Canning Salsa Verde, Made With Tomatillos

Last updated: June 27, 2021
4.47 from 190 votes
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Let’s just call this liquid gold my friends.

Canning a batch of salsa verde, made from beautiful tomatillos (you’ll see at the farmers market with a husk coving them, and green skin underneath, resembling a green tomato), charred peppers, cilantro, and cumin, will be one of the best things you did all summer!

salsa verde in glass jars, tomatillos sitting next to the jars.
Canning Salsa Verde, Made With Tomatillos

After having some amazing chicken and white bean enchiladas with a spicy salsa verde while on vacation in Playa Del Carmen with the boyfriend, I’ve wanted to recreate it.

Using a recipe I slightly adapted from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving, this Tomatillo Salsa Verde is a keeper. The only adaptations I made to the recipe were the spices and types of peppers.

ingredients for canning tomatillo salsa verde

To achieve a deep, slightly smoky flavor while canning salsa verde, I did two things:

1. Roasted 3/4 of the tomatillos in a hot 500 deg. F oven until the juices were sizzling out of them and they were slightly charred. I kept the other 1/4 raw to make sure the end product still had a nice green color.

2. Added quite a bit more cumin and then what really sealed the deal – smoked paprika. Its great flavor comes from being naturally smoked over oak fires.

Note: I checked with the University of Missouri Extension services to make sure these changes were safe which was a very useful discussion to learn about canning safety!It is extremely important when canning things like salsa or other vegetables that you use a tested recipe from either the  National Center for Home Food Preservation, a state extension, or Ball Canning. These groups laboratory test their recipes for numerous requirements to ensure proper canning techniques and processing times that are utilized based on food acidity.

canning tomatillo salsa verde

The spice (heat) level can be adjusted by using hot or mild peppers, or adjusting the mix of peppers. You should not, however, increase the number of pounds or cups of peppers in the recipe; as well as onions. Increasing or decreasing the amount of peppers or onions can impact the acidity of the product, potentially making it unsafe.

Enjoy salsa verde as a simple appetizer with tortilla chips, added to green chile chicken soup, on tacos, or enchiladas. It will definitely add deep flavor to whatever you choose!

spooning tomatillo salsa verde out of a glass jar.

More Salsa Canning Recipes:

salsa verde // tomatillo salsa

Recipe: Canning Salsa Verde, Made With Tomatillos

A recipe for canned salsa verde, made from charred tomatillos, peppers, onions, and cilantro. Making this green salsa will be one of the best things you did all summer!
4.47 from 190 votes
Prep Time :25 minutes
Cook Time :40 minutes
Total Time :1 hour 5 minutes
Yield: 4 to 5 half pints
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups about 2 pounds chopped tomatillos, husked and cores removed
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped peppers (i used a mix of green bell, jalapenos, and thai chilies)
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/3 cup minced cilantro
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked spanish paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice

Instructions

  • Have jars ready for canning, sterilized and hot.
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place 3/4 of the chopped tomatillos on a baking sheet, reserve remaining 1/4. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are slightly charred and their juices are seeping out.
  • While they are roasting, chop the onion, peppers, and garlic in a food processor by pulsing, until they are finely chopped. Remove and put into sauce pot you will be using to cook.
  • Then remove tomatillos from oven, let cool a few minutes, and pulse in food processor along with the 1/4 raw tomatillos that you reserved. Add all tomatillos to the sauce pot that has the onions/peppers/garlic, along with the cumin, paprika, salt, vinegar, and lime juice. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to a simmer for 12 minutes. During the last minute of cooking add the minced cilantro. * (see note.)
  • Ladle hot salsa into hot sterilized jars, and leave 1/2 inch head space. Place sterilized rings and lids on top, then return to boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool, listen for the pop!

Notes

*Resist tasting the salsa before it is processed in the hot water bath. The hot water bath and heat will balance the vinegar and acidity. If you taste it prior to this, it will taste vinegar-y. But that will all go away with the heat of the hot water bath. 
*Store jars in a cool, dark space. Eat within 18 months of canning date.

** Photos by Sharon Nge

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September 9, 2011

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139 comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for a recipe that uses a good amount of peppers as my garden was very productive this year. This recipe does not disappoint!! I doubled it for the amount of tomatillos and peppers I had on hand but didn’t change anything at all. This is by far the best salsa verde I’ve ever made or tasted. :)

  2. 5 stars
    It tastes superb, but I only got 4 quarter pint jars. Weighed my tomatillos out at 2lbs and put in one cup of assorted peppers and one large onion.

  3. Hi Amanda, Your reviews are wonderful and I am going to make this soon as my Tomatillos are coming on strong. I am not able to do lime juice, can this be done with lemon juice? If so, is it the same amount for safety?

