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23 August 2019

The best salsa verde recipe made with tomatillos and jalapeno peppers. Serve it up as a table sauce, hot sauce, or as a salsa with tortilla chips. This is the ultimate green salsa.

There are a number of ways to make an awesome salsa verde, or green sauce. Every Mexican restaurant has their own version and I have yet to encounter a bad one.

Even I have a number of different kinds that I make, all pretty much variations on a theme, like our Mexican Green Table Sauce made with tomatillos, jalapeno peppers and avocado.

Or our Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce with Roasted Tomatillos. The key ingredient in a good salsa verde is the tomatillo. Of course tomatillos alone do not a salsa verde make, but without them, it’s pretty difficult.

Tomatillos, sliced and ready to roast

Tomatillos are Key to a Great Salsa Verde Recipe

Tomatillos are those tiny round green fruits that look like tomatoes you find in grocery stores or the Mexican market, covered in papery sheathes and slightly sticky, which is a byproduct of the plant as they mature.

Do not confuse them with unripened green tomatoes.

While tomatillos have a slight bitterness to them, they are much sweeter and fruitier than unripened green tomatoes and make for a MUCH better salsa verde. The insides are meatier as well, where tomatoes are juicier.

In fact, tomatillos are not tomatoes at all, but come from a completely different plant.

Salsa Verde Recipe - Mexican Green Salsa with Tomatillo

This recipe is one of the simplest versions of a salsa verde. With only 8 ingredients, it’s quite ideal.

You can add in other ingredients to round it out to your preference, such as avocado, other chili peppers, herbs, even seasonings, but this one will serve all of your salsa verde needs.

Homemade salsa is really the only way to go when it comes to salsa.

Salsa verde in a bowl with a chip


How to Make Salsa Verde

  1. First, peel, rinse and dry the tomatillos, then slice them in half. Set them onto a large lined baking sheet.
  2. Next, slice 1 of the serrano peppers in half and set it onto the baking sheet with the tomatillos.
  3. Roast them at 425 degrees F. until the tomatillo skins begin to darken and char, about 15 minutes. Remove and transfer to a food processor or blender.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining fresh serrano pepper, and process until nice and smooth.
  5. Adjust for salt and serve it up! Or, you can refrigerate it and let the flavors mingle a bit more.

Simple, right? This is definitely a Patty’s Favorites recipe. She always wants this in the house.

Salsa verde in a bowl

Recipe Tips

The Heat Factor. You’ll get some good heat from the serrano chile peppers. They measure up to 23,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale. If you’re looking for a milder salsa verde, you can remove the seeds and innards. Or, go with jalapeno peppers, which aren’t quite as hot.

Fresh Vs. Cooked. For this recipe, I’ve chosen to roast the tomatillos along with one of the serrano peppers. The rest of the ingredients are added fresh. There are variations on this and you have multiple options.

  • Option 1: Roast only the tomatillos with one serrano, as I have done, then process them with the remaining fresh ingredients. This will give you a balance of roasted and fresh flavors.
  • Option 2: Roast all of the vegetables (tomatillos, peppers, onion and garlic), then process them with the remaining ingredients. This will emphasize the roasted flavor.
  • Option 3: Process all of the ingredients in a food processor, fresh, without roasting anything. This will result in a very fresh and vegetal tasting salsa, which some people greatly enjoy.
  • Option 4: Process everything fresh, as in Option 3, then transfer to a pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer the salsa verde anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes for a cooked down salsa. The salsa will darken and brown the longer it cooks.

Salsa Verde - Recipe

Serving Ideas for Salsa Verde

The thing about a good salsa verde recipe is you can serve it so many different ways. Serve it in a bowl with crisp tortilla chips and it’s a quick salsa.

Pour it into squeeze bottles to serve with your Taco Recipes and it becomes a Mexican green table sauce.

Pour it into small hot sauce bottles and it becomes a hot sauce for you.

It makes a great sauce as well. Try it with pasta for an outstanding Spaghetti Verde.

