I’ve tried few different recipes, but this recipe is THE benchmark.

  9. So good, thank you! My edit was cooking the chicken in the sauce instead of adding broth. A pound of breasts, each sliced into about three pieces, fit in my 10 inch pan and cooked through in about 30 minutes. Came out super juicy, and the sauce tastes great.

Leave a Reply

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