This Easy Salsa Verde Recipe made with tomatillos and jalapenos can be used in dozens of Mexican dishes. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan.
This tomatillo salsa verde recipe is one of my favorite salsas ever! It’s so easy to make, packs a huge punch of tangy, zesty flavor and is so versatile, it can be used in countless dishes and recipes.
When I was growing up, my parents always had three to four homemade salsas in the fridge at all times so I never actually learned to make my own. Until now. On my most recent trip to visit my family, I got serious about following my mom around the kitchen. I asked a lot of questions, paid close attention to everything she did and jotted down lots of notes while she was cooking. Here’s what I learned.
What is salsa verde?
Salsa verde, or “green sauce,” is a Mexican salsa typically made from tomatillos, garlic and green chiles. It’s known for its bright and tangy flavor and is often used to make enchiladas, chilaquiles or served on top of tacos.
There are many different versions of salsa verde – some are spicy, some are mild, some use many different kinds of green chiles and some don’t use tomatillos at all. As long as the salsa is green in color and is made with green peppers to add some spice, then it’s considered a salsa verde. Here’s how I make my favorite salsa verde.
How to make salsa verde
- In a small or medium saucepan, add 6 tomatillos and 2 deveined and seeded jalapeños. Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover the top of the tomatillos, cover and boil on medium-high heat until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
- When softened, drain the water from the saucepan and transfer the boiled vegetables to a large blender.
- Add 1 raw jalapeño (stem removed), 1 large tomato, 1/2 cup packed green onions, 1 clove of garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt to the blender.
- Blend until smooth.
Substitutions and variations
- This salsa verde recipe uses just one kind of pepper – jalapeño – but many salsas use two, three or even four kinds of peppers. If you don’t have jalapeños, I recommend using serrano chiles instead. A word of caution – serranos are hotter than jalapeños so use them wisely. Blend in one at a time and taste until the salsa is to your liking.
- Another variation of this recipe would be to use half of a medium white onion instead of the green onions. As long as you get the onion-y flavor, you’re good to go. I had an insane amount of green onions growing in my garden so that’s what I decided to use.
- I find that the tomatillos give this salsa a very bright and fresh flavor, but if you want to make it pop even more, add in a handful of cilantro!
Looking for more ways to use this salsa verde? Here are a few recipes that use this salsa as an ingredient.
- Salsa Verde Breakfast Fritatta
- Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas
- Salsa Verde Chilaquiles
- White Bean Chicken Chili Verde Soup
- Salsa Verde Queso Dip
If you make this recipe, let me know in the comments below or snap a photo and tag me @isabeleats on Instagram. I’d love to see what you cook!
- 6 tomatillos, husked and washed
- 2 large jalapeños, seeded, deveined, stems removed
- 1 large jalapeño, stem removed
- 1 large tomato, stem removed and cut into fourths
- 1/2 cup packed green onions (or 1/2 large white onion)
- 1 clove garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a small or medium saucepan, add tomatillos and deveined jalapeños. Fill saucepan with enough water to cover the top of the tomatillos. Cover and boil on medium-high heat until the jalapeños soften, about 15 minutes.
- When softened, drain water and transfer boiled tomatillos and jalapeños to a large blender.
- Add raw jalapeño, tomato, green onions, salt and garlic to blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt if necessary.
- Use immediately or keep refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.