Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Made with roasted tomatillos, this homemade salsa verde is zesty, spicy, and bright. It's SO much better than store-bought. Pass the tortilla chips!

Tomatillo salsa verde

Try this homemade salsa verde recipe once, and you’ll never get the store-bought kind again. It calls for a short list of fresh ingredients: tomatillos, serrano chiles, garlic, onion, cilantro, and lime. They give it an amazing zesty, tangy, bright, and spicy flavor that’ll have you scooping it up with chip after chip (after chip). And speaking of all those chips, another reason I love THIS tomatillo salsa vs. tomatillo salsa from a jar is its amazing texture. It’s thick and silky, which means that it’ll coat a dipped tortilla chip (or even a batch of enchiladas)—no watery salsa verde here!

My inspiration for this recipe came from the many, many salsas I tried during our years in Austin. They taught me just how flavorful homemade salsa could be, and they got me curious about making my own. I hope this recipe does the same for you. Once you start making your own tomatillo salsa verde, you won’t look back!

Salsa verde recipe ingredients

Salsa Verde Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this salsa verde recipe:

  • Tomatillos – You might think they’re just green tomatoes, but fun fact: they’re not! Like tomatoes, tomatillos are in the nightshade family, but they’re actually a type of ground cherry. Their bright green skin is covered in a sticky coating, which is surrounded by a papery husk. Their flavor is super-tangy, which gives this salsa a delicious kick.
  • Onion and garlic – For sweet/savory depth of flavor.
  • Jalapeño or serrano peppers – For heat. Add more or less depending on your spice tolerance.
  • Avocado oil – Or another neutral oil, for richness.
  • Fresh lime juice – For bright, zesty flavor.
  • Cilantro – It adds refreshing flecks of green.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Roasted tomatillos, chiles, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet

How to Make Salsa Verde

The first step in this homemade salsa verde recipe is roasting the veggies. Why?

  1. It makes the tomatillos softer, sweeter, and juicier.
  2. It gives everything a little char, which adds depth of flavor to the salsa.

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse to remove the stickiness. Pat them dry and place them on a baking sheet. Peel and chop the onion into big chunks. Add it to the baking sheet along with the whole peppers. Drizzle the veggies with oil and season them with salt.

Wrap the (unpeeled) garlic in a piece of foil with a drizzle of oil. Place it on the baking sheet too!

Roast in a 450°F oven until the tomatillos are juicy and browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tomatillo salsa verde ingredients in a food processor

Next, blend the salsa. Unwrap and peel the garlic, and remove the stems from the peppers. Place both in a food processor with the tomatillos, onion, avocado oil, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Process until combined.

Note: If you’re sensitive to spice, I would start by adding just 1 pepper (or even 1/2!) to the food processor. It’s much easier to add more to taste than to take it out!

Tomatillo salsa verde in a food processor

Finally, taste and adjust. The really fun thing about making homemade salsa is that you can make it just how you like it! If it’s too thick, blend in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. If you want it brighter, add more lime juice. Not enough salt? Mix in another pinch.

When you can’t stop eating it straight from the food processor, it’s just right.

Salsa verde in a bowl on platter with tortilla chips

How to Use Tomatillo Salsa Verde

This simplest way to serve this tomatillo salsa verde is as a dip. Try pairing it with homemade tortilla chips (or taquitos) for a next-level appetizer or snack!

But that’s just one of many ways to use this zesty green salsa. Here are a few more of my favorites:

How do you like to use roasted tomatillo salsa? Let me know in the comments!

Salsa verde recipe

More Favorite Salsas and Dips

If you love this tomatillo salsa verde recipe, try one of these homemade dips or salsas next:

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

rate this recipe:
4.93 from 26 votes
The BEST salsa verde recipe! Made with simple, fresh ingredients, this zesty green salsa is delicious as a dip or with Mexican dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and more. Find serving suggestions in the post above.

Ingredients

  • 9 medium tomatillos
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers*
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • teaspoons sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse to remove the stickiness. Pat dry and place on the baking sheet with the onion and peppers. Drizzle with avocado oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Wrap the garlic cloves in a piece of foil with a drizzle of oil and add to the baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tomatillos are juicy and browned.
  • Remove the garlic from the foil and peel it. Remove the stems from the peppers.
  • In a food processor, place the tomatillos, onion, peppers, garlic, avocado oil, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Process until combined. If the salsa is too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency. Season to taste and serve.
  • Store leftover salsa in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Notes

*Serranos and jalapeños can vary widely in spice level. If you’re sensitive to spice, start with just 1, or even ½, pepper and add more to taste.

