I’m excited to introduce y’all to my hands-down favorite Mexican meal of all time: my mom’s popular Enchiladas Verdes (a.k.a. Green Enchiladas). They’re so delicious, they are even published in the first Muy Bueno cookbook!

stack of green enchiladas verdes layered with shredded chicken, cheese, and creamy roasted green chile sauce.

Featuring tender corn tortillas cradling succulent chicken, oozing with melted cheese, all smothered in a luscious creamy roasted green chile sauce that balances just the right amount of spice and tang, these chicken enchiladas with green sauce are even better than your favorite restaurant.

What Are Enchiladas Verdes?

Enchiladas Verdes are a classic Mexican dish, but these are quite unique. Most green enchiladas go for the tomatillo vibe, but these bad boys take a detour with a roasted long green chile sauce that’s a game-changer.

bowl of roasted green chiles next to fresh green chiles.

These enchiladas are similar to enchiladas suizas. What sets them apart is the luxurious topping of a creamy, luscious sauce. This sauce is a velvety blend of roasted green chiles and cream. The combination results in a rich and tangy flavor profile, with a hint of heat from the green chiles.

Picture this: soft corn tortillas, a quick fry, and a generous smothering in a creamy green sauce made from roasted green chiles layered with shedded cheese and chicken. A flavor fiesta that’s all at once tangy, spicy, and creamy. Trust me, you’re gonna be craving these big time!

My mom’s from-scratch green chile sauce for enchiladas includes a unique “secret ingredient” that makes all the difference — Suero de Sal (whey) from Licon Dairy, a local treasure of El Paso where I was raised. 

bottle of Suero (a.k.a. whey) from Licon Dairy, the secret ingredient of the creamy green enchilada sauce!

(Don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on this Tex-Mex culinary gem; you can easily substitute it with a combo of buttermilk and crema. This adapted variation of this creamy green chile sauce is published in Muy Bueno Fiestas.)

flat lay shot of ingredients needed to make a creamy green enchilada sauce laid out on a white table.

These enchiladas verde are delicious stacked or rolled, and can easily be made vegetarian or with the meat of your choice. No matter how you prefer them, these green chile enchiladas are a flavorful fiesta you’re sure to love!

Why You’ll Love This Green Enchiladas Recipe

Get ready to roll (or stack) your way to an exquisite Mexican dining experience that will have you coming back for more. These enchiladas de pollo verdes are so delicious! But, if you need more of a reason to try them out, you should also know this recipe is:

  • True to Tradition – This verde enchilada recipe comes directly from my mom, representing the epitome of authentic Mexican flavor. So, don’t doubt its authenticity; it’s the real deal!
  • Customizable – Whether you’re in the market for rolled green chile chicken enchiladas or prefer your enchiladas verdes vegetarian and stacked, I’ve got you covered. Read on below for tons of variations!
  • Made With Just 10 Simple Ingredients – These verde enchiladas might be bursting at the seams with bright, spicy flavors, but they’re simply made with easy-to-find ingredients. 
  • Meal Prep-Friendly – This chicken enchiladas verdes recipe can be prepped several days in advance and kept in the fridge for a near-instant weeknight dinner. 

Ingredients & Substitutions

As promised, my mom’s from-scratch enchiladas verdes suizas require just a few simple ingredients. Here’s what to grab:

  • Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast – My family flips for green chile chicken enchiladas, but chicken is not required. You’re welcome to fill your enchiladas with just cheese for a vegetarian version, add sautéed veggies, swap in convenient rotisserie chicken, or use the cooked meat of your choice!
  • Green Chile Peppers – I prefer Anaheim chiles because they are readily available year-round, but you’re welcome to swap in the green peppers of your choice. Other great options include Hatch or Mirasol or poblanos for a mild variation.
  • Canola Oil – With a relatively low saturated fat content, high smoke-point, neutral flavor profile, and inexpensive price point, canola is my go-to frying oil. Feel free to swap in another neutral oil like peanut, avocado, or grapeseed depending on what you have on hand.
  • Suero de Sal – Whey is the secret ingredient in my mom’s green chile sauce for enchiladas. If you can’t find it, you’re welcome to use a combo of buttermilk and Crema Mexicana as a substitute. 
  • Flour – The biggest difference between regular salsa verde and the salsa you use for these green chicken enchiladas is that enchilada sauce has a thicker viscosity thanks to flour. If you’re gluten-free, not to worry — just swap in your favorite cup-for-cup all-purpose gluten-free flour or omit. 
  • White Onion – This is the traditional pick for enchiladas verdes de pollo, as white onions have a bold flavor. Feel free to omit if you aren’t into raw onions or swap for mild green onions if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Corn Tortillas – If possible, opt for white corn tortillas, which I find are softer than yellow or blue varieties. If you’re gluten-free, make sure to opt for certified GF tortillas.
  • White Cheese – I like to use Asadero, Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, or Muenster. Feel free to swap in the melty cheese of your choice.
  • Crumbled Cheese – Feel free to top enchiladas with a dusting of crumbled queso fresco or cotija for added creaminess and saltiness. If you need to make a swap, try more of your favorite melty white cheese or crumbled feta.
  • Sour Cream – You might want a dollop for serving to tame the spiciness of the verde sauce. You’re also welcome to use crema mexicana.

