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How to Make Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Four ingredients, dark-roasted for flavor-boosting char, then whirled in the blender with a handful of verdant green cilantro, this smoky roasted green tomatillo salsa is traditional, authentic, and simple to make. To get salsa verde this good, it has to be homemade!

Homemade Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa | Letty's Kitchen

Roasting softens the tomatillos and heightens their lemony fruity sweetness. Grilled or broiled, you decide on how much magical smokiness to give your salsa, by roasting the ingredients lightly, or roasting until they just about blacken! You can see in the photos I went for dark char this round!

charred ingredients for Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa

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How many chiles you include, and whether or not you discard their seeds and veins, regulates the salsa’s spiciness. This recipe has you keep the seeds and veins intact, though feel free to cut those spicy parts out–your salsa will still have citrusy chile flavor, with less heat.

ready to roast ingredients for Homemade Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa

With just one chile, I think the milder spiciness is on the money, but Robbie tolerates a whole lot more and swears one chile is not enough. As in, if you like the hot stuff, use the second chile. 😉

This traditional salsa verde recipe comes from Seasons of My Heart cooking school in Oaxaca Mexico. Right out the school’s patio door, a couple of rather large (2-foot wide) round clay comals sit atop carefully tended fires, and there we roasted our salsa ingredients. At home, char yours on a grill, under the oven broiler, or even stovetop in a cast iron skillet.

roasting ingredients over comal at Seasons of My Heart cooking school Homemade Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa

Smoky, herby, and tangy-sweet, homemade roasted green tomatillo salsa spices up life! It takes chipping and dipping to a new level, for sure. Plus, we love it on colorful tacos, breakfast eggs, green enchiladas, quesadillas, or simply to flavor a bowl of tender black beans.

Homemade Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa with tortilla chips and tequila snifter

  • You’ll find a trio more salsa verde recipes here on this blog, using varying ingredient ratios and cooking methods. In this tomatillo “table sauce”, the tomatillos are boiled instead of roasted.
  • Tomatillos are also boiled for green enchilada sauce, and after the ingredients are blended together, the sauce gets a brief sauté.
  • Still another salsa verde includes vegetable broth but no cilantro, and it drapes over the most incredible spinach “tortas” you’ll ever taste.

roasted under broiler ingredients for Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa

Homemade Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa recipe notes:

  • Tomatillos are sometimes called green tomatoes, maybe because they resemble a small green tomato, except that they have a thin papery husk.
  • You might also want to try my authentic Mexican red enchilada sauce. Or my shortcut chile chocolate mole.

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Homemade Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa with tortilla chips and tequila snifter
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5 from 2 votes

How to Make Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Super versatile! Enjoy this easy homemade salsa with chips, enchiladas, quesadillas, tacos, and eggs. Makes 2 cups salsa. Keeps about a week in the refrigerator.
Prep Time20 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Component
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan
Servings: 2 cups.


  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 or 2 serrano chiles
  • 1/2 large onion, outer skin removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled but kept whole
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Place the tomatillos, chile, the half onion, and the garlic on a vegetable grilling tray. Grill over medium high flame, turning the veggies over as they blacken. Grill until the tomatillos begin to soften. The garlic and chile will be done first--pull them off the grill. Alternatively, line a baking sheet with foil. Roast the tomatillos and chiles close to the broiler flame, until slightly blackened on all sides. You will need to move things around to get them evenly charred.
  • If you broiled the tomatillos instead of charring on the grill, you will want to char the onion and garlic in a hot cast iron skillet or comal. On a stovetop, heat the comal or cast iron skillet on high flame. Toast the garlic on all sides, and the onions, cut side down until nicely charred.
  • Puree all the charred veggies together in a blender. Add the cilantro and salt; blending just until there are bits of cilantro throughout the salsa.
  • Pour into a jar. Keep refrigerated.


  • Scrape out and discard the seeds and veins for less picante spice.
  • Try 1 ½ to 2 chiles, with or without the seeds and veins, for spicy hot.
  • Homemade salsa verde keeps about a week in the refrigerator.
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