Got tomatillos? Use them to make this delicious tomatillo green chili salsa recipe, also known as salsa verde or Mexican green sauce. It’s slightly spicy with some sweet and tart hints and tastes great with chips or on enchiladas, tacos, and bowls (pretend you’re at Chipotle)!
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This week’s posts focus on a veggie that I have surprisingly not used in any recipes on the blog so far: tomatillos! Sure, I’ve incorporated salsa verde in dishes like my Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls and Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken, but I haven’t put up my own recipe for salsa verde (aka tomatillo green chili salsa).
And I think it’s about time I did! PS – for another variation of this salsa, check out the Arugula Salsa Verde in my cookbook.
If you aren’t familiar with tomatillos, they are a type of fruit also known as Mexican husk tomatoes. It’s easy to confuse them with green tomatoes, especially because they look just like tomatoes wrapped in husks, but they are not the same.
Tomatillos have a distinct taste that’s slightly sweet and tart, hence why they are really good to use as a base for a flavorful sauce. They’re typically in season during the late summer and early fall, so it’s a great time of year to cook with them! Keep reading to learn how to make homemade green salsa using tomatillos. For another recipe, check out the Roasted Tomatillo Soup while you’re here!
How to Make Tomatillo Green Chili Salsa
For the full ingredients list and steps, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post. Be sure to read through the following sections if you have questions about tomatillos or want to see my expert tips for making perfect tomatillo green chili salsa.
- Broil the tomatillos and peppers. Remove the husks and stems from the tomatillos, rinse and rub them under cool running water (especially if they’re sticky), pat dry, and place on a baking sheet lined with foil. Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and place them cut side down on the baking sheet. Broil until everything is blistered.
- Combine the broiled vegetables and other ingredients in a food processor.
- Pulse until smooth!
FAQ about Tomatillos
- What do tomatillos feel like when they are ripe? Tomatillos should feel firm to the touch and be tightly wrapped in the husk. If they feel soft or mushy, they are no longer good to use.
- What color should tomatillos be? The husks are usually green with hints of tan when tomatillos are ripe. The fruit itself can be green, purple, or yellow when ripe, but I mostly see green tomatillos at markets and stores.
- Should tomatillos feel sticky? Sometimes the fruit can feel sticky under the husks. If this is the case, it’s completely normal. Just rinse the fruit under running water, rubbing it with your fingers to remove the stickiness.
- How should you store tomatillos? You want to make sure you keep this delicious fruit fresh before making your tomatillo green chili salsa! Store tomatillos in a bag (paper or reusable produce bags both work) in the crisper drawer of the fridge. They may last up to 3 weeks.
- The easiest way to make salsa verde is to use a food processor. I use and love the Cuisinart 11-cup food processor. You can still make this salsa without a food processor, but it will take a longer time. Just chop up everything by hand and mix it all together!
- Feel free to use other types of green chili peppers, such as poblano or serrano peppers. Just keep in mind that the type of pepper you use will dictate how spicy your salsa is. If you don’t want a lot of heat, go easy on the peppers or stick with jalapeños (which are less spicy than serranos).
- Tomatillo green chili salsa lasts for up to 2 weeks in the fridge when stored in a tightly sealed container, or you can freeze it. Transfer to freezer-safe containers, seal tightly, and label before popping in the freezer. For best results, use within 2 months. You can thaw it in the fridge or on the counter.
- Wondering how to use salsa verde? Sub your homemade version for store-bought green salsa in any recipe, like my Vegetarian Enchiladas Verdes, Veggie-Loaded Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken, or Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls. You can also use it as a topping for tacos or nachos, drizzle it on burrito bowls (like my Chicken Fajita Bowls), or eat it with chips. Green salsa can even be used as a marinade for meat or fish. The opportunities are endless!
More Salsa Recipes
Love this tomatillo green chili salsa? Check out the Fresh Garden Salsa Recipe, Homemade Pineapple Jicama Salsa, and Mango Corn Salsa with Black Beans. You may also enjoy the Easy Cilantro Chimichurri Sauce.
I’d love to hear how you like this recipe! Rate/review using the stars on the recipe card or in the comments, and follow the Veg World on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. Looking for something totally different? Browse the recipe library.
Tomatillo Green Chili Salsa
- Food processor (or chop ingredients by hand)
- 1 pound tomatillos - about 12 to 15; husks and stems removed
- 2 jalapeños - halved lengthwise and seeded
- ½ red onion - roughly cut into quarters
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves - more to taste
- 1 lime - juiced; more to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt - more to taste
- Turn on the broil setting on the oven. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place the whole tomatillos and jalapeños (cut side down) on the baking sheet. Cook under the broiler for 7 to 10 minutes until blistered. Remove from the oven.
- While the tomatillos and jalapeños cook, prep the other ingredients.
- Use a spatula to transfer the broiled tomatillos and jalapeños to a food processor. Add the red onion, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
- Pulse until salsa is smooth. Taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Leave a rating or review by tapping the stars on this recipe card (above) or in the comments section (at the end of the post)!
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- To freeze, transfer to freezer-safe containers, seal, label, and store for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter or in the fridge.
- Use in your favorite recipe that calls for salsa verde!
- For more heat, sub spicier green chili peppers (like serranos) for jalapeños.
Enjoy this spicy-yet-sweet recipe! – Lizzie