Cooked Green Salsa (Salsa Verde)

June 13, 2013
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Makes about 2 cups
Author Notes

This is my house green salsa, a piquant blend of simmered tomatillos, chiles, garlic, white onion, and cilantro. The ingredients are puréed and then given a quick cook-down to thicken and deepen the flavors. Bright and smooth, the salsa goes with nearly everything: tacos, quesadillas, sunny-side-up eggs in the morning. It can even be used as a cooking sauce for fish, chicken, shredded meat, or the vegetables of your choice. —Pati Jinich

What You'll Need
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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 and purée until smooth. Taste for heat, and add more chile if necessary until you have the desired amount of heat.
  3. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Smaug
  • Sarah Gorman
    Sarah Gorman
  • Chris
  • LPW2000
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.

11 Reviews

Chris April 2, 2022
I can't believe this has only 9 reviews. This has become a regular part of our weekly routine. We make this all the time, takes just a couple of minutes. It works on everything- don't let that "chips and salsa" photograph dissuade you- from scrambled eggs with a ton of extra cilantro, to a toasted bagel and cream cheese.
Smaug April 2, 2022
There are about a million recipes for this basic condiment out there, nothing special about this one.
Smaug May 5, 2016
OK recipe, but I vastly prefer roasted types (halve the tomatillos and put face up in a roasting pan, cook under broiler until the cut face browns.) I also roast the onions and garlic, and generally add (for this amount) 1/2 to 1 roasted/peeled poblano chile. Roasting doesn't really affect the color significantly. A small amount of honey or agave syrup can also be a nice addition, particularly if you make it hot.
LPW2000 July 24, 2013
Just made it. I am going to let it sit and develop flavors, then cook it to thicken it before serving over eggs. Ole!
Sarah G. June 19, 2013
Oh this sounds just fantastic! Any hints on picking good tomatillos at the store?
Erin M. July 11, 2013
Make sure they are firm, bright green, and sticky!
Racr M. January 29, 2014
They should be bursting out of the papery husk. If the husk is loose the fruit will not be as flavorful.
MexicoKaren June 19, 2013
This is exactly the way Mexican cooks make salsa verde, which is found on the table of every taquería. Kudos to you for authenticity. AND, it tastes great, of course.
Dave H. June 19, 2013
I take Count Mockula's approach, and usually add some roasted poblanos to it. Yum!
CookingIsArt June 19, 2013
I also make this recipe as Count M. below, though I add fresh spinach to keep the sauce green, instead of going to brown which is the direction that the roasted veg would like to take it.
Count M. June 14, 2013
I make almost the same exact recipe with the same proportions, but instead of simmering, I roast the tomatillos et al in the oven. I also add a splash of lime or lemon juice. Sounds delightful... I look forward to trying a different method.