Blue and yellow make green.
Yin and Yang make life.
Tomatillo and Chipotle make…..magic?
It's difficult to peg how so much goodness can come from so little in this Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa, but instead of trying to figure out how it happens we are better off just eating it.
How To Make Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa
This salsa is so unique that no one will believe you when you show them the minuscule ingredient list. Maybe it's best not to tell them.
Of course, when your starting point is a few these beauties you don't need much else:
Note that we are omitting the onion here and the result is more of a topper sauce; slightly more concentrated than our standard sauces. So while I am normally a fan of drenching dishes in sauce, starting off with a more restrained portion of this Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa will serve you well.
Start by husking and rinsing four tomatillos.
Roasting the tomatillos will tame the tartness so we'll put them in the oven at 400F.
In about 10-15 minutes they'll turn army green in color, this means they're done.
Note that there are many ways to "roast" the tomatillos. You can boil them and get a similar result.
You can also line a skillet with foil and "roast" them on the stovetop. Any of these methods will work as it is the heat that is the most important component.
Rick Bayless has a version of this salsa that also roasts the garlic. This will still give you a great salsa, but lately I prefer the sharpness of the unroasted garlic we are using in this recipe. If you want a milder hit from the garlic you can consider roasting it.
I usually de-seed the chipotles, but don't worry if you leave a few seeds behind. If you are new to chipotles in adobo I list some tips for working with them in this article.
Add the tomatillos, 2 garlic cloves, and a single chipotle to a blender.
Pulse blend and taste for heat level. Half of you out there will think it's hot enough already, and the other half will want more heat. If so, add the second chipotle (I usually do).
And depending on the tomatillos, you might need a couple tablespoons of water to get it to your desired consistency, but I usually leave it kinda chunky.
The final step is to hide the ingredient list and prepare to take all the credit for this simple, unique salsa. So good!
Any time you see Salsa Verde called for consider giving this Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa a chance -- it wants to be part of your expanding repertoire.
If you catch yourself trying to figure out how so much flavor can come from so few ingredients, it's best to just take another bite.
Update: I just put together a list of 11 dishes that use this Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa. See the full list here.
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Tomatillo Chipotle Salsa
- 4-5 tomatillos
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo
- 2 garlic cloves
- Husk and rinse the tomatillos, cutting out the stems.
- Roast the tomatillos in the oven at 400F for 10-20 minutes or until they start to turn army green in color and wrinkle up.
- De-stem and de-seed two chipotles in adobo.
- Add the roasted tomatillos, 2 peeled garlic cloves, and a single chipotle to a blender and pulse blend.
- Take a taste for heat level. If you want more heat add more chipotle.
- If you want a thinner salsa you can add 2-3 Tablespoons of water or a sliver of onion.
- Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
I've also made this salsa using these homemade chipotles in adobo and it was divine!
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So good anyone planning to make this should quadruple the recipe.. and it still won't last long.
Oh wow - this is good stuff. Grew tomatillos for the first time this year and found your site while looking for recipes. The only thing I did differently was to add a pinch of salt. I will be saving this recipe. Now, to make the green salsa from your site. Just need to get some cilantro.
Ahh good to know Susan, I'm so glad you found this recipe! Here are some other ideas if your garden is overflowing with tomatillos:
What Can I Make With Tomatillos?
To clarify a bit of what I just said, the issue is not so much that the salsa is thick rather than runny. That is easy to adjust with a bit of water.
The problem is that the salsa is gelled. When I add water, the texture gets weird.
Hey Jeffrey! Yeah I know exactly what you mean. You described it as "gelled" and that is the best word for it. Or maybe gloopy 🙂
I've always assumed this is just the age and moisture content of the tomatillos in action. I tend to use it as is, but thanks for mentioning that your test of adding water makes it a little wonky. Years ago I would add onion to this recipe for flavor purposes, so if I were in your shoes I would be tempted to add 1/4 onion to see if the high moisture content of the onion will thin it out to the right consistency. Cheers.
I've made this many times and my entire family loves it. We eat it on everything and, when served with roasted pork cubes, makes a good dish with no other additions.
But every so often, a batch turns out to be VERY thick, like jelly, rather than the normal "thickish salsa" we are used to. Am I overcooking the tomatillo? Overblending? I follow the same recipe fairly consistently and can't figure out what causes the thickening. When this happens, the salsa can be so thick that it is difficult to use, even with a bit of extra water stirred in.
Tomatillos have natural pectin in them. Pectin is used to thicken up things like jams and jelly. You could try blending in a little bit of water in a blender or food processor, hand mixing wont do much to break down the gel
Hola Patrick this is a very easy & excellent recipe. We just tried in our new food processor and it couldn't have been better. We our quite lucky to have many Mexican markets nearby so trying your recipes is big time fun. Thank you.
Thanks Rick! I still make this one on a regular basis and it always delivers 🙂 Cheers.
We LOVE this salsa! its hard to get fresh tomatillos here, so I use canned. Within a few seconds we have a fantastic, delicious salsa. Thank you so much for this recipe!
Hey thanks much for your note Gillie, so glad you all are enjoying this Salsa! Cheers.
Hi Patrick, I made this tonight to go with my carnitas. I did add a little Mexican oregano & a dash of salt - yum! Love your recipes, all of them =)
Thanks much Jeannine, so glad you found this recipe!! Cheers.
We enjoy this often. Just wondering how long the sauce will last sealed up in the fridge? Have some from a couple weeks back and want to make more tacos to enjoy it with... thanks!
Thanks Resa!! It will keep for a few days but in general I find that most homemade Salsas lose some of their zip and vibrancy after sitting in the fridge overnight. So lately I just make smaller batches more often instead of larger batches. Cheers.