An easy, spot-on copycat recipe for Chipotle’s Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa, their medium-heat version of Salsa Verde.
Reading: how to make chipotle medium sauce
Tomatillos: AKA Husk Tomatoes or Jamberries, tomatillos are found year round at well-stocked grocery stores and Latin markets. They may look like unripe, green tomatoes, but they come from a totally different plant.
Tomatillos have a dry, papery shell (husk) that should be removed before cooking. Under the husk is a sticky residue which you can rinse off with cold water ( the stickiness is a natural insect deterrent the plant has developed).
In Mexico, they often use a miniaturized version called tomatillos Milperos. They have a much stronger, better flavor than standard tomatillos. Of course in Mexico, they are simply known as “tomatillos.” Sometimes, I find them at the Mexican grocery store. I also use them in my Salsa de Birria.
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A food processor or blender makes this recipe happen super fast. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees for some quick, high-heat roasting.
- To start, clean and rinse the tomatillos. Then cut them in half, along with the tomato. Hold a couple tomatillos back to add raw to the salsa later. Place the halves on a foil-lined baking sheet, skin side down.
- Roast in the oven until they develop toasty, blackened bits. Even a little char is okay. This should take about 20 minutes.
- Once you’ve roasted the tomatillos, add them to a food processor or blender with the jalapeńos, red onion, garlic, those fresh tomatillos you saved, cilantro, and the other herbs and spices.
- Blast in a food processor or blender until it’s the perfect consistency for you. Then season to taste with lemon and lime juices, salt, and pepper. See? That was easy!
- Chili heat: This salsa gets its spiciness from jalapeño peppers. If you’re a little shy about spice, add a little bit at a time and taste as you go along. Remember: Salsa tastes spicier when you eat it plain AND when it’s warm. So, once this salsa is cold and you’re eating it with other food, it will be less spicy.
- Pulse for chunky salsa. If you’re using a high-speed blender, don’t over blend your tomatillos! Keep a little texture in there, so you can see all the lovely colors and charred bits. Your chips will thank you.
- Grill: You could also roast the tomatillos and tomatoes on grill. Keep them whole when using coals.
- Make ahead: Tomatillo salsa can be made several days in advance and stored in the fridge. Or, freeze for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator (some separation may occur; just shake to recombine).
The full list of Chipotle salsas:
- Mild: Fresh Tomato Salsa
- Medium: Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
- Medium: Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa (this one right here!)
- Hot: Tomatillo-Red Chili Salsa
More delicious Chipotle recipes:
- Chipotle Chicken
- Chipotle Sofritas
- Chipotle Pinto Beans
- Chipotle Black Beans
- Chipotle Guacamole
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