Salsa verde is a tomatillo based salsa that everyone needs to master. It’s super easy and perfect for enchiladas verdes, tacos, and of course for chips. Read on to see why not all salsa is vegan. Also do try my authentic quick, easy, vegan tomatillo salsa recipe!
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Salsa verde is a tomatillo based salsa. Tomatillos are little green tomatoes wrapped in a thin husk. They are small and firmer than a red tomato, and they have a slight tart taste to them. You can eat them raw, boiled, roasted, sautéed. They are used to make salsa, to make soups, stews, enchiladas, and salads too.
So as you can see this salsa is made with tomatillos. But it’s not just the tomatillos that give it its green (verde) color.
The chiles are also what give it it’s color. Either jalapeño or serrano chilies or a combination of both may be used. Some people will even use Poblanos but really jalapeños and serranos are more authentic.
The other salsa verde ingredients are white onion, garlic, cilantro, salt, water or boiling broth. Many old school cooks use bouillon powder too.
Not All Salsas are Vegan
As previously mentioned, bouillon powder is often used to make traditional salsa verde. It’s chicken bouillon powder which is used. Of course this means the salsa is no longer safe for vegans and vegetarians.
This is particularly true in authentic Mexican restaurants and in most restaurants in Mexico.
So it’s always very important to ask the wait staff if the salsa is vegan or not!
Types of Tomatillo Salsa Verde
There are several types of tomatillo salsa verde. Meaning ways to prepare it and also variations in ingredients.
You can boil the ingredients, saute in a pan with a little oil, roast on a comal, or simple blend them raw.
As previously mentioned those ingredients are common for regular green salsa. But sometimes roma tomatoes, different chilies or ingredients like avocado or calabacitas may also be used to create different types of salsa verde. More on that another time.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is for boiling or cooked salsa verde. It’s super easy, takes little time and is guaranteed 100% vegan!!
Does Salsa Need to Be Cooked in Oil
This is another thing to be aware of if you don’t like to consume too much oil. Be aware that often times salsa is sauted or fried in a little bit of oil.
The reason for cooking salsa in oil is to make it smoother. It cooks the ingredients down further and not only adds flavor but gives you a smoother texture. This can be particularly great for cooking things in the salsa or drizzling it over dishes.
Can This be Used as Salsa Verde for Enchiladas
One great way to use salsa cooked in oil is to make both chilaquiles and enchiladas. The sauce is smoother and adheres better to the tortillas.
So the answer is yes, absolutely you can use this salsa verde for enchiladas!
Salsa Verde Recipe
Ok, amigos below is my authentic quick, easy, vegan tomatillo salsa recipe. You can make a big batch and have it ready for the week for all of your Mexican food favorites. Or grab a big bowl of chips, and ice cold chelada and enjoy it all as a fun weekend snack.
The EASIEST Salsa Verde
- 1 lb. tomatillos husk removed and rinsed
- 3 whole serranos stem removed and seeded if desired (you can add less for a milder salsa)
- 3 whole garlic cloves peeled
- 1 extra small white onion quartered
- 1/2 cup water or the boiling broth
- 1 pinch fine sea salt adjust to taste
- 1 handful fresh cilantro you can include some of the stem too
- 1.5 Tablespoons vegetable oil for lightly frying, optional
- Place the tomatillo, chiles, onion, garlic in a pot with enough water to cover them. Allow to simmer until the vegetables are soft. About 10 to 15 minutes. Once the vegetables are soft, remove pot from the stove and allow to cool down slightly.
- Gently scoop out the vegetables and place in blender. Add the sea salt, cilantro, and water or boiling broth. In total I add about 1/2 cup of the boiling broth to make this salsa. You need enough liquid just to achieve a smooth constancy. Blend until well incorporated. Taste the salsa and if needed add more salt. You can go ahead and serve it now or proceed to next step for a smoother salsa.
- In a large pan heat the oil. Once hot pour in the blended salsa — careful because it will splatter! Cook the salsa for 10 minutes, stirring often. Allow to cool before serving with chips or storing.
More Recipes to Try
Amigos now that you’ve made this delicious homemade salsa verde, check out these recipes that also use salsa verde and tomatillos and serrano chilies. Promise you’re going to love them all. Some are vegan and some are vegetarian. But all bursting with flavors!
- Enchiladas Verdes with Stringy Oaxaca Cheese and Fire Roasted Poblano Pepper
- Vegan Chicharron in Salsa Verde
- How to Make a Bland Store-Bought Jar of Green Salsa Taste Better
- Molcajete Salsa | Salsa Molcajeteada
- Cauliflower Ceviche | Best Vegan Ceviche Recipe
- Mexican Style Okra (Okra a la Mexicana)
- Mexican Beans From Scratch
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…