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Authentic Mexican Salsa Verde Recipe With Variations and Tips

Marisa is an educator, researcher, foodie, blogger, and artistic creator.

Authentic Mexican salsa verde contains tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, chile serrano, and lime

Authentic Mexican salsa verde contains tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic, chile serrano, and lime

Authentic Mexican Restaurant-Style Salsa Verde

The primary ingredient in salsa verde is the tomatillo. Tomatillos are about one to two inches in diameter and have a thin, light-green husk.

The Tomatillo: Origin and Description

The tomatillo (pronounced "toe-ma-tea-o") originally comes from Mexico and is actually a type of tomato. It is grown in Mexico and in areas of south Texas, and it is also grown commercially in various parts of the Western hemisphere.

Tomatillos are a wonderful source of Vitamin C. They are usually boiled or broiled, and they are used to create relishes and salsas. It has a tangy flavor and is a great condiment with a variety of Mexican dishes.

The tomatillo (toe-ma-tea-o) originally comes from Mexico

The tomatillo (toe-ma-tea-o) originally comes from Mexico


  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 8 to 10) tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 medium limes, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 medium serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • Pepper, freshly ground (optional)
Tomatillos have a slightly sticky texture and have a thick center with seeds. They are pictured here with sliced serrano peppers.

Tomatillos have a slightly sticky texture and have a thick center with seeds. They are pictured here with sliced serrano peppers.

Instructions: Roasted Variation

  1. Place the chopped onion, peppers, and halved tomatillos on a foil-lined baking sheet. Make sure the tomatillos are skin-side up.
  2. Broil at 500 degrees for about 5 to 7 minutes. You want the tomatillos and vegetables to begin to lightly blacken.
  3. Place the broiled tomatillos, onions, and peppers in a blender or food processor. Add the lime juice, cilantro, sugar, and a dash of salt. Blend to your desired texture.
  4. Serve over enchiladas, chalupas, black beans, or as a dipping sauce for tostada chips.
  5. Optional: A clove of garlic or freshly ground peppercorns may be added for additional flavor.
Ingredients for authentic salsa verde

Ingredients for authentic salsa verde

Instructions: Boiled Variation

  1. Place quartered tomatillos, chopped onions, and seeded peppers in a medium saucepan.
  2. Cover the ingredients with water.
  3. Boil on medium to high heat for 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add the boiled mixture and the remaining ingredients to a blender.
  5. Keep the water in reserve for diluting as needed.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Add water if needed to dilute flavor or to create a softer texture.
This salsa verde was prepared using the boiling method

This salsa verde was prepared using the boiling method

Salsa Verde: Boiled and Spiced With Cumin and Oregano

This recipe is very similar to the one above but it is spied with cumin and oregano. It's a delicious variation.


  • 1 pound (about 5 to 7) tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 mashed garlic clove
  • 1 serrano chile pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


  1. Add all of the ingredients to a medium saucepan and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
  3. The mixture is ready to blend when you can easily cut a tomatillo with a spoon.
  4. Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth while slowly adding the boiled water.

Salsa Verde Serving Suggestions

Salsa verde can be served in a variety of ways and with numerous dishes. Here are just a few serving suggestions.

Serve salsa verde with:

  • Fried eggs
  • Enchiladas suizas (chicken enchiladas with sour cream and Swiss cheese)
  • Tostada chips
  • Grilled pork
  • Broiled chicken
  • Black beans and crumbled queso fresco
  • Flautas (Spanish for "flutes." Flautas are rolled corn tortillas and they are filled with boiled chicken. They are deep-fried and served with salsa verde.)
  • Chalupas or tostadas
  • Tortas (Mexican submarine sandwiches. Usually made with thinly sliced beef or pork and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and lime juice.)

Where Are Tomatillos Grown?

© 2012 Marisa Hammond Olivares


Paula from The Midwest, USA on March 22, 2015:

Salsa verde has to be one of my favorite things! I truly love it, and even crave it at times. Thank you for sharing this!

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on February 21, 2015:

paizley, your variation sounds delicious! Mixing a variety of peppers can add a whole new depth of flavor to your salsas; plus, lime juice is a must in my house too! Thank you for reading and commenting...Bon appetit!...better yet, Buen Provecho

paizley from Albuquerque, New Mexico on February 19, 2015:

In my house we love spicy! I make mine with equal amts of tomatillos and jalapenos, a couple of serranos and a habanero. Cumin and Mexican oregano are a must for me and LOTS of lime juice!!!!


Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on May 25, 2014:

Patsybell, thank you very much for reading and commenting. I greatly appreciate your vote, pin and tweet. I hope you have had an opportunity to give this recipe a try...Bon a petit!

Patsy Bell Hobson from zone 6a, Southeast Missouri, USA on April 05, 2014:

This is informative and helpful. I will try this recipe because I love salsa verde and never knew how easy it was. Voted up, useful, pin, tweet.

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on January 22, 2013:

Victoria Lynn, Thank you so much! I appreciate the pin.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on January 06, 2013:

Yum! I love salsa verde, tomatillos, and all these ingredients you mention. Awesome hub. Pinning!!

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on November 01, 2012:

Don Bobbitt, thank you so much! You made my day, thanks for the votes and shares too.

Glimmer Twin Fan, I'm glad you found this and I hope you enjoy the recipe. Thanks for the pin!

Claudia Mitchell on November 01, 2012:

So glad this was shared. We love salsa verde and it's even better made from scratch. Pinning!

Don Bobbitt from Ruskin Florida on November 01, 2012:

Another great and professionally done Hub,Missolive!

Voted UP and Sharing!

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on September 24, 2012:

cclitgirl, sopes! Delicious! I did read your hub and it is fantastic. I highly recommend your sopes hub to all....delicioso! I want some!

Readers, simply click on cclitgirl's hyperlinked name in the comment above and it will take you to all of her fantastic hubs. You can find her sopes recipe and other great ideas there.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on September 20, 2012:

Had to come back and tell you that this hub will go PERFECTLY with my sopes and tomatillo sauce hub. MMM MMM

Marisa Hammond Olivares (author) from Texas on September 02, 2012:

carol7777, thank you so much. We should have a fiesta and buffet of foods. Yum!

carter06, hmmmm, I wonder if they are exported to Australia. It seems like they would possibly be found...maybe canned? I do hope you can locate them. Of course, Australia probably has many wonderful foods we do not have here. I love sharing cuisines, cultures and ideas. Thanks so much for your comment and your great support.

Angel052, thanks so much. Yes, it is delicious. I do hope you get to try it.

ignugent17, I have seen it in WalMart. It is usually near the peppers and/or cilantro. Thanks so much for the vote and support. It is greatly appreciated.

ignugent17 on August 31, 2012:

I don't know if there is tomatillo is walmart. I will try to check it out.

Thanks for sharing this good looking salsa.

Voted up and more.

Angelo52 on August 31, 2012:

Great looking salsa verde. Bet it tastes as good as it looks.

Mary from Cronulla NSW on August 31, 2012:

Hi missolive am enjoying reading some of your hubs and when I saw this one I was curious as I have never heard of tomatillos! This is so interesting as I love salsas but not sure if I can get get them here so will have to substitute with tomatoes...great hub voted UUAI & shared, thank you...cheers

carol stanley from Arizona on August 31, 2012:

As always you make wonderful Mexican food. I look forward to your recipes.

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