    • Hi Alana! Yes, you could use bottled lime juice or bottled lemon juice interchangeably in canning without affecting the safety. They have nearly equal ph levels.

  4. Sounds interesting. I used to can many years ago and found it rewarding. Do you count the 15 minutes from the time you put the jars into the hot water or bring water back to a boil and then count 15 minutes? Might have to try this.

  5. 5 stars
    This is, by far, the best salsa verde recipe that I have found. I smoke the peppers and love to use a variety (poblano, Anaheim, jalapeño, bell, and just about anything!). So many offers to buy it from me whenever I bring it! I’ve used it for the past three years now and will not stray!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this the other night for the first time. Usually, I do a.red salsa, but decided to try a Verde style and came across this recipe. Absolutely AMAZING how it turned out. Though, I decided.to.ise.straight Jalapenos from the garden, seeds and all, and added 2 Tbsp of Cayenne Powder. Has a mild-medium but “sneaky” heat! I will definitely be making this again!

  7. Hi! This sounds amazing! I will be harvesting a bunch of tomatillos this year and this seems like the perfect way to use them! Unfortunately, I am allergic to garlic. Do you know if it would affect the acidity/safety if I just leave the garlic out?

    Thanks for the recipe and for your help!

    • Hi Kara! The p.h. of tomatillos is 3.8, which is more than 50% of this recipe, and garlic has a ph 5.8. F Removing the garlic should be okay, as not having it included would only further lower the ph of the entire recipe, which is a good thing for canning safety. I always consult the Penn State Extension for questions like this. I am not

  8. If I just cook this; then refrigerate it (not can it), do I leave out or reduce the vinegar or do I cook it longer? You stated that the vinegar and heat of canning changes the flavor.

    • Hi Patty! That’s a good question. I haven’t tested it without canning it. My best guess would be that you could leave out the vinegar and increase the lime juice to 1/4 cup. Making it this way, the recipe is not safe for canning so be sure to refrigerate. Let me know how it turns out.

      • Thank you so much….I love the idea of the smoked paprika and cumin, but I may have to pull out my canner for this if it doesn’t work out without the vinegar….It just sounds so delicious….I usually add a bit of salsa verde to my guacamole to make it stretch further and it seems to cut down on the guac turning black on top. Thank you so much for all your recipes (and I love all the “Sunday morning” chats!)

  9. What happens if you only have 4 1/2 cloves of garlic on hand. Will this make it unsafe? Also, if I want to add cumin, can I ?

  10. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe. I grew the tomatillos, bell peppers and jalapeños. My husband brought home some peppers. Not sure what type they were but ,I smelled them and some smelled hot others did not. So anyways I roasted the tomatillos and all the hot peppers 7 jalapeños med size and 3 other hot peppers. and two small bell peppers . Didn’t taste very hot but it sure was good. Will the recipe get hotter as it sets? Thank you for sharing your recipe..

    • Hi Mary! Glad you liked this salsa. Yes, sometimes it’s hard to know how hot your peppers if you don’t exactly know what variety they are. I like to take a little bite of each one to get a gauge of the heat before making the salsa.

  11. 5 stars
    I had tomatillos, garlic, onions, jalapenos, and cilantro from my garden, so I adjusted the recipe a bit since I didn’t have other peooers. My sals is HOT! No problem. That’s the way I like it. The ingredients and process are excellent as they are, though.

    • So glad you liked the recipe! And yes, you can definitely adjust the heat using the bell peppers, but since you like it spicy, your use of just jalapeños works too!

  12. 5 stars
    I just made this using green tomatoes and am happy with the results. It has a really nice flavor. I had to play around with the spicy peppers to get the right amount of zzing keeping in mind the heat will mellow over time. I found the recipe confusing as the sub title says “charred peppers” but there is only instructions for charred green tomatoes, NO charred pepper directions, only fresh chopped peppers. I ended up charring 1 pepper with the tomatoes but then I wasn’t sure about measurement as the pepper turns to mush after charring and chopping. I would love some clarity on this as I’d love to make it again without all the second guessing.

  13. 5 stars
    This is delicious. I’ve already made it twice this season. One batch I made mild and one I made with a lot more heat. I’m hoping for more tomatillos soon so I can do up another couple of pints. Thanks for a great recipe.

  14. 5 stars
    This canning recipe turned out great! I quadrupled the recipe, and it made exactly as much as I expected. It’s smoky, slightly sweet, and tart, with a bit of heat from the peppers (I used a mix of green and jalapeños). I love it so much I’m going to can another batch soon! Thanks for a great recipe!

