This roasted salsa verde is a green salsa featuring broiled tomatillos, peppers, and onions, which creates a wonderfully complex dip or sauce.
Green salsa is probably my favorite variety of salsa. I've been known to eat jars of salsa verde for lunch. Actually I made a couple of batches of this stuff when crafting this recipe and one batch didn't even make it to lunch! Making this at home is a lot easier than you think and you have full control over the ingredients.
What is Salsa Verde
Salsa verde is a green salsa made with tomatillos rather than tomatoes like traditional salsa. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes, but they are actually a tomato cousin. Green salsa has a tangier flavor than red salsa with deep roasted undertones from charring the vegetables.
Homemade Salsa Verde Ingredients
- 1 pound tomatillos - Tomatillos are the backbone of the recipe, adding a bright tangy flavor.
- 2 jalapenos - Jalapenos provide the primary source of heat and can be added or subtracted to reach your desired heat level.
- ½ poblano pepper - These don't add much heat, but deepens the flavor of the salsa and adds complexity.
- ⅓ white onion - Approximately 4 ounces of onion.
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro - Cilantro adds a fresh flavor.
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar - Apple cider vinegar makes the salsa tangier and adds complexity.
- 1 tablespoon lime juice - Brightens up the flavor and tastes fresh.
- 3 cloves garlic - Garlic adds an earthy flavor to your salsa.
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt - Salt brings out the other flavors.
- Water - This is needed to create the ideal consistency and the amount needed will vary.
How to Make Tomatillo Salsa
The key to making this salsa is roasting the tomatillos, peppers, onion, and garlic under your broiler until garlic is softened and remaining vegetables begin to blacken. Alternatively, you can do this on the grill if desired.
There is no need to remove the blackened skin from the peppers, once everything is charred throw it in your blender along with any juices left pooling on your sheet pan. Blend the salsa until mostly smooth (leaving some small chunks), then pour into a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Add water as needed to thin out the salsa to your desired consistency.
How to select ripe tomatillos
Tomatillos should be firm, but not rock hard. Press into them gently with your finger, if they are squishy skips those as well. Peel back the husk, they should be a vibrant green color. Pass over any that are shriveled or have excessive blemishes.
Do I need to roast it?
I have made this salsa multiple different ways and I think roasted salsa verde has the most flavor by far. The alternative method is to cook all of the ingredients in a pot with enough water to cover, prior to blending. It still has good flavor but it lacks the roasted complexity.
Troubleshooting this recipe
- Salsa is too thick: The main issue you will run into is your salsa is going to be too thick. You must add water to thin it out, however, the amount needed will vary depending on how much liquid your tomatillos have, as well as how much escapes while broiling them. Add a few tablespoons at a time until it is thinned out, but not soupy. I think I used about 1 cup of water the last time I made this recipe.
- Salsa is too thin: If you add too much water and your salsa is too thin, simply simmer it longer. The longer it cooks the more it will thicken up as the liquid evaporates.
- Salsa is too hot: If you are heat adverse I recommend cutting back on the jalapenos and tasting it prior to adding more. If it gets too hot add some sugar to balance the heat.
- Salsa is too mild: Load it up with more jalapenos or even serano pepper!
Uses for Salsa Verde
Serve this salsa with any of these dishes, or as a substitute for red salsa in these recipes.
Roasted Salsa Verde (Tomatillo Salsa)
- 1 pound tomatillos (husks removed)
- 2 jalapenos (sliced in half)
- ½ poblano pepper (sliced in half)
- ⅓ large white onion (thickly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- water (as needed)
- Place tomatillos, jalapenos, poblano, onion, and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet and place on the upper oven rack with the broiler set on high.
- Broil until tomatillos are partially blacked, onion begins to char, and peppers are fully roasted. Remove garlic when it has softened (garlic will be done first).
- With the exception of water, add all ingredients to a blender, along with any pooled juices on the baking pan. Blend until coarse.
- Pour into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Mixture will likely be fairly thick so add water, a couple tablespoons at a time, until, it thins out to your desired consistency.*
- Simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend, adding additional water as needed.
- Pour into a sealable glass container and store in the refrigerator. Flavors will continue to develop over the next few days.