How To Make Enchiladas Verdes

This authentic chicken enchiladas verde recipe comes together in just a few simple steps:

Step 1: Roast Chile Peppers. Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black. Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, cover with a kitchen towel and when cool, rub off the blackened skin, and discard the stem.

closeup shot of a plate with roasted and peeled hatch green chiles.

Step 2: Make Green Chile Enchilada Sauce. In a blender, combine the roasted peppers, flour, and suero or a combination of buttermilk and crema Mexicana and blend until creamy.

ingredients for making authentic enchiladas verdes sauce added too the base of a blender.

Step 3: Warm the mixture in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons. 

action shot pouring the green enchilada sauce into a pan to heat it up.

Step 4: Poach Chicken (Optional). In a pot with enough water to cover, boil chicken breasts 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Drain, cool, and shred. 

Shredding poached chicken breast with a metal fork on a dark plate.

Enchilada Assembly

You have two options here, stacked or rolled. Growing up, red or green enchiladas were always served stacked with flat tortillas generously dipped in homemade green or red chile sauce, adorned with finely chopped onions, and crowned with a mountain of cheese. 

The magic happened as you repeated this process, layer upon layer, resulting in a mouthwatering tower of enchiladas. This is how my family prefers enchiladas to this day, which is fine by me since it’s easier than the alternative.

closeup of a wooden spoon stirring the enchilada verde sauce.

Option 1: Stacked Green Chile Enchiladas

Step 1: Fry tortillas in hot oil until softened. Drain on paper towels. Soften tortillas by soaking in sauce one at a time. Place softened tortillas on individual serving plates. Layer with cooked chicken, cheese, and onion. Repeat process for a total of 3 to 4 tortillas for each serving.

flat lay shot of a pale green plate with a stack of enchiladas verdes next to avocado slices and radish slices.

Option 2: Baked Green Chile Enchiladas Casserole

We never rolled our enchiladas at home — that was something I only ever saw in restaurants. But for the sake of this post, I decided to embrace the rolling method. While it adds an extra layer of complexity and messiness to the process, it’s also the best way to meal prep enchiladas.

Step 1: Prep. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Fry tortillas in hot oil just until softened. Drain on paper towels. Fill with cooked chicken, cheese, and onion. Roll, placing seam side down.

flat lay shot of a serving platter of rolled enchiladas verdes topped with shredded cheese and cilantro.

Step 2: Bake. Pour 2 cups of the sauce over enchiladas. Bake until warm, about 15 minutes. Garnish with slices of green onions, cilantro, and/or crumbled queso fresco and serve with a dollop of crema or sour cream and your favorite side dish.

Optional Variations

While I love this green chicken enchiladas recipe just the way it is written, there are TONS of ways you can customize it to your liking. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Vegetarian Enchiladas Verdes – Stick with a plain cheese filling, or add some textural interest by adding sautéed or roasted veggies
  • Rotisserie Chicken – Save on prep time by using shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of poaching your own.
  • TurkeyEnchiladas verdes de pavo (i.e. filled with turkey) are a delicious way to use up holiday leftovers.
  • Pork – Try spicy pork tinga or tender carnitas.

Expert Tips

  • Don’t want to buy a whole container of buttermilk? Make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid cup measure, then add milk to the 1 cup line. Stir to combine and let it rest for 5-10 minutes to thicken and curdle.
  • If the sauce is too spicy, add ¼ cup of crema or sour cream and stir. 
  • If the sauce is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.

Storage Instructions/Serving Suggestions

  • If you have leftover enchiladas, place them in an airtight container. You can store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Make-ahead. This sauce can be made in advance and kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer.
wooden tray with a serving platter of enchiladas verdes and two vases filled with flowers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better: green or red enchilada sauce?

Honestly, both options are simply scrumptious! The ultimate decision boils down to your personal taste and the flavor you’re seeking.

If you are looking for a tomatillo-based green sauce, try this salsa verde enchilada sauce.

On the flip side, red enchilada sauce exudes a slightly deeper, earthier allure, thanks to the dried red chiles.