  15. Do you have to chop the tomatillos prior to roasting? And wouldn’t you 2ant to put them into a food processor afterwards like the onions, peppers and garlic so all would be the same size?

  16. The best! Tomatillos from our garden. Followed recipe, didn’t have bell pepper so added some bannana chiles. Came out great. Thank you.

  17. 5 stars
    Tried this recipe after consulting the Ball Blue Book. And so glad I did! Way more steps and tips are included. I am sure it has better flavors because of the combo of peppers and additional spices. Love it!

  18. 5 stars
    Oh my, this sounds amazing! I have tomatillos growing in the garden right now so I’ll definitely be making a few batches of this when they’re ready!

  19. Hi Amanda. I made salsa verde for the first time but used a different recipe. I canned it but the recipe I used didn’t ask for vinegar. How long will this last without using the vinegar. Making another batch in a few days and I am definitely using your recipe. Any advice would be welcomed. TIA

    • Hi Crystal! You will need to use the vinegar if you are planning on water bath canning for food safety, so that the acid ratio is correct. Is there a reason you are avoiding vinegar? Just trying to learn a little more so I can help you.

  20. Thank you for this recipe! My sauce is a bit sweet…guessing the tomatillo bounty this year is just extra sweet. Do you know if we can double the recipe and if it is ok to add twice the cilantro?

  21. It’s a wrap! The recipe perfect, the outcome is delicious salsa verde. Doubled the recipe… glad we did. The combination of ingredients made for a wonderful blend. Special shout out to the smoked paprika.

  22. With the tomatillos being naturally bitter doesn’t it add even more bitterness when adding lime juice plus vinegar ? I’m going to can the salsa verde. I’m just afraid it’ll be too bitter despite adding sugar to counteract

    • Hi Karla! The lime juice and vinegar do not add bitterness. They are there mostly to balance the acid for safety of canning. We love this salsa verde and make it every year. :)

  23. Thank you for publishing a recipe that can be canned. I make salsa verde often. Now I want to can it but never knew what was needed for safe preservation! I will be making this tomorrow!

  24. If canning in pint jars instead of half pints, would water bath time be same, or would you increase by 5 minutes or so? Thanks!

      • Thank you so much. Made today, and first time canner! They all sealed almost immediately. Recipe is so yummy. I’m going to try your other Fiery roasted one next. Would it be ok to leave out the cumin and cilantro in that recipe? I left them out of this one, and I hope that was ok….? Not sure why I didn’t ask you earlier! If not ok I could just eat all of the verde in the next couple weeks :)

  25. Due to an onion allergy I cannot include the onion. I know the recipe may not be as flavorful as the one you provided, but do you have any suggestions on how I can modify the recipe to exclude the onions, while keeping the acidity levels safe?

  26. Can I substitute banana, bell, and/or Anaheim peppers for the jalapeno and Thai or what do you recommend?
    I mean, how much would that change the flavor?
    Can’t handle the heat.
    It would still be pressure canned.
    NO I would not water bath but check with your local extension office.
    Remember to check your altitude and how many pounds of pressure and time you need because those affect the end product.
    Sorry not trying to be know it all. Just want to be safe.

  27. I want to follow your recipe but am concerned about using 6 cloves of garlic since I’m not a fan. Can I reduce that and have not affect the PH adversely?

    Thanks,
    Pat

    • Hi Pat! The garlic isn’t overly present in the final salsa, since it is cooked well. If you did reduce, it would affect the PH, and I’m not sure how that would go.

  28. The salsa came out very good. I used poblanos & jalapeños. I don’t think this will last long once opened. I had a little left after filling the last jar, and just stuck that in the fridge. An excellent way to taste!

  29. I made this last year and loved it very much. One thing I can’t remember is if I used fresh lime juice or bottled. I know when canning this can make a difference. Can you please let me know which one should be used. THANK YOU.

      • I was always told that you should use commercial lemon or lime juice for canning because the acidity of fresh lemons and limes vary from individual fruits and cannot be guaranteed, therefore I use store bought that guarantees how much acid is in it. That is my take on that. But I am using the recipe. But like another writer, I don’t really like the idea of cumin or smoked paprika in Salsa verde so I left it out. I haven’t got mine out of the canner but I did pressure can mine according to the USDA Guidelines which I check most any recipe I can. They allow for water bath but mostly they say things are safer when pressure canned. I am an avid canner and have been all my life since I was a child, also a professional cook and Artisan baker. Retired now. Thank you for your recipe. I didn’t read your blog, I don’t read any of them. But I liked the recipe.

