Easy Homemade Salsa Verde + Video

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Skip the jar salsa, and make this easy homemade Salsa Verde. It is fresh, tangy, and slightly spicy.

  Barro brown Mexican pottery bowl filled with homemade salsa verde with jalapeño tomatillo and cilantro on the side   

What is salsa verde?

Salsa verde is Spanish for “green salsa”and is usually tomatillo based. It can be used to dip tortilla chips or Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp with Jalapeño, a topping for tacos, tamales, or as an ingredient for Chicken Pozole Verde, Enchiladas Verdes and Chilaquiles Verdes.

Simple and delicious

Salsa verde is very simple to make with easy to find ingredients — all you need are tomatillos, garlic, onion, jalapeño or serrano, and cilantro. This salsa is fresh, tangy, and slightly spicy.

Tomatatillos jalapeños garlic cilantro onion ingredients on a wooden board to make salsa verde

What’s the Difference Between Green Tomatoes and Tomatillos?

Green tomatoes are hard and unripe tomatoes while tomatillos are tart and acidic. Tomatillos are also called “tomate verde” or green tomato, the tomatillo is a staple in Mexican cooking.

Fresh tomatillos in a home garden

The outer husk must be removed prior to using for cooking. Tomatillos have a white inner layer that is somewhat meatier than a red tomato and a tart flavor that makes them perfect for salsas and other Mexican dishes.

Picked tomatillos with one husked to show inside

I do not recommend substituting green tomatoes for this recipe.

To de-seed or not to de-seed chile peppers

I am often asked if I remove seeds from chile peppers. I personally do not remove seeds, because I love spicy salsa. If you want a mild salsa feel free to seed and devein chiles.

Salsa Verde is healthy

My mom always reminds me that homemade salsa has zero Weight Watcher points and is a healthy condiment. This salsa is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan.

How to make 

Boil tomatillos for about 15 minutes. Remove tomatillos from the water and allow them to cool before blending.

Eight raw tomatillos in water ready to boil

Roast the garlic cloves in their skins in a dry pan until skin is charred, about 10 minutes. Cool and remove skins.

Cooked tomatillos in a stock pot in water boiled in a pan

In a blender place the cooled tomatillos, chopped peppers, garlic, onion, cilantro (if using), and salt and blend for about 1 minute.

Salsa should be chunky. Add more salt if needed.

Onion, jalapeño, charred garlic cloves, cooked tomatillos in a blender ready to blend to make salsa verde

How to use

Here are a few recipes that use salsa verde as an ingredient:

More Salsa Recipes You’ll Love

Watch this video to see how quick this salsa can be made.

Did you make this recipe? Rate the recipe and leave me a comment to let me know how it turned out!

Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde is very simple to make with easy to find ingredients - all you need are tomatillos, garlic, onion, jalapeño, serrano, and cilantro. This salsa is fresh, tangy, and slightly spicy.
Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes
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Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 8 tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 3 serrano or jalapeño pepper, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼ onion, chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Boil tomatillos for about 15 minutes. Remove tomatillos from the water and allow them to cool before blending.
  • Roast the garlic cloves in their skins in a dry pan until skin is charred, about 10 minutes. Cool and remove skins.
  • In a blender place the cooled tomatillos, chopped peppers, garlic, onion, cilantro (if using), and salt and blend for about 1 minute.
  • Salsa should be chunky. Add more salt if needed.

Video

Notes

  • I do not recommend substituting green tomatoes for this recipe.
  • Like it spicy? Use serranos
  • Like mild salsa? Use jalapeños
  • Extra mild. You can seed peppers if you want to reduce the heat of the salsa.
  • Leftovers: This salsa verde will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for at least 1 week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup, Calories: 60kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 603mg, Potassium: 437mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 516IU, Vitamin C: 43mg, Calcium: 26mg, Iron: 1mg

I’d love to see what you cook!

Tag #MUYBUENOCOOKING if you make this recipe.

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This salsa verde recipe was originally published in 2011 and published in the Muy Bueno cookbook. I have added a video, rewritten, updated photos, and republished it to share frequently asked questions.

Photography by Jenna Sparks