Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

While many types of green salsa feature cooked or roasted tomatillos, this one is a simple mixture of fresh ingredients that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes.  But it’s not just the ease of preparation that makes this salsa great – I absolutely love the texture and refreshing flavor of the fresh tomatillos.

Fresh Tomatillos

Beneath their thin, papery husks, tomatillos look much like small green tomatoes.  But unlike their sweet and juicy cousins, tomatillos are mostly eaten while still firm and tart.  Choose tomatillos that are small, firm, and bright green with fresh-looking husks.  They can be stored on the counter for a few days or in the fridge for a couple of weeks.  Leave the husks on the fruit until ready to use.  To prepare tomatillos, remove the husk and stem and rinse off the remaining sticky residue that coats the fruit.

Tomatillos form the base of many delicious Latin American sauces, but I think their bright flavor really shines in this simple salsa verde.  If you’re new to using tomatillos this is a perfect place to start.

Salsa Ingredients

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
adapted from Mexican Everyday
serves four

1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
2 serrano peppers or 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped*
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt
squeeze of fresh lime juice**

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine and get juices flowing.  Blend on low speed until a coarse puree is formed.  Pour into a dish, taste and add more salt or lime if desired.  Salsa can be thinned with a bit of water if desired.

Recipe Notes: *This amount of chiles produces a medium-spicy salsa; if you’d like it milder, use only one serrano or half a jalapeño.  If you want an extremely mild salsa (no heat), remove seeds from peppers.  **The lime juice is entirely optional as the tomatillos will lend their own tartness to the salsa.  I like lime with cilantro, so I always use a bit.

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46 Comments
  1. amanda

    mmmm!!! my FAVORITE! and pretty much exactly how i make mine too. so simple and SOOOOO delicious!

    9:49 am  May 12th, 2010
  2. sarah @ syrupandhoney

    I’ve been wanting to purchase that cookbook – how do you like it?

    10:04 am  May 12th, 2010
  3. Allison

    I am in love with green salsa and haven’t found the perfect version yet – I can’t wait to give this one a try!

    10:09 am  May 12th, 2010
  4. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

    I’ve never seed tomatillos at my grocery store. Where can you find them?

    10:17 am  May 12th, 2010
  5. Haley J.

    Hurrah! A salsa verde recipe that does not roast the tomatillos. I love all forms of the stuff, but I really adore the tang and bite of the fresh tomatillos. Beautiful picture, too.

    10:22 am  May 12th, 2010
  6. Steph

    Green salsa is my favorite! I will definitely be trying this at home…for chips, tacos and to put over breakfast eggs and papas(potatoes). yum!

    1:36 pm  May 12th, 2010
  7. Kathy

    great photos ! I want to try this ….

    2:07 pm  May 12th, 2010
  8. DessertForTwo

    This tastes like summer on a chip to me! :)

    2:58 pm  May 12th, 2010
  9. katrina

    Ohhhhh, does that look good! I sure hope I’ll remember this recipe come August, which is the only time I see tomatillos.

    3:38 pm  May 12th, 2010
  10. Dustin

    I was curious what wordless wednesday was going to be today….

    Where did you get the rustic table? or is that a prop for photos?

    5:11 pm  May 12th, 2010
  11. Kim Hill

    I just started subscribing to your blog and I love it! Your pictures are beautiful. I just made your Red Velvet Cake yesterday and it’s gorgeous!

    3:15 am  May 13th, 2010
  12. Kalyn

    I’ve been wavering about whether to plant tomatillos in the garden again this year (the plants get huge and produce madly, and you have to have 2 plants for them to set any fruit.) I think this has convinced me though!

    6:04 am  May 13th, 2010
  13. The Teacher Cooks

    I think that I see a verde sauce in my future. Thanks for the easy recipe.

    9:03 am  May 13th, 2010
  14. Bin

    I’ve been wavering about whether to plant tomatillos in the garden again this year (the plants get huge and produce madly, and you have to have 2 plants for them to set any fruit.) I think this has convinced me though!
    +1

    2:20 pm  May 13th, 2010
  15. Penny

    wish I was still close enough to benefit from your cooking…..I would sure love to taste test that salsa!

