Fresh Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Cooking for a Crowd, Recipes, Small Plates & Snacks, Weekend Cooking
tomatillo salsa
tomatillo salsa

Photo: Leigh Loftus

My name is Maris and I’m addicted to chips and salsa.

This is not a new addiction by any means. I’ve always loved the fact that Mexican restaurants give you the opportunity to eat endless amounts of tortilla chips. But more than chips, which would be more aptly named “vehicles for guacamole” I love the salsas and dips that accompany them.

I am certain that whoever created the universe decided that chips and salsa were the perfect pair because salsa is so low in calories that it almost compensates for the fact that chips have little to no nutritional value whatsoever. There are so many fantastic varieties of salsa but my latest favorite is salsa verde, a green salsa made from tomatillos.

Tomatillos are one of those ingredients that you’ve probably passed by in the grocery store and never gave a second glance because they have crinkly brownish-green jackets that, well, look kind of gross. Once you remove the jackets, they have a sticky, rubbery interior that can be easily cleaned with a quick rinse.

This salsa is great as a chip dip but you could also use it in your favorite enchilada recipe, atop a spicy chili or over grilled fish or meat.

tomatillo salsa

Photo: Leigh Loftus

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)
Recipe type: Cooking for a Crowd, Small Plates & Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1½ lb tomatillos
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the outer husks from the tomatillos and rinse them well. They will feel a little sticky - that's normal. Place them on a baking sheet and roast them until they are tender and begin to deflate, slightly browned on the outsides, about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Place tomatillos, onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and Jalapeño peppers in a food processor or blender and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. There may still be some lumps and seeds, like in any salsa, which is OK. Season to taste with salt and serve chilled or room temperature.
  3. Serve with chips or as a salsa accompaniment to Mexican dishes.
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  • Reply
    Nami | Just One Cookbook
    August 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Whenever I see tomatillo salsa, I always think of my American host family. My host dad was VERY good at making this and I was amazed to see my first tomatillo back then. Since then I enjoy salsa verde too, especially the fresh one… Hmmm.. I get so full with chips and salsa before actual dinner. I can’t tell kids “don’t eat chips so much” because I’m the one who can’t stop! =P

  • Reply
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction
    August 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Ya know we are salsa addicts too, but I have never made salsa verde. I think I need to change this asap. It looks fantastic.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    This looks so yummy! And that bowl is adorable!

  • Reply
    Nelly Rodriguez
    August 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Great salsa! Love tomatillos 🙂

  • Reply
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen
    August 11, 2011 at 10:04 am

    This looks so fresh and flavorful! Thanks Maris 🙂

  • Reply
    August 11, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Mmmhhh! I wish I could find tomatillos here…



  • Reply
    5 Star Foodie
    August 11, 2011 at 6:53 am

    Your tomatillo salsa sounds excellent! I have to admit to never actually having cooked with tomatillos although of course I’ve had them many times when dining out.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Oh yeah, I could see myself with a BIG bowl of that and plenty o’ chips. Nice.

  • Reply
    Lisa from Lisas Yarns
    August 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I too am a huge fan of chips and salsa. The chip is definitely just a vessel for guac or salsa most of the time. 😉 Mmm. I have never made anything with tomatillos. It’s good to know that they are easy to work with!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I can sustain myself on nothing but chips and salsa for days! It’s good to change up your salsa when it’s life. This looks just delicious.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    everybody loves chips and salsa , at least I do 🙂 and i was getting tired of my normal tomato or mango or pineapple salsa. This would an interesting twist to try.

  • Reply
    Alexandra (Veggin' Out in the Kitchen)
    August 10, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    YUM!!! I LOVE tomatillos! I need to make this – I’m pretty sure my mom and I could demolish it pretty quickly 😉
    I’m not a big fan of chips, but I do love me some salsa. Maybe I could eat it with crackers, in a tortilla, by the spoonful…. 😛

    <3 <3

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    I’m an addict too, you need to form a support group, he he. Maybe jean manufacturers invented the combo so we would buy more jeans? Hope you are having a great week.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    That salsa looks great! I really like salsa verde too, but have never made it myself yet.

  • Reply
    The Teenage Taste
    August 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    No shame about being addicted to chips and salsa! I’m a fellow addict. Chips and salsa addicts unite! 😛

  • Reply
    Sarah (everydaysapicnic)
    August 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I’ve never seen tomatillos, so I’m not sure if I can get hold of them. The salsa looks fantastic though 🙂

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I love how you started this post Maris!!! Admitting it is the first step! Wish tomatillos were readily available around here!!! This looks fantastic. Have a great salsa and chip filled day!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I’m equally addicted to chips and salsa. I could easily go through two baskets of chips before my meal at a Mexican restaurant. Well, yeah, it typically ruins my dinner appetite, but they’re just too good! This tomatillo salsa sounds awesome.

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Very fresh and appetizing!

  • Reply
    natalie (the sweets life)
    August 10, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    i love salsa verde and have never made my own…you’ve inspired me!

