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Homemade Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)

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Let’s Make Homemade Salsa Verde! Made with tomatillos, this fresh green salsa recipe is good on just about anything. Don’t miss all our favorite ways to use it below! (Naturally vegan, paleo, and gluten-free)

Front view of a jar of homemade salsa verde (green salsa) with fresh cilantro and tortilla chips in the background

Some people are adrenaline junkies. I’m a flavor junkie.

I’m always after seriously amazing flavor, whether that’s a juicy ripe peach in the summer, a spice blend that gets my tastebuds dancing, or a flavorful salsa, dip, or dressing to spoon over whatever I’m eating that day.

Most weekends, I make at least one flavor booster that I can use for salads, veggies, or main dishes throughout the week. It’s an easy way to add instant flavor to raw veggies or salads, or spice up proteins or side dishes.

As a southwest-living girl, one of my favorite condiments is a good batch of salsa, and this homemade salsa verde recipe doesn’t disappoint.

Unlike red tomato-based salsa recipes, salsa verde (green salsa) gets its gorgeous color and incredible flavor from tomatillos. The end result is smoky, tangy, bright, and special. It’s CRAZY easy to blend up and adds a bright, happy flavor to any meal or snack of the day.

Here’s what you need to make your own homemade salsa verde (and some of our favorite ways to use it)…

Tomatillos being peeled from their husks on a white background Overhead view of a jar of homemade salsa verde (green salsa) with chips and cilantro


  • FRESH TOMATILLOS. Fresh tomatillos are the base of our homemade salsa verde recipe. These little beauties are actually more closely related to gooseberries than tomatoes, and they have a bright, tart flavor that mellows and deepens when cooked. (Can’t find fresh tomatillos? Check out the FAQ!)
  • ONION + GARLIC. A little onion and garlic add depth and dimension to our homemade green salsa.
  • JALAPEÑOS OR SERRANO CHILES. Jalapeños are my go-to for salsa verde, though if you like things hotter, you can use serrano peppers instead. (They are hot!) To take some of the bite out of jalapeños, remove the seeds and white pith inside.
  • CILANTRO. Fresh cilantro is a salsa verde staple! I love the fresh flavor it brings to the table.
  • LIME JUICE (OPTIONAL). You don’t *need* to add lime juice to your salsa verde (in fact, many recipes leave it out), but I love the brightness it adds to the other flavors.
  • SALT. The real key for most salsa recipes I’ve found is using plenty of salt. If your salsa is tasting flat or not quite *there,* keep adding salt.

Turn Up The Heat! If you want to turn up the spice level, you can add extra jalapeno peppers, or add other green chili peppers as well (like anaheim, serrano, or poblano)

Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken Ready to Eat
Three breakfast tacos on a white plate with a small bowl of salsa verde


  1. WITH CHIPS AS A DIP! It’s tough to get more classic than chips and salsa! Salty tortilla chips + tangy, spicy tomatillo salsa verde is just AMAZING. (PS – if you make your own homemade tortilla chips, try them with lime salt!)
  2. OVER BREAKFAST TACOS (OR ANY TACOS!). I’m all about that taco life, and while many kinds of tacos taste great with salsa verde, my favorite is with my Potato & Egg Breakfast Tacos. The seasoned potatoes + egg + goodies taste incredible with homemade green salsa.
  3. STIRRED INTO SOUP. One of my FAVORITE ways to use homemade salsa verde is stirring it into a pot of soup, like this Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Soup, or my Salsa Verde Chicken Chili. It adds so much flavor without a lot of fuss!
  4. IN A QUICK INSTANT POT CHICKEN RECIPE! If time’s tight, but you want something yummy, my 4-Ingredient Instant Pot Salsa Verde Chicken is a mega-flavorful weeknight dinner that’s made even better when you have homemade salsa to use!
  5. STIRRED INTO BEANS OR RICE. Or, stir a spoonful or two (or more!) into canned or Instant Pot black beans, or simply cooked rice to add a super-quick flavor boost.
  6. WITH SCRAMBLED EGGS OR GRILLED CHICKEN. The beauty of having a yummy sauce, dip, or dressing like this on hand is that it’s so simple to add flavor to even the most basic foods. Add a spoonful of salsa verde to your morning scrambled eggs or some simply grilled or baked chicken to instantly up the flavor!
  7. FOR GREEN ENCHILADAS OR SMOTHERED BURRITOS. Smother your burritos or enchiladas with this yummy green sauce before popping into the oven to bake or broil. SO GOOD!
Overhead view of a plate of baked tortilla chips with a bowl of homemade salsa verde (green salsa)
Jar of Homemade Salsa Verde (Green Salsa) with fresh cilantro on the side.


