Raise your hand if you love easy recipes that serve several purposes. I sure do!
This verde sauce is one of those versatile recipes that can stand alone as an appetizer or be added to another dish to kick up the flavor.
Tomatillo salsa verde is a must-make recipe for anyone who enjoys Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine. This simple homemade green salsa can be added to dishes like enchiladas or served with chips for an easy appetizer.
Fact: I love Mexican food. And Tex-Mex. And food with a bit of spice to it. This Tomatillo Salsa Verde falls under all three of those categories.
But, before we get into why I love this tomatillo salsa so much, let’s first get this question out of the way – what the heck is a tomatillo?
A tomatillo is often called a Mexican green tomato and actually looks like a green tomato but it is not, actually, a tomato. It’s a different type of fruit with a thin, papery husk, traditionally grown in Mexico. Some call it a tomatillo pepper, but this is incorrect.
Tomatillos are most commonly used in salsas and sauces, like this salsa verde, and have a tart, but fruity flavor.
Now, back to why I love this Tomatillo Salsa so much…
This Tomatillo Salsa functions as both a traditional green salsa that pairs perfectly with tortilla chips and as a sauce to put on all of your favorite Mexican recipes.
Think chicken enchiladas with salsa verde layered on top, a giant smothered burrito topped with just enough of this Tomatillo Salsa Verde to add an extra level of space or loaded nachos with a side of green salsa. You can even add it to tamales!
FACT: Using both a red enchilada sauce and green salsa verde is called “Christmas Style”.
Is your mouth watering yet? Because mine is!
This would even make a great Taco Tuesday topping. Here it is on my Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos!
And, of course, tomatillo salsa is absolutely delicious served with chips as an appetizer or at a party like a traditional homemade salsa. If you serve this at a family gathering or on game day, I promise it will disappear faster than any dip you serve.
As far as homemade salsas go, this tomatillo salsa is one of the easiest you’ll ever make too, with just a few key ingredients. It’s an easy recipe to prepare ahead of time for parties or whip up in just a few minutes if guests are coming over.
What does salsa verde translate to? Salsa verde simply means “green salsa”.
It does require a small amount of cooking, unlike some salsa recipes, but this only enhances the flavor of this great recipe and you since you coarsely chop the ingredients, it takes less prep time.
Onion and cilantro, even fresh cilantro can be left fairly whole until you blend it.
Adding lime juice at the very end adds acidity and flavor without it being muted like it would if you added it at the beginning.
Some folks like the smell and flavors of a roasted tomatillo salsa. This one can be easily modified by chopping up the same ingredients, tossing them lightly in vegetable oil and roasting them on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes at 350. Then pick up and follow the same directions.
You can even control the level of spice in this salsa verde, by adjusting the amount of jalapeno added.
I personally love it hot but sometimes tone it down when I know kids or others who haven’t been enlightened to the joy of spicy green salsa.
Tomatillo salsa is now a staple on our Mexican Monday table and if you like homemade salsa, I bet it’ll become one of your favorites too!
Since you like this homemade salsa, you’ll probably like these other easy Mexican recipes:
- Mexican Refried Beans
- Mexican Street Corn Salad
- Easy Mexican Rice – Restaurant Style
- Baked Chicken Enchiladas
- Best Fish Tacos
- Black Bean Green Chile Soup
- Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Chicken Quesadillas
Tools For Making Tomatillo Salsa:
Heavy Bottom Sauce Pan– this will be one of your most used kitchen tools. Having something that is heavy bottom will distribute heat better and prevent burning whether you are using an electric or gas range.
Immersion Blender– I used to transfers anything that needed to be blended to a food processor and then back again. It was an unnecessary amount of the work for the cheap cost of an immersion blender. They are also super easy to clean.
Questions you might have about how to make tomatillo salsa verde:
Can I make my verde sauce ahead of time? You sure can! In fact, homemade salsa recipes often taste better when made up to a day in advance to let the flavors blend and marry.
Can I freeze my salsa verde? You sure can. Follow my instructions for properly freezing food and you sauce will last 4-6 months.
Is tomatillo salsa gluten free? To the best of my knowledge, this is a gluten free salsa recipe.
Is salsa verde spicy? If you don’t love the spice, cut back or omit the jalapeno all together. You need a little bit of flavor, so I still suggest leaving the onion and garlic.
If you are looking for spicy, then up your pepper game by using serrano peppers. If you remove the seeds, it brings down the spice. Leave them in for even more heat!
How do I prepare a tomatillo? Simply remove the husk and rinse. The outside might feel sticky, this is normal, just use cold water and gently rinse with your hands. From there, chop it like you would a tomato.
Can I make this a roasted tomatillo salsa? Some folks like the smell and flavors of a roasted tomatillo salsa. This one can be easily modified by chopping up the same ingredients, tossing them lightly in vegetable oil and roasting them on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes at 350. Then pick up and follow the same directions.
Tomatillo Salsa Verde
- Combine chopped tomatillos, white onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, cumin, fine sea salt, water and lime juice in a heavy bottom saucepan.
- Bring to a rolling boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until tomatillos are tender and starting to fall apart.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Using an immersion blender, blend to desired texture.
- Transfer to an airtight container and chill for 1-2 hours or until ready to serve.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, please come back and let us know how it went in the comments!