Authentic Salsa Verde Recipe | Mexican Please

04.06.2022 0 Comments

Nothing will transform your kitchen more than having go-to recipes for the two pillars of Mexican cuisine: red sauce and green sauce.

Today it’s the Green Sauce on center stage.  Otherwise known as Tomatillo-Serrano sauce, or Salsa Verde, or Mexico’s #2 salsa. 

A homemade green salsa can transform eggs, carnitas, and enchiladas into something otherworldly. Getting good at whipping up this authentic Salsa Verde opens up infinite possibilities! mexicanplease.com

A homemade green sauce can transform eggs, slow cooker carnitas, and enchiladas into something otherworldly– so getting good at whipping up this beauty opens up loads of instant possibilities.

Salsa Verde Recipe

Most supermarkets these days have a basket of tomatillos tucked away in the produce section.

green tomatillos beauty shot

If you’re new to tomatillos, pull open the husk at the grocery store and buy the ones that are taut and greenish on the inside. If they are pale or mushy they are past their prime.  (What is a Tomatillo?)

better husk opening reveal green tomatillo

Note:  If you’re in an area where fresh tomatillos are hard to come by, you can always use canned tomatillos.  Yes, it’ll be a slight step down in quality, but the results are still far superior than using storebought salsa.  And don’t worry about roasting tomatillos out of the can, it doesn’t have the same effect as roasting fresh tomatillos.

OK, got 4 tomatillos handy?  Pull the husks off, give them a good rinse, and cut out the stems.

And now we’ll add:

1 serrano pepper, de-stemmed and cut in half
½ white onion (yellow is OK)
1 clove garlic, peeled
10 sprigs cilantro

A homemade green salsa can transform eggs, carnitas, and enchiladas into something otherworldly. Getting good at whipping up this authentic Salsa Verde opens up infinite possibilities! mexicanplease.com

Roasting the tomatillos will lower the acidity and concentrate the flavors, so we’ll put them in the oven at 400F.  (Out latest post shows other roasting methods you can use to make this Salsa.)

tomatillos before roasting for salsa verde

In about 10-15 minutes they’ll start to turn army green, that means they’re done:

tomatillos after roasting in oven

Into the blender they go along with ½ onion, garlic, cilantro (using the stems in Mexico is the norm), and only 1/2 of the serrano pepper.  You could also use a molcajete to make the salsa.

salsa verde blender with one half serrano

Why only half of the serrano?  Because only you know your preferred heat level.  So I always recommend adding heat incrementally the first few times you make this sauce.  (How hot are serrano peppers?)

Pulse blend and taste for heat level.  Not enough?  Keep adding serrano until it tastes right to you.

(Note:  if you are sensitive to spicy foods then you can start by adding 1/4 of the serrano and taste-testing.)

A homemade green salsa can transform eggs, carnitas, and enchiladas into something otherworldly. Getting good at whipping up this authentic Salsa Verde opens up infinite possibilities! mexicanplease.com

And that’s it!  You just made the second most popular sauce in the history of Mexican cooking in less than 20 minutes.

Having this sauce on standby in your kitchen is a gamechanger.

A homemade green salsa can transform eggs, carnitas, and enchiladas into something otherworldly. Getting good at whipping up this authentic Salsa Verde opens up infinite possibilities! mexicanplease.com

Sure, it does well next to a bowl of chips.  But it really shines when used generously in breakfast burritos, or gooped on top of burritos, or smothering pork carnitas.

One last note:  you’ll typically find serranos next to jalapenos in the produce section, but if your local markets don’t carry them you can substitute jalapenos for the serranos and you’ll get a similar result.

Buen Provecho.

salsa verde in jar green sauce

Tomatillo-Serrano Sauce (Salsa Verde) Step-by-Step

Getting good at whipping up this Green Sauce opens up loads of possibilities in the kitchen. Use it generously on eggs, enchiladas, carnitas and burritos.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4 (2 cups)

Calories: 19kcal

Author: Patrick Calhoun | Mexican Please

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium-sized tomatillos
  • 1 serrano pepper
  • 1/2 white onion (yellow is OK)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10-12 sprigs cilantro
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Pull the husks off the tomatillos and give them a good rinse.  Cut the stems out of the tomatillos.

  • Roast the tomatillos in a 400F oven for 10-20 minutes or until they start to turn army green in color.  

  • Add the tomatillos to a blender along with 1/2 onion, 1 peeled garlic clove, 10-12 sprigs cilantro (using the upper stems is fine), and 1/4 of the serrano pepper.  (Be sure to give the cilantro and serrano a good rinse.)

  • Pulse blend and taste for heat level.  If you want more spice add another quarter of serrano.  Keep adding serrano until it tastes “right” to you. 

  • Salt to taste (I typically do not add much salt).  

  • Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

Notes

Always use caution when handling hot chiles.  I use my hands and just avoid touching my eyes or nose.  More tips on handling hot chiles. 
I highly recommend adding the serrano pepper incrementally the first few times you make this sauce.  
After you are happy with the heat level you can salt to taste, but when using fresh tomatillos I rarely add salt.
It’s OK to substitute jalapenos if your local markets don’t carry serranos.
I typically twist off and discard the bottom, thicker stems of the cilantro, but I use the upper stems that hold the leaves. 
Like this recipe?Click the stars above to rate it or leave a comment down below! @mexplease

Add an avocado to this recipe and you’ve got a delicious Avocado Salsa Verde.

Avocado Salsa Verde has one of the best flavor-to-effort ratios in all of Mexican cuisine. You'll get incredible flavor from very little effort by using just a few key ingredients. So good! mexicanplease.com

You can also use a chipotle in adobo to get a delicious Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa.

A rich Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa that's bursting with flavor. No one will believe you when you show them the tiny ingredient list. So good! mexicanplease.com

And here is a link to making a molcajete version of this awesome green salsa.

The flavor you can generate by smooshing ingredients in a molcajete is unreal. You'll end up with a vibrant batch of Salsa Verde that could potentially cause you to break up with the other salsas in your life. mexicanplease.com

 

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