    2:45 pm  May 13th, 2010
  16. Alta

    Oooh, with this I can feel summer coming! I also love Mexican Everyday – one of my favorite cookbooks.

    3:01 pm  May 13th, 2010
  17. triolus

    Been following your site for a while now, and this is an awesome recipe! I’ve made salsa like this before, both for chips and to make chicken tomatillo stew. I love tomatillos!

    6:36 pm  May 13th, 2010
  18. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    This looks wonderful! I love tomatillo salsa, so I’ll have to give it a try very soon!

    7:16 am  May 14th, 2010
  19. Friday Favorites – Episode 54 | my kitchen addiction

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    10:01 am  May 14th, 2010
  20. Julie

    I have always wanted to make tomatillo salsa, this looks like a great recipe to start with! Thanks! Love your blog and the pictures you take!

    7:54 pm  May 14th, 2010
  21. Lisa

    My son who is 21 loves to cook.. he loves to cook things that are not in my culinary world LOL. he has coaxed me to try many new things and this was no exception. So, today he us lunch, burritos to be exact with this tomatillo sauce . I must say very very good.. Very fresh tasting. Thanks for the great recipe

    12:15 pm  May 16th, 2010
  22. Pearl

    the flavour sounds inspiring.

    10:06 am  May 17th, 2010
  23. betsy

    i make a similar green salsa, but i add a chopped avocado. it makes it very good and just a bit thcker.

    10:54 am  May 17th, 2010
  24. Jimmy

    That looks yummy….Look forward to making it soon!

    7:50 am  May 18th, 2010
  25. Jennifer Jo

    Made this this morning and it’s out-of-this-world DELICIOUS! It’s my first time working with tomatillos and I’m tickled pink.

    6:44 am  May 29th, 2010
  26. Jennifer Jo

    Now I posted the recipe—so, so yummy. Thanks!

    7:18 am  Jun 10th, 2010
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  29. Festin Foods

    Wow this is really great! My family and I actually sell sauce. It’s so tasty. If you all want you can check us out at http://www.festinfoods.com. We have many types of sauces too, like a yummy blackberry chipotle sauce.

    4:31 pm  Oct 11th, 2010
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  31. Farmgirl Susan

    Yum! One more reason to plant a big patch of tomatillos in the garden this summer. Bookmarking – and dreaming about – this fresh and easy recipe now. ;)

    10:54 am  Feb 12th, 2011
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  34. jenniab

    Perfect! Thank you for this — wanted fresh tomatillo recipe, not roasted. Your photos are beautful.

    9:28 pm  Sep 2nd, 2011
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    4:59 am  Feb 27th, 2012
  36. DomesticRockstar

    Tried this yesterday and it was so delicious! Thanks

    8:13 pm  Mar 26th, 2012
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  38. Rupert

    Wow, thats some great looking tomatillo salsa. I cannot wait to try this recipe out. Thank you very much. I wonder how it compares to the tomatillo salsa i purchase online (its the closest to fresh tomatillo salsa you can get in a jar). Going in with high expectations since the other reviews are so great! Thanks

    http://gmbfoods.com/products-page-2/garlic-survival-co/tomatillo-garlic-salsa/

    1:14 pm  Jan 17th, 2013
  39. Andrea at Opulent Cottage

    Just made this, and it is soooo good! Thanks for a great recipe!
    Cheers, Andrea

    5:29 pm  Jul 9th, 2013
  40. Nicole

    Thanks for the feedback, Andrea!

    6:37 am  Jul 10th, 2013
  41. Mary

    I see I’m a bit late on finding your website, but this is literally the best thing I’ve made in the past week. I’ve been on a crazy vegetarian cooking spree lately and this has been my only real success. I made this today and my family loved it! My brother said he likes it better than the taqueria verde salsa, and my mom made nachos that we had a hard time sharing. My dad (aka the pickiest eater on the planet) was even impressed. Thank you so much :) I’m not afraid of salsas anymore! And my mom told me I HAVE to make it for my brother’s rehearsal dinner that we’re hosting.

    1:03 am  Jul 12th, 2013
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