75 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Stevie
    10.17.2020

    5 stars
    This is delicious!! And fantastically easy!! Thank you so much 🙂

    • Johanna
      02.13.2021

      Hello! Do you think canned tomatillos would work as well in this recipe? Thanks!!

  2. SnapshotsbySage
    09.16.2020

    5 stars
    We used key limes as needed to finish a bunch and home grown jalapeno’s with a spicy punch – final product was delicious and spicy! Dipped in some lime tortilla chips!

  3. Beth T.
    07.31.2020

    4 stars
    I loved how incredibly easy this recipe was. I just got food processor but it’s very, very small so I was worried that it might not be able to handle all the roasted veggies. But it did! And it turned out to be so delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it (and marveling over how easily it all came together). This is definitely something I’ll make again and again.

    Next time, I’ll try to use a serrano pepper though. I used one jalapeno this time around and it just didn’t seem to have the medium-spicy kick I’d expect from a green salsa.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.31.2020

      Hi Beth, I’m glad you liked it! Peppers can vary in spice, I hope you enjoy it with serranos!

  4. Makattak_59
    07.05.2020

    5 stars
    Easy to make. I grilled all the peppers. I used a New Mexico chili pepper instead of the jalapeno pepper. It is an excellent salsa.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.10.2020

      I’m so glad you loved it! I love the flavor of grilled peppers, yum!

  5. JenniOdie
    06.29.2020

    5 stars
    Delicious! I quadrupled the recipe b/c I have a a couple very prolific tomatillo plants. Grilled the veggies on the bbq, including the packet of garlic cloves. This recipe is spot on, except I added a wee more salt at the end. Yummy!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2020

      I’m jealous of your tomatillo plants! So glad you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  6. Kelly
    05.05.2020

    This is our go-to salsa verde. We made some to give away for Christmas and they loved it too. I’m roasting tomatillas right now so I can make another batch.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      Hi Kelly, I’m so glad you’ve been loving it!

  7. Tanesha
    10.27.2019

    5 stars
    Just made it! SO yummy! I forgot cilantro while I was out but it’s still delicious/i don’t like cilantro anyway hahaha…I have only tried it fresh out of the blender so I’m excited to try it again after it chills for a few hours!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.30.2019

      haha, I’m so glad you loved the salsa 🙂

  8. YVETTE Ayres
    10.25.2016

    Hoping this will satisfy my longing for Torchy’s tomatillo salsa. The recipe sounds wonderful can’t wait to make it, here, far far from Austin.

  9. BBG
    10.14.2016

    5 stars
    Made this for our weekly cocktail with our daughter and son-in-law, I loved, they raved. I added one jalapeno which really didn’t give it much heat, next time I would use two. A great recipe, it’s a keeper.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.14.2016

      yay, so glad you all liked it!

  10. Barbara
    09.05.2016

    I’m a vegan and a first time edible garden gal, and grew tomatillos for the fun of it. They are the most fun beautiful climbing abundance fruit producing plant! This tomatilla salsa is divine. I made it with your stuffed poblano peppers and served it with fresh guacamole. It is the BEST vegan meal I’ve made EVER!!!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.08.2016

      Hi Barbara – yay, I’m so glad you liked both!

  11. Jillian
    08.13.2016

    This looks delicious! Do you have any idea if it freezes well? I have a lot of tomatillos to use!

  12. Kate from a2bshop.co.uk
    07.11.2016

    mmmmmm so many flavours i cant wait to make and eat this! anything with coriander (cilantro) is an automatic win for me.

  13. P.S: Also, tomatillos are great in salads! With feta cheese and red onions.

  14. 5 stars
    Hello. I am Mexican, and this salsa is a basic for us. And i just love that you posted this recipe of a true mexican salsa. It’s great! Also with avocado. And the red version is also very tasty. I have a recipe for dried chiles (peppers) red salsa that is amazing. 😀
    Just a tip: we don’t use the oven for it, we roast our tomatoes and onions on the grill 🙂 It gives it a nice toasty-smokey flavour to it that you just don’t get from the oven. 😉

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.12.2016

      thanks Sofia! I often use the grill, but so many people don’t have grills or gas stoves so I wanted to give another option 🙂

    • Diane
      01.13.2017

      I would love to have a recipe for green salsa pecoso…And your red salsa recipe..Thank you.

  15. Allyson from reclaimingyesterday.com
    07.09.2016

    I agree, nothing beats fresh salsa. I have yet to venture into tomatilla land myself, even though I know how delicious they are. This looks so good I think I’ll take the plunge 🙂

  16. Rachel
    07.08.2016

    This looks great! I planted tomatillos this year and weren’t quite sure what to do with them. Now I know 🙂

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.