This spicy tomatillo salsa recipe is really easy to make and full of fresh flavors, made with tomatillos, serrano peppers, garlic, onion, and cilantro. It literally takes 5 minutes to make salsa cruda when you chop everything up in a blender together. Keep reading and learn some easy ways to use it beyond just chips and dip.
Some foods have the magic of reviving memories. A taste of that particular dish and you are reminded of a specific time, place, person, or season in your life.
This fresh tomatillo salsa recipe takes me to the Mexican State of Hidalgo, on a cold morning when we were traveling from Mexico City on our way to Tampico. We had just passed by the Teotihuacan Pyramids and were entering Hidalgo when we saw a small roadside stand selling Lamb Barbacoa, and decided to stop by to have some breakfast.
An old couple was just setting up all their cooking tools to start the day. While we waited for our food, I asked the older woman about the green salsa in the molcajete. “It’s salsa cruda with Xoconostle,” she said, pointing to the large cactus patch to the right of the road.
Xoconostle is very similar to the “prickly pear” cactus, but, unfortunately, is not easy to find here in the US. Even though it doesn’t have Xoconostle, every time I make this salsa, it reminds me of that old lady selling lamb barbacoa on the roadside that cold morning, and how before we finished our breakfast, she gave me a large parcel wrapped with newspaper. When I opened it, it had a Xoconostle plant. “Now, you can have your own Xoconostles,” she said.
Every single taste of this salsa fills your mouth with authentic Mexican flavors. This is my favorite recipe and it's one I keep going back to whenever I am craving salsa!
Frequently Asked Questions About Salsa Cruda De Tomatillos
Before I share my tomatillo salsa recipe, here are a few questions I've been asked about homemade salsa cruda.
How do you store homemade salsa?
Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. A mason jar with a lid is my favorite kind of container for storing salsa. This salsa keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days. The acidity of the tomatillos helps preserve it.
Can I freeze a raw Tomatillo Salsa?
Yes, you can absolutely store this salsa in the freezer. It actually preserves really well for up to a month. When you remove the frozen tomatillo salsa from the freezer, allow it to totally thaw and stir well before using.
How do you make it spicier?
If you want it to taste spicier, add more serrano peppers. Fair warning- They pack a lot of heat. You can also add some habanero peppers if you still want it even spicier.
Can you make this without a blender?
Yes, you can make this without a blender. Just use a Molcajete, the Mexican stone mortar, or a food processor!
If you don't have either of those things, a handheld blender will work in a pinch. You can also just use a knife to finely chop up all the ingredients. It might take a little bit of time, and the salsa won't be as smooth, but it will still work really well.
What is the difference between salsa and pico de gallo?
The texture of the salsa is the main difference between pico and salsa. Pico do gallo is usually really chunky, but salsa has a thinner consistency. If you chop this up with larger chunks and don't use a blender, it could pass as a green pico de gallo.
Easy Fresh Tomatillo Salsa Recipe
Here is a list of ingredients you will need to make this dish...
- Tomatillos or Miltomates
- White Onion
- Serrano Pepper
- Garlic Clove
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
How To Make Salsa Cruda: Step By Step Tutorial
There is literally just one step to this recipe.
You place all the ingredients in the blender and process until it is your desired consistency. Leave it chunky or make it really smooth - the choice is up to you.
Now you are ready to enjoy your salsa!
What To Serve With Fresh Salsa Cruda
This is a really versatile sauce that you can enjoy with almost any dish you make.
One of my favorite ways to eat fresh tomatillo salsa is with some homemade chips. I love the salty and crunchy texture with the spicy salsa. Sometimes, when I’m in a hurry and in the mood for tacos, I just cook some chicken tinga, fix this quick salsa, and voila! Taco Night is ready!
This salsa also pairs well with these dinner recipes:
More Authentic Mexican Recipes To Enjoy
If you enjoyed this recipe for salsa cruda, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Fresh Salsa Roja - Raw Red Salsa
- Chipotle Salsa Recipe
- Ancho-Arbol Chili Pepper Salsa
- Hot Piquin Salsa Recipe
- Avocado Green Salsa
I hope you make this Mexican tomatillo salsa recipe! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
Fresh Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Cruda)
- 10 oz Tomatillos or Miltomates chopped. (about 5 medium size tomatillos) husks remove and previously washed
- 3 Tbsp. White Onion chopped
- 2 Serrano Pepper chopped*
- 1 Small Garlic clove peeled
- ¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
- Salt to taste.
- Put tomatillos, onion, garlic, serrano pepper, and cilantro in a blender (or food processor). Process until it forms a chunky salsa.
- This salsa is very thick, with the texture of a relish. Do not add water. Season with salt and serve.