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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!
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.
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.
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!
** Photos by Sharon Nge
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Can I safely start this, go to the point of simmering, but stop before simmering snd frudgerate it until the next day?
That will be fine, just make sure to reheat to hot, so that you’re filling the hot jars with hot salsa when you go to can!
Made a batch of this,I grew the tomatillo for the first time made your salsa verda I put 5 Thai chilies plus ,green peppers and a banana pepper and jalepeno,going to make another batch tommorow just with less Thai chilies,the taste is so good
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. :)
So wonderful that your garden was abundant! Glad you liked this recipe. I often double it as well.
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.
Very good thanks for sharing!
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.
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.
Hi Helen! The water should still be simmering when you add the jars back into it, so 15 minutes from adding the jars to the simmering/boiling water.
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!
Yay, so glad to hear that Trent! I love the idea of smoking the peppers – we just got a smoker. What temp do you smoke them at?
What kind of wood chips did you use to smoke them and for how long?
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!
Fabulous, so glad you liked it!
Is that lime juice from concentrate?
Hi! Yes, it’s bottled lime juice like this which is from concentrate (as listed on ingredient panel).
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
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!)
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 ?
Yes, will still be safe if you only have 4 1/2 cloves garlic, and yes you can add a bit of cumin!
Can avocados be added to this recipe?
No they cannot. Avocados cannot withstand the heat and pressure of canning.
Can I use fresh lime juice?
When canning you should not use fresh lime juice, as fresh limes vary in acidity levels, whereas with bottled lime juice the acidity is guaranteed to be between a ph of 2.0 and 2.3. This is important to stick with for the safety of the recipe.
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.
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!
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.
Glad you enjoyed this salsa! You are correct, the peppers and onions are not charred, just the tomatillos. I’ve updated the recipe description.
Can I use green tomatoes instead of tomatillo s?
I haven’t tested this recipe with green tomatoes, sorry!
Hi, I’m doubling the recipe. Is it 11 cups of tomatillos before or after being processed?
That is before processing. Enjoy!
Is it okay to roast the peppers?
Hi! I have not tested this recipe with roasted peppers, so I cannot ensure the canning safety. But sounds like it would be delicious!
How long to process if using pint jars?? Thanks
Hi Belinda! Process the pint jars for an additional five minutes, for a total of 20 minutes.
Can I add tomatoes to this recipe
Hi Roxanne! This recipe has not been tested with tomatoes, so I can not ensure the canning safety of adding them.
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.
So glad you enjoyed the recipe! And love the idea of doing one mild batch and one hot batch.
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!
Yay, so glad you enjoyed it! Cheers to a great gardening season.
Is it ok to increase recipe to qt size as long as you use the same amounts by doubling or tripling it? The 1/2 pints are just way to small for my family. Thank you
Hi! Increase the ingredients accordingly and then if using quart jars, you’ll want to add 5 minutes to the processing time.
i need more salsa in one go, too, but just bought a bunch of pint jars. is it okay to add five minutes to the processing time for pints, or is that too much? thanks for making this recipe available!
Hi! It would be 20 minutes processing time for pint jars.
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?
Hello! You can leave the tomatillos whole, or halve them. They will break down with the roasting and as you simmer the mixture, so no need to use a food processor.
Can you use serrano peppers or other peppers in place of the Thai peppers
Yes, you can use serrano peppers if you are okay with their spiciness level!
The best! Tomatillos from our garden. Followed recipe, didn’t have bell pepper so added some bannana chiles. Came out great. Thank you.
yay, so glad to hear! loved that you used your own home grown tomatillos.
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!
So great to hear you liked the recipe! And love seeing all of your garden experiences on Instagram.
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!
Can this recipe be pressure canned so that it might have a longer shelf life?
Hi Randy! I have not pressure canned this salsa recipe, so can’t speak to that technique.
Do I have to put these in the oven or can I just omit that part
you definitely want to roast as recipe is written. the flavor and texture will not be nearly as good if you use raw.
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.
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?
Yes, you can double and add more cilantro without affecting the safety!
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.
Yay! So glad you liked the salsa verde recipe, Michelle.
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. :)
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!
so glad you found this recipe, cynthia! enjoy the salsa verde!
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!
Hi Elizabeth! According to the USDA complete guide to canning safety, “Process times for ½-pint and pint jars are the same, as are times for 1-½ pint and quart jars.”.
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 :)
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?
To ensure canning safety, I would look at this USDA list of foods and their PH’s to see if anything could be a potential substitute. Then email them to confirm safety at: email@example.com.
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.
Hi Karen! Anaheim would be a great substitution. They have a higher acid level/ph, than jalapenos so they work well. Flavor will still be great.
Do you remove the charred parts before canning?
The charred parts are what give the salsa a lot of flavor. So they are not removed.
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?
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.
Can I freeze this recipe instead of canning it?
yes! just be sure to leave one inch above salsa, to top of jar, so it has room to expand. and wait until jars are fully cooled to freeze.
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!
Yay! So glad you liked the recipe! We love making enchiladas with it.
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.
Hi Michelle! Fresh lime juice is best.
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.
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.
DO you have to blanch the tomatillo’s like tomatoes before roasting?
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!
wonderful, i’m glad it was easy to follow! enjoy in the upcoming winter months. :)
Can I double or quadruple this recipe and can in pint jars? I have 22 lbs of tomatillos!
Yes, certainly! just make sure to adjust all the ingredients according to the pounds of tomatillos you have.
I’m sure you know they aren’t green onions.. but your description says- green onions with the husks on them.
Yes, you are correct, thanks for catching!
Tomatillos are not onions, they are in the tomato family and are easy to grow just like tomatoes.
Do you recommend distilled white vinegar? Or did you use apple cider vinegar?
distilled white vinegar!
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?
Hi Marie! I have a feeling that would affect the PH too much so would not recommend since I am not a professional canner.
After filling the hot jars and putting lid/ring on do you completely cover over the top in the water bath?
yes, the jars should be covered with water, by a few inches.
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.
hi Mary! this makes 4-5 half pints, which are the size jars you see pictured above.
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.
Hi! You won’t be able to taste the vinegar at all. There’s so little of it, and it must be used for canning otherwise it will spoil.
About how many pounds of tomatillos does it take to get the 5 1/2 cups chopped?
Hi Jennelle! About 2 pounds tomatillos will equal the 5 1/2 cups chopped.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 Staci! For a mild-medium version of this salsa verde I typically use two medium sized jalapenos with seeds or 1 jalapeno and 1 thai chile. Maybe try that with one batch as a guide, then make it spicier if you like the next time. Enjoy!
My batch looks really red. I haven’t tried it yet
Do you cover when you simmer?
Yes, you can cover it while simmering.
How long will this last in fridge?
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.
What’s the headspace? :)
Hi Melinda! Leave about 1/2 inch headspace for this salsa verde canning recipe. Thanks for the question!
Hi I was wondering if I can use a steam canner instead a waterbath?
Hi! I’m not familiar with a steam canner, so not sure. Sorry!
Thanks for the recipe.I have 2 tomatilla plants that are goin nuts!I’ve used you recipe to make 11 jam jars so far and the plant is still comin on with more!🤯 do you have anymore ideas on what to do with them??
I could load um up with coast pepper for my neighbor.(he eats those raw).but ID like to know if these have any others use.
so glad you like the salsa verde recipe! here are some more tomatillo recipes for you:https://www.thekitchn.com/15-delicious-ways-to-use-tomatillos-any-time-of-day-recipes-from-the-kitchn-206915
Thanks! Im on keto and anything I can get to have some variety is much appreciated.
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.
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.”