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Pati Jinich

This is a versatile basic green tomatillo salsa. It can be drizzled on top of Mexican Antojos, such as Tostadas, Tacos, Quesadillas and Sopes… It can also be used to make Green Enchiladas or Chilaquiles. It can be spooned on top of eggs in the morning, used as a side garnish to grilled meats and as the seasoning to bake some fresh flaky fish in the oven. I could go on and on though…. here it goes:

Cooked Salsa Verde
Salsa Verde Cocida

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Salsa Verde Cocida" />


2 pounds green tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed

2 garlic cloves, peeled

2 serranos chiles, or more to taste

1 cup cilantro leaves

1/4 cup white onion, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or to taste

2 tablespoons safflower or corn oil

To Prepare

Place the tomatillos along with the garlic cloves and the chiles serrranos in a pot and cover with water. Place over high heat until it comes to a boil. Simmer at medium for about 10 minutes, or until tomatillos change their color from a bright to a pale green, are cooked through and are soft but are not coming apart.

Place tomatillos, garlic and chile (you may add one chile first) and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in the blender and puree until smooth. Incorporate the cilantro leaves, onion and salt and process again. Taste for salt and add more if need be. Also taste for heat, you may add the other chile in pieces until you reach your desired heat level.

Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Once it is hot but not smoking, pour in the sauce and bring it to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes, until it thickens a bit and deepens its flavor and color. Turn off the heat.

Once it cools down, you may store it in a closed container in the refrigerator for weeks. However, the heat level of the sauce will diminish as the days go by.



I am so happy to have stumbled upon your blog. I have been relentlessly searching the internet for the kind of salsa verde that I have grown up with here in Texas. Your recipe is exactly what I have been looking for.
I am also enjoying your other entries. Thank you!

So glad Waverly. It is my pleasure!! Let me know if there is anything specific you are looking for and I will try to post about it…

I am so glad that I have found you on TV. Thank you for the green salsa receipe. I tried it, and it came out so delicious. I made the salsa with pork chops (chopped in small pieces) and my husband loved it. Great and easy receipe!
Pati, can you give me some receipes from the state of Zacatecas. Mainly from a little town called Juchipila. I am interested because that is where my mother and father were born and raised. I am sorry to say that I never learned to cook like my mother, and now she is gone and I will never have a chance to learn. Can you help me?

Hey Mary,
I’m so glad you found me too! Of course I’ll give you recipes from Zacatecas! My family and I were just there, and I just love the food from there too. And I will try to post some recipes from there, meanwhile, you can look for recipes in Los Sabores de la Tierra. It’s a book in Spanish that focuses on the food from Zacatecas- I hope you enjoy it. I really fell in love with that place, its people, and most of all, its food!

I’m wondering why it is that tomatillos alway result in a bitter salsa. Could it be because I”m over cooking them? Thank you

Hi Alicia, when you buy tomatillos they should be firm with a shiny, deep green color (once you wash off their wax). And they should give you salsa a tangy flavor, without being bitter! I don’t believe you are overcooking them, it may have just been that batch of tomatillos.

I was in a mexican restaurant that served “hot sauce” with the meal. This came in a small jar. I have been trying to make my own. I am using roasted poblanos, tomatos, onion, garlic and peppers…all blended in a food processor. It is thicker than the sauce at the restaurant. Otherwise quite good! Any suggestions?

Hola Martha, you know there are so many salsas you can’t really go wrong! Here is a link to my recipe for Salsa Verde:

Hola, Martha,
The secret I have found to ensuring that your salsa verde does not become bitter is to prevent the tomatillo seeds from being broken or blended. If you use a blender, just give it a quick whirl but don’t blend it to death.
Maybe Pati can comment? Gracias para tu blog, Pati! Me gusta 😉

Hi Katey, Hi Martha, I’ve found that it mostly depends on the tomatillos themselves. If they are ripe, shinny, green they are deliciously tart but not bitter. If you have tomatillos that are on the yellow side, are old, over ripe, wrinkled… salsa will be bitter ; )

Hi, I just made this recipe today and it is delicious! Now I look forward to your cookbook! Thanks.

Hola Pati
I had a queston about your Cooked Salsa Verde: Why you use 2 T of oil? Yes, I know that the oil give anything more of a sheen. But in these days of trying to use less fat in our diets. Is the oil optional? Gracias, John

Hola John, Thank you for your question. The oil seasons the sauce and adds to the overall flavor. Actually, safflower oil is “good” fat and very healthy. It is sourced from a plant and not manipulated into hydrogenated bad fats like other commonly used oils. So, if you want to keep the oil in the recipe it will be still be healthy. If you do not want to use any oil, it can be optional. The salsa may just taste a little different than the original recipe. I hope this helps! :)

Hi Pati,
I recently saw a show on which you made raw salsa verde. Can you post that recipe? It looked easy but I cannot remember it. I love your show.
Thank you,

Hola Wendy, Here is the Salsa Verde recipe you are referring to Enjoy!

