Poblano “Crema” Enchiladas

Healthy, veggie-packed green enchiladas make a delicious spring or summer weekend dinner. Vegan & gluten-free with tomatillo sauce & poblano cashew crema.

poblano "crema enchiladas (vegan) / loveandlemons.com

Nothing like a five o’clock Friday post the day before Cinco de Mayo… I’m sure everyone’s off on a patio with a margarita in hand by now, but I just had to get this one last recipe out before I go pour my first happy hour drink.

We made this last night (hence the late post). I’ve posted cashew cream before, but I have to say that this roasted poblano version really takes the cake. If you make only one component here, make that. It’s a wonderful creamy sauce on these vegan enchiladas, but it would be delicious dolloped onto many things (ie. the salad I ate for lunch today), or by itself as a dip.

5.0 from 2 reviews

Poblano "Crema" Enchiladas

Serves: 2 with extra crema
For the roasted tomatillo salsa and enchilada sauce:
  • 4-5 medium to large tomatillos
  • 1 jalapeño
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ cup water
  • A few sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • Splash extra-virgin olive oil for the pan
  • Sea salt
For the cashew poblano crema (this makes extra):
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1½ cups raw unsalted cashews
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
For the mushroom and spinach sauté:
  • ½ cup chopped onion (or whatever you have left from above)
  • 1½ cups sliced mushrooms
  • ½ garlic clove, minced
  • 2-3 large handfuls spinach
  • Splash extra-virgin olive oil for the pan
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper
To assemble:
  • Corn tortillas
  • Splashes of olive oil
  • Cilantro and chopped onion or scallion, for garnish
  • Lime slices, for squeezing
  1. Heat the oven to high broil. Spread the poblano, tomatillos, and jalapeño on a baking sheet and broil. After 5 minutes, check for blistered skin and rotate the vegetables. Roast until blistered on all sides, checking and rotating every 5 minutes. I broiled my tomatillos and jalapeño for 15 minutes and my poblano for 20. When the poblano is fully blistered, place it in a bowl covered in a towel or plastic wrap for 15 minutes to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, make the tomatillo salsa: Remove the stems of the roasted tomatillos and jalapeño and place in a food processor. In a medium skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the onion until golden brown. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer. Add the onion mixture to the food processor and use a few short pulses to combine the roasted vegetables and the onion mixture.
  3. Turn the salsa into enchilada sauce: Wipe out the skillet you used for the onion and add the salsa to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously while it starts to bubble and reduce. Add the ½ cup water and a pinch of salt to the pan and let the sauce reduce a bit more. Taste for seasonings. Stir in the cilantro and set aside.
  4. Make the mushroom sauté: Wipe out the same pan that you’ve been using. Heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat and add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for 8-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until they brown and cook down. Stir in the garlic. Turn off the heat and add the spinach, stirring until it wilts down from the heat of the mushrooms. Set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. In a shallow dish that’s larger than your tortillas, pour in a bit of the tomatillo sauce and a splash of olive oil. Dip each tortilla into the sauce, flip it over to coat, and set aside until you’ve dipped each one.
  7. Splash a little olive oil and a few scoops of the sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish. Take each tortilla, fill it with the mushroom and spinach sauté, and roll it up. Place the tortillas snuggly next to each other in the dish. Pour more (not all) of the tomatillo sauce over the top. You’ll want to reserve a bit of sauce to put on top after they come out of the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the cashew crema: Slide off the skin and remove the seeds and stem from the roasted poblano. Blend the poblano, the cashews, ¾ cup water, garlic, onion, lemon juice, and salt in a high-speed blender. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Set aside.
  9. Remove the enchiladas from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes or so. Liberally, spoon the poblano crema on top. Spoon a little more of the tomatillo sauce on top of that and garnish with the cilantro and onion slices. Squeeze a bit of lime over the whole thing and serve.



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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Dana Dew

    Absolutely delicious! I will make again for sure. I was wondering if it would freeze well? If so, should I freeze before or after cooking? Thank you for all the amazing recipes!

  2. Steph

    Should I be soaking the cashews for the crema ?

  3. Rachel

    Do you need to soak the cashews?

  4. Mina

    I made these last year as a vegan addition to our Easter dinner for my vegan daughter. And surprisingly, they were such a hit among vegans and carnivores alike that I’m making them again this year.
    Honestly, these are possibly the best enchiladas I’ve ever tasted.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Mina – I’m SO SO happy to hear that 🙂

  5. Sharon

    I mixed the poblano and tomatillo sauces together. I also did a different filing (chopped bell pepper, carrot, zucchini and tofu). This was so delicious and creamy and amazing. I will definitely make it again!!

  6. Tenley

    Worth the effort! Not that any component was particularly time-consuming, but for me this isn’t a weeknight dinner. Had some challenges with the crappy tortillas that Whole Foods stocks which are not pliable at all-even when soaked in tomatillo sauce. They cracked and broke up before baking so I had to start all over and soak them in oil then microwave them to soften them up. Annoying, but that’s solely because that brand is terrible and I was too lazy to stop at Fiesta for the good tortillas. I also doubled the tomatillo recipe and it was barely enough for 5 enchiladas, so I’d definitely recommend using more like 10 tomatillos. I also wish I would have added a lot more water to the crema-I usually like my cashew creme pretty thick, but in this case I could have added a good cup or more of water to thin it out. But this recipe is a winner. Will definitely be making it again!

