Salsa Verde Mexicana

This bright green Salsa Verde Mexican won “Best of Show” at the Northwest Montana State fair in 2023. Taste why this awarding winning salsa should be a staple in your summer line up.

The best salsa ever? Perhaps so.

Ingredients in Salsa Verde Mexicana:

  • tomatillos- buy milpero id f you can find them
  • poblano peppers
  • jalapeno peppers
  • white onion
  • diced green chilies
  • garlic- fresh only
  • limes
  • cumin
  • salt
  • cilantro
Verde- fresh and tangy with a bit of bite.

What are tomatillos milpero?

The Milpero is a smaller variety of the tomatillo, about half the size of the standard tomatillo found in grocery stores. The flavor is more intense, but with an acidity that is less biting than the tomatillo. When fully ripe, they have a mostly purple hue to their parchment-like outer covering as well as the fruit. This name “Milpero” refers to in Mexico, they are grown between the rows of corn in the milpas (or corn fields). Perfect for salsa .

Buy firm fruit with papery dry husks. Avoid bruised or shriveled fruit. Chill in the fridge in a paper bag up to one month. Buy online at Melissas.

I charred my poblanos until the skins were smokey.

Equipment needed for this salsa with tomatillos milpero.

  • high powered blender- buy my favorite HERE
  • heavy skillet
  • grill
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • knife
  • cutting board

Cover with plastic and remove the skins and seeds

What to serve with Salsa Verde Mexicana:

Tortilla chips are not the only way to enjoy this bright fresh salsa. Here are a few ideas.

  • Pour over enchiladas for a fantastic topping- try my pork enchiladas HERE
  • Serve as a dressing for a bright salad of greens, tomato, avocado, pink grapefruit and toasted pepitas.
  • A salted rimmed lime margarita is the perfect accompaniment for this salsa
  • Stir it into a chicken and rice casserole
  • Serve as a side for your favorite Chicken chili- try my recipe HERE
Pan sear the tomatillos, jalapeños and garlic

Pro-tips for a spicy salsa success:

  1. Be sure to really get lots of blackened char on the veggies to bring out the most flavor. No shortcuts here.
  2. This salsa can be processed a food processor or a blender. Just be sure to pulse until the salsa is thick, but not a liquid. I used my Ninja blender and a few pulses gave me a perfect salsa.
  3. Add cilantro as desired. I am one of those folks who cannot eat cilantro, but the herbaceous flavor really amps up this salsa for most folks.
  4. Add salt and lime juice in slowly. Add a little, then taste. Add more if needed.
  5. Cook the tomatillos until they are softened and jammy.
  6. This salsa will last in the fridge up to two weeks.

Remove the skins and seeds
Flowers & vases by Mums. Pottery by Whitefish Pottery.

Roasted salsa Verde

  • 5-6 tomatillos

  • 3 poblano peppers

  • 2 Jalapeno peppers

  • Juice of 3-4 limes

  • 3 whole garlic cloves- skin on

  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion

  • 1- 4 oz. can diced green chilies

  • kosher salt, to taste

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 cup cilantro- optional

Method- Makes approx 2-3 cups of salsa

  • On a grill set to high heat, roast the poblano peppers until charred- about 5-7 minutes. Set aside in a bowl, cover with plastic and let cool until you can handle them. Remove the stem, and peel the skin of the peppers, remove any membranes and seeds and discard. Rough chop the inner pepper flesh, now softened from roasting and place into a food processor.
  • Meanwhile, remove husks from tomatillos and rinse to remove sticky substance from the skins. Slice in half- like a bagel. In a large skillet lined with foil, place tomatillos cut side down, throw in whole jalapeños and 3 cloves of garlic with the skin on. (see photo) Roast on medium high heat until charred and juice begins to render from the tomatillos- about 5-7 minutes. You can also place the vegetables on a pan under a boiler, but watch carefully so that garlic does not burn.
  • Place roasted tomatillos in the food processor with the poblano peppers. Remove skin from garlic, toss in with peppers. Remove and discard stem from jalapeños. Cut jalapeños in half length-wise and remove membranes and seeds. Rough chop and add to food processor reserving a few pieces for garnish.
  • Finally, add lime juice, canned green chilies and cilantro (optional) to food procesor and pulse 4-6 times until salsa is chopped, but not completely pureed. I like a bit of texture to my salsa- so do not over process. Add salt to taste. Stir in chopped onion and cumin. Top with reserved jalapeño.
  • Pour into a serving bowl or store in fridge (covered) for up to 4-5 days.

I was introduced to Rick Bayless years ago by a friend of mine who is an extraordinary chef. My friend used to be the executive chef at Park Plaza Gardens in Winter Park, Florida. We have dined many times at his home and he has created some extraordinary dishes using Rick’s cookbook from his famous Frontera Grill . Rick is known for his incredible sauces and simple approach to Mexican cuisine.

This recipe is based loosely off Rick’s roasted salsa verde. My version adds a can of green chilies for more texture and body, lots of fresh lime juice and for folks like me who can’t handle cilantro- No cilantro (unless you want it). I also add a healthy pinch of cumin.

It is fresh, incredibly flavorful and I promise, you will want to keep a jar of it in your fridge all summer. Serve it with crunchy tortilla chips, spoon over grilled pork or chicken with a sprinkling of cojita or over beans and rice.

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  1. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I never really thought about making it myself before. This recipe looks delicious and not difficult to make. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Enjoy! This salsa won first place in the NW Montana State Fair- I have a big blue ribbon to show for it. Enjoy!

  2. Tianna Willard says:

    I can’t wait to try this recipe! I never really thought about making it myself before but love the idea of roasting everything first the flavor would be so much better.

    1. It is a blue ribbon winning recipe- I think the smokiness from the roasting really makes a difference. Enjoy!