Seriously, it is that versatile. I’ve included a quick video below on how to make a quick salsa verde. Give it a try. It’s fun! We love our salsa verde!

I hope you enjoy it.

Salsa Verde - Recipe

Check out my other Hot Sauce Recipes, too.

Frequently Asked Hot Sauce and Salsa Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions I get on other sauces:

How long will this salsa keep?

It should keep a week in the refrigerator. It’s all about the acidity. To be technical, target level ph for shelf stable foods is below 4.6 ph, but should probably be lower for home cooks, around 4.0 or lower, to account for errors. If you’re concerned, add more vinegar to lower the ph. Sauces and salsas made with fermented chili peppers will last even longer.

Where’d you get that sauce bottle?

I find them locally sometimes, but I also order through Amazon. Here is a link to some bottles I like (affiliate link, my friends!): Swing Top Glass Bottles, 8.5 Ounce – Set of 4. If you like the smaller bottles that most hot sauce makers use, here’s another link: Hot Sauce Bottles, 5 Oz – 24 Pack.

Can I process this Salsa for longer storage?

Absolutely. Just be sure to use proper canning/jarring safety procedures.

Check out These Other Popular Salsa Recipes

Salsa verde in a bowl, ready to eat

Patty’s Perspective

YUM. He’s right, this is one of my favorites of all time. Salsa verde is one my go-tos. It’s such a great recipe, definitely one of my favorite Mexican salsas. I love that it will keep in the fridge a while so I can grab it anytime I want, which is usually a lot. There is something beautiful about tomatillos.

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Salsa Verde Recipe - Mexican Green Salsa with Tomatillo
Print Recipe
4.91 from 11 votes

Salsa Verde Recipe: The Ultimate Mexican Green Salsa

The best salsa verde recipe made with tomatillos and serrano peppers. Serve it up as a table sauce, hot sauce, or as a salsa with tortilla chips. This is the ultimate green salsa.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course, Salsa, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: recipe, salsa, tomatillos, verde, video
Servings: 8
Calories: 27kcal


  • 1 pound tomatillos
  • 2 serrano peppers (or use jalapeno peppers for a milder salsa verde)
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (about 1 small lime)
  • Salt to taste (I use a teaspoon of sea salt)


  • Peel, rinse and dry the tomatillos. Slice them in half and set them onto a large lined baking sheet.
  • Slice 1 serrano pepper in half and set it on the baking sheet with the tomatillos, skin sides up.
  • Roast the tomatillos and serrano pepper at 425 degrees F. for 15 minutes, or until the tomatillos begin to char slightly. The skins will darken. 
  • Remove and transfer to a food processor or blender. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Adjust for salt and serve. Or, refrigerate in a sealed container to let the flavors mingle. Great with tortilla chips!



Heat Factor: Mild-Medium. You'll get a bit of a kick from the serrano peppers. For a milder version, use jalapeno peppers.
Makes about 2 cups. Calories calculated without tortilla chips. 
You can adjust the thickness of the salsa with a bit of water.
Should last a week sealed in the refrigerator.


Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 186mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 145IU | Vitamin C: 9.5mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.4mg

This recipe was updated on 8/23/19 to include new photos and information. It was originally published on 10/21/16.

Salsa Verde: The Ultimate Mexican Green Salsa


  1. 5 stars
    I just made this – used jalapenos because I didn’t have serranos. Came out GREAT!! I love salsa verde and I’ll definitely be making this again. I could use a bump in the heat, so I’ll get serranos to add next time. I just discovered this site and I love it. So many great-looking recipes. I can’t wait to try some of the others. Thanks for a terrific recipe! 🙂

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks so much, Gee Gee. Super happy you enjoyed it! A keeper for sure.

  2. Cheryl Hill

    5 stars
    Having just commented on your fabulous spaghetti verde recipe, and I realized that I had never commented on this recipe, a favorite standby for me . I typically make option 4, just pulsing all of the ingredients in the blender until combined but still really chunky. Then I warm it for just a few minutes stove-top, add in pre-cooked junks of pork, and serve on top of rice with cilantro, lime, and whatever else sounds good for garnish. It was the winner after 4 other salsa verde recipe attempts – it’s that good! Thank you, Michael.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Cheryl! Yes, we REALLY love salsa verde in our home. A favorite!

