Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde or “Green Sauce”

Salsa verde is a staple in every Mexican kitchen. It’s great for making enchiladas verdes or for topping carne asada tacos. We also think it is great on eggs. It is a simple to make, versatile salsa.

Use it on just about anything. The taste of fresh homemade salsa puts the bottled salsas to shame. Give this one a try!

Classic Mexican Salsa Verde
Classic Salsa Verde

Simple and Delicious

Our Salsa verde recipe is really easy to make and the ingredients are available at almost every supermarket. You can use tomatillos that look like small green tomatoes and are covered in a papery husk or the larger green tomatoes, tomates verdes.

The tomatillos in the picture already have the papery husks removed. The taste is tart and vibrant and adds a lot of pop to any dish that you use it on.

The recipe calls for three serrano chiles but you can use fewer if you want to reduce the heat. We like it on the hot side.

Ingredients for Salsa Verde
Ingredients for salsa verde.

Salsa is Healthy

Mexican food gets a bad rep for being greasy, heavy and, unhealthy but stop and think for a second. Salsa is nothing but concentrated vegetables.

It’s the tastiest way ever to get your daily veggies. You can eat as much as you want guilt-free. It’s rare that your favorite food can be the healthiest food too so enjoy.

How to Make

The preparation is really simple. Add all of the ingredients to your pot except the cilantro and just cover with water.

Ingredients for Salsa Verde Ready to be Cooked
Add the ingredients to a large pot and just cover with water.

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes. Notice how the ingredients change color. This lets you know that the ingredients are fully cooked.

Cooked ingredients for Salsa Verde
The ingredients change color when cooked.

For the next step, blend the ingredients with the cooking water for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You want the salsa to keep a little bit of texture. It shouldn’t be liquified. Use the picture of the prepared salsa to guide you.

Blending the Ingredients for Salsa Verde
Blend all of the ingredients except the salt.

The Salsa Making Secret

The next thing you are going to do is fry the salsa. This is the magic step that is used in making almost all cooked salsas. Do not skip this step. It gives a superior result.

Heat two tablespoons of oil on high.

Heating the Oil to Fry the Salsa
Heat two tablespoons of oil in your pot.

Slowly pour the blended salsa into the pan. This develops a deeper richer tasting salsa.

Adding the Salsa Verde to the Pot
Pour the blended salsa into the hot oil. This is called “seasoning.”

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt to taste. Now you have the perfect salsa verde!

Cooked Salsa Verde
Cooked salsa verde. Notice how the salsa darkens in color when cooked.

Problems with your salsa? Don’t love it?

Sometimes your salsa doesn’t come out exactly to your liking. Keep in mind that the ingredients are all-natural products and can vary in freshness and flavor due to seasonal differences and how the ingredients have been handled. One time when you buy peppers they may be super hot and the next time you buy the exact same pepper is very mild.

Here are a few methods to correct your salsa:

  • Too runny? Simmer until it has reduced to the desired consistency.
  • Too thick? Add water 2 tablespoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Too hot or acidic? Add only one of the following to reduce heat or acidity: 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 to 2 teaspoons agave syrup.
  • Too bland? Try adding more salt 1/4 of a teaspoon at a time until you get the desired taste.
  • Pale color? Try simmering for 10 extra minutes to deepen the color.

When you make adjustments, add ingredients a little at a time. A small modification can have a surprisingly large effect.

What are you going to use it on?

Chicken enchiladas, tortilla chips, pork, chops, chilaquiles, and many more dishes pair well with this salsa. Be adventurous.

Classic Mexican Salsa Verde
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3.87 from 122 votes

Salsa Verde Recipe

Recipe for an authentic "salsa verde," or "green sauce," a staple in every Mexican kitchen. It is so simple to make from easy to find ingredients. You make it mild or spicy depending on how many peppers you add. You will love it. Give it a try!
Course Sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword green salsa, green sauce, salsa, salsa verde, tomatillos
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 28kcal
Author Douglas Cullen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lb. tomatillos or green tomatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 serrano chiles
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 12 sprigs cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt + to taste

Instructions

  • Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse to remove the sticky residue.
  • Quarter the onion.
  • Add all of the ingredients except the cilantro and salt to a large pot and just cover with water.
  • Bring the water and ingredients to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Blend the cooked ingredients and the cilantro with the cooking water until smooth. (About 30 seconds)
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in the pot.
  • Pour the blended salsa back into the pot with the hot cooking oil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add the salt and adjust if necessary.

Notes

Preparation
  • Too runny? Simmer until it has reduced to the desired consistency.
  • Too thick? Add water 2 tablespoons at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Too hot or acidic? Add only one of the following to reduce heat: 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 to 2 teaspoons agave syrup.
  • Like it hot? You do not have to seed the serrano chiles. You can seed them if you want to reduce the heat of the salsa.
Substitutions
  • You can substitute jalapeño chiles for the serranos but the flavor won’t be as bright but it will still be tasty.
Storage
  • The salsa will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.
  • This salsa freezes very well. Make a double batch so that you always have some on hand.
Other Names
  • You may also know this salsa as green salsa, green sauce, verde salsa, salsa verda, or tomatillo salsa.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 28kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 245mg | Sugar: 3g

Alternate Names & Common Misspellings

You may also know this salsa as green salsa, green sauce, verde salsa, salsa verda, verde sauce, or tomatillo salsa. Whatever you call it, it’s still delicious :)

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105 comments… add one
  • Mike

    Hi my salsa vedrde is bitter is it normal ? ( I use tomatillos in can )

  • Tessa

    Great tasting salsa! My first batch was a double batch and 2nd was a quadruple batch (garden is still pumping out tomatillos). I used my serranos seeds and all which makes for a very tasty, but spicy final product. If you don’t like heat, be sure to remove the seeds and/or step down to a less spicy pepper. Looking forward to freezing this and eating it for weeks to come, but I know it won’t last long.
    Note: if you use all the cooking water like I did, I found it takes quite a bit of extra cooking to get the consistency right. I didn’t want to discard it because it has all the flavor from boiling the veggies. It is worth the wait though.

  • TamTam

    This salsa turned out AMAZING! After reading the comments I opted to add water as I needed it while blending (I didn’t add much).
    It reminds me of authentic salsa verde I’ve had in Mexico. Highly recommend, I will be adding this to my recipe book.

  • Hilda Garcia

    Loved it! its so delicious, I just put 6 Serrano and its HOT but I love it..
    I always make red salsas or other green ones but I have never simmered them in oil after wards, I do taste the difference. Thanks

  • laurie mickey

    I was looking for something to do with a mountain of green tomatoes. This was it! So delicious. I reduced the onion to about 1/4, added a variety of chiles. I charred 1/2 of the tomatoes under the broiler which really improved the flavor. I also added some smoked paprika and chipotle for smokiness. A pinch of baking soda and some sugar reduced the acidity. Better than any store bought salsa verde. This recipe is a KEEPER!

  • Stevie Five One

    Just made a large batch which tastes fantastic and ive stored it in steriled sealed bottles – any idea how long it keep in my store cupboard?

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