This homemade salsa verde is a combination of roasted chilies, tomatillos, garlic, cilantro and lime juice, all blended together to make a light and refreshing dip. An easy appetizer option that tastes SO much better than the store bought version!
What is salsa verde?
Salsa verde is also known as green salsa, and it differs from traditional red salsa because it’s base contains tomatillos rather than tomatoes. Tomatillos are tart, green fruit that are encased in a papery husk. Fresh tomatillos are available in the produce department of most grocery stores. Aside from the tomatillo base, salsa verde is similar to red salsa because they share common ingredients of jalapeno peppers, cilantro, lime juice and garlic.
How do you make salsa verde?
Start by placing husked tomatillos, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers and garlic cloves on a sheet pan. Cook the tomatillos and peppers until they’re tender and brown. Peel the peppers, then place all the roasted ingredients in a food processor along with onion, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Puree until a coarse mixture forms. Serve the salsa immediately, or store in the refrigerator for later use.
Tips for the perfect dip
- I like to use both poblano peppers and jalapeno peppers in this dish. The poblano peppers are not traditional, but I find they add so much extra flavor and texture.
- No food processor? A blender will work just as well.
- Be sure to rinse your onions with cold water before you add them to the salsa. This will help temper their flavor.
- Freshly squeezed lime juice is best; skip the stuff in a bottle!
- This is a mild salsa; keep some of the seeds and ribs in the peppers for more spice.
- If you find that your salsa verde is too tart or acidic, feel free to add up to 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to even out the flavor.
- Serve your salsa as a dip with chips, over nachos, as a topping for enchiladas or add chicken broth and use it as a sauce to cook up some chile verde.
How long does salsa stay fresh?
This salsa will last for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. Store it in an airtight container for best results. I don’t recommend freezing this dip, as it can become watery and thin when thawed.
While this salsa is great as-is, you can switch out some of the ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Onions: Instead of raw white onion, try roasting your onion along with the tomatillos and chilies. You can also use red onion if you prefer.
- Avocado: Add 2 avocados to the blender when you puree your salsa for a creamy variation of this dip. Avocado salsa verde is best when served within 8 hours of being made.
- Heat: Prefer a spicier salsa? Use serrano chilies instead of jalapenos, and leave some of the seeds and ribs in the peppers.
Enjoy a taste of Mexico in the comfort of your own home with this simple, yet totally satisfying salsa!
More Mexican food favorites
Salsa Verde Video
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos husks removed
- 1 poblano pepper cored and halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
- 2 jalapeno peppers cored and halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup white onion diced and rinsed under cold water
- 2/3 cup cilantro leaves
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- cooking spray
- Preheat the broiler. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Place the tomatillos, poblano peppers, jalapeno peppers and garlic cloves on the sheet pan.
- Broil for 7-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and charred.
- Place the peppers in a plastic bag and seal the bag. Let the peppers sit in the bag for 5 minutes. This will make the pepper skins a lot easier to remove.
- Take the peppers out of the bag and peel off the skins.
- Place the tomatillos, peppers, garlic, onion, cilantro, salt and lime juice in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth. You don't want it completely smooth, just a coarse puree.
- Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 4 days.