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Salsa Verde Recipe with Roasted Tomatillos

Salsa Verde Recipe with Roasted Tomatillos

Salsa Verde made with roasted tomatillos, Anaheim chiles, jalapeños, onion, and garlic and finished with fresh cilantro and lime juice.

This salsa verde recipe is a definite crowd pleaser that adds a fresh, bright note to grilled meats, tacos, and much more. A mixture of roasted tomatillos and green chiles, plus a little jalapeño for heat, the best salsa verde is the one you make fresh at home. Luckily, that’s super easy to do. My salsa verde recipe combines the features of both cooked and uncooked elements resulting in a fresh, bright taste sure to keep you coming back for more.

Where did salsa verde originate?

The Mexican version of salsa verde (Spanish for “green sauce”) dates back to, at least, the Aztec Empire where the ingredients were typically ground in a molcajete. You can still make it that way. Although, a blender or food processor is most often used to make salsa verde today.

How do you use salsa verde?

I love salsa verde on grilled meat, especially grilled steak. It also shines on tacos, chicken, and of course as a dip for tortilla chips. Use it as a garnish to add even more flavor to a bean or green chile burrito made with homemade tortillas, or omit the cilantro and use the sauce for chicken enchiladas. Yum!

Can I make this salsa ahead of time?

Yes! You can make salsa verde ahead of time. Store it covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to two months.

Is this recipe really spicy?

Salsa verde can be very mild or spicy, depending on how you like it. Easily tone down the heat by omitting the jalapeño for a very mild sauce. Conversely, use more jalapeños or replace the jalapeños with serrano peppers for more heat. You can also control the amount of pith you include from the jalapeño to make it as hot or mild as you like. The pith is the white part inside the peppers that connects the seeds to the wall. It’s where most of a chile’s heat is concentrated.

Once you taste this salsa verde, you’ll never want to eat the store bought version again. Enjoy! If you make this salsa, let me know about it in the comments below and don’t forget to share this recipe with your friends.

Salsa Verde with Roasted Tomatillos and Chiles

Recipe rating: 5.0 from 4 votes
Recipe by Kimberly Scott Course: CondimentCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


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Cooking time





This salsa verde is a delightful combination of sweet, salt, brightness, and heat making it the perfect companion for grilled steak, tacos, or simply as a deliciously addicting dip for tortilla chips.


  • 8 tomatillos

  • 6 Anaheim chiles

  • 1 – 2 jalapeños or 1 serrano pepper (to taste)

  • 1 large white onion

  • 5 – 8 garlic cloves

  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 juice of one lime

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (to taste)


  • Preheat oven broiler.
  • Peel outer husks from tomatillos. Cut the onion into quarters and remove paper skin.
  • Place whole tomatillos, Anaheim chiles, jalapeños, onion quarters, and garlic cloves (in husks) onto a baking sheet, arranged in a single layer with spaces between. Place baking sheet under broiler and roast until skins are toasted and onion and garlic are charred and softened. Turn as needed to roast all sides.
  • When cool enough to touch, remove the stems and skins from the chiles. (You might want to wear rubber gloves to handle the jalapeño or serrano peppers as their juices can burn your fingers and keep them burning for quite a while!) Remove the husks from the garlic cloves.
  • Cut the jalapeño in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and pith (the white ribs inside) and set aside.
  • Place the tomatillos, chiles, onion, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Add salt, olive oil, lime juice, and fresh cilantro. Pulse until very smooth.
  • Taste. If it needs more heat, pulse in the jalapeño seeds and pith that you set aside earlier, a little at a time, until you get the heat to where you like it. (Most of the heat will be in the pith.)
  • Enjoy slathered on a juicy grilled steak, on tacos, or with your favorite tortilla chips.
  • Makes about 3 cups.


  • You can roast the chiles, tomatillos, and onion on a barbecue grill or you can roast everything in a pan or on a comal on the stove.
  • In lieu of a food processor or blender the salsa verde can also be ground into a paste in a molcajeté, as was traditionally done.
  • Salsa verde will last up to one week in the refrigerator.

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