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Creamy Tomatillo Sauce

Yield: Yields about 3-1/2-cups sauce.

The addition of heavy cream or crème fraîche qualifies enchiladas made with this sauce as enchiladas suizas (Swiss-style enchiladas).


  • 1 lb. fresh tomatillos, husks and stems removed, rinsed
  • 2 or 3 fresh serrano chiles, cored and seeded, or 1 canned chipotle pepper, seeded
  • 4 slices white onion, each 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
  • 3/4 tsp. salt; more to taste

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 1/4 cup
  • Calories (kcal) : 80
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 70
  • Fat (g): 7
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Cholesterol (mg): 15
  • Sodium (mg): 140
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 1


  • Position a rack as close to the broiler as possible and heat the broiler. Arrange the tomatillos, fresh chiles (if using), onion slices, and garlic in a small, shallow baking pan. Broil, turning to ensure even cooking, until the tomatillos are soft and slightly blackened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the broiled ingredients to a blender and add the cilantro (if you’re using a canned chipotle, add it now, too). Blend until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillo mixture and cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the broth and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Taste the sauce. It should be a little tart, but it shouldn’t make your mouth pucker. If it’s too tart, add more broth and simmer until the sauce thickens again. Remove from the heat and whisk in the crème fraîche or heavy cream and the salt. Let cool slightly before making the enchiladas.

Make Ahead Tips

The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to a month.


Rate or Review

Reviews (7 reviews)

  • txcook13579 | 07/03/2021

    Great sauce! Roasting all the veggies really adds a great flavor! I use jalapeños instead of serranos. I usually roast 4-6, but add them to the sauce 1 or 2 at a time, tasting for heat until the spice is right. I like this sauce better without the cream, or with only 1/4-1/2 cup cream. 3/4 cup cream is a bit overwhelming. I like to add cilantro and avocado and serve it as a green salsa.

  • User avater
    mgssts63 | 03/17/2021

    This sauce is really good!

  • dreamon2 | 02/08/2015

    Only thing to really plan for differently is it took a lot longer to cook down/ thicken. With all the cooking it lost some of the heat from the chilies so I added back a little red pepper flakes at the end.

  • user-3231421 | 02/21/2014

    Soooo good! I went light on the Serranos by only using 2, but I def could have used 3 for just a touch more heat. Other than that it was awesome!

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