Roasted Tomatillo Salsa also known as salsa verde, makes a great snack, appetizer and topping! With just 6 ingredients and 30 minutes, you can make a homemade salsa that tastes just like a restaurant. It’s spicy and refreshing, and perfect spooned over Mexican Shredded Beef Tacos, healthy Chiles Rellenos, Salmon Tacos and more.

Guess what? I’m so excited to share that this recipe is made of almost all pantry staples except for the tomatillos. I promise you, making this salsa homemade tastes so much better than the store-bought version. Make a batch for the week, and you won’t regret it. It’s great as a condiment on almost everything!

If you make a big batch of this tomatillo salsa, I recommend also making my salsa verde chicken enchiladas, Instant Pot salsa verde chicken, or Tacos al Carbon.

Homemade tomatillos salsa in a bowl.

What are Tomatillos?

They are also known as husk tomatoes and they are from Mexico. Tomatillos look like small tomatoes that are green with a papery husk on the outside. The flavor of a tomatillo is a little less sweet and more vegetable-forward tasting than a regular tomato.

They have a great acidity to them, which makes for a delicious, bright and savory salsa. We like to roast the tomatillos in this recipe to bring out their natural flavors and allow them to sweeten a little bit. You can easily find them in the produce section of the grocery store.

tomatillos on a white background.


The ingredient list for salsa verde is short and sweet! Aside from the tomatillos, most of the ingredients are pantry staples! Here is what you will need to make this:

  • Tomatillos: you’ll need 1 pound of tomatillos. They are sold with husks on, so be sure to remove those and wash the tomatillos well before using.
  • White onion: one large white onion is all you need. You can also use a yellow onion.
  • Serrano chile:  I find 1 serrano chile adds enough heat. For a more mild salsa, remove the ribs and seeds. For a spicier one, keep the ribs and seeds intact and consider adding a second serrano.
  • Cilantro: you’ll need a half of a cup of fresh cilantro, so grab just 1 bunch of fresh cilantro.
  • Garlic: 1 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic is added to the salsa. You’ll need just 1 large clove garlic.
  • Honey: a dash of honey balances out all the flavors!
  • Salt: a pinch of kosher salt also balances out the flavors. Start with 1 teaspoon then season to taste with additional salt as needed.

How to Make Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Making homemade tomatillo salsa verde is easy and quick! Here are the simple steps:

  1. Heat your broiler to high with rack set 6 inches from element.
  2. Arrange tomatillos, onion, and serrano on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Onion wedges, tomatillos, and serrano on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  1. Roast veggies under the broiler until charred on all sides, this will take 15–17 minutes. Be sure to turn the vegetables every few minutes to promote even charring.
  2. Transfer the tomatillos, onion, serrano, and any accumulated juices to a food processor.
Charred onion and tomatillos in a food processor.
  1. Add cilantro, garlic, honey, and salt and purée until smooth; season with salt taste. 

Expert Tips for Recipe success

  • Be sure to thoroughly roast the tomatillos. This helps develop their rich flavor and caramelize the natural sugars.
  • Go lighter on spice to begin with, you can always add more serrano pepper to make it spicier.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender. Be sure to pulse when blending, you want a little bit of texture to the salsa.

Storage & Freezing Instructions

  • For the Refrigerator: Stored in an airtight container, tomatillo salsa verde will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days.
  • For the Freezer: Transfer salsa verde to an airtight container, or resealable freezer bag, and transfer to freezer. It will last up to 3 months stored in the freezer.

How to Can Salsa Verde

Canning is easier and simpler to do than you might think! You will need just a few things to can salsa:

  • Glass preserving jars with lids and bands
  • A large stock pot
  • Canning tongs
  • Canning basket

Here is a great how-to-guide on canning homemade salsa! Once canned, salsa can last up to 12 months when stored in a cool, dark and dry place.

Roasted tomatillos salsa in a bowl.

How to use Tomatillo Salsa Verde

There are so many easy ways to use homemade salsa. Luckily, I have several already tried-and-true recipes for you to try:

close up of salsa verde chicken on top of white rice in a white bowl topped with avocado, jalapeno slices and cilantro


What is the best way to roast tomatillos for salsa verde?

I recommend on a baking sheet under the broiler for 15 to 17 minutes until softened and charred.

How long does salsa verde last in the fridge?

Up to 7 days when in an airtight container.

Is salsa verde gluten-free and vegan?

Yes, it’s totally vegan as well as gluten-free.

How can I make tomatillo salsa more spicy?

By adding more serrano pepper. Be cautious, a little bit of pepper can go a long way!

Can I make the salsa verde without cilantro?

Yes, I recommend keeping the cilantro in the recipe for flavor but you can omit if you would like.

Make sure to tag me @ZESTFULKITCHEN ON INSTAGRAM or comment below if you make this Tomatillo Salsa Verde!

To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can click the button on any of the photos, or the red button on the side bar or below the recipe. Happy cooking!

Roasted Salsa Verde

Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Yield 2 cups
Category Side dish/sauce
Cuisine Mexican
Author Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen


Easy to make and ready in minutes, this tomatillo salsa verde is a delicious and versatile salsa!


  • 1 pound tomatillos husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 small white onion quartered
  • 1 serrano chile stemmed
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste


  • Heat broiler to high with rack set 6 inches from element.
  • Line baking sheet with foil. Arrange tomatillos, onion, and serrano on prepared baking sheet and roast under broiler until charred on all sides, 15–17 minutes, turning every few minutes to promote even charring.
  • Transfer tomatillos, onion, serrano, and any accumulated juices to a food processor. Add cilantro, garlic, honey, and salt and purée until smooth; season with salt taste. 


If you’re hesitant about the spice level in this salsa, seed the serrano chile before puréeing or swap in a jalapeño for the serrano.
Make it vegan: Use maple syrup or white sugar in place of the honey.


Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Homemade tomatillos salsa in a bowl.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    Just made this and it’s delish! I seeded the serrano pepper but wish I hadn’t bc it wasn’t spicy enough for us; now we know. Will definitely make again, thanks for the recipe!!

    1. Hy Kyr! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the salsa! Thanks for sharing about the seeds, that will be helpful for other readers!

  2. Hi, we love this salsa recipe!

    I read your salsa canning recipe and I saw that it requires vinegar to preserve. Since this recipe doesn’t contain vinegar would I need to add it in order to make this recipe safe for canning?


    1. Great question! I would add 3 tablespoons bottled lime (or lemon) juice to the recipe. Bottled lime juice is more acidic than fresh squeezed lime juice—by using bottled you can ensure enough acidity is added for safety. You can also use white vinegar.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any questions/how it goes.

  3. Delicious! Besides using it for everything on your list, we love it on eggs and hash browns or home fries, and carne asada fries!

  4. 5 stars
    This is delicious! Grew my Tomatillos, so they were much smaller than the store. I used Jalapeños from my garden instead of Serranos.