Salsa Verde Recipe with Tangy Tomatillos

A bowl of green salsa verde with some tortilla chips and some other salsas.

So, what is Salsa Verde?

Salsa Verde is literally a “green sauce”. However, we’re not talking about just any green sauce here. We’re cooking a delicious Mexican Salsa Verde recipe, complete with tart tomatillos and spicy jalapeño peppers! In addition, we round out the salsa with onion, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro. Sounds good, right?

What is a Tomatillo?

Bowl of tomatillos

The tomatillo is a green fruit that looks like a small tomato. In fact, tomatillo and tomatoes are in the same plant family. Just like tomatoes, tomatillos are classed as a “culinary vegetable”. So, cooks regard tomatillos as a veggie when designing recipes.

However, you can tell the tomatillo apart by the papery husk surrounding the fruit. In addition, tomatillos taste different from tomatoes. By comparison, tomatillos are more acidic and less sweet. As a result, tomatillos give salsa verde recipes a bright and tangy flavor.

Is Salsa Verde Spicy?

Fresh ingredients to make salsa verde

Well, at our place the answer is YES! But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, your salsa will only be as spicy as you make it. For a milder salsa, just reduce or remove the chili peppers altogether. However, we think it would be a shame not to include at least a little jalapeño. This chili has a fresh, “green” flavor that tastes great in salsa.

Put on your Green Shoes and (salsa) Dance!

Skillet filled chopped tomatillos, jalapeño, onion and garlic

Ok, let’s discuss how to make Salsa Verde. The process is actually quite easy! It all starts by sauteing the tomatillos, jalapeños, onion, and garlic in some oil. We cook the ingredients like this because heat brings out the sweetness of the tomatillos. In turn, this mellows their tartness a bit. In addition, cooking caramelizes the onion and garlic, adding extra flavor.

The final step is to get those ingredients into a blender. Then, whiz the salsa verde up until it reaches your desired texture. We like our Salsa Verde smooth, but if you prefer yours with a little more texture, that’s ok too!

After that, your salsa should be ready to enjoy! Be sure to taste it and add a little more salt if necessary. However, if you’re not yet loving what you’re tasting, keep reading for some rescue tips!

Salsa verde and cilantro in vitamin blender

Quick Fixes

Now, if you get to the end of this recipe and your salsa verde still needs tweaking, we have some tips:

  • Too runny? Put the salsa into a pan and simmer gently until it thickens to your satisfaction.
  • Too much heat (spicy)? Add small amounts of sugar and acid (e.g. more lime juice) until they balance out the spiciness. Alternatively, you can add more of the other ingredients to dilute the chili.
  • Too sour? Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and taste it again (repeat if necessary).
  • Too awesome? Just kidding – there’s no such thing!

How to use your Salsa Verde

When you think about it, this is one of those “put it on everything” sauces. However, there are some classic ways to use salsa verde, for example:

A bowl of green salsa verde with a sprinkle of cilantro

We hope you get a kick out of this tangy, tasty Salsa Verde recipe. If you make it, please let us know what you think with a comment and a rating. Every bit of feedback helps make the blog even better.

If you’re looking for some more great dips and salsas, check out our recipes for Pico de Gallo, Guacamole, and Tomato Salsa!

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A jar of salsa verde sprinkled with cilantro

Salsa Verde Recipe with Tangy Tomatillos

  • Author: Rachel Steenland
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups / 6 servings 1x


Check out this delicious salsa verde recipe with tangy tomatillos! Be sure to make a big batch, because you’ll be slathering this salsa on everything!


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 8 tomatillos (around 1lbs / 453 grams), husk removed and roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano 
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups water
  • Large handful of cilantro
  • Juice of one lime


  1. Add oil to a skillet over medium heat, sauté onions until soft, around 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño peppers, oregano and a pinch of salt, sauté for a further 5 minutes. 
  3. Pour water into the skillet and bring tomatillo mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until ingredients are soft. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer tomatillo mixture to a blender, add cilantro and lime juice, then blend until the mixture reaches your desired texture. We like our Salsa Verde smooth, but if you prefer yours with a little more texture, that’s ok too!
  6. Taste the Salsa Verde and adjust seasoning and flavor as needed (see notes section). Transfer to a container with a lid, and store in the fridge until required. Consume within 3 days.


  • Tweak the taste of the Salsa Verde to suit your taste using these tips:
    1. Too runny? Put the salsa into a pan and simmer gently until it thickens to your satisfaction.
    2. Too much heat (spicy)? Add small amounts of sugar and acid (e.g. more lime juice) until they balance out the spiciness. Alternatively, you can add more of the other ingredients to dilute the chili.
    3. Too sour? Add 1 teaspoon of sugar and taste it again (repeat if necessary). 
  • Nutritional information is to be used as a guide only as calories and nutrition vary between products and brands worldwide.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup Salsa Verde
  • Calories: 58
  • Sugar: 3.6 g
  • Sodium: 442.4 mg
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.1 g
  • Protein: 1.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: salsa verde recipe, salsa verde tomatillo, tomatillo salsa recipe, tomatillo recipe

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Rachel Steenland

Rachel Steenland

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