        • I cooked Chili Verde Burritos last night with the canned Salsa Verde. I used a mixture of three Anaheim, 6 jalapenos, and 3 Serrano peppers (tripled the recipe) plus green bell peppers. My brother and I ate it and it was very good. It is much like my mother’s and it was kind of nostalgic for the two of us, our mother has been gone for 10 years and I haven’t made it for that long. I made 3 batches at once and got 16 total half-pints. My brother and I got mom’s old garden plot going again after lying dormant for a number of years. We grew our own Tomatillos and they are really easy to grow. Doing the last of them tonight, another two batches. Most of our garden is harvested now except the winter garden stuff. Thanks again for a very nice recipe. I like it for a master recipe…which is a basic recipe that you can adapt and add or subtract from keeping the generally shape of it all intact Something I learned from Julia Child.

  30. I’ve never heard of putting paprika or cumino in salsa verde and we always blanche and peel the tomatillos. The skins are tough! It’s an interesting take on such a culturally traditional sauce.

  31. Thanks for sharing this recipe. We like the flavor and found the recipe easy to follow. As I planned to can the salsa, I really appreciated your safety instructions-I appreciate your research. We canned 4-8 oz 1- 4 oz and had another 4 oz to taste and refrigerate-I don’t think this will last long!

  32. I’m sure you know they aren’t green onions.. but your description says- green onions with the husks on them.

  33. Can this be done without onions and garlic? My son has a food intolerance, sadly. I could make up the volume with peppers, but I don’t know if it effects the preservation?

  34. After filling the hot jars and putting lid/ring on do you completely cover over the top in the water bath?

  35. I was wondering how much salsa canned will I have with this recipe? I’m thinking of Christmas presents this year.
    Thanks, it sounds super yummy and easy to prepare.

  36. Thanks for the recipe. If I am going to skip canning this should I omit the vinegar? I have ruined entire recipes at the very end when I toss in vinegar.

  37. Hi! I was just wondering if I could substitute the tomatillos for Green Tomatoes? Also, how much would the flavor change without the smoked paprika (though that sounds amazing!)?

    • Hi Tiffany! I wouldn’t suggest green tomatoes because I think it will be too tart. You could go without the paprika though, it just adds a slight smokiness but is still great without it!

  38. Hi I am wondering how you measured the tomatillos. After they were roasted? It says 5 1/2 cups of chopped tomatillos do you cut them up measure them and then roast them. Thanks for the help

    • Hello! It is 5 1/2 cups chopped tomatillos total (before roasting), then roasting all but about 1 cup of them for the part of the recipe that calls for the raw tomatillos. Hope that helps, enjoy.

  39. Hi, I made this salsa verde recipe and unfortunately I used lemon juice instead of lime juice. Recipe is very sour, so how can I rectify this? Can you help?

    • Hi Delia! If you used lemon instead of lime juice, you can subdue the sourness by dissolving some sugar into it. This counteracts the acidity. Each time you open a jar, pour the salsa into a saucepan and bring it to medium heat. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon of sugar, then bring to a light simmer. Cook for about 4 minutes to help the sugar to dissolve. Taste, then add a little more sugar if still too sour. You can then add it back to the jar you canned it in and store it in the refrigerator.

  40. I made the salsa today & I have to say it turned out beautiful. I love the bite that you get from the jalapeño. Thank you for the recipe.

  41. Was curious how many Thai chilies and jalapeños you use. I love spicy but I don’t want to burn my face off either haha. Thanks :)

    • Hi Lesa! If you can this salsa, you leave it on your shelf in a dark spot for up to 18 months. Then once opened it will last in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. If you do not hot water bath can it, it will last in the refrigerator for 1 month once opened.

    • 5 stars
      Hi, I made a batch of this and it was divine. It will be the sole reason u plant multiple tomatillos again next year. I used an Anaheim pepper and two jalapeños, and I lightly smoked 1/2 of the tomatillos and some of the peppers on our smoker – I should probably make a control batch to see if it affects the flavor significantly. Also going to try adding one homegrown trinidad scorpion, and feed it to the spice lovers in my life.

      I left town and my tomatillos froze, I’m unsure if it would still be safe to can them after this, only because I know very little about canning. I might just try to make this and freeze some instead.

      • Hi Kelsey! I’m so glad you enjoyed this salsa verde recipe.
        I did find some information about freezing vegetables, then using them in a canning recipe.
        Vegetables that have been frozen are safe to can as recipe instructs. It does also say, “Foods that are thawed and canned must be fully thawed before canning to ensure that no cold spots exist, and the produce must be treated as fresh in terms of canning methods and full complete processing times.”

    • It is the space at the top of the jar. The space above where your food stops and the top of the jar. If it calls for 1/2 inch headspace you want one half inch down from the top to be free of food and liquid.