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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 in a blue-rimmed Mexican salsa bowl. Wooden spoon. Chips in background.

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!

roasted tomatillos, onion and chile, with dark charred color. on red plate.

CLICK HERE to Pin How to Make Roasted Green Tomatillo Salsa.

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-- ftomatillos onion, garlic and serrano chile on grill pan

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 (affiliate link) 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.

Letty, roasting ingredients over comal at Seasons of My Heart cooking school

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.

Salsa with tortilla chips and tequila snifter on red and rainbow colored napkins.

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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  • Melissa

    This turned out amazing! I used 1 Serrano and 1 jalapeño. I did not take out any seeds and it was a little spicy, so I added half a roasted poblano and half a roasted tomato. It balanced out really nicely. Thanks for this recipe! Reply · 20 September, 2021

    • Thank you Melissa! You made my day. I so glad you like the salsa! Reply · 20 September, 2021

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