Easy Salsa Verde with tomatillos, onion, cilantro, garlic, and more! This fresh Mexican green salsa recipe has an authentic flavor, just like your favorite Mexican restaurant. Use it on tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and more!
If you love salsa verde and haven’t tried making it at home, you’re in for a real adventure!
This easy salsa verde recipe comes together quickly and easily and levels up any Mexican fare!
From burrito bowls to enchiladas, this green salsa recipe can go anywhere a salsa can go.
Whip up a big batch and serve it up on Cinco de Mayo or put it on repeat to have on hand any time the craving for big fresh flavors arises.
Let’s dive into the details.
What is Salsa Verde?:
Salsa verde, or tomatillo salsa is green salsa that you will customarily find at Mexican restaurants. It is made with green tomatillos, which are a fruit that look like small vine-ripened tomatoes except that they come with an outer shell or husk, are green, and are actually a completely different plant from tomatoes.
In addition to tomatillos, salsa verde also includes garlic, onion, cilantro, lime juice (or sometimes vinegar), salt, and diced chiles or roasted jalapenos.
It is served with chips for a chips and salsa experience, and is also often used as the green sauce for chile verde enchiladas.
My family and I love using salsa verde on our burritos, burrito bowls, and tacos. It is one of my personal favorite salsas and it is one of those great recipes to always have on hand for home cooked meals.
Let’s discuss the main ingredients for this Mexican salsa verde.
Salsa Verde Ingredients:
Tomatillos: The main ingredient in salsa verde is fresh tomatillos. They look like small green tomatoes, although they aren’t tomatoes and they have thick, rubbery, sticky skin with a papery husk, and have a sweeter taste and borderline sour flavor. Most grocery stores carry tomatillos and can usually be found near the chiles or jalapenos.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro gives green salsa that vibrant herby flavor that is so common in Mexican food. It also gives green salsa some of its green color.
Onion & Garlic: Onion and garlic bring huge bold flavors and a small bite to the salsa. You can roast them for even more flavor if you’d like, but I find the salsa is great when the onion and garlic are kept raw as well.
Lime Juice: A little zesty tang from fresh lime juice brings that sour deliciousness we all love in salsa. Add more to your heart’s delight. You can also replace the lime juice with apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar.
Diced Chiles: Canned diced green chiles bring that chile flavor to the salsa without the need for additional work. You can easily roast two jalapenos if you prefer to use all fresh ingredients, but I find I love the flavor of canned green chiles as well and they save some time.
Sea Salt: Bringing out all of the flavors and rounding out the flavor profile, sea salt is a key ingredient in ensuring your salsa tastes big and bold. Add it to your personal taste!
Sugar: To offset some of the sour flavors, a little sugar goes a long way in creating balance. You can easily scale the amount up if you like, or you can leave it out altogether.
Some people add olive oil or vegetable oil to bring richness to the salsa, which is optional but certainly not mandatory.
Is Tomatillo Salsa Verde Spicy?:
Traditionally, salsa verde is a mild salsa. You can absolutely make it spicier by adding jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, or habaneros including the seeds.
In essence, you can customize how spicy you want the green salsa to be, but the recipe as written below is mild.
Let’s make this homemade salsa verde recipe.
How to Make Salsa Verde:
Peel the outer shell (or husk) off of the tomatillos and rinse them well. Tomatillos have a sticky, waxy skin with sticky residue – this is normal.
Cut the tomatillos in half and place them cut-side down on a baking sheet.
Turn your oven on the high Broil setting, and place the tomatillos in the oven on the 3rd shelf from the top (you want it close to the top heating element but not too close).
Broil for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the tomatillos have blackened a bit and the liquid is seeping out.
Blend until everything is well-combined.
Use immediately or store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (note: you can store the salsa much longer if you go through the full canning process using sterilized jars, etc.)
How Long Does Salsa Verde Last?:
If you’re storing the fresh salsa verde in a sealed jar in the refrigerator, it will last between 2 and 4 weeks on the conservative end.
However, if you are experienced with canning and you enjoy making large batches of salsa, jams, or preserves, you can easily can this recipe and it will have a much longer shelf life.
How to Use Salsa Verde:
You can also serve it alongside guacamole or bean dip for a chips and dip appetizer or with any Mexican cuisine.
Enjoy this easy recipe next time Mexican food is on the menu!
Easy Salsa Verde
- 2 lbs tomatillos shucked and halved
- ½ white onion chopped
- 1 7-oz can diced green chilis*
- 4 cloves garlic
- ½ cup fresh cilantro tightly packed
- 1 to 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- ½ tsp sea salt to taste
- ¼ tsp sugar optional
- Peel the outer papery husks off of the tomatillos and rinse them well. Tomatillos have a sticky, waxy skin with sticky residue – this is normal.
- Cut the tomatillos in half and place them cut-side down on a baking sheet.
- Turn your oven on the high Broil setting, and place the tomatillos in the oven on the 3rd shelf from the top (you want it close to the top heating element but not too close).
- Broil for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the tomatillos have blackened a bit and the liquid is seeping out.
- Use tongs to transfer the tomatillos to a high powered blender or food processor, along with the rest of the ingredients for the salsa.
- Blend until everything is well-combined.
- Use immediately or store in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (note: you can store the salsa much longer if you go through the full canning process using sterilized jars, etc.)
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