Basic Salsa Verde (Mexican Tomatillo Salsa) Recipe

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Basic Salsa Verde (Mexican Tomatillo Salsa) Recipe

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

A basic salsa verde made with simmered tomatillos and cilantro.

  • Yield:Makes 1 quart
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:15 minutes


  • 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


  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 and a large pinch of salt. 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.