Salsa Verde (Green Salsa) is a delicious salsa…and it’s easy to make at home! This salsa is great by itself or as a topping for tacos.
So what’s the deal with tomatillos? They look like green tomatoes, but they don’t taste like tomatoes at all. And they’re wrapped in a papery husk that you have to peel off before roasting ’em. Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cuisine, and they happen to be the key ingredient in one of my favorite salsas – Salsa Verde.
Whenever we go to a fast casual burrito spot (think Chipotle, Moe’s, etc.), I always make sure to get extra green salsa. Green salsa, aka Salsa Verde, is a fun way to mix up the salsa routine! Oh, and green salsa is also ridiculously easy to make at home.
Tomatillos are the key ingredient in Salsa Verde. While tomatillos look like little green tomatoes, they’re only distantly related to tomatoes. Tomatillos are naturally tart in flavor, and they are surrounded by a papery husk. That husk is inedible, and it gets removed before roasting the tomatillos in the oven.
Once that outer husk is removed, tomatillos have a smooth green skin that is slightly sticky. The stickiness comes from sap, and it can be easily washed off with cold water. Once this little bit of prep work is done, those ’tillos are ready to be halved and roasted in the oven.
The key to making delicious Salsa Verde is roasting the tomatillos in the oven until they begin to turn black. This extra step only takes a few minutes, and it adds a ton of extra flavor! Tip: when roasting tomatillos, a fair amount of liquid will be left on the pan – save it! That liquid has a lot of flavor, so make sure to pour it into the food processor along with the rest of the ingredients.
Aside from the tomatillos, the ingredient list for Salsa Verde is fairly simple. Onions, garlic, some fresh cilantro, a jalapeno and a bit of lime juice. And since everything goes into the food processor, you don’t need to spend the time finely chopping anything.
We’ve been making this green salsa recipe for years, and I finally got around to giving it a dedicated post. Salsa Verde can be used as a dip by itself – it’s delicious – or as a topping on tacos. Smoked brisket tacos topped with a spoonful of green salsa makes for a pretty fantastic dinner. Just sayin’.
Our favorite way to use Salsa Verde? It’s a bit unusual. Irish Nachos. Back when we lived in New York, an Irish pub in our neighborhood made the most amazing Irish Nachos. They used waffle fries as the base and then added pastrami, cheese and salsa verde. We actually recreated that recipe at home, and it’s become one of our favorite appetizers to make on a cold winter night.
So no matter whether you eat it plain or spoon it over tacos (or nachos!), Salsa Verde is a great trick to keep up your sleeve when you want to mix things up a bit. This recipe is fantastic, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Did you make this Salsa Verde (green salsa) at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
- 16 oz. tomatillos
- ¼ cup diced white onions
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 jalapeno pepper stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Remove the papery skin from the tomatillos. Slice each in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined sheet pan.
- Place an oven rack near the broiler (~6-8” from the broiler). Broil for 5-7 minutes, or until skins of tomatillos have begun to blacken.
- Transfer tomatillos (and excess liquid on the pan) into a food processor or blender. Add onions, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno and salt; pulse until smooth.
Looking for other tasty recipes with tomatillos? Check out these other favorites, too:
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Cant wait to make this soon for me i need to find tomatillos in Singapore i never had salsa verde before perfect with snacks love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work
Hmmm, I did a quick google search, and it does look like there are some Mexican grocery stores in Singapore. The prices might be a bit high, though, since they have to import tomatillos from so far away. If you get a chance, though, I do recommend making a batch of this salsa verde. It’s delicious!
Oh how I love tomatillos! My husband? Not so much. He finds them too tart, so I can never make salsa primarily with tomatillos – I have to is it up with tomatoes. Love your recipe.
I do understand what your husband means about tomatillos being tart. I can’t eat a whole bunch of salsa verde in one sitting, but I do love this stuff! Maybe make a half batch just for you sometime??
Love the freshness and tang from a salsa verde, but admittedly don’t get to make it much since it’s hard to find fresh tomatillos here. But a great reminder to be on the lookout for them!
Ah, I didn’t realize tomatillos weren’t available in your area, Michelle! Here’s hoping you’ll get lucky and stumble across some. 🙂 Are there are Hispanic grocery stores in your area? That would be a great place to check!
I am in love with salsa verde. Having just been to Mexico we had a lot of it.. Sadly finding tomatillos here is almost impossible but this looks so good!
Oh I’m jealous that you were just in Mexico! I love Mexican food and culture. 🙂 Do you have any Hispanic grocery stores in your area? You might just get lucky and find some tomatillos there!!
Mmmm, bet this homemade salsa is better than any restaurant version! Love all the fresh flavours. I wish I had a big bowl of this salsa and chips in front of me right now because I would be digging in and surely devouring the whole bowl. 🙂 Just what I want on a Friday!
Homemade is always better than store-bought! Now to be fair, sometimes store-bought is nice just because you don’t have to make it. But this salsa is so easy to make that I always opt for homemade! You just described my perfect Friday afternoon appetizer. This salsa verde with some tortilla chips and a cold Mexican beer!
I’ve put this on the list for when the sun comes out and I pull the BBQ out of the shed David. Haven’t done a salsa verde in ages. We love it for dipping.
Oh yes! Definitely put this on the list for a warm summer day. Maybe serve it with some grilled quesadillas or fajitas with marinated chicken. Yum!!
Oh how I *love* salsa verde! I can still remember the first time I tried it back when I was a young buck out on the town in the 80s. It was love at first bite and the love affair has lasted these past 40 years, even if I only learned to make it myself very recently.
These days I always keep some tomatillos in the fridge so I can whip some up at short notice! I love to make it with roasted tomatillos as in your recipe here as well as boiled. Each has its charms and I can’t decide which I like better!
Wow, you always keep tomatillos in the fridge? Now that’s a serious love affair!! It’s hard to beat a good batch of salsa…especially when served with something like grilled quesadillas or fajitas. And a Mexican beer in there always helps, too! 🙂 Thanks, Frank!
Salsa Verde is one of my favorite Mexican condiments and your version looks perfect, David! Love how versatile it is – for dipping chips, topping tacos and even as a sauce for enchiladas!
Yes! Salsa Verde truly is versatile, and we love making big batches of it. We use it as a dip as well as on tacos. I’ll have to try it in enchiladas now! Great idea, Marissa!
I can’t wait to try making this recipe at home and maybe even use it as a dip for chips, love its simplicity
We often use salsa verde as a dip for tortilla chips here, Raymund. I highly recommend making a batch!
i love the flavours you are using David. Not sure if we can get tomatillos here tho!
Hmmm…I did a quick google search, and it looks like tomatillos are available in Australia. They are a seasonal item though, so you’d want to mark your calendar so you don’t miss them. And it looks like they might be easy to grow if you want to try our your green thumb! 🙂