Poblano “Crema” Enchiladas

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…

(oh and hey, neighbor friendsย (you know who you are), I have a whole bunch of this leftover… so we’ll see you tomorrow?… you bring the chips…).

(quantity: I made 5 small enchiladas which served 2 of us with lots of extra crema left over)

(quick tip: roast poblano, tomatillo’s and jalapeno all at the same time – just keep watch, they’ll require different amounts of time. Also, chop one large onion and a few garlic cloves at the beginning for use in each recipe)

CASHEW POBLANO CREMA:ย (this makes extra)
1.5 cups raw unsalted cashews (soaked for 30 minutes, if you think of it)
3/4 cup water
1 roasted poblano pepper
1 small garlic clove
1/4 cup minced onion
3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt, to taste (about 1 teaspoon)

Roast the poblano pepper. Place under the broiler for 20 or so minutes, until blistered on all sides. (time will vary depending on the heat of your broiler). When it’s fully blistered, remove and place in a bowl and cover (not touching) with plastic wrap or at towel. Set aside for 15 minutes or so, until it’s cool enough to handle. Using your fingers, slide off the skin and remove the stem and seeds.

Blend roasted poblano and all ingredients in a high powered blender (best results from a vitamix or similar). Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Set aside.

ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA: (double this for extra salsa for later)
(adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen)

4-5 medium to large tomatillos (roasted)
1 jalapeno (roasted – it won’t be as spicy once you roast it)
1/2 an onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
a few sprigs of cilantro
splash of olive oil (for the pan)
salt, to taste

Roast tomatillos and the jalapeno under the broiler, check for blistered skin after 5 minutes. Turn them and check again. I roasted mine for 15 minutes total. Remove stems and place in food processor

In a medium skillet, heat oil. Add chopped onion and cook until golden brown. Stir in garlic, cook a minute longer. Scrape the mixture into a food processor. In a few short pulses, blend the roasted tomatillos and the onion mixture. If you just want the salsa, add the cilantro and stop here.

turn the salsa into enchilada sauce:
Wipe out the skillet you used before, heat a bit of olive oil, and add the salsa to the pan. Cook, stirring continuously while it starts to bubble and reduce. Add 1/2 water and a pinch of salt (or stock), and reduce a bit more. Taste for seasonings. Stir in cilantro and set aside.

splash of olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (or whatever you have left from above)
1/2 garlic clove, minced (or whatever you have left from above)
1.5 cups of sliced mushrooms
2-3 large handfuls of spinach
splash of white wine (or red, if that’s what you’re drinking)
salt & pepper, to taste

Wipe out the same pan that you’ve been using. Heat a splash of olive oil. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook for 8-10 more minutes, stirring occasionally until they brown and cook down. Stir in garlic. Turn off heat and add spinach, stirring until it wilts down from the heat of the mushrooms. Set aside.

corn tortillasย 
tomatillo sauce
mushroom/spinach filling
poblano crema
cilantro and chopped onion or scallion for garnish
lime slices

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a shallow dish that’s larger than your tortillas, pour in a bit of the 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. (this helps them become more pliable so so they won’t break when you roll them up)

In a casserole dish, splash a little olive oil and a few scoops of the sauce into the bottom. Take each tortilla, fill it with the mushroom/spinach filling, roll up and place each 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 it comes out of the oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes or so. Liberally, spoon poblano crema on top. Spoon a little more of the tomatillo sauce on top of that, garnish with cilantro and onion slices. Squeeze a bit of lime over the whole thing.

If you make this, let us see! Tag your photo with #loveandlemons on Instagram.


  1. Courtney Jones from thefigtree.blogspot.com on said:

    This looks phenomenal!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Yum!!! I must try the cashew poblano crema! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Eileen from hampiesandwiches.blogspot.com on said:

    I only wish I were already out on the patio, drink in hand…that sounds just about perfect. And so does that cashew poblano cream–amazing! I must make this for our next round of tacos or enchiladas or what have you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Goodness! This looks incredible. I’m generally not a fan of greasy, creamy sauces but this one, I like.

