This recipe is so easy and so refreshing! I always feel like there’s this idea out there that tomatillos need to be roasted to get all their flavors out and it’s simply not true. They’re delicious raw and this fresh tomatillo salsa recipe is proof of that.
I’m not sure if this recipe is considered a traditional tomatillo salsa, but I did learn the recipe from a family from Oaxaca, Mexico. They are brilliant cooks and got me hooked on fresh over roasted. My first time trying this style of salsa was alongside a goat that was cooked in a hole in the ground. It was amazing! Getting to know their family has inspired me to take a trip there next year and learn from the local cooks and further my knowledge of Mexican cuisine. It’s one of my favorite things to cook and enjoy.
I do love roasting tomatillos but prefer them for dishes like baked enchiladas where the rich flavor can shine. Roasted salsa is also a great place for garlic. This recipe is garlic free because it’s raw and we don’t want garlic breath for days.
The freshness of this salsa is great with chips or on tacos. It’s also super easy and cheap! It literally takes minutes to make.
Prepping the Tomatillos
Don’t let the skins throw you off, they get removed and tossed immediately. As far as finding them in the grocery store, they’re usually near the peppers and herbs.
The step you won’t want to miss is washing the tomatillos thoroughly before making the salsa. They’re definitely sticky when you remove the skins. For this, I use my favorite vegetable wash from Trader Joe’s. It’s formulated to remove waxes, pesticides, and chemicals. Veggie wash is especially great for non-organic fruits or veggies.
A colander is the easiest tool for washing and rinsing. You don’t even have to bother drying them before hitting the food processor.
The best way, in my opinion, to blend the salsa is with a Cuisinart Food Processor. I prefer the one below, I bought a fancier model and it literally bounced around on the countertop and didn’t blend evenly at all. This one may not be the most beautiful kitchen device, but it’s quiet, does its job and lasts for years.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Recipe Breakdown
I start by blending a half of a roughly chopped onion. Then add half the tomatillos and one of the jalapeños and pulse blend for about 15 seconds or so. From there I add the remaining tomatillos and jalapeño and pulse blend again until the tomatillos are broken down evenly.
Then finally I add the cilantro and salt and pulse blend one more time, about 10 seconds…and you’re done! Could it be any easier?
Pro Tip: I always taste it to make sure I like the heat before removing it from the food processor. I’ve been known to throw in another jalapeño if I’m craving the heat. If you want less heat you can always just use one pepper and don’t bother de-stemming the pepper. It’s basically pointless to remove the parts that create all the flavor.
Outside of being easy to make, it’ll last in the fridge for a few days and its extremely versatile. When I’m trying to be extra healthy, I pour it over grilled chicken or steak. It doesn’t have to be a full-on Spanish style dish to use this type of salsa. I even took it to a friend’s house for party and had everyone wanting the recipe when I left. Sometimes I even serve it next to my Chilean Salsa Recipe so my guests can enjoy some variety.
Fresh Tomatillo Salsa Recipe
This fresh tomatillo salsa recipe is so tasty! It only takes about five minutes to make and it'll last in your fridge for a few days.
- 1 Pound Tomatillos
- 2-3 Jalapeños (with stem end removed)
- 1/2 Large Yellow Onion
- 1/2 Cup Cilantro
- 1/2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 Lime
Remove skins from tomatillos and discard.
Wash tomatillos with vegetable wash and rinse in a colander.
Roughly chop onion for easier blending.
Using a large food processor, blend onion for 15-20 seconds.
Add half the tomatillos and blend for another 15-20 seconds.
Add remaining tomatillos and jalapeños and blend for another 15 seconds.
I always do a taste test here to see if I want another jalapeño or not. This would be the time to add more heat if needed.
Add cilantro and salt and pulse machine until cilantro is blended evenly, around 10 seconds.
Transfer to a serving dish and add the juice of half of a lime, stir and enjoy!