Is Green Enchilada Sauce Spicy? (Green Vs Red Enchilada)

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Green Vs Red Enchilada

Comparisons, Food FAQs


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Green enchilada sauce is usually a mixture of green tomatillos (also known as the Mexican husk tomato), green chilies, onions, garlic, vinegar, and other spices.

The tomatillo is a staple in Mexican cuisine and can be eaten raw or cooked; it gives green enchilada sauce its greenish color. But is green enchilada sauce spicy?

Some people tend to believe green enchilada sauce isn’t spicy because of its green color.  This, however, is not true as most green enchilada sauces include green chilis, like jalapenos and serrano.

In this article, we also compared green vs red enchilada sauces).

Is Green Enchilada Sauce Spicy?

People often make the mistake of believing that a green enchilada sauce is not spicy. It’s worth noting that most green enchilada sauces contain green chilis, which is made of serrano and jalapeno peppers, increasing the spicy scale.

Because green enchilada sauce contains green ingredients, including green chilis, it tends to have a large heat range, making it spicy most time.

But there’s actually a way to help reduce the spiciness, and that is by adding sour cream, yogurt, or cream.

Read Also: Enchilada Vs Chimichanga

Green Vs Red Enchilada Sauce

Is Green Enchilada Sauce Spicy

The crucial difference between green and red enchilada sauce is the ingredients, and this determines the taste.

This enables you to determine the right Mexican dish to pair with either sauce. Let’s discuss both sauces differences  in detail:

Ingredients Used

The red enchilada sauce uses similar ingredients to the green sauce, except for the red chile peppers used in red enchilada sauce rather than green ones.

Ingredients like vinegar, onions, garlic, spices like basil, oregano, and chili powder are added to the sauce, and some modern versions of red enchilada sauce use red tomato paste or ripe tomatoes as the base.

The dried red chile peppers give the red enchilada sauce its authentic taste, especially when whole chile peppers are used.

Chili powder is also sometimes added to red enchilada sauce as an addition or an alternative to red chili peppers. Using fresh onion and garlic, oregano, basil, paprika, and salt adds an authentic flavor to the sauce.

Different Flavors

After understanding the different ingredients used in red and green enchilada sauces, you can already tell that their flavors will differ. Red sauces have an earthy flavor and taste profile, while green sauces have a more fresh flavor.

Both red and green enchilada sauce has varying levels of spice, and it is dependent on the type of peppers used and whether or not the seeds were left in.

Although the sauces differ in taste, they both start with a pepper base! The flavor only varies depending on how the sauces are prepared.

How to Prepare Green Enchilada Sauce

Green enchilada sauce, also known as Verde sauce, is generally made from a mixture of green tomatillos, green chilis, garlic, onions, vinegar, and spices like cumin and cilantro.

Green tomatillos are not related to tomatoes; even though they resemble green tomatoes, they are referred to as “Mexican husk tomatoes, and are small, green fruit with a dry, leafy husk with a “tart, fruity, and slightly herbal” taste. 

Tomatillo is super versatile and is one of the main ingredients in green enchilada sauce.

This sauce also contains green chilis or jalapeno peppers as the main ingredients. Chilis and jalapenos both come from the same pepper family (capsicum annuum), but jalapeno peppers are usually added to the sauce to provide extra heat.

For flavor, olive oil, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, broth or water, and other well-loved spices and flavors like cilantro and lime are added to green enchilada sauce.

Read Also: Difference Between Enchilada And Burrito


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