Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde {Cinco de Mayo Menu}

Chicken Enchiladas con Salsa Verde - large

I’m not sure what I love more about this recipe: it’s ease and simplicity or the tasty result! I can’t say I’m a fan of enchiladas, until I tried then with salsa verde instead of the more traditional red-sauce. This roasted tomatillo salsa is perfect with chicken (and eggs!). I have found that one serrano chili is enough to give a hint of spiciness without killing the other flavors. 3 is definitely way too many! The sauce will keep in the fridge for about a week. I urge you to try it with scrambled eggs!


  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Serves 4

1 ½ lb (about 8 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles
1 white onion, sliced ½ inch thick plus A few slices for garnish (divided use)
2 tbsp vegetable oil, olive oil, bacon drippings or fresh-rendered pork lard
1 ½ cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley OR a large sprig of epazote
1 cooked chicken (or 12-14 oz), boned and shredded(this is the recipe I use)
You can also use pork or beef 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
Dollops of Mexican crema, sour cream, crème fraiche or Greek-style yogurt thinned with a little milk
A handful of grated cheese like Monterrey Jack
A handful of cilantro leaves


First make the 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, let them 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 pan or 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 or water 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.

For the rest:
Measure out your choice of filling.
Pre-heat 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).
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, 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.

Adapted from Chicago Chef Rick Bayless
You can also use ready made Salsa Verde. My favorite is Rick Bayless’ Frontera Sauce

© 2014-2015 Caroline’s Family Kitchen and


  1. Leave a Reply

    Omar Gelvez

    The dish is fantastic but the enchiladas not something that I love to eat in the photos looks delicious , should try to see if tastes as good as it looks

    • Leave a Reply


      Thank you Omar! I understand what you mean. I think why this recipe is so good is because the tomatillo salsa is fresh and not acidic. Good quality and tasty tortillas I find make all the difference as well.

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>