Green Chili Sauce (Salsa Verde)

  • Yield : About 5 cups
  • Servings : 20
  • Prep Time : 15m
  • Cook Time : 15m
  • Ready In : 30m

Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Calories From Fat

  • Total Fat

  • Saturated Fat

  • Trans Fat

  • Cholesterol

  • Sodium

  • Carbohydrates

  • Dietary Fiber

  • Sugar

  • Protein

  • Serving Size:

    1/4 cup (60 ml)

Green Chili Sauce (Salsa Verde) is available in to forms; Mexican style made with green chilis, tomatillos, and cilantro, and New Mexican style made primarily of green chilis usually Hatch. Hatch chilis can range from mild to hot. Unless you know the grower and their chilis you won’t know what you have until you taste it.

A mild version of Hatch chilis is the Anaheim. Anaheim chili has about the same heat index as bell peppers, but provides a complex flavor.

Most New Mexican green chili sauces are thickened using flour. If you have celiac disease or are on a gluten-free diet, you can thicken the sauce using cornstarch, arrowroot or other gluten-free thickeners.

Mexican style salsa verde is thinned using the tomatillo cooking water. You can achieve the thick consistency of jarred green sauce without added guar and other gums. Even canned green enchilada sauce is thickened using gums or have MSG  and yeasts added for flavor.


Prepared sauces can also be high is sodium. This brand has 350 mg per 1/4  cup (60 ml) serving. One-quarter cup is not a lot of sauce especially when making enchiladas. I use one 20-ounce can of sauce when making a 13″x9″  baking dish of enchiladas. Most Mexican restaurants smother their enchiladas with sauce.

While this recipe also has 25 calories per 1/4 cup (60 ml) serving it only has about 70% less sodium; 115 mg of sodium. You can  make your sauce virtually sodium free by reducing or omitting the salt.


Refrigerate the sauce up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage. The heat level can diminish with refrigeration.

Special Equipment

Blender or food processor.

Serving Suggestions

Green Chili Sauce is not just for enchiladas and tortilla chips. You can serve it over eggs, broiled or fried fish, enchilada style burros, tacos, and tostadas. Added it to soups and stews.


  • 2 lbs. (900 g) green tomatillos, remove husks and rinse
  • 2 (10 g) garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 serrano, jalapeño, or Hatch chilis
  • 1 cup (16 g) cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) yellow or white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ( 5ml) kosher salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) avocado, canola, or corn oil

Method of Preparation

Step 1

Place raw chilis, garlic and tomatillos in a 4 - 5 qt/l pot and cover with cold water. Cover pot and bring water to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until tomatillos change from bright green to pale green and can easily be pierced using a fork or knife.

Step 2

Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatillos, garlic and one chili to your blender. Add about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the cooking water. Puree until smooth. Add cilantro, onion, salt and any roasted chilis at this time. Cover and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and add the other chili if desired and more of the cooking water for a thin sauce. You can add pieces of the 2nd chili until you have the desired heat level.

Step 3

Rince and dry the pot used to cook the tomatillos. Add the oil and heat on medium until hot but not smoking. Carefully add the sauce to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 6 to 8 minutes until it in color and flavor. Remove from heat and use or cool and refrigerate.