This is a no-fuss recipe with major flavor! Our homemade Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde has just five ingredients that come together into a homemade salsa that is so much better than anything in a jar. Keep scrolling for our Tomatillo Salsa Secret!
There are some foods (like salsa!) that are so commonly bought in a jar you forget just how simple they are to make at home. Roasting your tomatillos, onion, and garlic brings a deep, savory flavor to your salsa that sometimes you can't get from the pre-made stuff. Keep reading for our tried-and-true method for creating your new favorite homemade salsa verde at home!
What are Tomatillos?
Delicious! A tomatillo is a small, green fruit that originated in Mexico. They actually look like they might be small green tomatoes. Like a tomato, it’s technically a fruit but is usually served as a savory vegetable! We don’t recommend you eat tomatillos raw, the flavor is tart and a little bitter. When roasted (like in this Tomatillo Salsa recipe), the flavors mellow out and taste almost sweet. Find them by the jalapenos in the grocery store. They are surrounded by papery husks.
What is Salsa Verde?
The words literally mean "green salsa." Salsa is a blend of raw or cooked vegetables and/or fruit and seasoning mixed to become a dip. Any time a salsa is made with mostly green vegetables -- such as tomatillos -- so that its appearance is green, it is a salsa verde.
Ingredients for Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- Medium-Size Tomatillos. Your tomatillos should have the removable peel or husk intact. They should be firm and consistent in color with no major blemishes or spots. Make sure to wash the tomatillos after you remove the husk because it leaves behind a sticky, waxy residue.
- Garlic Cloves. If you don't have one yet, buy a garlic press to make mincing fresh garlic easier. Your taste buds will thank you.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. In this case, it adds flavor and helps everything meld.
- Salt. Just a pinch brings out all the flavors beautifully.
- Bunch of Fresh Cilantro. Use leaves and stems, just cut one inc off the bottom of the stems before you chop this herb.
- Fresh Jalapeño Pepper. You could also use any variety of green chiles, such as serrano peppers, or even habanero peppers in this tomatillo salsa recipe. You can also skip the heat completely if desired.
- Hass Avocados. See our secret addition of avocados with lemon and salt to take this salsa verde to the next level. To make sure you purchase a ripe avocado, press it slightly. It should give slightly under your thumb but still resist. The skin should be dark green, almost black but not quite and the remaining plug at the base should rub off easily. An overripe avocado will be fully black on the outside and give too much. If you will not use the avocados for a few days, they can ripen on the counter or in the refrigerator.
How to Make Homemade Tomatillo Salsa
This is a really simple recipe that produces incredible, flavorful roasted tomatillo salsa verde. Your friends and family will be so impressed by your homemade salsa skills!
Prepare your tomatillos. Remove the outer husk and rinse them before placing them on your baking sheet.
How to Roast Tomatillos
For this recipe, we will roast garlic and onions as well. Your kitchen will smell amazing! Place the tray in your oven at 375ºF and cook them until tender. You can also use the broiler on the lowest setting which is faster, but can cause burning quickly. It does give the tomatillos and onions a nice char. The garlic should be wrapped in foil. Let everything cool completely.
Blending your Salsa Verde
Once they’re perfectly roasted, they’ll be blended with cilantro and fresh jalapeno. Pulse in a blender or food processor until it reaches your favorite salsa consistency.
Blend roasted tomatillos, onions, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeño in a food processor to achieve that chunky salsa texture.
Uses for Tomatillo Salsa Verde
This gorgeous homemade salsa verde recipe can be served with tortilla chips, added to nachos, tacos, fajitas, salads, rice bowls, and more. It can be used just like any other salsa as a green sauce on enchiladas, as a topping for eggs or breakfast burritos, or even as a dip for veggies. The possibilities are endless. I've even seen it spread on avocado toast.
Recipes with Tomatillo Salsa Verde
The best part of making this salsa is using it in your favorite Mexican food recipes! It’s delicious with tortilla chips, an omelet, or one of these dishes...
- Yellow Rice Burrito Bowl with Tostones & Tomatillo Salsa
- Super Gooey Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Toasted Tomatillo Salsa
- Tacos Al Pastor
- Black Beans & Rice with Plantains
- Tex Mex Spaghetti Squash Bake
- Pulled Jackfruit Enchiladas
Our Tomatillo Salsa Secret
Are you ready for the secret sauce, the step that takes this salsa to a new level of deliciousness?! We kept experimenting with this recipe and recommend trying this:
- Take 1 cup of the finished salsa (the recipe makes 3 ½ cups, so about a third) and put it in a separate bowl.
