Canning Cilantro Lime Enchilada Sauce

I have a recipe that I love for Enchilada Sauce. I make a ton each summer with the tomatillos we grow but then it has to be frozen, which takes up to much space in my freezer. Last summer I had a good friend help me transform the recipe into one that can be bottled.  I did 6 jars last year and let it sit for an entire year just to make sure it was safe and held its flavor well. And it did!

enchilada sauce button

You can print the recipe at the bottom of the post but for now here is what you need:

6 cups tomatillos cut in half
1/2 c onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 Anaheim pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c water
olive oil
1/4 c lime juice
1 lime


Here is how you do it. Wash and cut tomatillos in half.


In a sauté pan add tomatillos, onion, garlic, and peppers. I know that in the picture my Anaheim Pepper is red – that’s because it too came out of my garden and I left it a little long on the plant and it turned red.


Drizzle with olive oil and sauté for a few minutes on med-hi.


Add water, cilantro, cumin, and salt.


Cover and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. When the tomatillos are soft add everything to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.


Add 1/4 cup lime juice, stir completely. Pour into hot jars. This recipe make 3 pints. Then squeeze 1/4 of the lime into each jar.


Process pints 40 minutes in a hot bath canner.


I am so excited about all of the sauce I can bottle this year! I love to give a sampling of my garden to my family each year for Christmas and I am excited to add this into their stash this upcoming year! You can download and print the recipe here:

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Previous author of Over the Big Moon. I shared my passion for home and family life! I love graphic design, DIY projects, cooking, and working in my garden! My favorite role is taking care of my husband and our 3 amazing and busy boys!

Comments (27)

  • Just getting started with the canning, gardening, house wife roll full time. I’m loving it! Funny i am also a graphic designer…lol maybe its a trend! I am also hoping to enter the blogsphere soon!

  • What elevation are you canning this (amazing) sauce? In other words, at sea level, would it be processed at 30 minutes? Then add from there?

  • You can also process this in a pressure canner (not to be confused with a pressure cooker). I like to do so, because I like to add more peppers. (Good for flavor, and using up bumper crops!)

  • Just saw your post. This sauce sounds yummy. I’m looking forward to trying it this year! Here is a similar recipe that I found on the National Center for Home Food Preservation. This website is sponsored by the USDA and all of their recipes have been tried and tested for safety. For folks with questions about canning, try calling your local county extension agency. They are really helpful. They also will reference the NCHFP. There is actually a great canning book that is basically their website. It is a great resource. Happy canning!!

    • No, actually they will bring the acid level down. You want a higher acid level if you are going to water bath. This recipe is close to an approved salsa recipe that I use so it should be safe to can. You may want to at least put the Anaheim peppers in for flavor.

    • Anaheim peppers are not spicy at all. Even with the jalapeno this is not very spicy but I don’t think you would need it for the canning.

  • Thanks for the recipe!
    am not going to add the extra water since the tomatillos have plenty of moisture in them. I figure I can always thin it out when I use it if need be.

    • I made a double batch and it turned out really well. I did wind up using half the amount of water in the recipe and twice the cilantro. I just can’t seem to follow a recipe… Wound up canning 10 pints with one left over to eat now. Ate some with chips like salsa verde. Very delicious.

  • Thanks for sharing this recipe! I am new to canning and saw this recipe and made it that night! It only cost 3 dollars to buy the ingredients I didn’t have on hand. One recipe only made two pint jars so the next day I bought double the ingredients and it only cost 5 dollars. So cheap! It is very delicious and I can’t wait to try this with my enchilada recipe. The only concern I have is that the sauce separated in the jars 24 hours later. I hope that doesn’t affect the taste later. Thanks again!

    • Hi Camille! Its not a problem that it separated. You can just mix it when you are ready to use it. Just a word of caution – not every enchilada sauce recipe can be canned. Its a bummer because I have a salsa recipe I love that I can not bottle because the acid level is not high enough. You probably need to do some research on what ph is necessary for canning and then calculate the ph level of your recipe.

  • I made this today and really would like to use quart jars but not sure how long to process the quarts in the boiling water bath? Can you help me?

    • I am not sure. I had someone help me adapt the recipe and she only helped me with the pints. I know with some canning salsa recipes you cant process them in quarts because the heat cannot penetrate the
      larger jars in a manner in which it will kill all the bacteria. I actually use 2 pints each time I make enchiladas.Wish I could be more help but this is already a recipe that has some low acid foods so I don’t think I would try a quart of it.

    • Hi Marzette. Its the exact same thing only I would cut the 1/4 cup lime juice and just squeeze 1 lime into sauce after you blend it. The lime juice is to up the acid to make it safe.

  • Looks AWESOME. I’m growing tomatillos for the first time and am glad to have a second recipe in which to use them. I’ve already made some excellent salsa. Thanks.

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