Fresh tomatillo salsa

It’s taco Tuesday so if you’re looking for a fresh new topping for your tacos tonight, this tomatillo salsa is where it’s at.

We made this on the weekend and my partner brought the leftovers to school yesterday, only to be demolished by his students. I agreed to get this recipe posted asap for them.

You lost me at tomatillo…what’s that?

If you’ve never seen a tomatillo, they look like a small green tomato. They also have a similar texture to tomatoes, but are a bit drier and have a tangy/sour taste. Sometimes they have a papery covering, which you can just peel off before using.

We tried growing some tomatillos a few summers ago in large pots on our deck.  The stalks grew incredibly tall but bore no fruit.  If anyone has had success growing some in Winnipeg, tell me your ways! I’d love to have an abundance so I could can some of this salsa in the fall.

Where to buy tomatillos?

I haven’t been able to find tomatillos in every grocery store, however I usually buy them at Superstore. They usually come wrapped on a styrofoam tray of about 6-8 tomatillos, depending on the size.  In the recipe, I said I used 8, but I usually use however many come on the tray.

Cutting the sharpness in your salsa

Because the tomatillos are already quite tart, it’s important to soak the onions to give them a milder flavor so they don’t overpower the salsa.  This balances out all the flavors in the salsa.  I usually use bottled lime juice (or you could use lemon juice) for this step, since you’ll be rinsing it off anyway. After rinsing it and adding it to the salsa, you should use fresh lime juice for adding to the salsa.

Suitable for canning but better fresh

I have successfully canned this salsa with a few modifications, but given the cost and limited availability of the tomatillos, I’m not sure that it’s worth the cost or the effort.  There are however, a lot of tasty jarred tomatillo salsas out there (also called salsa verde) so try a few and see what you like.  We love the jarred version in this Slow Cooker Green Turkey Chili, and have successfully used the fresh one in this recipe as well. Regardless, this particular recipe is way better served fresh, so try it next time you’re looking for a new topping for your tacos or as a snack with some tortilla chips.

Fresh tomatillo salsa

This fresh salsa verde is excellent on tacos or with chips.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword salsa
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 cups
Author SL


  • 1/4 white onion
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (bottled works fine here)
  • 8 tomatillos
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • salt (to taste)


  1. Dice the onion and soak in lime juice for 10 minutes.  

  2. Dice the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno and cilantro and combine. 

  3. Rinse onion with cold water, drain and add to other ingredients. 

  4. Add the juice of one lime and salt to taste. 

  5. Serve as a topping for tacos or on its own with chips. 

    taco with tomatillo salsa

3 thoughts on “Fresh tomatillo salsa

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.