- Add a mashed avocado, 2-3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice or fresh lime juice, and some salt to taste.
- It will make this salsa creamy and delicious, and as a bonus, the avocado will not turn brown!
Expert Tips for the Best Salsa Verde
- Let the flavors meld for at least thirty minutes in your refrigerator before serving your salsa. The flavor is going to improve over time and the heat level will also rise slightly as the ingredients starts playing nicely together.
- Wait twenty to thirty minutes before you taste and adjust the tomatillo salsa with salt as needed. Again, this gives the flavors time to meld.
- Jalapeños and other peppers vary in heat level depending on size, ripeness, and exact variety. Proceed with caution and decrease the amount of peppers to decrease the heat.
- Look for ingredients that are fresh and ripe for the best flavors. Onions and garlic should be firm, without green areas or sprouts.
Tomatillos should still be firm in their husks, and the husks should be tight and wrinkle free. Peppers should be firm, dark, and the skin should not be wrinkly.
For the absolute best results, purchase your ingredients from a farmer's market in season. It's worth it when you are making salsa!
How to Store Tomatillo Salsa Verde
Once made, the salsa can be served fresh or chilled. Leftovers should be refrigerated to keep fresh and will keep in the fridge for four or five days. Store the salsa in an airtight container or jar. Salsa Verde can be frozen. If you plan to freeze it, do so before you add the avocado mixture and simply add that in when the salsa is thawed.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you peel the husks off of tomatillos?
You should be able to simply peel them off, but you may need to cut away the peel at the base.
Is it necessary to add sugar to green salsa?
No. Roasting the tomatillos brings out some sweetness.
Is salsa verde spicier than salsa?
The level of spice really depends on the person making it. Choose your peppers wisely. Remove the seeds and membrane. Add the amount according to the heat you desire.
How long does salsa verde last in the fridge?
An opened jar of salsa verde is supposedly good for up to two weeks. Fresh salsa verde should keep for four or five days.
More Salsa and Dip Recipes
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This is a no-fuss recipe with major flavor! Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Verde has just 5 ingredients that come together for a homemade salsa so much better than anything in a jar. Keep scrolling for our Tomatillo Salsa Secret!
- 12 medium-size tomatillos, cut in half or in quarters
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 large bunch of fresh cilantro
- 1 large fresh jalapeño pepper, seeds and membranes removed, chopped (See Note 1)
- 1-3 Hass avocados, freshly squeezed lemon juice and salt (optional) - (See Note 2)
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Wrap the garlic cloves in aluminum foil
- Place the tomatillos and onions on the lined baking sheet. Toss the chopped tomatillos and onion with the olive oil and salt. Place the wrapped garlic cloves on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let everything cool (do not unwrap the garlic until it has cooled)
- Once cooled, place the roasted tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeño and cilantro, in the food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste the salsa and add more salt to taste, if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- If you decide to use the avocado, which we highly recommend, take 1 cup of the finished salsa (the recipe makes 3 ½ cups, so about a third) and put it in a separate bowl. Take one cup of the tomatillo salsa, add a mashed avocado, 2-3 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon, and a pinch of salt to taste, mix well and serve. The avocado will make this salsa really creamy and delicious and as a bonus the avocado will not turn brown!
- Use a smaller jalapeño pepper, if you would like the salsa mild or skip it if you don't want any heat. Alternatively, if you want the salsa spicier, leave the seeds of the jalapeño on. Warning: Jalapeños vary in heat level, add to salsa according to your taste.
- If you decide to use the avocado, which we highly recommend, take one cup of the tomatillo salsa, add a mashed avocado, 2-3 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon, and a pinch of salt to taste, mix well and serve. The avocado will make this salsa really creamy and delicious and as a bonus the avocado will not turn brown!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 30
- Category: Condiments
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size: 2 tablespoon without avocado
- Calories: 40 (with avocado 96 calories)
- Sugar: 2
- Sodium: 50
- Fat: 2.7
- Saturated Fat: .4
- Unsaturated Fat: 2.1
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 3.9
- Fiber: 1
- Protein: .6
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: how to make tomatillo salsa verde, what are tomatillos, tomatillo salsa verde