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Substituting Green Enchiladas

Enchilada, which is Spanish for “spicy” or “to be spiced,” is a Mexican chili-based sauce commonly used as a dip and baking sauce.

Enchiladas are a mix of corn tortillas filled with various meats, cheeses, beans, and veggies; however, the flavorful enchilada sauce – either red or green – brings an enchilada to life.

Read on as you learn more about green enchilada, its application, and its uses in recipes. In addition, I included – in detail – some reliable substitutes for green enchiladas for days you are in a pinch, or you want something slightly different in your recipe.

Substituting Green Enchiladas

Enchiladas Nutrition Facts

Substituting Green Enchiladas

What Are Green Enchiladas

Green enchilada is a sauce created using green tomatillos, green chilies, onions, garlic, vinegar, and other spices such as cumin and cilantro. This sauce is also known as Verde sauce.

Tomatillo greens are a vital ingredient in green enchilada sauce, which is adaptable. These little fruits look like green tomatoes and are called “Mexican husk tomatoes,” but they are not related to tomatoes.

Tomatillos are little green fruits with a dry, leafy husk with a flavor that is “tart, fruity, and faintly herbal.”

Green chilies, usually known as jalapeño peppers, are a key element. Both chilis and jalapenos are members of the Capsicum Annuum pepper family; however, jalapenos are used in green enchilada sauce for added spice.

Green enchiladas are made using olive oil, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, broth or water, and other popular spices and flavors like cilantro and lime to give consistency and flavor.

Green Enchiladas Uses in Recipes

Green enchilada is a common element in casseroles, soups, tamales, burritos, tortillas, nachos, beans, veggies, or other foods.

See some delectable dishes and recipes you can employ green enchiladas in:

  • Green Chicken Enchiladas
  • Easy Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
  • Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
  • Green Chile Enchiladas
  • Chicken Enchiladas with Creamy Green Sauce
  • Beef and Green Chile Enchiladas
  • Enchiladas Suizas
  • Easy Green Enchiladas with Honey Lime Chicken
  • Creamy Spinach and Cheese Green Chile Enchiladas
  • Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Enchiladas with Red and Green Sauce
  • Swiss Green Enchiladas
  • Shrimp Enchiladas with Green Sauce
  • Beans & Greens Enchiladas
  • Vegetarian Green Enchiladas with Spinach

Green Enchiladas Substitutes

Fortunately, you can use another sauce to flavor your dish if you don’t have green enchilada sauce at hand or you want something different.

I have highlighted some excellent substitutes you can rely on. You will find that taco sauce, salsa sauce, and sofrito sauce can all be used as a substitute. Let’s learn more about them so you can use them effectively.

Taco Sauce

Taco Sauce

Taco sauce will work well as a befitting green enchiladas substitute.

The use of spices is the major difference between green enchilada and taco sauce. Chilies are used in green enchilada sauce, while paprika and cayenne pepper are used in taco sauce.

Moreover, tomato paste is used in one of the variants of green enchilada sauce, whereas taco sauce employs tomato sauce.

You will find that tomato sauce, vinegar, cayenne pepper, oregano, onion, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, and paprika are common ingredients in taco sauce.

Though they do not have the same flavor, they are both hot and have tomatoes in their ingredients. Taco sauce is tomato-based, whereas green enchilada contains tomatoes but in smaller amounts.

Remarkably, taco sauce can be used as a substitute for green enchilada in various cuisines such as tacos, burritos, nachos, enchiladas, and other dishes.

Salsa Sauce

Salsa Sauce

Notably, salsa sauce is another excellent option for substituting green enchiladas.

Salsa sauce is a collection of sauces. This name is used for a variety of sauces. You will find that raw or fresh foods can be used to make them.

Tomatoes, chiles, garlic, onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, and chili powder are all included in the salsa. Slice them up and combine them. To lighten the mixture, add a few drops of lemon juice.

This sauce can be used in soups and stews and can also be used as a dip or sauce for other dishes.

Furthermore, salsa can be served as a salad, a side dish, tacos, or tortillas. You won’t get the same flavor or texture if you use salsa instead of enchilada sauce. However, you may always play around with the tastes in your kitchen.

Sofrito Sauce

Sofrito Sauce

Sofrito is a method of cooking rather than just a sauce or dish.

Sofrito is a Spanish word that means “lightly fry” or “slow fry.” This sauce is frequently used in rice dishes, stews, beans, soups, and stocks, alternatively, as a stuffing for empanadas.

Sofrito can be made in various ways, depending on the region where it is made; sofrito comes in various colors, ingredients, and flavors.

You will find that onion, peppers, tomatoes, and garlic are sautéed in olive oil in the Spanish variation of sofrito. Chili peppers, coriander, bay leaves, black pepper, cilantro, and other ingredients can all be used in different ways.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the difference between red enchiladas and green enchiladas?

Notably, the type of chili used to make green and red enchilada sauce is the main distinction between the two. Green chilies are used in green enchilada sauce, whereas red chilies are used in red.

Is it possible to use salsa verde instead of green enchiladas?

The backbone of this green enchilada sauce is salsa verde, which is a green salsa prepared from tomatillos. This sauce doesn’t need many additives because salsa verde already has a lot of flavors.

What does green enchilada taste like?

Since tomatillos may be sweet, the green chilies give a little heat. You’ll find that green enchiladas come in various flavors, from mild to spicy. Some green sauce recipes use jalapenos and serrano peppers, which increase the heat level.


Some excellent substitutes can be used in place of green enchiladas. You will get a distinct flavor and texture in the outcome, but there is a chance that you will prefer it in your recipe.

You can look at some of the substitutes featured in this article. They will perform well as a green enchiladas substitute in your favorite cuisine.