Roasted Salsa Verde {Recipe} (2024)

Roasted Salsa Verde {Recipe}

Every Mexican household has their own slight variation of fresh salsa verde. The basics are tomatillo, jalapeños, onions, garlic and cilantro. Super easy. Super tasty.

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The day after Easter, I stopped by my parents house to drop off a newly formatted MacBook for my mother. Dad was in the kitchen prepping tripe for menudo. Yuck, I said to him.

"What? It's so good," he answered. I wrinkled my nose to him and said it stinks. He was incredulous at my proclaiming not just my dislike but rather my revulsion of this, his favorite soup.

"I've never liked it, Dad. It stinks up the entire house while it's cooking."

"Only when your mother makes it," he half jokes. It makes no difference who makes it. It's gross.

"There are lots of things I hated as a kid," I explain. Chiles rellenos, avocados, mangos, tomatillos, chilaquiles, I tolerated enchiladas and I absolutely thought menudo was disgusting. I've grown to not only like but love a lot of those things as an adult. Except menudo.

Salsa verde is another one of those things I hated as a child. It's usually fairly spicy which is one of the reasons I disliked it. I'm a hot spice wimp and my grandmother and father both made this salsa superchiloso(spicy). I also thought tomatillos had a weird smell and I didn't like the sticky sap left behind on the fruit once the husks where removed. More over, I couldn't understand why anyone would want to eat a green tomato. Of course, now I know it's not a tomato at all but related to the gooseberry.

As it is for most adults, my palette changed as I matured and now, salsa verde is one of my favorite sauces. I'm still a bit of a wimp to the heat but like a lot of Mexican dishes, this varies from household to household. The basics are usually the same but there's almost always a little twist tossed in by the person making it. This recipe is easily adaptable. Like it spicy, keep the chile pod seeds and veins or add serrano for even more kick. Want it creamier? Add an avocado. It's really that simple to customize.

Yield: about 2 cups



1 pound tomatillos

2 jalapeño peppers

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

½ a medium onion, quarted, plus ⅓ cup finely chopped onion, divided

1 cup chopped cilantro, thicker stems removed first

⅓ to ½ cup water

kosher or sea salt, to taste

½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, optional



1. Remove the husks from the tomatillos; discard husks. Rinse fruit well to remove sap.

2. Cut the stemmed tops off the jalapeños then split them in half and, using a spoon, scrape away the seeds and veins. This is where the main heat lives. If you don't mind the heat, leave the peppers whole.

3. Lightly grease a griddle or skillet, rubbing excess off with a paper towel. Place on medium heat. When it's hot, place the tomatillos, peppers, garlic and onions on the hot surface. Allow to blister, turning vegetables over with tongs to soften and slightly blister as much surface as possible. The peppers, onions and garlic will soften and blister the fastest. After about 5 minutes, remove the onions, garlic and peppers to the bowl of a blender. Continue roasting the tomatillos for another 5-8 minutes. Optional, carefully slice the tomatillos in half to accelerate the roasting. Once the tomatillos have started to soften and are just starting to release their juices, remove them to the blender.

4. Allow to cool a few minutes then add ⅓ cup of water, place the blender lid on loosely, holding it in place with a kitchen towel and purée until just slightly chunky to smooth depending on personal preference. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired.

5. Pour the salsa into a bowl, add salt to taste.

6. Stir in the cilantro and the chopped onions (feel free to add these to the puree if you don't like the chunky cilantro and onions. Adding them after the fact adds texture back to the salsa).

7. If more heat is desired, add the cayenne, to taste.

8. Place in an airtight container – preferably a glass jar – and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Add a squeeze of lime juice to freshen as needed.

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Until next time,

!Buen Provecho!


Roasted Salsa Verde {Recipe} (2024)


Is it better to roast or boil tomatillos for salsa? ›

To cook the tomatillos, you can either roast them in the oven, brown them on the stovetop, or boil them. Roasting in the oven or browning on the stovetop will deliver more flavor. Each way works, though boiling is a more common way to cook the tomatillos.

What are the ingredients in specially selected verde salsa? ›

tomatillos, roasted jalapeno peppers, roasted tomato puree, water, contains less than 2% of onion, salt, lime juice, distilled vinegar, cilantro, garlic, spice, natural flavor.

How to make salsa verde more thick? ›

Thicker Consistency: salsa verde can be a little on the thin side, which I don't mind, but if you want to thicken it, simply let it simmer over medium heat on the stove top to allow it to reduce!

What are the ingredients in Trader Joe's roasted tomatillo salsa? ›

INGREDIENTS: tomatillo, water, anaheim chile pepper, onion, jalapeño chile pepper, sea salt, cilantro, agave nectar, garlic, natural flavor, dried cumin, black pepper.

What's the difference between salsa verde and tomatillo salsa? ›

Salsa verde, or green salsa, is growing in popularity as more people are willing to try different salsa beyond the common salsa roja. Instead of red tomatoes, salsa verde uses tomatillos. Tomatillos are closely related to tomatoes, but it is important to know that they are not simply unripe or baby tomatoes.

What is the difference between salsa verde and chili verde? ›

Chili verde is a whole dish with ingredients like slow-cooked pork shoulder, tomatillos, and sometimes potatoes. Most people would consider it a stew, more than a soup. Its flavors come from a sauce called salsa verde.

Why does my salsa verde taste sour? ›

Raw tomatillos can be acidic, you want your finished salsa to be tangy, but not mouth-puckeringly sour. If your finished salsa is too sour, add more sugar, ¼ teaspoon at a time until the flavor is more balanced.

Why is my salsa verde watery? ›

After the salsa sits—more on that in a moment—the tomatoes will break down. If you didn't remove the seeds, they will make the salsa extra watery, with a pool of vaguely tomato-flavored liquid at the bottom of your bowl. Nobody wants to scoop vaguely tomato-flavored liquid onto a chip.

What is a substitute for tomatillos in salsa verde? ›

For a tomatillo substitute, buy underripe tomatoes and add a squeeze of lime juice. You will often see tomatillos in Mexican dishes like salsas, tacos, soups, and enchiladas. This swap might work well in a recipe like Slow Cooker Chicken Verde, Ceviche Verde, White Chili with Avocado Cream or Baja Fish Tacos.

Why do you roast tomatillos? ›

The reason I gravitate to a roasted tomatillo version when I'm cooking at home is this: Tomatillos are acidic and roasting adds welcome sweetness (think about the difference between boiled carrots and roasted ones). Plus, the bits of charred skin add a rustic gutsiness.

Is it better to roast or boil vegetables for salsa? ›

Roasting the vegetables in a high-heat oven intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes, mellows the onions and garlic, and adds a touch of smokiness. (I use the same roasting method to make my favorite salsa verde, replacing the tomatoes with tomatillos.)

Do you boil or roast peppers for salsa? ›

charred pepper salsa – the details

The secret of this salsa of course comes from the intense flavor of the charred peppers. You'll roast red peppers, poblano peppers, and jalapenos in a smoking hot oven to give them a quick char that not only adds smokiness, but also brings out the sweetness of the peppers.

What is the best way to prepare tomatillos? ›

Cooking and Preparing Tomatillos

You can chop them up raw to make a piquant green salsa, or you can boil them to mellow their color and flavor. In our favorite enchilada recipe, we start by roasting the tomatillos to give them an earthy, fiery flavor before making them into a sauce.

Are you supposed to boil tomatillos? ›

Place tomatillos in a nonreactive saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Simmer until tomatillos soften and begin to burst, about 10 minutes. Drain tomatillos and place in a food processor or blender with onion, garlic, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, salt, and pepper.


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