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If you’re looking for a fresh and flavorful dip that elevates any party table, this tomatillo salsa verde recipe is the perfect choice. It’s based on my tomatillo avocado salsa, but leaving out the avocado makes it taste more tangy and (mildly) spicy — and it’s just as easy to make. Serve it in a spread with chips alongside other homemade salsa recipes, or use it to add a punch of flavor on top of your favorite Mexican recipes!
Why You’ll Love This Salsa Verde Recipe
- Bright, fresh flavor
- Customize the heat to your liking
- Adjustable consistency — smooth or chunky!
- Just 7 simple ingredients (plus salt)
- Done in less than 30 minutes
- Naturally gluten-free, low carb, and healthy appetizer
What Is Salsa Verde?
Salsa verde, also known as tomatillo salsa or green salsa, is a tangy, herby green sauce made from tomatillos, jalapenos, onions, garlic, lime, and cilantro. It’s commonly used in Mexican and Latin American cuisine as a condiment for tacos, chile verde, burritos, grilled meats, seafood, and tortilla chips.
Salsa Verde Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best tomatillo salsa ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Tomatillos – When buying tomatillos, opt for fresh ones that are still covered in their papery husks. Make sure the husk fully encloses the fruit. The tomatillo itself should be firm, but not too hard, akin to small green tomatoes. While it’s ideal to choose ones with bright green husks, it’s not a hard and fast rule. Peel back skins and wash to remove their sticky residue.
- Jalapeno – The recipe calls for a medium jalapeño pepper, but you can use 2 to make it extra spicy. Remove the white ribs and seeds for less spice or leave them in for more heat.
- Garlic – Use fresh garlic for best flavor, or 1 teaspoon jarred minced garlic for convenience.
- Olive Oil – I prefer regular olive oil for green salsa, but other oils, such as avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil, would also work.
- Fresh Cilantro – I think it’s a must for any salsa recipe, but if you aren’t a fan, you can substitute other fresh herbs (such as parsley) or simply omit it.
- Onion – I used white onion, but you could also use yellow onion.
- Lime Juice – Fresh lime juice offers the best flavor, but there’s nothing wrong with using bottled lime juice. In a pinch, lemon juice will also work, though the flavor will be a bit different.
- Sea Salt
How To Make Salsa Verde
This section shows how to make tomatillo salsa with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Roast the tomatillos, peppers, and garlic. Preheat the oven and line baking sheet with foil. Arrange the tomatillos, jalapeno, and garlic in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil. Roast in the oven, flipping halfway through, until soft and slightly charred on both sides. (I just roast mine over high heat, but you can cook them under the broiler, too.) Set aside to cool completely.
- Blend the salsa verde. Transfer the tomatillos, jalapeno, and garlic into a food processor or powerful blender. Add the cilantro, onion, lime juice, and sea salt. Pulse until pureed to your desired consistency.
- Adjust the salt. Taste and add more salt to your liking if needed.
TIP: You can cool at the end instead if you prefer.
If you don’t want to wait, you can blend the salsa right after roasting the vegetables, then let it cool afterward.
I kept this version as simple as possible, but salsa verde recipes are easy to customize! Try these variations:
- More heat – If you like extra heat, serrano peppers are a popular substitute for jalapenos. Use chiles de arbol for even more heat, or even ghost peppers if you’re brave!
- Less heat – For a very mild salsa verde, use mild chile peppers like poblano, Anaheim, Hatch chiles, or even banana peppers. Or you can just use less of the jalapeno, and omit the seeds and ribs.
- Avocado – Add avocado to make a creamy avocado salsa verde.
- Spices – Add a dash of cumin or smoked paprika for extra flavor.
- Boil – I much prefer roasted tomatillo salsa, but you can also simmer the vegetables in a saucepan instead. This method is faster (it takes about 5 minutes after the water boils). Once the tomatillos, peppers, and garlic are soft, blend as usual.
This homemade salsa verde recipe will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Can You Freeze Salsa Verde?
Yes, you can freeze salsa verde. Transfer to a freezer-safe container, leaving some space at the top, and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw on the counter or in the fridge overnight, and give it a good stir before serving.
What To Serve With Tomatillo Salsa
If you’re wondering what to serve with tomatillo salsa, the tangy and savory flavors pair perfectly with all kinds of Mexican dishes. Add a skinny margarita for the weekend!
- Chips – Serve with your favorite tortilla chips (pictured above), or try my healthy almond flour tortilla chips. It also pairs nicely with other Mexican dips, like homemade guacamole or queso dip.
- Veggies – Serve along with veggies for dipping. Mini bell peppers, cucumber slices, and celery stalks all work well as dippers.
- Tacos – Of course you can serve this tomatillo salsa recipe over your favorite tacos, but it also goes well with other taco-insipired dishes. Drizzle it on your taco salad, layer it into taco dip, or use it to finish off zucchini taco boats or taco casserole.
- Other Mexican Dishes – Try it with my barbacoa recipe, your fave burritos or enchiladas, zesty cilantro lime chicken, deliciously grilled pollo asado, or all-in-one sheet pan fajitas.
- Breakfast – It adds a spicy kick to baked eggs (or just a quick scramble with Mexican chorizo). You can’t go wrong drizzling it over your breakfast casserole or omelette, either.
More Easy Salsa Recipes
These salsas are the best way to add flavor and variety to your dip routine, and they’re all easy! Try these with your next appetizer or meal:
Salsa Verde Recipe (Tomatillo Salsa)
Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)
Make a salsa verde (tomatillo salsa) recipe in no time with tomatillos, onions, cilantro & lime juice — so easy and perfect for any occasion!
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with foil.
Arrange the tomatillos, jalapeno, and garlic in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for about 10 minutes, until tomatillos are browned on the bottom. Flip and roast for 5 to 10 more minutes, until tomatillos are soft, browned on the bottom again, and skins are puckered.
Set the pan aside to cool completely to room temperature. (This is optional; you can also just refrigerate the salsa after making it.)
Once cooled, transfer the tomatillos, jalapeno (remove the stem first!), and garlic into a food processor. (If you want less heat, cut the jalapeno in half before adding and remove the seeds.) Add the cilantro, onion, lime juice, and sea salt. Pulse until the desired consistency is reached.
Taste and add more salt to your liking if needed.
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Serving size: 1/4 cup
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