This salsa verde recipe blends tomatillos, jalapeños, onions, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice to form a tangy and vibrant Mexican green salsa. Spoon it onto tons of dishes to add a pop of flavor and color. You’ll never go back to store bought versions again
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Easy homemade salsa verde is here to push all the store-bought versions aside. Full of flavor and a signature green color, this tangy and vibrant salsa is easy to make, versatile, and one of my favorite salsas ever!
Salsa verde is great to eat with some tortillas chips, but it’s also used in other recipes like enchiladas verdes, chilaquiles verdes, or on top of carne asada.
Making this salsa yourself rather than buying it from a store is a total game-changer. Plus, because the tomatillos and peppers are boiled instead of roasted, the recipe is very low maintenance and cleanup is easy. Win-win!
What is Salsa Verde?
Salsa verde, or “green salsa” in English, is made from roasted or boiled chile peppers, tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice.
It can be made as mild or as hot as you prefer by using different types of chiles. See my tips for adjusting the spice level below.
Salsa Verde Ingredients
- Tomatillos: These small and round green tomato look-a-likes are one of the main components in an authentic Mexican salsa verde recipe. Remove the papery husks before boiling them. If you’ve never cooked with them before, learn all about tomatillos.
- Jalapeños: A handful of jalapeños in this salsa gives it the perfect amount of spice without it being overwhelming. I removed the seeds so it wouldn’t be too spicy, but you can leave them in if you prefer. If you like it extra spicy, use serrano peppers instead.
- White onion and garlic: Because it isn’t a real salsa without these two.
- Cilantro: Fresh cilantro incorporates very bright and fresh flavors into the salsa. Plus, it helps with that pop of green!
- Lime juice: This adds just a hint of tang and citrus to the salsa.
- Salt: To round out the flavors.
How to Make Salsa Verde
- Boil tomatillos and peppers: Add the tomatillos, jalapeños, and onion to a medium pot filled with water. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let everything simmer for 10 minutes.
- Blend it up: Transfer the tomatillos, jalapeños, and onion to a blender. Add in the cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and salt, then blend until smooth.
- Serve and store: Serve the finished salsa immediately or place it in the refrigerator.
Roasting vs Boiling
Some recipes call for the tomatillos and jalapeños to be roasted instead of boiled in water. I find that this makes the salsa taste a little too sweet, which roasting can do to some vegetables. Boiling keeps the flavor of the salsa bright and tart, which I prefer.
However, some people prefer a slightly sweeter and less tangy salsa. If that’s you, then you can definitely roast it!
To roast, place the peppers and tomatillos onto a lined baking sheet and place them under a broiler for about 5-8 minutes until they’re blackened in spots. Remove from the oven, carefully flip each one, and broil again until blacked and charred. Once they’re blackened and blistered on all sides, place them in a blender with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
Substitutions and Variations
- To make it mild, remove the seeds from all of the jalapeños.
- To make it medium/hot, remove the seeds from only some of the jalapeños.
- To make it extra spicy, use serrano peppers instead of jalapeños. Blend just 1 pepper at a time until you reach the desired level of spice.
- Is it too thick? Add a tablespoon of water at a time to the blender until you reach the desired consistency.
- Too bland? Add in more salt one pinch at a time until it’s just right.
Storing and Freezing
To store, place the finished salsa in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
To freeze, place the salsa in freezer-safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months. For smaller portions, freeze it in ice cube trays until they’re solid, then transfer them to a container or sealed bag. Leave the salsa to thaw in the fridge or at room temperature before using.
Ways to use salsa verde
You can eat this salsa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Here are some of my favorite dishes to serve it with:
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed (about 10 med-large tomatillos)
- 3 jalapeños, stems removed
- ½ white onion
- water, as needed
- ½ cup cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon lime juice (about ½ lime)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Add tomatillos, jalapenos, and onion to a medium saucepan or pot. Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover the tops of the tomatillos.
- Bring water to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the tomatillos, jalapenos, and onion to a blender using a slotted spoon.
- Add cilantro, garlic, lime juice and salt. Blend until smooth.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Makes 2 cups total.
- Don’t want it spicy? Remove the seeds from the jalapenos.
- Want it extra spicy? Use serrano peppers instead of jalapenos.
- To freeze, place salsa in freezer safe containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Other recipes call for roasting the tomatillos and jalapenos under a broiler, but I actually prefer the flavor of salsa verde when it’s made this way – by boiling it. When the tomatillos and jalapenos are roasted, I find that the salsa is a little too sweet since roasting often brings out the sweetness in vegetables. But boiling them keeps the flavor of the salsa bright and tart which is how I prefer my salsa verde.
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