Roasted Salsa Verde

Tested & Perfected Recipes

salsa verde

Cinco de Mayo is my favorite food holiday of the year. Perhaps it’s because I’m obsessed with Mexican food (who isn’t?!), or because it’s finally tank top and margarita weather, or because May 5th is my wedding anniversary. (Have you made these Coconut-Lime Mexican Wedding Cookies? What are you waiting for?) No matter, it’s just a happy, delicious day. I know there are enough Mexican recipes on my blog to keep us well-fed all year long, but I couldn’t resist adding this roasted salsa verde to the mix. Made from tomatillos, it’s tangy, fiery, chunky, smoky — and 100% good enough to eat with a spoon. What’s more, there are endless ways to use it: serve it with tortilla chips; use it as enchilada, quesadilla or taco sauce; or drizzle it over steak, rice, potatoes or eggs. You can’t go wrong!

how to make salsa verde

If you’re unfamiliar with tomatillos, they look like small green tomatoes covered by a papery husk. They’re related to tomatoes, but have a distinctive tart flavor. (Note that they are not the same as green tomatoes, which are simply unripe tomatoes.) You can find them in most grocery stores. Before using them, remove the papery husk. You’ll notice that they have a sticky substance on the surface — just rinse them under water and it will come right off.

how to make salsa verde

To begin, place the tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeño pepper and oil directly on the prepared baking sheet and toss with your hands or a rubber spatula. Broil until softened and charred, 10-12 minutes.

how to make salsa verde

Transfer the vegetables and juices to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the salt, cumin, sugar, and cilantro.

how to make salsa verde

Pulse until chunky, then taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

how to make salsa verde

Transfer the salsa to a bowl and serve warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled.

how to make salsa verde

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Salsa Verde

Servings: About 3 cups
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 lbs tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
  • 2 small yellow onions, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, left whole (or remove the ribs and seeds for a mild salsa)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus a bit more for serving

Instructions

  1. Set an oven rack about 5 inches beneath the heating element and preheat the broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  2. Place the tomatillos, onions, garlic, jalapeño pepper and oil directly on the prepared baking sheet and toss with your hands or a rubber spatula. Broil until softened and slightly charred, 10-12 minutes.
  3. Transfer the vegetables and juices to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the salt, cumin, sugar, and cilantro and pulse until chunky. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired. Serve the salsa warm, at room temperature, or slightly chilled.
  4. Note: This recipe is not meant for canning.
  5. Make Ahead: The salsa can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The salsa can be frozen in an airtight for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before serving. (Some of the liquid may separate out when it’s defrosted, or it might get a bit watery, but you can correct that by reheating it.)

Reviews & Comments

  • Hi Jenn! I was out enjoying my garden this morning with my morning coffee, and was laughing to myself that I needed to work harder to use all the tomatillos that I’m. Going To Have. The plants are loaded with blossoms and teeny fruit. When I went in to check email, guess what was in my inbox?
    HOORAY!😁 I can’t wait till everything is ripe.

    • — Cyndi on May 13, 2018
    • Reply
  • First time trying tomatillos and it was so easy and delicious! I loved that everything roasted together and then all got thrown in the food processor together. Brought to a friend’s Cinco de Mayo gathering and we ate it room temp with chips, slathered it on tacos, and ate directly from the spoon. So good! 🙂

    • — Sheri on May 8, 2018
    • Reply
  • Can the salsa be frozen, or would it turn to mush? I can try making a half-recipe, but I hope the extra can be frozen

    • — Judy on May 6, 2018
    • Reply
    • I think you could freeze it, Judy – just drain off any excess liquid if there is any after defrosting. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on May 7, 2018
      • Reply
  • I made this for a birthday party on the weekend and it was definitely the favourite appetizer!

    • — Linda on May 6, 2018
    • Reply
  • Just made this and will definitely keep recipe on hand! Happy cinco de mayo!

    • — Darlene Moore on May 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • Made this last night and used it as a topping for enchiladas. Delicious, impressive and easy!

    • — Sharon on May 5, 2018
    • Reply
  • Simple, fast and delicious. Will probably taste even better tomorrow.

    • — Mary on May 4, 2018
    • Reply
  • Delicious! Tangy and spicy. And the best part is how easy it was to make. Have tried other tomatillo based salsa recipes and this is the best one.

    • — mberwick on May 3, 2018
    • Reply
  • This isn’t about this recipe, but wanted you to know that I have now read your cook book cover to cover and think it’s one of the best I have ever encountered. Think you hit a home run! Congratulations!! (the stars are for the cookbook…haven’t tried the salsa!)

    • — Gretchen Andeel on May 3, 2018
    • Reply
    • Thanks for your kind words and for purchasing the book, Gretchen — I’m thrilled to hear you like what you see! I so appreciate your support. 💗

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2018
      • Reply
  • Love this! I make this often, but add poblano peppers as well. Great with fish.

    • — Jen G on May 3, 2018
    • Reply

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