I love your blog! My family is from Guadalajara so I’ve inherited the delicious culinary cuisine from that region. But I love that your blog introduces me to other amazing recipes. For example, I had never heard of anyone cooking their salsa verde. But the results are delicious! Be assured that I will be calling my mom today to discuss your salsa verde recipe. You may have just added to our family’s repertoire.

Thank you so much for your comment! I am so happy that you enjoyed the Cooked Salsa Verde and honored for the recipe to be added to your family favorites :).

A friend gave me your website and I’m glad she did. I planted 5 Tomatillo plants this year and they have grown much lager than advertised. I have tomatillos coming out of my ears. Thank goodness for your recipes. I will be trying your jam and Salsa Verde recipe’s this weekend.

Your comment made me laugh, David! Yes, indeed, tomatillos are the productive sort… which is heavenly in my view. I hope you enjoy the salsa as much as the jam.

I am so happy that I found this site! I have been wondering what to do with my tomatillos and this weekend I may try the salsa verde (but I am really looking forward to the pozole verde). Anyway, my question is this…can I freeze the salsa verde freeze? Or maybe can/jar it?
Thank you!

do you have a authintic mexico like santigo restraunt salsa and a red enchalada sauce im going to try your tv show cake flan

Hola Helen, Try my enchiladas in red sauce recipe: I will try to post a Santigo Salsa recipe soon!

I made this and now know what I have been missing!! I walk by the jars in the market and laugh. I don’t like cilantro so used parsley…. YUM

YUM!!! You can also try it with fresh tarragon or chives…

Hola Patti,
I Went looking for a good salsa verde recipe and this one looks great. I love Patti’s Mexican Kitchen on PBS it provides lots of inspiration for my own kitchen. Jicama slaw for fish tacos is next… Thanks for the inspiration :)

Thank you so much, Bryan! Let me know how these recipes work for you.

Thank you for sharing such a great tasty recipe. This is the first time I have cooked with Tomatillo’s, but not the last.

For anyone else reading this, try this, you will love it!


Cooked Green Salsa is my go to salsa, for sure.

Hi Pati,
Can Salsa Verde be successfully canned as tomato sauce? I live in the Chicago area and I imagine tomatillos are better and more readily available during the summer months.

John Liptak

Yes it can!


Do you ever can you salsa verde, or do you make it fresh all year?



Hola Josh, I usually make it fresh all year. However, you can try canning it…just follow the formal canning process, or the instructions on your canner (if you have one).

Hola Pati;
I was just reading comments and posts on this site. I was wondering about the Salsa Verde if it can be canned (as in preserved through processing like pressure cooking)?
We have a garden every year. Once we planted some Tomatillos and they come up every year after. So last year we had an over abundance of them. I tried making the salsa and canning it but it turned a very dark color. Can you help me with this? What am I doing wrong? Is it the high pressure that is causing it to discolor? Also I love your show. When my Husband and I watch you make something delicious we go to your site and print off the recipes so we can make them. Thanks so much for all your help.

Hola Lynda, Yes! You can can salsa verde. I am wondering about the darkening of the salsa, did it taste the same?
Thanks for watching the show and nothing makes me happier than my recipes being used and enjoyed!

Just a thought about the darkening of the salsa when canning. Maybe a table spoon of vinegar would lessen that darkening.

Hi Pati, I have made this salsa for many years and have enjoyed it. Sometimes when I make crispy tacos I add avocado to this salsa and I get a delicious salsa that goes good with antojitos such as nachos, tacos, and the such. Thank you for the wonderful recipes that you share with us, your audience, because in doing so we are able to preserve our culture and heritage.

Con mucho gusto, Connie!

Hi Party,
I watch you all the time and love your show. I was wondering if you have a cooked salsa recipe using dried red peppers, jalapeno, tomatoes, green tomatoes, onions. My favorite salsa is at this little Mexican restaurant. They told me these are the ingredients to their salsa, but I tried duplicating it without success. Can you help?

Yes! Of course! Don’t have it on my blog but will try to add it soon…

THANK YOU so much!

Hi Pati,

I love your show. My father-in-law went hunting for Corsican Ram and gave us a lot of wild mutton. I thought of Mexican right away and went to your site for ideas and used the idea of carnitas. But, I braised it a lot longer and used olive oil because the meat is so lean. It is delicious! and I served it with salsa verde, and roasted the ingredients like your sister prefers as was demonstrated on the breakfast episode. The guide said it was not worth eating unless it was prepared correctly. Well, it was prepared correctly using your recipes.

Thank you so much!



Sounds fabulous, Joanne!! So happy you liked the recipes and that they worked for the meats you had :)

Love this recipe! I’ve made it 3 times. My only problem is that the last 2 batches had some bitterness. Does you have any idea where that could be coming from? I thought maybe I had some unripe tomatillos? Thanks for any help.


Hi Cathy! So happy you are using this recipe!! It’s probably the batch of tomatillos. They should be firm with a shiny, deep green color (once you wash off their wax) and shouldn’t be wrinkled or squishy. Don’t be shy about peeking under their husks at the store. 😉

This recipe is very similar to one taught to me by a Mexican friend. She always uses a little Knorr caldo de pollo for seasoning. My tomatillo plants are very prolific, but this recipe freezes beautifully. I can usually make enough to have all winter and to give to friends. Delicious on almost everything.

