Green Enchiladas

5 from 14 votes
Jump to Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

I love me some New Mexican green enchiladas, rolled or stacked, and filled with whatever meat I happen to have around.

In this particular recipe, I use doves. Dove season, from SoCal to Texas, is religion, so cooking Southwestern food just fits. Normally green chile enchiladas have shredded chicken or pork in them, and that’s fine. But if you’re done eating dove poppers, and want to try something different, try this one.

Two green chile enchiladas on a plate
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

New Mexican green enchiladas are an institution in that state, and I honor their sauce pretty closely. I do prefer rolled to stacked enchiladas, but either way works here.

When I first made this recipe, I wasn’t sure about how it would turn out, or how much it makes. I was happily surprised. Basically a limit of doves — 15 in most states — done in this recipe will feed four people easily. Cool, eh? That translates to about 1 pound of meat.

If you are using doves, you need just the breast meat for your enchiladas, but if you want to go a step further, make dove stock for the green chile sauce. It’s easy: Roast the breasted dove carcasses in a 400°F oven until they are good and browned, about 45 minutes. Bash them up, cover in 5 cups of water, put a lid on the pot and simmer gently as long as you can stand it, up to overnight. Strain and you’re golden.

Or use chicken stock and shredded chicken breast, or pheasants, or turkeys or pork.

A tray of green chile enchiladas
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

For the chiles, there is no substitute for the New Mexican chiles, in this case green Hatch chiles. (Here’s how to buy them online.) OK, I am kidding, there are lots of substitutes, but know that New Mexicans will wag their fingers at you. In order of substitutes I prefer: Anaheim chiles, poblanos, chilacas, or, sigh, green bell peppers.

I prefer corn tortillas for my green enchiladas, and I like to have a little of the edges with no sauce on them, which makes them chewy and a little crunchy — a nice textural difference from the soft rest of the enchilada. But normally you would dip the whole tortilla in the green chile sauce to moisten it.

Once you get the process down, you can make big batches of green enchiladas if you want. The chile sauce keeps for a few days in the fridge, so can be made ahead. And once made, the enchiladas reheat well for leftovers.

Like these? I also make red chile enchiladas, as well as enmoladas, which are enchiladas sauce with mole instead of a green or red chile sauce.


I have 25 dove recipes here on Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, ranging from bacon-wrapped doves to slow and low barbecued doves. Some great Labor Day grilling or barbecue options include:

A tray of green chile enchiladas
5 from 14 votes

New Mexico Green Enchiladas

This is a pretty standard New Mexico green chile sauce, although my addition of epazote is unusual; you can skip it if you want. I prefer to use full-strength, hot Hatch green chiles, but many people will want to use the mild ones, as my version has a kick to it. You can also use poblanos or a mix of jalapenos and green bell peppers if you can't find New Mexican chiles.  I also prefer those "Mexican blend" shredded cheeses, but if you can't find them, Monterey jack or cheddar are fine.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes



  • 3 tablespoons lard or cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped roasted green chiles, about a dozen
  • 1 teaspoon epazote (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 1/2 cups dove broth or chicken stock
  • Salt (smoked salt if you have it)
  • Black pepper to taste


  • 1 pound meat, shredded or diced small
  • Salt, smoked if you have it
  • 6 ounces of shredded cheese, divided
  • 1 cup of minced onion
  • 12 6- inch tortillas


  • Prep the green chiles. You need to roast your green chiles. I use New Mexican, Hatch-style chiles. This makes for a zippy sauce. You can make it milder by using milder chiles. If you've never roasted chiles before, here is a tutorial.
  • Make the chile sauce. Heat the lard over medium-high heat and cook the onions until soft, but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Puree in a blender.
  • Make the filling. Dice the meat and salt well. Mix with about 1/4 cup of the green chile sauce as well as about 2 ounces of cheese and the onion.
  • Prep the tortillas. Heat the tortillas on a comal or other heavy skillet until they blacken and puff up a little. Then put them in a tortilla warmer, or stack on a plate and put a bowl over them. Let them steam a few minutes before building the enchiladas. Or, you can dip them in hot oil for a few seconds, or dip them in the hot green chile sauce. Either way, shake off the excess oil or sauce. 
  • Build the enchiladas. Pour a little green chile sauce into a casserole. Fill a tortilla with a little of the filling and roll it up. Place seam side down on the casserole. Repeat until you're done. You should get about 15 tortillas.
  • Finish. Pour more green chile sauce over the enchiladas and top with lots of the shredded cheese. Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes and serve.


For those of you reading closely, yes, the meat is raw as it goes into the enchilada. It cooks when you bake them. And any meat will work here, much like my dove chiles rellenos.


Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 397mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 213mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

You May Also Like

Caldo de Queso

How to make classic Sonoran caldo de queso, a cheese soup with a rich broth, roasted chiles, potatoes and chunks of cheese.

Huitlacoche Quesadilla

A recipe for huitlacoche quesadillas. Huitlacoche, “corn smut,” is a mushroom that grows on corn, and is amazing cooked with chile and onion on a tortilla.

How to Make Chipotles

How to make chipotles at home. You need ripe jalapenos, a smoker, and time. They’re easy to make, and store well.

Mahi Mahi Ceviche

A mahi mahi ceviche recipe inspired by ceviches I’ve eaten in Baja California. Dorado ceviche is common there, and often uses fruit like mango or pineapple.

About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. My husband asked for enchiladas for Thanksgiving so I prepared this green chili sauce ahead of time to be ready to throw it together on turkey day. However Covid happened. Is it better for me to just freeze the sauce for a later day? Or can I go ahead and prepare the dish and freeze it?

  2. These were fantastic, as is everything I have made from this site! Didn’t have epazote, but would love to try again when I get my hands on some. Also made half flour and half corn tortillas, in case anyone is considering doing so.
    Thanks, Hank, for all you do to share real food with us 🙂

  3. Usually do this recipe with shredded pheasant. Love the green chile sauce, someday I’ll get some epozote for all the recipes I haven’t had it for.

  4. Hank,
    I re-read that and I now realize I glossed over “carcasses”. Oops. Thanks for the clarification. BTW the color of the comment font is very very close to the background field color. Extremely hard to see when you are typing. All is good when you tab out of the field. Thanks again!

    1. Steve: Yes, I am sure about roasting the dove carcasses at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. They might need a little less than 45 minutes, but that’s the temp you want. The enchiladas cook at 350 degrees.

  5. Made these for the family pre thanksgiving, used up all our dove from the freezer, and doubled the sauce for a dish of just cheese enchiladas. Excellent recipe! The sauce really helped the dove shine.

  6. Well this just looks amazing, between the title and the imagery i was sold before even reading the recipe! YUM

  7. Hank,
    Simple, easy, delicious. Made with ground elk, browned, and beef stock instead of doves. Garnished with a little chopped green onions, and crema fresca. Thkx!

  8. Liz – since you’re in Greece, not far from the native habitat of chukar and Hungarian partridge. I suspect these would work quite well, use thee legs of these tough little buggers to make stock, and the breasts for the enchiladas.

  9. Apologies – just reread your blog post more carefully and saw that yes, chicken will do just fine. I’ll definitely be making this soon.

  10. Sounds delicious, but dove isn’t often on the menu here in northern Greece. I suppose chicken will do in a pinch? Thighs, perhaps..? Looking forward to cracking open my last jar of dried espazote.

  11. Hi Hank! Great recipe, I certanly must try it soon. The new web design looks fine, but I miss is the “print” button and the option of downloading the recipes as pdf.