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 peppers but you can use fewer if you want to reduce the heat. We like it on the hot side. You can substitute jalapeño peppers for the serranos The flavor won’t be as bright and the heat will be milder but it will still be tasty.

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 Salsa Verde

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 can use a blender or food processor for good results. When blending, 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 VerdeThe 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 in Mexico. 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. Some people like to add a squirt of lime juice.

What are you going to use it on?

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

Classic Mexican Salsa Verde
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3.89 from 125 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 :)

More Mexican Salsas You Might Like

105 comments… add one
  • Love this recipe! Fabulous!

  • Ashley

    How much water?

  • Solid Recipe Doug!
    My wife makes it using one of her old Mexican recipes and seems like she adjusts the ingredients based on what she has at the time. I like yours because It is simple to make and tastes great. Your website is a new resource we follow. PS. I made some and the wife was impressed :)

  • Liz

    We’ve had a great tomatillo year! Just had the thrill of making this with mostly homegrown ingredients and I’m so glad I chose this recipe to invest them into. Thank you.

  • Jo

    Just tried this. It’s incredible! Flavorful and very easy to make while I’m prepping other food.

    • Jo, I am glad you like it. I am sure you will love our other salsas too. Let us know how they turn out. Cheers!

  • Itactually a cool and helpful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jack Burton

    Man thats where I keep messing up, I always drain my water out after I cook the tomatillos :)

    • Jack, when you use the cooking water you’ll get a big boost in flavor. You’ll love the results. Let us know how your salsa turns out. Cheers!

      • Jack Burton

        Last time I made some I deviated from the recipe a little an added some of my cherry tomatoes an some red jalapenos, which gave the whole thing a orange/red color still tasted good though.

  • JAH

    Way to go Doug, Just made the salsa from our garden here in Oregon as you laid it out, FANTASTIC!
    I probably used too much water so simmered it for another 30 minutes. Sweet on the front and wonderfully spicy at the end. Great dish!

    Do you have a great recipe for salsa roja.

    Thanks JAH

  • Bryan

    I went all out and used the broiler to roast the peppers and oven to cooks the tomatillo, onion, and garlic rather than boil them. It turned out really good.

  • Jessj

    Does this really not last longer then 3 days in the fridge? Find that hard to believe. But either way great recipe, made a huge batch since its gotten cold outside and my tomato plant was withering away and huge a bunch of green tomatoes.

  • S

    Used this as an excellent base for the recipe (used more cilantro, and more chiles). I also simmered it longer than the 20 minutes at the end, and kept scraping the sides to return the tomatillo sugars back into the salsa as it thickened. Came out absolutely perfect!

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