  4. CASHEW POBLANO CREMA is absolutely lovely creation. I haven’t done this one with cashews yet, thanks for the recipe!

  5. Ooooh! How yummy does this sound!? I am printing it now ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Kelly from snailsview.com on said:

    Yummy! You didn’t post this too late for me, looks like I’m going to be making the cashew crema to go with our fish tacos tonight. Lovely post. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      oh good idea – it would be delish on fish tacos…

  7. Gosh diddly DANG that looks amazing. I could snuggle right in it.

  8. tina jeffers from scalingbackblog.com on said:

    This looks amazing. I have a mushroom and chard enchilada recipe that I love but I’ve never made a cashew crema to go with it. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  9. Beautiful photos – I like your simple style. Thanks for the inspiration. I have added cashews to my shopping list and hope to try this soon.

  10. Carolyn from umamigirl.com on said:

    These look so good! I love making cashew cream and will totally try your poblano variety. For some reason I feel pretty much omnipotent every time I make anything with nuts in my Vitamix. That’s normal, right?

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      I just had to look up the definition of omnipotent… but yes ๐Ÿ™‚

      I just got my vitamix only recently, I don’t know why I held out so long.

      • Carolyn from umamigirl.com on said:

        Ha! Sorry, I’ve really embraced my nerdly tendencies in my 30s. Anyway, yay Vitamix. I should seriously start getting paid by them for all the free advertising I do….

  11. Krystle on said:

    WOW. Made this for Cinco de Mayo for some non-vegan friends who are always saying negative things about vegan food, and got SOOOOOOOO many recipe requests. The Poblano Cashew Cream was a huge hit and no one believed it was non-dairy. THANK YOU.

  12. Dawn from floridacoastalcooking.com on said:

    I can’t wait to try this when I have a day to myself. I love all the different elements. What a fabulous blog you have here. I’m so excited to stumble across it!

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  14. Alissa from bigeatstinykitchen.com on said:

    Dang, lady! Those look so good. I am a new convert to using cashews in a vegan “cheesecake”! Love love love the idea of using them for enchilada sauce.

  15. Hillary from thefriendlyhome.blogspot.com on said:

    I made this tonight and it was a hit! I changed up the filling a bit to use what I had around — some leftover zucchini and yellow squash, mushrooms, and kale pulp (left over from juicing). The tomatillo sauce and the poblano crema were both brilliant! Thanks!

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      thanks for sharing!

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  18. kendra on said:

    What a beautiful and thoughtful dish.

  19. Netanya on said:

    Hi! Love your blog and this recipe looks amazing! I’m actually allergic to mushrooms, so I was wondering what alternative would you suggest?



    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Netanya,

      You could use any filling you like – spinach & corn, or tofu, black beans, red or green peppers. Whatever mix of veggies you like… sauteed with some garlic and onions.

  20. susan on said:

    this dish was fabulous.

  21. Robyn on said:

    Yum,,,yum,,yum!! I only got acquainted with tomatillos this year(small town/Canada). I love your salsa idea, I love your cashew creama idea and put it all together and voila,,,delishesness…this was a fantastice meal, thankyou ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Carly from Www.carlycompanypr.com on said:

    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

  23. Sara on said:

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      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.

  24. Tracy on said:

    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 from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Tracy, glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. charlie on said:

    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!

  26. Vegan Radhika Sarohia on said:

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

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  33. Elizabeth from itsneverjustaboutfood.blogspot.com on said:

    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 from loveandlemons.com on said:

      Hi Elizabeth,

      So glad you liked it!

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  35. Emily on said:

    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 from loveandlemons.com on said:

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

  36. Mitra from bloodisthenewblack.com on said:

    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 from loveandlemons.com on said:

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

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  40. Megan on said:

    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 ๐Ÿ˜€

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

      so glad you liked it! (I know, so many steps – I’m sorry!). I often short-cut this by just making tacos ๐Ÿ™‚

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  44. Michelle on said:

    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 from loveandlemons.com on said:

      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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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  46. Samantha from quarterlifepoetry.com on said:

    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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  51. Jennifer on said:

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

    • jeanine from loveandlemons.com on said:

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

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  53. Stevie on said:

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

  54. Tenley on said:

    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!

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