Tangy, smoky Roasted Tomatillo Salsa is easy to make with a short list of ingredients. This authentic, homemade green salsa is a delicious dip or condiment.
When there is a selection of different salsas at a Mexican restaurant, I always go for the green. There’s just something about the texture and slightly tart-sweet flavor of Tomatillo Salsa that makes it impossible for me to stop dipping chip after chip.
And, like my Blender Salsa, this Roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe is very easy to make.
Roasting tomatillos in the oven with onion, jalapeño, and garlic creates a smoky undertone and enhances the flavor of this salsa in a seriously delicious way. It is the very best method for making delicious salsa verde.
Table of contents
- Tomatillos – You should be able to find tomatillos in the produce section of most stores starting in early summer though late fall. They will differ in size but look for bright green fruit that fully fills out the husk.
- Yellow onion – Peeled and sliced.
- Jalapeño pepper – The heat of the jalapeño comes from the seeds and the ribs. After slicing it in half, I remove some of both because I’m a wimp. Be sure to leave some behind though or you’ll get absolutely no heat at all. If you like it hot you can leave it all, or even throw in an additional jalapeño.
- Garlic cloves – Peeled.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cilantro – About half a bunch of cilantro.
- Lime – The juice from a fresh lime.
- Sea salt – For roasting and for seasoning the salsa.
Removing the Husk from Tomatillos
Tomatillos come wrapped in a papery husk that must be removed before roasting. The husks are easy to remove but if they are resistant, twist the husk slightly at the stem and pull it away.
You’ll notice that the tomatillos feel a bit sticky when the husks are removed. Just place them in a colander and rinse them well with cold water until they are no longer sticky.
How to Make Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
- Place the drained tomatillos, sliced onion, jalapeño, and garlic cloves on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and season the mixture with some sea salt.
- Roast in a preheated 375 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan every now and then, until the tomatillos have softened and are slightly charred. Remove from the oven and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.
- Transfer the tomatillo mixture to a food processor or blender and add the remaining olive oil, half a bunch of cilantro, and the fresh lime juice.
- Process until smooth. Give it a taste and season with a little salt, only if needed. Transfer the salsa to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour or until completely chilled.
Refrigerate: Store Tomatillo Salsa in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than 4 to 5 days.
Freeze: For longer storage, transfer the salsa to a freezer-safe plastic storage bag, press out the air and seal the bag. Freeze for up to 2 to 3 months.
Tomatillos are a bright green fruit with a paper-like husk that look like unripe green tomatoes. Although they are distantly related to the tomato family, they are very different in flavor and texture. Raw tomatillos have a crisp, tart flavor that becomes milder and sweeter when cooked.
Roasting tomatillos mellows the tartness and enhances the natural sweetness of the fruit. In addition, it adds a smoky undertone and creates more depth of flavor than you get from boiling them.
No. The husks of tomatillos should be removed and discarded before cooking. It’s best to leave them in their husks until you’re ready to roast them.
How to Use Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
- Appetizer: Serve with tortilla chips for dipping for an irresistible party snack.
- Condiment: Tomatillo salsa is delicious drizzled over tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, and more!
- Ingredient: Use it in any recipe that calls for salsa verde like my Creamy Tomatillo Avocado Salsa, Chicken Tortilla Casserole with Salsa Verde, or Crock Pot Chile Verde.
Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
For the Roasted Tomatillos
- 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, husks removed
- ½ large yellow onion, sliced
- 1 large jalapeño, halved and seeded as desired
- 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the Rest
- ½ bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 fresh lime, juiced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil,
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, plus additional to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove and discard the husks and rinse the tomatillos under cold water until no longer sticky. Drain well and place the tomatillos on a large baking sheet along with halved jalapeño, sliced onion, and whole cloves of garlic.
- Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle salt over the top. Roast in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes. With an oven mitt on, reach in and give the pan a shake every 5 minutes throughout cooking time. Roast until the tomatillos have softened and are slightly charred. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
- Transfer the slightly cooled tomatillo mixture to a food processor or blender and add the cilantro, fresh lime juice, and ¼ cup olive oil. Process until smooth. Taste and add additional salt, if needed.
- Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least an hour or until completely chilled. Serve with tortilla chips, as a condiment for tacos or burritos, or in any recipe calling for salsa verde.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.
This recipe was originally published on March 20, 2012. It has been updated with new text and images.