Cooked Salsa Verde

June 14, 2013

Every Friday, a DIY expert spares us a trip to the grocery store and shows us how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today, Pati Jinich -- salsa expert and author of Pati's Mexican Table -- shares a recipe for salsa verde that will put any store-bought dip to shame. 

Pati Jinich's Salsa Verde

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Cooked Salsa Verde is, hands down, the salsa I make most frequently at home. It's my very favorite version -- and that's coming from a salsa fanatic!

I love this recipe not only because it comes together in 15 minutes, but also because of its versatility. You can use it as the base of a meat and potato stew; let it set the tone for your enchiladas or chilaquiles; or drizzle it on quesadillas, tacos, or sunny side up eggs on a lazy Sunday morning -- and those are just a few ideas.

More: Crunchy, oven-baked tortilla chips make the perfect vehicle for fresh salsa.

Pati Jinich's Salsa Verde

The flavor of this salsa verde is matchless and intriguing. It has the punchy tartness of tomatillos and a stroke of mild heat that balances it off. My husband and my youngest son spoon it right into their mouths after we've had a full meal -- that's how good it is.

Salsa verde is a staple not only in my Mexican kitchen in the US, but also in most Mexican homes I've visited. All it takes is three steps: simmer, purée, and pour. And if you want to enhance the flavor even further, simmer it down a bit more.

Cooked Salsa Verde

Makes about 2 cups

1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
1 garlic clove
2 jalapeño or serrano chiles, or to taste
1/3 cup coarsely chopped white onion
1 cup cilantro leaves and top part of stems
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
3 teaspoons vegetable oil

Pati Jinich's Salsa Verde

Place the tomatillos, garlic, and chiles in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the tomatillos change from bright green to pale green and are soft but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.

Pati Jinich's Salsa Verde Pati Jinich's Salsa Verde

With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatillos, garlic, and one of the chiles to a blender or food processor. Add the onion, cilantro, and salt. Purée until smooth. Taste, and add more chile if necessary until you have the desired amount of heat. 

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Pour the salsa into the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Pati Jinich's Salsa Verde

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom 

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kukla
  • DebraCR
  • Bill Huber
    Bill Huber
  • Lost_in_NYC
  • witloof
I forgo my job in the Washington DC policy research world to research, test, taste, cook, write, teach and talk about Mexican food. Not only because of nostalgia and desire to connect to my roots, but because I love sharing all I learn and I am fascinated by Mexico cuisine's richness and depth.


Kukla July 2, 2013

I like Pati Jinich’s show on PBS and enjoy watching it every Saturday!
DebraCR June 23, 2013
How would I can this in jars to keep? I want to always have it on hand.
Bill H. June 15, 2013
It was great even though I skipped the thickening step! The store bought version is definitely bland compared to this version. I am interested in trying this again and see if the thickening step cuts down some of the heat. My jalapeño was bit large.
Marian B. June 15, 2013
The thickening step does mellow out the heat of the pepper as well as the bite of the onion and garlic, but I agree that it's great even without cooking it down! So glad you enjoyed it.
Lost_in_NYC June 14, 2013
Lost_in_NYC June 14, 2013
I made the same version but dont cook the salsa - go the raw route. Add in a the juice of one lime and you're set!
witloof June 14, 2013
That looks delicious! Must try.
Marian B. June 14, 2013
It's so good! It only lasted about 30 minutes in our office.