  7. Stevie

    Delicious poblano cream sauce! I added a handful of cilantro and a squeeze of lime because I ran out of lemon. Yum!

  8. Jennifer

    How long will the cashew poblano cream stay good in the fridge?

    • jeanine

      3 or 4 days – if it separates a little, just give it a stir.

  9. Samantha from quarterlifepoetry.com

    I made this tonight! Only part I cheated on was using pre-made salsa verde from Whole Foods. But it was worth it for me because I was STARVING. It came out super delicious. The poblano crema was awesome. My meat-eating boyfriend loved everything, too. Cashews seriously are magic. Thanks for this thoughtful recipe 🙂

  10. Michelle

    WOW – this recipe is absolutely amazing! So delicious! Anyone would want to be vegan/gluten free after eating this masterpiece. It took awhile to make this dish but it was worth every minute. Next time I would prepare the crema (which was to die for!) and the enchilada sauce in advance. I made this for a family dinner but can’t wait to make it for a dinner party. Thanks for all of the inspiring recipes!

    • jeanine

      Hi Michelle – I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you for your kind words. There are definitely a few steps here… I always love to prepare the sauces in advance so it’s not so time consuming to put together (plus if you have extra/leftover sauces you can always make impromptu lunch tacos like I do 🙂

  11. Megan

    My husband and I made this for our date night and it was fantastic!! Perfect blend of flavors and fun to make. Time consuming but well worth the effort! Thanks 😀

    • jeanine

      so glad you liked it! (I know, so many steps – I’m sorry!). I often short-cut this by just making tacos 🙂

  12. Mitra from bloodisthenewblack.com

    This was fantastic! I substituted rainbow chard for the spinach and added fresh corn as well. The sweetness of the corn worked nicely with the tang of the tomatillo salsa and the heat of the crema. I skimped on making the salsa and bought a fresh tub of tomatillo salsa at the grocery store and that worked well. I’ll def be making this again.

    • jeanine

      so glad you liked it, those sound like great subs! mmm corn!

  13. Emily

    Wow! This was freakin’ amazing! I made if for dinner tonight and it got rave reviews. That cashew crema is heavenly! We used the leftovers in a kale, quinoa, black bean salad. I doubled everything but the crema to make 12 enchiladas for 4 of us. I did make two versions of the sauce, one with the jalapeno and one with 5 serrano chilies. Both were tasty, but the one with the serrano chilies was a hands down favorite. The combo of sweet and heat was delicious. Thanks so much for this recipe. We’ll definitely be making it again.

    • jeanine

      Hi Emily, glad you liked it! The salad sounds like a super delicious way to use the leftover cream :).

  14. Elizabeth from itsneverjustaboutfood.blogspot.com

    This was SUCH a great dinner tonight. Thank you so much for posting and creating this. I adore your blog and follow it every day! Looking forward to many more evenings with your awesome recipes!!! Thanks again!

    • jeanine

      Hi Elizabeth,

      So glad you liked it!

  15. Vegan Radhika Sarohia

    Wow this looks incredible!!
    Esp the roasted pepper cream sauce…amazing!

  16. charlie

    I just made it with hatch green chile and lime and put it on top of acorn squash, broccoli, and basmati. Incredible thanks. You could eat this with anything!

  17. Tracy

    I FINALLY made this dish tonight.. I have had it bookmarked since you posted. I would look at it sometimes twice a week, seriously.. I can’t believe I waited this long! At the first of the year, I began the macrobiotic lifestyle.. I feel amazing and the results show inside and out. My old downfall used to be cheese. My husband is cheese lover himself. The poblano cashew creme – amazing! A very delightful, taste dancing dish – this is a must keep on everyone’s menu!

    • jeanine

      Hi Tracy, glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. Sara

    Hello Jeanine!
    I made just the cashew crema to go with another Mexican dish, and I now have quite a surplus. It is absolutely delicious, but I was curious if you had any suggestions for other dishes/flavors to pair the leftovers with. I’ve used it as a thick dressing for a corn and red pepper salad, which worked quite nicely.

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes and musings 🙂

    • jeanine

      Hi Sara,

      Glad you liked it! I ate it on a bunch of salads. You could put it on tacos, with our without another salsa. Serve it as a dip with tortilla chips and chopped veggies. You could put it on sandwiches, or dollop over simple grilled veggies. It could work on pasta as a cream sauce. Depending on what you’re going to use it for, you can stir in some water to thin it out if it’s too thick.

  19. Carly from Www.carlycompanypr.com

    Omg!!! These look so amazing I think I’m going to attempt to make them this weekend! Yum! Also…how are you?! Seriously, cocktails soon!! xx

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.