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May 21, 2024

Salsa Verde

This fresh, bright homemade salsa verde—made with onions, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, and tomatillos—is the perfect addition to any meal.

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a chip being dipped into a a bowl of homemade salsa verde made with tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, cilantro and salt
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Salsa Verde: To DIY or to Buy?

We are big fans of cutting corners in the kitchen, however when it comes to verde sauce, we have pretty strong opinions. It’s always going to be easier to buy salsa verde—which, BTW, just means “green sauce” in Spanish—in a jar or tub than to make it from scratch at home, but this is one of those times when homemade is just so much better that’s it’s worth a little extra effort. Loaded with fresh ingredients like onions, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro, and tomatillos, this green salsa recipe turns a bowl of chips, or platter of nachos into a meal to remember.

tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, cilantro and salt in prep bowls to make salsa verde

What Is Salsa Verde?

In terms of preparation, red salsa (salsa rojo) and green salsa (salsa verde) aren’t all that different. The major distinction between the two classic Mexican sauces is that red tomatoes are the base for salsa rojo, while tangy green tomatillos form the base for our salsa verde recipe.

Are you familiar with tomatillos? Tomatillos—sometimes called husk tomatoes—are a small fruit hidden inside (you guessed it) a papery green husk. When ripe, they turn a greenish-yellowish color and make the perfect base for this tangy, versatile Mexican green sauce!

roasted tomatillos, onions and jalapeños being placed in a food processor with  cilantro and salt

How To Make Salsa Verde.

The ingredient list for this homemade tomatillo salsa is short and sweet! All you’ll need is onions, jalapeños, garlic, cilantro and tomatillos. Charring the ingredients in a big pot before blending them creates a gorgeous smoky flavor that gives the salsa its depth. Here’s how to make salsa verde from scratch:

  1. Crowd the tomatillos, jalapeños, half of the white onion and garlic in a big pot with oil set over superheat.
  2. Cook until everything is nicely charred.
  3. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Put the charred vegetables, a jalapeño, cilantro, salt and other half of the white onion to a food processor and blend!
homemade salsa verde in a food processor made with charred  tomatillos, onion &jalapeños, & cilantro and salt

You Made Homemade Green Salsa! Here’s How To Use It.

a bowl of salsa verde made with tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, cilantro and salt surrounded by tortilla chips and cilantro

Tools You Will Need:

Green Salsa For Daaaayyyysss.

a bowl of salsa verde made with tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, cilantro and salt surrounded by tortilla chips and cilantro

You Made Salsa Verde!

So now you are that person! The person who makes fresh tomatillo salsa and shares it with all your friends. We want to see it too! Be sure to snap a photo of your smokey green salsa and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper or #themodernproper so we can drool along with you!

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Salsa Verde

  • Serves: 8
  • Yields: 3 cups
  • Prep Time:  5 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 to 12 medium tomatillos, husked (about 1½ pounds)
  • 1 large white onion, quartered
  • 1 to 3 jalapeños, stems removed, seeded if desired
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

Method

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the tomatillos, 2 of the onion quarters, the jalapeños, and the garlic in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until the ingredients are charred on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side, about 5 more minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until charred. Remove the pot from the heat, uncover, and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

    tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, cilantro and salt in prep bowls to make salsa verde
  2. Transfer the charred ingredients to the base of a blender or food processor. Add the remaining 2 onion quarters, the cilantro, and salt. Pulse until your desired texture is achieved.

    roasted tomatillos, onions and jalapeños being placed in a food processor with  cilantro and salt
  3. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

    a bowl of salsa verde made with tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, cilantro and salt surrounded by tortilla chips and cilantro

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories57
  • Protein1 g
  • Carbohydrates5 g
  • Total Fat4 g
  • Dietary Fiber1 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium293 mg
  • Total Sugars3 g

Salsa Verde

Questions & Reviews

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  • Sue

    Your recipes look Wonderful. I’m anxious to try them. In the Salsa Verde you say put the veggies in a pot and cook on high till charred
    How do you charbin a pot with oil? Just mildly burn them? Could I put them in a pan in a very hot oven and char them that way?

    Hi Sue, sure that would work as well!

  • Lesley

    I’ve wanted to make salsa verde at home for so long. I’m totoally going to do this!

    Hope you love it!

  • joyce

    This is so easy to make at home. It makes a great chili verde with chicken or pork. I like this version, but may add a poblano to the mix.

    Sounds great!