Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is a healthy green salsa with bright, unique flavors that compliments a wide range of dishes including enchiladas verdes, grilled steaks and tacos. This version is prepared using six ingredients: broiled tomatillos, onions, jalapeño peppers, garlic, cilantro and lime. Broiling adds a wonderful smokiness to this salsa verde recipe that makes it exceptionally tasty!

Salsa verde in a food processor on a blue backdrop.

The first time I received tomatillos in my CSA basket, I was thrilled. I immediately used them to prepare a chilled tomatillo avocado soup that I love serving when it’s hot outside.

While that’s an easy soup to prepare, I’ve been enjoying keeping things even more simple lately. I realized it’s easier to buy jarred salsa, but this homemade salsa verde recipe tastes worlds better than anything you’ll buy at the store.

Whether I’m serving it with tortilla chips or as a condiment alongside other recipes (such as my Tortilla Casserole and Chicken Tacos), this is now my go-to recipe for tomatillos.

What is a Tomatillo?

People often confuse tomatillos with green tomatoes, but they’re actually an entirely different fruit (yes, tomatillos and tomatoes are both fruits, not vegetables). They have a tart and fruity flavor, and should be cooked before using in salsa.

Tomatillos are bright green, but can sometimes turn yellow when ripe. They have a dry, papery husk that wraps around the outside and leaves behind a sticky residue when peeled away. The stickiness can be easily rinsed away.

Unpeeled tomatillos in a white bowl, shot from overhead on a blue backdrop.

How to Make Salsa Verde

The great thing about homemade salsa is that you control the flavors. If you like hot salsa, add an extra chili pepper (or two or three!)

You can use less garlic and/or salt. Go easy on the broiling if you prefer less of a smoky flavor.

Want to make a creamy salsa? Try throwing in some fresh avocado!

A sheet pan covered with foil, topped with broiled tomatillos, yellow onions, jalapeño peppers, and garlic.

You don’t technically need to broil the ingredients. However, I highly recommend it, because it adds so much depth of flavor and smokiness, similar to grilling or roasting.

Ingredients for this salsa verde recipe in a food processor, including tomatillos, jalapeños, yellow onions, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro.

I typically use my food processor to combine the salsa ingredients, but you can also use a blender. A sharp chef’s knife will also technically work, though it will be more time consuming and messy.

The finished salsa verde recipe in a food processor.

I like my salsa verde with a bit of texture. If you prefer a smoother salsa that’s on the thin side, pulse the ingredients for longer.

A hand dipping a blue corn chip into a bowl of homemade salsa verde.

If you have a favorite way to use tomatillos, I’d love to hear about it!

Looking For More Salsa Recipes?

You should check out my Mango Salsa and Grilled Avocado and Peach Salsa!

Salsa verde
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Salsa Verde

5 from 5 votes
This salsa verde recipe is fast and easy, with a smoky flavor that comes from broiling the ingredients. Serve with tortilla chips or alongside your favorite entrees.
Course Condiments
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword salsa verde
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 servings (approximately)
Calories 54


  • 1 pound tomatillos, peeled and rinsed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, stemmed halved and seeded (use a serrano for more heat)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice (approximately 1/2 - 1 lime)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste


  • Place an oven rack on one of the top two shelves (see notes). Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss the tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, and garlic with just enough olive oil to generously coat them.
  • Broil for 10 -15 minutes, shaking the pan or using tongs to flip the veggies once or twice, until vegetables are lightly charred. The more you char the vegetables, the smokier the salsa will taste.
  • Allow to cool briefly, then place the broiled vegetables in a food processor or blender along with the cilantro, lime juice and salt. Pulse several times to combine (you can create a smooth or chunky salsa here depending on personal preference).
  • Serve with tortilla chips or alongside your favorite recipes. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.


For broiling, most recipes recommend using the top oven rack. I personally like to use the second shelf down so I can keep a better eye on things to avoid burning ingredients.
You can use more hot peppers to intensify the heat level. Use 1 garlic clove instead of two if you prefer a milder garlic flavor.
Yields 1 1/2 cups.


Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4% | Vitamin C: 17.1% | Calcium: 1% | Iron: 2.8%

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This tomatillo salsa verde recipe is fast and easy, with an incredible smoky flavor that comes from broiling the veggies. Serve with tortilla chips or alongside your favorite entrees. I personally love it with tacos!

About Jennifer Farley

Jennifer graduated from the Culinary Arts program at L’Academie de Cuisine, and has worked professionally as a line cook, pastry chef, and cooking instructor. Her cookbook, The Gourmet Kitchen, was published in 2016 by Simon & Schuster.

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