Watch the Food Lab Video Series Basic Salsa Verde (Mexican Tomatillo Salsa)

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

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Basic Salsa Verde (Mexican Tomatillo Salsa)

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes 1 quart
Active time:5 minutes
Total time:15 minutes
Special equipment:Blender or hand blender


  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks and stems removed
  • 1 to 2 jalapeño or serrano peppers, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 small white onion, skin removed, split in half
  • 1 bunch fresh picked cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from about 2 limes


  1. 1

    Combine tomatillos, serranos, and onion in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until vegetables are completely softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure all sides are softened.

  2. 2

    Drain vegetables then transfer to a blender. Add cilantro, a large pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Blend on medium speed until a chunky puree is formed, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, season to taste with more salt or lime juice if necessary, and serve. Cooled salsa can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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