  • Reply
    Heavenly Housewife
    August 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    That looks so fresh and wonderful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen tomatillos here in the UK though, what a shame!
    *kisses* HH

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 11:54 am

    We can’t get tomatillos here so I’ve never tried them. Maybe I could use green tomatoes, I’m all about chips and dips too, especially on a Saturday night!

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    August 10, 2011 at 11:48 am

    So lovely! I made a tomatillo avocado sauce once that was delicious…it was just like this, but added a few pureed avocados to make it a little thicker and creamier. Yum!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Loooove salsa verde! The thing is, you can’t find tomatillos here…guess I’ll just have to bookmark this to make in the US!

  • Reply
    Ali Grace
    August 10, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I know I say this about all your recipes… but seriously, I’m OBSESSED with salsa verde. Once I start I can’t quit. I’m a little scared to try this recipe, but I can’t help myself. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving such sweet comments!!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I have a similar recipe that I just love. Tomatillas have such a bright, fresh flavor. Sometimes I put the tomatillos in a dish on a covered grill if I already have it running and don’t want to heat up the house using my oven.

  • Reply
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking
    August 10, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Chips and Salsa, definitely an addiction here, too! Great job on the pictures, Maris – I just want to take that chip and shove it into my mouth!! (sigh)

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    August 10, 2011 at 7:20 am

    Yep, salsa verde is one of my favorites for sure. I love the sweetness and kinda tartness of the tomatillos. A nice break from the usual salsa! Your pictures are stunning

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 7:15 am

    I’m addicted, too! I just try my hardest not to start, but every once and a while, I have to indulge. Your tomatillo salsa looks wonderful~

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Tarte du Jour
    August 10, 2011 at 7:13 am

    My name is Lisa and I’m addicted to chips and salsa too! I will definitely whip up this salsa before the summer is out. Delicious!

  • Reply
    Blond Duck
    August 10, 2011 at 6:39 am

    I love salsa! And a good tomatillo is hard to find…

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 6:31 am

    I’ve never had that kind of salsa, looks delicious!

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    August 10, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Hehe I’m with you-like drinking sparkling water with pork ribs-it all cancels itself out 😉

  • Reply
    August 10, 2011 at 12:53 am

    Oh my gosh! Last night I was eating chips and salsa! I have the same addiction!LOlz..I have to try tomatillos…the color is fantastic…

  • Reply
    Kate (What Kate is Cooking)
    August 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I am obsessed with tomatillos! They taste so fresh and summery. Love all the flavors of this!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    This is the second tomatillo recipe I am seeing today and I am hunting these babies down and cooking some. I have been sheltered for too long 😉

  • Reply
    Betty @ scrambled hen fruit
    August 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    I’m with you on the “chips and salsa” thing. I could just about make a meal with a basket of chips and a bowl of good salsa or guacamole. Your salsa verde looks great- and I have plenty of tomatillos! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I’m actually not a fan of corn chips at all for some reason. Never liked them the first time I tried it, and still don’t. But the tomatillo salsa sounds lovely! I would love that with seafood. 🙂

  • Reply
    Junia @ Mis Pensamientos
    August 9, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    ahhhh i love green salsa. my favorite spanish meal to make is green enchiladas!

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef
    August 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    It is a rare day when we don’t have a jar of salsa verde in the fridge. When it starts getting low, I run and grab a big ol’ basket of tomatillos and restock 😉 Yours looks fantastic. 😀

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    I think this is my favorite recipe you have every posted. I really wish I had a big bowl and a bag of chips right now!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Looks delicious, and completely healthy!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I could eat a tire if it came with salsa or guacamole on it, haha. This looks great!

  • Reply
    T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types
    August 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    I wish I had this recipe a week ago. I had some fresh tomatillos from the farm, and had no idea what to do with them!

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I join you in this addiction! Love this salsa!

  • Reply
    Simply Life
    August 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I need to come to your support group -I’m an addict as well.

  • Reply
    Sherilyn @ Wholepromise
    August 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Your addiction is totally warranted when putting up salsa like this. The ingredients list sounds delicious. Hope you enjoyed it.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    This makes me want to hop on a plane to southern climates Maris.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
    August 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    that salsa looks PERFECT! and thanks for your kind words on my photography earlier 🙂

  • Reply
    amy @ fearless homemaker
    August 9, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    mmm, i love tomatillo salsa, especially on enchiladas. so fresh + summery!

  • Reply
    Style, She Wrote
    August 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Looks so yummy! xo style, she wrote

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    I would take chips and salsa over any sweet, any day! Obsessed. I haven’t tried a tomatillo salsa…looks so pretty. Must try!

  • Reply
    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    August 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I don’t know why more grocery stores don’t carry tomatillos. They’re not all that easy to find here, except in Latino markets. Salsa verde is great with pasta, too.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Oh you roast the tomatillos, must taste great. I love chips and salsa too, which kind of sounds funny. Does anyone hate them? Great post.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    I love tomatillos and I’m fortunate to live in a neighbourhood where they’re in the produce section of the grocery store (my mom, back in Vancouver, for instance, can only buy them canned at her grocery store). I need to use them more, though. This is a good way to get on that!

  • Reply
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.
    August 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    yum! This looks so good and fresh

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