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Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

This easy salsa verde–green table sauce–is a bright blend of green tomatillos with cilantro, serrano chiles, onion, garlic, and a little bit of salt–that’s all!

Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

Tomatillos (toe-mah-tee-yos), little citrus-y tomatoes hiding in a paper thin husk, are the primary ingredient in green Mexican sauces. Mexican green salsas differ in their ratios of chiles to tomatillos.

Serrano chiles with their bright fresh flavor and are first choice for this green table salsa. If you substitute jalapeño chiles your salsa will be remarkably different in flavor, though excellent as well.

For some salsa verdes, the tomatillos, chiles and onions are charred first. If cilantro is not your thing, you might want to try this green tomatillo sauce that I serve with spinach patties.

This spicy green tomatillo sauce is considered a raw salsa verde and is perfect for chip dipping. Thought it’s not just for dipping, try it with eggs and grilled veggies too!

This other salsa verde is considered a green enchilada sauce and it’s the perfect sauce for vegetarian spinach and arugula enchiladas!

tomatillos with husks for Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

Fresh cilantro for Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

serrano and jalapeño chiles for Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce

This is salsa, so don’t skimp on the chiles–you want salsa to have some picante heat! Taste and add more if the chiles are mild or you like spicier salsas.

Because tomatillos have a high pectin count, raw salsa verde jells and thickens. Thin with water if after a day or so the sauce thicken more than you want.

Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

Serve your salsa verde–green table sauce–with brilliant red hibiscus margaritas and you’ve got yourself a party!

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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5 from 1 vote
Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins

This easy green salsa is better than any you can buy in a jar. Serve with tortilla chips. It's absolutely delicious as a sauce on eggs, enchiladas, tacos, tempeh, grilled meats, and vegetables. Makes about 1 1/2 cups salsa.

Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 19 kcal
  • 20 tomatillos (see note)
  • ½ cup water, or more, as needed
  • 2 to 3 serrano chiles (see note)
  • ¼ white onion, cut in ¼-inch dice (about ½ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons (or more) cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos. Rinse to take away the sticky residue—you will know what I mean when you feel it. Place the tomatillos in a saucepan and cover with water. Cook until the tomatillos are just soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Alternatively, and more traditionally, char the tomatillos in a hot cast-iron skillet until they are soft. (Mexican cooks often roast the onion and garlic at the same time. The char brings smoky depth, but if you want to keep it simple, skip this additional step—your salsa will still be terrific.)
  3. Place the softened tomatillos and about ½ cup water in a blender jar.
  4. Cut the top off the serrano chiles and cut them in half lengthwise. Scrape the seeds away unless you like maximum picante heat. (Grapefruit spoons are the perfect utensils for holding chiles while you scrape.) Chop coarsely and add to blender. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, and salt.
  5. Puree until the sauce is smooth. Taste and add more chile and/or salt if needed.
Nutrition Facts
Salsa Verde—Green Table Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 19
% Daily Value*
Sodium 98mg4%
Potassium 155mg4%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Vitamin A 65IU1%
Vitamin C 6.8mg8%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  • Patricia Constable

    Welcome Home to a little snow for the last day of skiing the Canyons. Could get a free pass for you if you or You and Robbie are interested. Who knows what the spring conditioned will have become with this somewhat wintry day. Look forward to seeing you both soon. xoxo, PC & DC Reply · 13 April, 2014

  • I loved hearing about your drive home. Fun photos and a great recipe. Tomatillo’s are at our Santa Barbara farmers market now. Thanks again for the thoughtful gift! Reply · 13 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Maura,
      I just saw a jar of guacamole spices–Frontera brand, at the store. The ingredients are tomatillos and chiles–basically my salsa verde recipe.
      Yes! Oh She Glows! Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • Barbara Hill

    You can easily grow tomatillos in PC. They like cold & easily reseed. I will get you some starts when ready Reply · 13 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Oh I would love to grow tomatillos here in the high country and will–thanks for letting me know. Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • kym

    I am grateful for the time I got to spend with you in Baja and that you are safely home and maybe Letty’s Kitchen might be a little less distracted? Love you L & R, Kym Reply · 14 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Kym,
      Yes, I photographed 2 recipes yesterday and you will see them soon. Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • Not a bad way to travel indeed. Funny. But I have a roasted version of this salsa on my blog today. GREG Reply · 14 April, 2014

  • That looks simple and delicious! My kind of recipe. Thanks, Letty! Reply · 15 April, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Karen and Greg. Yes, use roasted tomatillos if you find the extra time, for even more flavor. See Sippity Sup’s recipe too. Reply · 16 April, 2014

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