Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Made with roasted tomatillos, this homemade salsa verde is zesty, spicy, and bright. It's SO much better than store-bought. Pass the tortilla chips!

Tomatillo salsa verde

Try this homemade salsa verde recipe once, and you’ll never get the store-bought kind again. It calls for a short list of fresh ingredients: tomatillos, serrano chiles, garlic, onion, cilantro, and lime. They give it an amazing zesty, tangy, bright, and spicy flavor that’ll have you scooping it up with chip after chip (after chip). And speaking of all those chips, another reason I love THIS tomatillo salsa vs. tomatillo salsa from a jar is its amazing texture. It’s thick and silky, which means that it’ll coat a dipped tortilla chip (or even a batch of enchiladas)—no watery salsa verde here!

My inspiration for this recipe came from the many, many salsas I tried during our years in Austin. They taught me just how flavorful homemade salsa could be, and they got me curious about making my own. I hope this recipe does the same for you. Once you start making your own tomatillo salsa verde, you won’t look back!

Salsa verde recipe ingredients

Salsa Verde Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this salsa verde recipe:

  • Tomatillos – You might think they’re just green tomatoes, but fun fact: they’re not! Like tomatoes, tomatillos are in the nightshade family, but they’re actually a type of ground cherry. Their bright green skin is covered in a sticky coating, which is surrounded by a papery husk. Their flavor is super-tangy, which gives this salsa a delicious kick.
  • Onion and garlic – For sweet/savory depth of flavor.
  • Jalapeño or serrano peppers – For heat. Add more or less depending on your spice tolerance.
  • Avocado oil – Or another neutral oil, for richness.
  • Fresh lime juice – For bright, zesty flavor.
  • Cilantro – It adds refreshing flecks of green.
  • And sea salt – To make all the flavors pop!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Roasted tomatillos, chiles, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet

How to Make Salsa Verde

The first step in this homemade salsa verde recipe is roasting the veggies. Why?

  1. It makes the tomatillos softer, sweeter, and juicier.
  2. It gives everything a little char, which adds depth of flavor to the salsa.

Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse to remove the stickiness. Pat them dry and place them on a baking sheet. Peel and chop the onion into big chunks. Add it to the baking sheet along with the whole peppers. Drizzle the veggies with oil and season them with salt.

Wrap the (unpeeled) garlic in a piece of foil with a drizzle of oil. Place it on the baking sheet too!

Roast in a 450°F oven until the tomatillos are juicy and browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tomatillo salsa verde ingredients in a food processor

Next, blend the salsa. Unwrap and peel the garlic, and remove the stems from the peppers. Place both in a food processor with the tomatillos, onion, avocado oil, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Process until combined.

Note: If you’re sensitive to spice, I would start by adding just 1 pepper (or even 1/2!) to the food processor. It’s much easier to add more to taste than to take it out!

Tomatillo salsa verde in a food processor

Finally, taste and adjust. The really fun thing about making homemade salsa is that you can make it just how you like it! If it’s too thick, blend in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. If you want it brighter, add more lime juice. Not enough salt? Mix in another pinch.

When you can’t stop eating it straight from the food processor, it’s just right.

Salsa verde in a bowl on platter with tortilla chips

How to Use Tomatillo Salsa Verde

This simplest way to serve this tomatillo salsa verde is as a dip. Try pairing it with homemade tortilla chips (or taquitos) for a next-level appetizer or snack!

But that’s just one of many ways to use this zesty green salsa. Here are a few more of my favorites:

How do you like to use roasted tomatillo salsa? Let me know in the comments!

Salsa verde recipe

More Favorite Salsas and Dips

If you love this tomatillo salsa verde recipe, try one of these homemade dips or salsas next:

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

rate this recipe:
4.91 from 22 votes
The BEST salsa verde recipe! Made with simple, fresh ingredients, this zesty green salsa is delicious as a dip or with Mexican dishes like tacos, enchiladas, and more. Find serving suggestions in the post above.


  • 9 medium tomatillos
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 to 2 serrano or jalapeño peppers*
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • teaspoons sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • tortilla chips, for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse to remove the stickiness. Pat dry and place on the baking sheet with the onion and peppers. Drizzle with avocado oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Wrap the garlic cloves in a piece of foil with a drizzle of oil and add to the baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tomatillos are juicy and browned.
  • Remove the garlic from the foil and peel it. Remove the stems from the peppers.
  • In a food processor, place the tomatillos, onion, peppers, garlic, avocado oil, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Process until combined. If the salsa is too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency. Season to taste and serve.
  • Store leftover salsa in the fridge for up to 5 days.