HOW TO CHOOSE RIPE TOMATILLOS. You’re looking for tomatillos that have mostly filled their husks. You want the husk itself not to be in rough shape–if it’s brown, limp, shriveled, squishy, or spotty, it’s not a great tomatillo. (Remember that tomatillos are NOT the same thing as green tomatoes!)

WHERE DO YOU FIND TOMATILLOS IN THE STORE? It will naturally vary store to store, but at my grocery stores, I can often find fresh tomatillos near the tomatoes and avocados. (They’re often kept close to other salsa or guacamole ingredients.)

HELP! I CAN’T FIND TOMATILLOS. CAN I USE CANNED TOMATILLOS FOR SALSA VERDE? Absolutely. The flavor isn’t as vibrant, but they’ll totally do in a pinch. I use canned tomatillos all the time when fresh tomatillos aren’t available or I forgot to pick them up. La Costeña, El Mexicano, and Embasa brands have typically been winners for us! An 11 oz. can of tomatillos is a good substitute for 1 pound of fresh tomatillos. See the notes section in the recipe for using canned tomatillos.

CAN YOU FREEZE SALSA VERDE? You can! Just know that the texture will be *slightly* softer upon thawing. (This usually isn’t a big problem for me.)

HOW LONG WILL THIS SALSA VERDE STAY FRESH? Fresh salsa usually lasts about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container or jar for the best results!

Close up view of a tortilla chip being dipped into homemade salsa verde (green salsa)
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Close up view of a tortilla chip being dipped into homemade salsa verde (green salsa)

Homemade Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)

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  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: About 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 cups salsa 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Made with tomatillos, this fresh Mexican salsa verde (green salsa) is good on just about anything! (Naturally vegan, paleo, and gluten-free)


  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh tomatillos (About 1214 tomatillos)
  • 12 jalapeño peppers, sliced in half lengthwise (remove seeds and ribs for mild salsa)
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/21 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (this is really to taste. Feel free to add less or more)


  1. Arrange an oven rack 4-5 inches or so from the heat coils on top and preheat the broiler.
  2. If you haven’t already, peel away and discard the papery husks from the tomatillos. Rinse the peeled tomatillos off in a colander to help remove any sticky residue or dirt. Shake off any extra water.
  3. Place peeled, rinsed tomatillos on a baking sheet lined with foil.
  4. Slice jalapeño pepper in half lengthwise and use a small sharp knife to remove the stem, white membranes, and seeds if you’d like your salsa more mild. (Leave the seeds and membranes in if you want your salsa spicy)
  5. Place jalapeno halves cut-side down on the baking sheet with the tomatillos.
  6. Broil (watching carefully! Things cook fast!) for 4-5 minutes per side, until the skins of the tomatillos and jalapeño are blistered and charred. Use tongs to carefully flip the tomatillos and pepper over and broil an additional 3-4 minutes or until the second side is also charred. (Note: if your peppers char faster than the tomatillos, you can flip and remove them as needed. This is why you want to stay close by and watch them!)
  7. Removed charred veggies from the broiler and turn off the oven.
  8. Add onion and garlic to a blender or food processor and immediately place the hot tomatillos and 1/2 the jalapeño in the blender on top of the onion and garlic. (The heat from the veggies will take out some of the onion-y bite.)
  9. Let the veggies cool to room temperature (to avoid hot splatters or burns) and add cilantro, 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice, and salt to the blender.
  10. Blend the salsa to your desired consistency (I like mine pretty smooth, but you can do just a few pulses to break things up if you prefer more texture). Taste and add additional jalapeño, salt, or lime juice, to taste.
  11. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator 4-5 days.


*USING CANNED TOMATILLOS? Canned tomatillos have already been cooked, so there’s no need to add them to the oven. Instead, just drain off the excess water and add them right to the blender.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: About 10 minutes
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Blender
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex

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