If you find yourself utterly torn, I’ve got a delightful suggestion: try Enchiladas Divorciadas, where red and green enchiladas happily coexist on the same plate! It’s a delightful compromise that ensures you get the best of both saucy worlds.

Are enchiladas verdes spicy?

I’d consider them slightly spicy, but not enough to burn your tongue. That said, if the sauce is a little too adventurous for you (or your littles), you can always stir a bit of sour cream into the sauce to tame the heat.

Which tortillas make the best enchiladas?

In my humble opinion, white corn tortillas are the true stars of the show! Their slightly sweet, nutty flavor and soft, pliable texture make them my absolute favorite for enchiladas.

Are enchiladas suizas authentic?

Enchiladas Suizas are indeed a delicious Mexican dish, but their authenticity is a topic of debate. The term “Suizas” means “Swiss” in Spanish, and it’s believed that the name may have been inspired by the creamy cheese topping, reminiscent of Swiss cuisine. 

Some suggest that the dish was introduced in Mexico by Swiss immigrants, while others argue that it’s a Mexican creation inspired by European flavors.

More Authentic Mexican Enchilada Recipes

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #muybuenocooking.

stack of green enchiladas verdes layered with shredded chicken, cheese, and creamy roasted green chile sauce.

Enchiladas Verdes (Green Enchiladas)

4 (5 ratings)
A family favorite created by my mother, Enchiladas Verdes explodes in your mouth with just the right amount of spice and tang. This is my favorite Mexican dish and it’s sure to become yours too. This recipe can also be found in our published Muy Bueno cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 1- pound skinless, boneless chicken breast (optional)
  • 12 green chile peppers, Anaheim, Hatch, Mirasol, or Poblanos
  • ½ cup canola oil, for frying
  • 1 quart Suero de Sal, (or 3 cups buttermilk plus 1 cup sour cream or Mexican crema, plus more if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 white onion, diced; medium
  • 12 – 18 corn tortillas, preferably white
  • 1 1/2 cups white cheese, shredded; Asadero, Oaxaca, Monterey Jack, or Muenster
  • 1/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, or crema; for serving
  • salt, to taste
  • water, (if needed)

Instructions 

Roast Chili Peppers:

  • Preheat broiler. Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles for roasting. Wash thoroughly. Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black. Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, cover with a kitchen towel and when cool, rub off blackened skin, and discard stem.

Sauce:

  • In a blender combine the peppers, flour, and half of the suero or buttermilk and crema and blend until creamy. Pour mixture into medium skillet and set over medium-low heat to warm. Add additional suero or buttermilk and crema and stir. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons. If the sauce is too spicy, add ¼ cup of crema or sour cream and stir. If the sauce is too thick, add water until desired consistency is reached.

Chicken (Optional):

  • In a pot with enough water to cover, boil chicken breasts 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Drain, cool, and shred. Optional time-saver: shred a store bought rotisserie chicken.

Stacked Style:

  • Fry tortillas in hot oil until softened. Drain on paper towels. Soften tortillas by soaking in sauce one at a time. Place softened tortillas on individual serving plates. Layer with cooked chicken, cheese, and onion. Repeat process for a total of 3 to 4 tortillas for each serving.

Time Saver:

  • Shred a store bought rotisserie chicken

Oven Style:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Fry tortillas in hot oil just until softened. Drain on paper towels. Fill with cooked chicken, cheese, and onion. Roll, placing seam side down.
  • Pour 2 cups of the sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco and bake until warm, about 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of crema or sour cream and your favorite side dish.

Notes

While I love this green chicken enchiladas recipe just the way it is written, there are TONS of ways you can customize it to your liking. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  • Vegetarian Enchiladas Verdes – Stick with a plain cheese filling, or add some textural interest by adding sautéed or roasted veggies
  • Rotisserie Chicken – Save on prep time by using shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken instead of poaching your own.
  • TurkeyEnchiladas verdes de pavo (i.e. filled with turkey) are a delicious way to use up holiday leftovers.
  • Pork – Try spicy pork tinga or tender carnitas.
Expert Tips:
  • Don’t want to buy a whole container of buttermilk? Make your own by adding a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid cup measure, then add milk to the 1 cup line. Stir to combine and let it rest for 5-10 minutes to thicken and curdle.
  • If the sauce is too spicy, add ¼ cup of crema or sour cream and stir. 
  • If the sauce is too thick, add water a tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
Calories: 866kcal, Carbohydrates: 75g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 48g, Saturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 138mg, Sodium: 436mg, Potassium: 618mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 554IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 444mg, Iron: 3mg

Photography: Jenna Sparks
Originally published: August 2010. This recipe is also published in the Muy Bueno cookbook.