Made from tomatillos and chili peppers, the salsa verde is an ancient sauce that’s used in a number of Mexican and non-Mexican dishes. Here’s how to easily make salsa verde at home!
Often referred to as the green sauce for tacos, salsa verde is the perfect Mexican sauce that has a bit of acidity and a bit of heat in every bite.
But it’s not just served with tacos. Made with tomatillos and chili peppers, salsa verde is also used in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, chilaquiles, and other Mexican stews.
When was Mexican Salsa Verde Invented?
This tomatillo-based sauce dates back to the Aztec empire that ruled Mexico from 1428 till they were conquered by the Spanish.
The Spanish physician Francisco Hernandez de Toledo documented the origins of the sauce when he and his son Juan traveled through the New World from 1570 to 1577 collecting specimens and creating classifications for them.
Some of the unheard of before plants that Hernandez classified and described were the vanilla bean, chili, tomatoes, corn, cacao, cacti.
Over 3000 plants were classified during those 7 years. One of them, the chili was used to make the Mexican green sauce, which differs from the European parsley-based green sauces.
This green salsa became popular throughout the Spanish territories, and in 1571, Alonso de Molina called this green sauce ‘salsa verde’.
This Mexican green sauce is perfect as a dip for nachos or tacos, or as an addition to a number of recipes, or even as a table sauce.
And it’s not that difficult to make at home! Try this recipe for yourself!
Recipe Pointers For Salsa Verde Recipe
- Make sure the tomatillos are fresh because older tomatillos have a slightly bitter flavor.
- Roasting the tomatillos before use will enhance the flavor. So will cooking them.
- If you want a chunky salsa verde, use a mortar (molcajete) and pestle (tejolote) instead of a blender.
- If you want the sauce spicier, add more serrano peppers.
- This Mexican salsa verde is gluten-free, dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan!
- Top with chopped cilantro and lime before serving!
- Serve the salsa verde as a dip with tacos or nachos for a party!
- Or add it to eggs or chilaquiles for breakfast!
FAQs about Salsa Verde – Green Sauce for Tacos
What to serve salsa verde with?
Serve salsa verde with tacos, nachos, toastadas, chilaquiles, burritos, quesadillas, or use it as a topping for refried beans or eggs.
What is salsa verde with avocados?
If avocados are added to the salsa verde or green sauce it’s called salsa aguacate instead of salsa verde.
What does salsa verde taste like?
Salsa verde has a tart zingy flavor.
What is the difference between salsa verde and salsa rojas?
The main difference between these two sauces is that salsa verde is made with green tomatillos, while salsa rojas is made with red tomatoes.
Is Mexican salsa verde spicy?
Salsa verde can be spicy, but it doesn’t need to be. It depends on the number of serrano peppers used in the recipe.
If you want to make this salsa less spicy either reduce the amount of serrano pepper or add some sour cream. Salsa verde with sour cream is called salsa suiza.
Can I use raw tomatillos?
Yes, you can use raw tomatillos, but the sauce will be a bit sour. If you roast them the sauce will become a bit sweeter.
How long can I store salsa verde?
You can store salsa verde in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, or in the freezer for a few months. Thaw at room temperature before using.
- 5 green tomatillos
- 1/3 red onion
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 serrano pepper with stems removed
- Salt & oil
- Slowly saute the tomatillos, onion and serrano on a frying pan. Bring to boil and simmer for about 8 minutes, until they turn to a lighter color.
- Add in garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Move everything to a blender and add cilantro and salt.