This fresh Mexican salsa verde is a flavorful combination of tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, and peppers. Perfect for dipping or adding to another recipe!
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Table of Contents
- About Salsa Verde
- What is salsa verde?
- What’s the difference between salsa verde and green enchilada sauce?
- Is salsa verde spicy?
- Can you make salsa verde spicier?
- What can you make with salsa verde?
- How long will this salsa last?
- Can you freeze salsa verde?
- Notes & tips for homemade salsa verde
- More tasty sauces
- How to make homemade salsa verde
- Recipe Details
About Salsa Verde
Fresh Mexican salsa verde is always something I always like to have on hand, because not only is it great for a quick snack (and it does amazing well with that) it’s also a staple ingredient in some of my favorite dishes.
And really, who couldn’t use a little more versatility from the ingredients in their kitchen?
Because this homemade batch of salsa verde doesn’t choose for you what to do with it; you can either enjoy it as is or use it as an ingredient in countless other tasty dishes.
What is salsa verde?
There are two types of salsa verde – Italian and Mexican – but this particular recipe pays homage to the Mexican version. It’s a blended salsa made of tomatillos, onion, garlic, cilantro, parsley, and hot peppers.
What’s the difference between salsa verde and green enchilada sauce?
It’s true that salsa verde and green enchilada sauce are not the same things, and purists of either sauce may argue that they shouldn’t be confused with each other.
However, it’s important to note that there are many recipes out there that blur the lines between the two – and this is not necessarily a bad thing. After all, both sauces share some common ingredients, such as tomatillos, onions, and green chilies, and they are both used to add a tangy, slightly spicy flavor to dishes.
Ultimately, whether you choose to make green enchilada sauce or salsa verde sauce – or a combination of the two – depends on your personal taste preferences and the dish you are preparing.
As far as the specific differences, there are a few characteristics that can help you tell the two sauces apart:
- Salsa verde tends to have a higher ratio of tomatillos, less seasoning, and sometimes the vegetables are not cooked (with the raw ingredients simply blended) resulting in a thicker, chunkier sauce.
- Green enchilada sauce tends to roast or boil (or both) the vegetables before blending, includes more seasonings, the consistency tends to be thinner, and many recipes will use tomatoes over tomatillos.
Is salsa verde spicy?
Despite there being jalapenos in this recipe, salsa verde is typically considered to be a mild salsa. This recipe is written to reflect that, so there are only enough jalapenos included in the recipe to give a little taste but not too much bite.
Can you make salsa verde spicier?
If you’d like a little more kick, it’s easy to adjust this recipe to your tastes:
- Add more jalapeno peppers. This recipe calls for only one pepper, but you could easily go up to two or three without changing the flavor too much.
- Include the jalapeno seeds. There’s a lot of spice in those little seeds, so if you’re looking for a fiery salsa, the easiest way would be to chop the jalapenos whole without removing the seeds.
What can you make with salsa verde?
There are so many things I could list here, but these are a few of my favorites:
- Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken
- Zesty Taco Pasta Bake
- Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole
- Spicy Shrimp Tortilla Soup
- Salsa Verde Mac & Cheese
How long will this salsa last?
Depending on the freshness of the ingredients used, salsa verde should remain good in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Can you freeze salsa verde?
Yes, you totally can! Normally I don’t recommend freezing vegetables with high water content, but because these veggies have been cooked and blended, there’s no harm in losing texture or consistency from freezing.
To freeze, make sure you store it in a tightly sealed container or freeze it flat in a freezer bag.
Once frozen, salsa verde should remain good for up to two months.
Notes & tips for homemade salsa verde
- While this recipe recommends cooking the ingredients before blending, there are many recipes for authentic salsa verde that simply blend the raw ingredients together – and you can totally do this for a thicker, chunkier salsa! To prepare, simply use all the same ingredients and measurements listed in the recipe and completely skip any instructions that reference water or boiling the vegetables. And when blending the raw vegetables, feel free to blend them as much (or as little) as you need to get the consistency you’d like.
- Never worked with tomatillos before? No problem! It’s easier than you’d think to husk and prepare them. Check out this video on how to do it: Preparing Tomatillos.
- If you don’t have access to fresh tomatillos, canned tomatillos can be used instead. Just be sure to train them thoroughly before using them in the recipe.
- You will need a blender of some sort to make this salsa. I recently got this KitchenAid food processor and highly recommend it!
- Whenever you are preparing jalapenos, be sure that you are wearing food safety gloves while handling them and avoid any contact with your eyes while you work. Also, you have a crucial choice to make: to include the jalapeno seeds or remove them. The seeds are where this pepper gets its trademark fire, so only include them if you want the extra kick. For a full tutorial on cutting jalapeno peppers, check this out: How to Cut a Jalapeno Pepper the Right Way.
More tasty sauces
How to make homemade salsa verde
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a medium saucepan, add the tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, and garlic, then pour in enough water to cover all of the veggies.
Step 2 – Bring the water to a boil and cook until the tomatillos turn a pale olive green color (should only be five to eight minutes). Once cooked, drain the water and let the veggies cool a bit.
Step 3 – Add the cooked veggies, salt, cilantro, and lime juice to a food processor, then blend until the consistency is to your liking.
Step 4 – Refrigerate the salsa for at least one hour.
Step 5 – Serve and enjoy!
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and washed (about 10-12 tomatillos)
- 1/2 cup chopped white onion
- 1 jalapeno, chopped and seeds removed
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
- water, enough to cover the veggies
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, stemmed
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add tomatillos, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Pour in enough water to cover the veggies, then bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatillos are tender and turn a pale olive color, about 5-8 minutes.1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, 1/2 cup chopped white onion, 1 jalapeno, 2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic, water
- Thoroughly drain cooked veggies (making sure to not lose much of the garlic) then set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, add cooked veggies, sea salt, cilantro, and lime juice to a food processor. Blend on high until smooth or desired consistency is reached, about 2-3 minutes.1 teaspoon fine sea salt, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Transfer salsa to a sealed container and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Serve immediately as a dip, garnish, or ingredient for another recipe.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.