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Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde) Recipe with Instructions for Safe Canning

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In this article, I'll share an easy tomatillo salsa (salsa verde) recipe, plus instructions for safely canning tomatillo salsa. People tend to either love or not-love tomatillo salsa, also known as salsa verde. Until recently, my family has been in the not-love category. However, I started growing tomatillos a few years ago because a friend gave me seeds, and seeds can’t be wasted. That’s when I decided to experiment and make a salsa verde my family would love.

tomatillo salsa with tortilla chips in a red bowl

I know my family likes a wide variety of red salsas as long as they don’t have vinegar in them. So my tomatillo salsa would need to not have vinegar added – even for canning. I also know my family loved pico de gallo. So, I decided to make a tomatillo salsa that would be similar to pico de gallo in flavor and texture.

According to my family, I've succeeded.

tomatillo plant for salsa verde

What are tomatillos?

Tomatillo is a nightshade plant that is related to tomatoes. They’re often called husk tomatoes because they grow with a papery husk around the fruit and look like tomatoes. However, tomatillos are not the same as green tomatoes. They have a slightly different texture, and more citrusy flavor profile. For salsa verde, it's best to use tomatillos that are full size but still green in color. As they ripen to a golden yellow or purple (with some heirloom varieties), the flavor will become sweeter.

Tomatillos are native to Mexico, Central and South America, and can grow in most North American gardens. They need more than 70 frost free days, quite a bit of heat, and not a lot of water. If you can grow tomatoes, you can grow tomatillos. Learn more about growing tomatillos at “Growing Tomatillos {for more than tomatillo salsa verde}“.

washing a tomatillo for salsa verde

Preparing Tomatillos for Salsa

Tomatillos have a husk that covers them. Leave the husk on until you’re ready to use the tomatillos – either for using fresh or for canning. The husk will help keep the tomatillo fresh.

When you’re ready to make tomatillo salsa, remove the husks. You’ll notice that the tomatillo is a bit sticky, that’s completely normal, but you’ll want to remove the sticky residue before making tomatillo salsa or other recipes.

I like to put the tomatillos in a sink of water and use a wash cloth with a bit of soap on it to wash the residue off. The residue won’t hurt you but I do find that dirt will stick to it and that it’s a bit bitter, so I like to make sure it’s off.

The good news is there’s no need to remove the skin from the tomatillo. Just quarter the tomatillos and they’re ready for salsa making.

filling mason jar with salsa verde for canning tomatillo salsa

How to Make Tomatillo Salsa

Our tomatillo salsa recipe is just tomatillos, onions, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno, and lime. My family likes a lot of onion, cilantro, and lime in our salsa verde. I’m going to suggest that you make a small batch first and make sure you like it before canning a bunch of tomatillo salsa that your family doesn’t really like.

Once you make a batch you can tweak it by adding more or less of the ingredients until you figure out what your family likes. I suggest having a new bag of chips (and a pencil and paper) available for this experiment.

According to the studies referenced in “Safety of tomatillos and products containing tomatillos canned by the water-bath canning method“, as long as there are more tomatillos than low acid ingredients, it will be in the safe for water bath canning. However, I still like to add citric acid to my canned tomatillo salsa recipe when I can it.

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Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

An easy to make small batch salsa verde recipe that your family will love.

  • Author: Angi Schneider
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x
  • Category: condiment
  • Method: blending
  • Cuisine: Southwestern

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound tomatillos (husk removed, washed, and quartered)
  • 4 oz chopped onions
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (fresh tastes better but bottled will do)
  • 1 jalapeno or other pepper (remove seeds and membrane for less spice)

Instructions

Combine all ingredients into a blender and pulse until it’s the consistency you like your salsa to be.

Makes approximately 4 cups of tomatillo salsa

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 cup

Keywords: salsa verde, tomatillo salsa

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tomatillo salsa (salsa verde) with chips in a red bowl

Canning Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

I like to make a large batch of tomatillo salsa by quadrupling the recipe above. Put the salsa verde in a large stock pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

We’ve found that cooking the salsa verde (and canning it) tends to diminish the lime flavor so I leave the lime juice out at first and stir it in after the tomatillo salsa has been simmering for 10 minutes.

Prepare Your Jars and Canner

While the salsa verde is simmering, prepare the jars and lids. Wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water and rinse well. Keep the jars warm by putting them in the dish washer or in a warm oven (not hot). If you finish washing and rinsing the jars about the time the salsa is done simmering you can just fill them and not worry about keeping the jars warm. This is what I do since I don’t have a dishwasher.

Don’t ever put hot salsa in cold jars – the jars need to be warm or you risk them breaking.

Prepare the water bath canner by filling it about half way with warm water and put it on the stove over medium heat. If you have hard water, you can add a splash of white vinegar to the water to keep mineral deposits off the jar.

Fill the Jars with Tomatillo Salsa and Prep for Canning

Ladle the tomatillo salsa into the clean, warm jars and leave a ½” head space. Add citric acid to each jar – ½ tsp per quart, ¼ tsp per pint.

Remove air bubbles by sliding a spatula along the inside of the jar, which will move the salsa and push out any air bubble trapped in it.

Wipe the jar’s rim with a clean, damp cloth and put the lids and bands on the jars.

Process the Salsa

Put the jars in the water bath canner. The water needs to an inch or two higher than the tallest jar. Bring the water bath to a boil and process the jars of tomatillo salsa for 15 minutes (adjusting for altitude.)

After 15 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the jars from the water bath canner. I set them on a towel on my counter to cool.

Once the jars are completely cooled, remove the bands and check the seals. If a jar didn’t seal put it in the refrigerator to use first.

Wipe and label the jars and put them away.

If You Like More Lime Flavor

As I mentioned earlier, the salsa verde loses some of its lime flavor during the canning process. I usually have limes on hand (or frozen lime juice from our winter lime harvest) so I will often add more lime juice to the canned tomatillo salsa when I serve it. You may or may not want to do that, it just depends on what your family likes. Enjoy!

salsa verde (tomatillo salsa) in a red bowl with chips

More Home Canning Recipes and Tips

Don't forget to check out the list of canning and preserving recipes and guides on the recipe index page, including:

Angi Schneider

This is a guest post by Angi Schneider of SchneiderPeeps. Angi lives with her family along the Texas Gulf Coast on 1.5 acres, where she keeps a large garden, a growing orchard, chickens, and bees.

When she’s not in her garden or homeschooling (or chauffeuring) her children, she can be found hanging out and chatting about all things simple living on her site, SchneiderPeeps. She offers a great product called The Gardening Notebook. The Gardening Notebook is custom printable e-book to help you keep track of everything that is important to you in your gardening journey.

Also by Angi Schneider:

Summer Gardens – Dealing with High Temperatures in the Garden“.

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4 Comments

  1. Can I use green toms. instead of the tomatillos in my salsa… using tomatos,green peps onions, garlic ?

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