Thanks, Margy. I appreciate the tip about being able to freeze this!

I have a question do you have a recipe birdie de chivo my husband was from jalisco and would like a recipe for that if you can help. I would love it a lot. Even from gto, nayrit. I don’t want to over whelm you. Thanks

Hola Sallie, Will try to post soon!

I made the Cooked Salsa Verde and used it as the base, together with chicken stock, for White Chicken Chili. It was fabulous! I also enjoyed the salsa as a dip with tortilla chips.

Yum! Sounds delicious!

Is it hot though

Hi Korin, You can let it cool to room temperature & even chill for a bit in the refrigerator if you don’t like it hot. I recommend serving at room temp.

Pati, si el chile serrano es muy enchiloso, puedo usar otro chile?

Claro, puedes usar jalapeño que tiende a ser menos picoso….

Enjoy your show on TV look forward to seeing more of them enjoying your receipts thank you

Thank you for watching, Elaine!

Hola Pati,
We viewed your Cooking show for tamales with salsa verde & chicken. We always spread our masa on the
Corn husk. You scooped it and put an indentation in it for the chicken & sauce. Does the finished tamale have too much masa in places? Gracias Jeanne

Hola Jeanne, I haven’t had a problem with too much masa in places, but feel free to use whichever method works best for you. I hope you’ll try these!

Do you remove the seeds from the serrano peppers like with jalapeno?

Hi Nancy, Yes, you can remove the seeds from serranos, exact same way as you do with jalapeños, if you want less heat.

 Hi Pati,
I posted this in 2014. Can you post a cooked red salsa recipe similar? Thank so much!
I watch you all the time and love your show. I was wondering if you have a cooked salsa recipe using dried red peppers, jalapeno, tomatoes, green tomatoes, onions. My favorite salsa is at this little Mexican restaurant. They told me these are the ingredients to their salsa, but I tried duplicapamting it without success. Can you help?
Thanks! Pam

This is an amazing recipe! My husband’s favorite meal is Chicken Enchiladas in Verde sauce! I have never attempted it until today. It turned out perfect! Can’t wait to surprise him with dinner tonight!

Hi Pati,
Love love love!!! your show. Your food looks so delicious! I was wondering instead of boiling and simmer. can you rost the tomatillos and chili’s or will that change the taste?

Thanks so much for tuning in! I prefer to boil and simmer, but you can roast them as well to add another layer of flavor!

Thank you!

Hi Pati,
My husband loves albonigas (meat ball soup) hope I spelled it right. I was wondering if you have a recipe for It? Thank you.

I have made this Salsa Verde recipe many times. It is easy and turns out great every time. When I make it, I make multiple batches and freeze it in small batches. It freezes very well. My family loves salsa verde. We use it for everything. It is perfect for Nachos and Enchiladas.

Thank you Pati!

I’m so thrilled you like it!!! Thank you for trying the recipe!

Hi Patti,
Just wondering if you have been able to post a red cooked salsa recipe. I still haven’t found anything like the salsa at my favorite restaurant in Galveston, TX.


I left this comment in March 2014. That’s what I was referring to in the latest comment above. Thanks!

Hi Party,
I watch you all the time and love your show. I was wondering if you have a cooked salsa recipe using dried red peppers, jalapeno, tomatoes, green tomatoes, onions. My favorite salsa is at this little Mexican restaurant. They told me these are the ingredients to their salsa, but I tried duplicating it without success. Can you help?

Hey Pati,

I just made your version of salsa verde. But for some reason it came out sweet. It’s not supposed to be sweet, right?

Thanks, Clarice

The tomatillos should be tangy, not that much sweet. When buying them at the store, don’t be afraid to peek under the husks to make sure they are firm and a deep green color. My other recommendation is to add more heat with the serrano chiles!

Loved the recipe so simply and delicious. I love watching your show and wish you were on everyday. Your recipes make my family very happy. Any recipes from Jalisco or Guanajuato?

I just made your salsa verde to use to make chicken tamales. Omg, they are so delicious. I buy my masa already prepared ( I found a small mexican bakery that makes great masa, spreads like butter or should I say lard! Lol). I doubled the recipe and have a little leftover. I’m freezing it to make some enchiladas Suizas. Thank you for the recipe.

Yum!!! Thanks so much for trying my recipe!

Hola Pati, I love your recipe, and for a wonderful variation I add about half a ripe avocado per cup of salsa and give it a quick go on the food processor until silky smooth. A little more salt to taste. Como de taqueria en Cuernavaca.

[…] of my favorite ways to use panela is to grill it and cover it with either salsa verde or […]

I tried this recipe and mine did not come out looking like the picture mine is a lot light maybe I used to many tomatillas?

Maybe, or maybe your tomatillos were lighter in color. Watch that the tomatillos you use are firm and bright green, without wrinkles or discolored… or that may be a sign of them being too long in a refrigerated area…

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