Salsa Verde

All the cool kids are doing it.

My version of salsa verde – long live the tomatillo!

Adapted from Tomatillo Salsa in The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, J. Kingry & L. Devine, eds.


Salsa Verde


  • 4 cups (about 2  lbs husked) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced to 1/4-inch (about 1 tennis ball-sized)
  • 1/2 cup Cubanelle peppers (or green bell peppers), diced to 1/4-inch
  • 1/2 cup minced jalapeno & long green chile peppers, with or without seeds (about 3 – 4 large) (wear gloves)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup white vinegar
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp chile pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp raw sugar (optional)


  1. If canning, prepare canner, jars and lids.
  2. Chop vegetables (a food processor works well here).  Add all ingredients except cilantro to a medium stockpot; bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat and boil gently for 10 – 15 minutes, or until vegetables have softened and the salsa has thickened slightly. Add cilantro, mix well and return to a boil.
  3. Ladle hot salsa into hot, sterilized jars; remove air bubbles and push all vegetables down below the level of the liquid, adding more salsa to yield a 1/2-inch headspace if necessary.  Wipe rims, affix lids and process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Yields about 5 half-pints.


  1. This year’s tomatillos seemed espeically astringent, therefore I added just a small amount of sugar to the salsa; not to taste any sweetness, just to cut the astringency.
  2. I added Cubanelle peppers this year as well, to add a little balance and sweetness to the salsa. Cubanelles are a light green pepper that look like banana peppers and have a similar mild flavor. You can substitute banana peppers, green bell peppers, or eliminate them entirely; just make sure that the total amount of onions, peppers and chile peppers is no more than 1 and 1/2 cups [as always, for safety in canning do not alter the proportions of acid (tomatillos, vinegar, lime juice) and low-acid (onions, peppers, cilantro, garlic) ingredients].
  3. The jalapenos give this a nice kick but this salsa is not overly spicy; you can easily control the heat by modulating the amount of seeds you include.  If you want a very spicy salsa verde, you can replace the Cubanelles with jalapenos and/or add a habanero or two (remembering to keep the total amount of low-acid veg to 1 and 1/2 cups).
  4. Since there is plenty of acidity in the recipe from the tomatillos & vinegar, feel free to use fresh lime juice. Toss in the zest while you’re at it.
  5. Roasting the vegetables works nicely as well;  you lose the bright acidity of the tomatillo but you add a nice, complex smoky note. Roast whole vegetables, then chop, then add remaining ingredient and bring to a boil before canning.


Canned, store in a cool, dark spot for up to 1 year.  Refrigerated, use within 3 weeks.




  1. SO excited to find this recipe! I made salsa verde last week and it came out great but I was unsure of my amounts and the safeness of the recipe I made, so I froze most (aside from a couple jars in the fridge to eat NOW). I’ve been looking since then so I could make more and can it fresh and hadn’t found a recipe I liked until this. I will definitely be making this on saturday! THANKS!

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