Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Made with roasted tomatillos, this homemade salsa verde is zesty, spicy, and bright. It's SO much better than store-bought. Pass the tortilla chips!

Tomatillo salsa verde

Try this homemade salsa verde recipe once, and you’ll never get the store-bought kind again. It calls for a short list of fresh ingredients: tomatillos, serrano chiles, garlic, onion, cilantro, and lime. They give it an amazing zesty, tangy, bright, and spicy flavor that’ll have you scooping it up with chip after chip (after chip). And speaking of all those chips, another reason I love THIS tomatillo salsa vs. tomatillo salsa from a jar is its amazing texture. It’s thick and silky, which means that it’ll coat a dipped tortilla chip (or even a batch of enchiladas)—no watery salsa verde here!

My inspiration for this recipe came from the many, many salsas I tried during our years in Austin. They taught me just how flavorful homemade salsa could be, and they got me curious about making my own. I hope this recipe does the same for you. Once you start making your own tomatillo salsa verde, you won’t look back!

Salsa verde recipe ingredients

Salsa Verde Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this salsa verde recipe:

  • Tomatillos – You might think they’re just green tomatoes, but fun fact: they’re not! Like tomatoes, tomatillos are in the nightshade family, but they’re actually a type of ground cherry. Their bright green skin is covered in a sticky coating, which is surrounded by a papery husk. Their flavor is super-tangy, which gives this salsa a delicious kick.
  • Onion and garlic – For sweet/savory depth of flavor.
  • Jalapeño or serrano peppers – For heat. Add more or less depending on your spice tolerance.
  • Avocado oil – Or another neutral oil, for richness.
  • Fresh lime juice – For bright, zesty flavor.
  • Cilantro – It adds refreshing flecks of green.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Roasted tomatillos, chiles, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet

How to Make Salsa Verde

The first step in this homemade salsa verde recipe is roasting the veggies. Why?

  1. It makes the tomatillos softer, sweeter, and juicier.
  2. It gives everything a little char, which adds depth of flavor to the salsa.

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse to remove the stickiness. Pat them dry and place them on a baking sheet. Peel and chop the onion into big chunks. Add it to the baking sheet along with the whole peppers. Drizzle the veggies with oil and season them with salt.

Wrap the (unpeeled) garlic in a piece of foil with a drizzle of oil. Place it on the baking sheet too!

Roast in a 450°F oven until the tomatillos are juicy and browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tomatillo salsa verde ingredients in a food processor

Next, blend the salsa. Unwrap and peel the garlic, and remove the stems from the peppers. Place both in a food processor with the tomatillos, onion, avocado oil, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Process until combined.

Note: If you’re sensitive to spice, I would start by adding just 1 pepper (or even 1/2!) to the food processor. It’s much easier to add more to taste than to take it out!

Tomatillo salsa verde in a food processor

Finally, taste and adjust. The really fun thing about making homemade salsa is that you can make it just how you like it! If it’s too thick, blend in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. If you want it brighter, add more lime juice. Not enough salt? Mix in another pinch.

When you can’t stop eating it straight from the food processor, it’s just right.

Salsa verde in a bowl on platter with tortilla chips

How to Use Tomatillo Salsa Verde

This simplest way to serve this tomatillo salsa verde is as a dip. Try pairing it with homemade tortilla chips (or taquitos) for a next-level appetizer or snack!

But that’s just one of many ways to use this zesty green salsa. Here are a few more of my favorites:

How do you like to use roasted tomatillo salsa? Let me know in the comments!

Salsa verde recipe

More Favorite Salsas and Dips

If you love this tomatillo salsa verde recipe, try one of these homemade dips or salsas next:

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Tomatillo Salsa Verde

rate this recipe:
4.89 from 36 votes
The BEST salsa verde recipe! Made with simple, fresh ingredients, this zesty green salsa is delicious as a dip or with Mexican dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and more. Find serving suggestions in the post above.


  • 9 medium tomatillos
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers*
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • teaspoons sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • tortilla chips, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse to remove the stickiness. Pat dry and place on the baking sheet with the onion and peppers. Drizzle with avocado oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Wrap the garlic cloves in a piece of foil with a drizzle of oil and add to the baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tomatillos are juicy and browned.
  • Remove the garlic from the foil and peel it. Remove the stems from the peppers.
  • In a food processor, place the tomatillos, onion, peppers, garlic, avocado oil, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Process until combined. If the salsa is too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency. Season to taste and serve.
  • Store leftover salsa in the fridge for up to 5 days.


*Serranos and jalapeños can vary widely in spice level. If you’re sensitive to spice, start with just 1, or even ½, pepper and add more to taste.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. John

    5 stars
    I made a double batch of this salsa verde for a party and it was a big hit. I followed the recipe pretty close. Many compliments and not much leftover. I will definitely be making it again. I’ll try the avocado version too.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi John, I’m so glad the salsa was a hit!

  2. Tom M.

    5 stars
    Delicious!!! Thank you for such an easy recipe to follow. The Avocado Tomatillo Salsa was equally delicious on our vegetarian tacos. Both are keepers!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Tom, I’m so glad you loved the salsas!

  3. Lloyd

    4 stars
    The first time I made this I followed the recipe closely but overcooked the tomatillos on my grill, they were brown and blistered and starting to fall into the grill. The final salsa tasted incredible and full of smokey flavor. When I don’t overcook, it tastes a bit bland! It seems the more you roast, the better!

  4. Maria

    4 stars
    Hello, J&J, Thank you for providing this simple recipe for tomatillo salsa. My first try was a bit on the sour, acidic side and lacked a bit of flavor. I made it again and I added an 1/8 tsp of ground cumin and 1/2 tsp of granulated sugar. I also swapped out the white onion for red and it tasted much better. This salsa is a great cooking salsa for enchiladas and for egg scrambles. Also fantastic on baked potato.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Maria, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks for sharing your tweaks.

  5. Teresa

    I made this recipe and it is good, but I think it needs more spices.

  6. Noel

    5 stars
    Very good recipe, thank you. My question is can this recipe be canned? Thank you

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Noel, I’m not an expert on canning so I’m not sure the ingredients here are food safe at room temp.

    • Andrea

      I haven’t made this recipe yet. About to try it. But when I’ve made salsa verde in the past I freeze it. I freeze it in silicone cupcake molds on a cookie tray, covered. You can freeze it in any small container. Small freezer bags will work, too. I like the silicone molds because I pop the verde out of the molds once frozen and store them all in one freezer bag. They last for months. I’ve even had it as long as a year.

      Hope this helps.

      • Noel

        I did end up freezing some, but next time I will use the silicone molds, good idea! Thank you

  7. martie

    This also makes the best seasoning for white chicken chili!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.