*Serranos and jalapeños can vary widely in spice level. If you’re sensitive to spice, start with just 1, or even ½, pepper and add more to taste.


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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Tom Michalisko

    4 stars
    Just made this. I’ve watched Mexican chefs make this type of salsa and they always roast the vegetables stove top. So, being grilling season, I grilled them. Got a really nice char on the peppers, onions, and tomatillos. Seems like my jalapeños or maybe not very spicy even though I included the seeds membranes. It’s in the refrigerator and I’m hoping that the flavors meld a little bit overnight and it kicks in. Little heavy on the line for my taste but that may have been that I was heavy handed. Overall, the flavor is really good though.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Tom, thanks for your comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed the salsa. We love to grill the vegetables for this recipe too.

  2. Nina

    I know it sounds like a silly question, but would subbing tomatoes for tomatillos (which they don’t sell here) work at all, or does it change the taste too much?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Nina, in that case, I would recommend making one of our other salsa recipes instead. This homemade salsa uses fresh tomatoes.

  3. Robin Briggs

    5 stars
    This is a perfect go-to recipe for tomatillo salsa/sauce. I roasted all of the vegs and garlic in my (rather large) air fryer/baker/toasted/broiler with a bit of EVOO and sea salt, then threw them all in my food processor with the cilantro and fresh lime juice and a bit of the zest. Will be using it for chicken enchiladas tonight!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  4. Mary Gibson

    Do you leave the skin on after roasting

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Mary, you should remove the husks from the tomatillos before roasting them and peel the onion before roasting it. Peel the garlic after you roast it. I hope this helps!

  5. Len

    5 stars
    First time making this and I’ll never buy the jar stuff again love love love it thank you for sharing ❤️

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  6. Vera

    5 stars
    This is my second time making it and time for a review . . . I used tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic from my garden. Onion was store bought. I grilled everything instead of roasting in the oven. The flavor is amazing! I’ve served it with mini naans for dipping, added to fish tacos, chicken quesadillas – the possibilities are endless.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Vera, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  7. Peach

    5 stars
    Fantastic! Added grape tomatoes. Tripled the recipe. Served over tamales. Nom nom nom.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  8. Stephanie

    5 stars
    This salsa was incredible! It tasted just like favorite Aldi Verde.
    One problem though…I stored it in the fridge and it coagulated and tasted bitter afterwards. Did I do something wrong? I put it in a glass ball jar with a wax paper sealed top.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! Mine does thicken in the fridge overnight, you could try letting it come closer to room temp before serving, or stir in a little water or a neutral oil, like avocado oil. I haven’t noticed a bitter taste (it could be the wax? A glass jar on it’s own should be fine).

      • Stephanie Moseley

        I’ll try it without the wax top next time. Have you ever canned this?
        I’m wondering if storing at room temp would help. I’m a prepper with limited time so I like to make stuff ahead of time.

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Stephanie, I hope it goes well! I haven’t canned them, I don’t really have experience canning 🙂

  9. Katie

    What about canning it?

  10. melissa

    5 stars
    my csa this week included tomatillo, jalapeño and cilantro. this salsa was the perfect recipe to make! – delicious and so easy! thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  11. Keisha Wright

    5 stars
    Hi there! Do you have any tips for how to save it once it’s made? Do I let it cool off and then refrigerate? Refrigerate right away? Tips for preserving? I JUST made it and it’s AH-MAZING!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Keisha, I’m glad you loved it! Let it cool and then store in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.

      • Cheryl

        Can this be frozen? I am doubling the recipe. But know it will not be used up in a week. Thanks

        • Jeanine Donofrio

          Hi Cherly, I think it might work, but I haven’t tried (it disappears quickly around here).

        • Vera

          Yes! I make and freeze this all the time

  12. Laura

    5 stars
    This was so good! I didn’t add peppers because I can’t handle spicy but it turned out well. I used it for taco lasagna instead of my usual store bought salsa and it was so much better. I’ll be using this salsa from now on.

  13. Karen

    5 stars
    Made it twice already. The second time I added roasted and fresh tomatoes, used a Scotch Bonnet pepper (super spicy)and an entire garlic bulb but also added more tomatillos. Absolutely delicious. So fast and easy.

  14. Carol

    5 stars
    Best salsa ever! Even my picky family loved it. So easy to make.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you all loved it!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.