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Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde – Green Salsa. 

This charred tomatillo salsa verde has the perfect combination of smokey, spicy, with the tartness of limes.  It goes great with my stuffed squash blossom poppers  or any Southwest cuisine. 

What makes it green?  Tomatillo’s and no tomatillo’s aren’t green tomatoes.  I will give it to you that they do look like green tomatoes and kind of taste like green tomatoes.  However, they are more tart than green tomatoes.  They are in the same family as tomatoes- the nightshade family of plants.  Tomatillos have an outside papery husk and are slightly sticky to the touch after removing the thin covering.

How to pick a good tomatillo. 

When choosing a fresh tomatillo, look for the smaller golf-ball-size ones as they tend to be sweeter.  The husk should be a light brown color and fresh appearing.  The ripe tomatillo retains its firmness, unlike a ripe tomato.   If you don’t use your tomatillo’s right away store them in an open container either on the counter or in the fridge.  They will keep for up to a month this way.I

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grilled tomatillos

Why is homemade Salsa Verde so much better than purchased? 

I never liked the salsa verde I purchased from a store.  It reminded me of unripe, over-salted tomatoes with hot peppers thrown in to try to cover up the saltiness and lack of flavor.  I was never a fan of Salsa Verde until I discovered the wonderful smoky flavor of a roasted tomatillo.  Now I love to sing the praises of this tasty, tangy, spicy and smoky Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde that is ooh-soo delicious with all of my favorite Mexican dishes.  Yes I am a Salsa Verde convert – but only made-from-scratch Salsa Verde. 

What is the secret of an excellent Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde? 

Did I mention the secret of an excellent Salsa Verde is charring or grilling the tomatoes and jalapenos?   Make sure the pan is really hot or the tomatillos will become mushy before they are correctly seared. It is important to use a good quality cast iron grill pan because of how hot you heat the pan.  I like some kick to my Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde, so I leave the seeds in the jalapenos and I skimp on the salt.

grilled tomatillos

Do you want your Charred Tomatillo Salsa Verde chunky or smooth?

To give your salsa a chunky texture, coarsely chop one of the charred tomatillos and set it aside.  Put the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth, if you love cilantro as much as I do be generous with it.  I go easy with the lime though as the tomatillos are already tart.  Salt for me is optional but a little bit does enhance all the flavors.

Bonus options:

Add a couple of ripe avocados to the blender for a Charred Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Verde.  Finely chop a ripe tomato or red pepper and add it to the salsa.  Serve with Chips and or your favorite Mexican dishes.  Mix the Charred Tomatillo Salsa with some sour cream for Charred Tomatillo Crema Verde!  YUM 

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charred tomatillo salsa

Charred Tomatillo Salsa (salsa verde)

This Charred Tomatillo Salsa has the perfect combination of spicy, smoky, and lime. Perfect with Mexican fare.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: charred tomatillo salsa, grilled tomatillo salsa, salsa verde
Servings: 8
Calories: 23kcal


  • This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you click a link, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you
  • grill pan


  • 1 lb tomatillos about 3-4 tomatillos
  • 4 scallions
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • ½ cup cilantro packed
  • ½ lime juiced
  • ½ tsp sea salt optional


  • To change the number of serving: hover the mouse over the number of servings, a slider will pop up. The slider can be adjusted up or down. This will automatically recalculate and adjust the amount of each ingredient for you.
  • Heat a grill pan for several minutes on high until it is very hot.
  • Cut the tomatillos in half and place on the hot grill pan, cut side down.
  • Grill until you have char marks on the cut side. (about 3 minutes)
    grilled tomatillos
  • Turn tomatillos over and cook on the other side for about 3 minutes more.
  • Remove the tomatillos and grill the jalapenos and scallions until charred.
  • Coarsely chop one of the tomatillos and set aside. (for chunky salsa)
  • Put the rest of the tomatillos, scallions, jalapenos, cilantro, lime, and salt in a food processor and pulse process until blended and mostly smooth.
    tomatillo salsa ingredients
  • Add the coarsely chopped tomatillo and adjust lime and salt to your liking.


This recipe can be scaled to change the number of servings made.  Hover over the number of serving and move the slider to adjust the ingredient amounts for how many servings you want to make. 
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Serving: 2tbsp | Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 13.4mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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