  3. 5 stars
    I love this recipe! Of course, I’m adding 1-2 more serranos (unseeded) plus at least 1/4 c. more cilantro. (Tomatillos are members of the gooseberry family, I think. The outside part to be removed is called the husk. Often, the outer skin of the tomatillo is quite sticky, so use your hands to rub the sticky ones when rinsing.) I don’t think I’m going to increase the garlic as it’s not the main flavor here. This is a sauce you can eat with a spoon. At least, I can and do. tThanks again, Mike!

  4. 5 stars
    Yum! We got tomatillos from our CSA and tried this recipe. It’s easy and delicious. We’d never tried tomatillos before but they will now be one of our favorites. My boys love this salsa too!!!

    We use one roasted jalapeño since my guys don’t like it too spicy.

  5. jamie parisi

    5 stars
    Third Time Doing this recipe no serrano just 5 jalapenos. Excellent. Cannot wait to end of year when all the local farmers have the tomatillos. What is the best way to preserve if i make a bushel worth? more vinegar and hot processing?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Jamie. I appreciate it. Yes, more vinegar would help preserve it the refrigerator for sure, or more citrus. It can also be processed as you mentioned. Enjoy.

  6. 4 stars
    Hi Mike,
    I just made my second batch of this Salsa Verde. The first batch tasted great, but my second one has a strange tangy flavor to it. What caused this, any ideas? Thanks, AJ

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      It’s hard to say, AJ, since your first batch was great. You’d have to really evaluate if anything changed, even slightly, from the first time. Usually “tangy” is a characteristic of vinegar, so I would start my investigation there, though it could be the tomatillos. Hmmm. Wish I could help more.

  7. 5 stars
    Just made this simple amazing salsa and it’s awesome. I used both Serrano and jalapeño peppers in mine for a perfect medium heat. Thank you Mike, I’m enjoying the site and recipes!

  8. Jamie Parisi

    5 stars
    Its a 5 for easy and flexibility and flavour. I just made it Last Saturday with a couple changes (no vinegar, onion-forgot this) roasted it all up found some local tomatillos – surprised by this at our local market. We dont live in a hot bed of culture. Put it in the processor very tasty. Not too much salt added, very fresh tasting.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Jamie! I appreciate it. Super happy you enjoyed it.

  9. 5 stars
    Very good version of the one I’ve made for years in which I Roast the onions, tomatillos, et al. Also, I sometimes add some fresh cilantro.

    Chili Pepper Madness is a National Treasure!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Alice! High compliments!! I appreciate it.

  10. A nice twist is to roast the tomatillos and peppers under the broiler until they become a bit charred. Then carry on with the recipe

  11. 5 stars
    In Germany we had a pretty hot summer, this year. I managed to get 2.8 kg of tomatillos out of 5 plants which i grew in pots (and they keep on producing). The tomatillos are some kind of a purple variant, so it´s more “salsa morada” than salsa verde. Whatever, the taste is terrific!!! Your recipes are just awesome!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      That’s great, Michael! Now I want to try the purple variety! Take care…

  12. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness this was amazing.
    I made homemade chicken enchiladas with this tonight.
    Another great Chili Pepper Madness recipe.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Suzanne! Super happy you love it!

  13. I made this salsa today and it was green when I put it in the fridge. Then went to taste it a couple hours later and it is red! I’m afraid to eat it now…is it the red onion?

    REPLY: Strange! I’m not sure what could have happened there, unless it was overheated in thepan? — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  14. Why is the bottled sauce red? What does the cooking do? Help to meld flavors?

    REPLY: Jon, depending on how long you cook it, the verde will darken, not really red, butdarker green. Yes, cooking helps the flavors meld. — Mike from Chili Pepper Madness.

  15. Made this salsa last year with young tomatoes, sooo good, I’m pretty excited because I grew zebra tomatoes an wanna try it….honestly, I used this salsa up quick

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