With a few simple ingredients, this tangy tomatillo salsa with vinegar and arbol chile peppers is one of the easiest to make and is loaded with flavor. It’s my favorite Mexican salsa to top Tacos de Barbacoa and it pairs perfectly with eggs, homemade tortilla chips, and so many other dishes.
Unlike other green salsa recipes made with onion, garlic cloves, cilantro, serrano peppers, jalapeño, poblano peppers or other green chiles, this green salsa is made with four simple ingredients.
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE
Easy to make: With minimal prep and a few ingredients, you can make a delicious salsa verde recipe in about 10 minutes.
Long shelf life: The vinegar in this salsa helps preserve and give it a long shelf life. Mine lasts over four weeks in the fridge!
Unique flavor: The tanginess in this salsa makes it perfect to top tacos and every style of egg.
Tomatillos: Not to be confused with green tomatoes, tomatillos add flavor, texture, and balance to this salsa recipe. You can find them in the produce section of most grocery stores. Be sure to remove the husks and rinse them!
Dry árbol chiles: Also known as “arbol peppers,” this slender red chile is widely used in Mexican cuisine. It is known for its fiery heat and slightly nutty flavor. Find them at your local Mexican grocery stores or online.
White distilled vinegar: Vinegar adds a tangy acidic flavor and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. It also helps preserve the salsa.
Salt: Enhances and balances the flavors, bringing out the natural taste of the ingredients.
TOOLS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT
HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
Toast chiles: In a separate comal or pan, slightly toast chiles for about 3 minutes or until they release their aromas. Move and turn frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat and then remove the stems.
Boil ingredients: In a small saucepan or pot, cover tomatillos and chiles with water and boil until soft.
Blend and serve: Transfer tomatillos and chiles to blender or food processor and blend on medium setting for 60 seconds with salt and vinegar. If necessary, add small amounts of water from boiled tomatillos until salsa reaches desired consistency. Serve with Tacos de Barbacoa, Tacos de Papa, or your favorite Mexican egg dishes.
HOW TO STORE TOMATILLO SALSA
Store tomatillo sauce in an airtight container or jar in the refrigerator for up to one month.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This tangy tomatillo salsa has a unique flavor profile. It’s tangy and slightly sour from the tomatillos, with a bright and zesty kick from the vinegar. Depending on the other number of chiles used, it can have varying spice levels.
Tomatillo vinegar salsa can be used in a variety of ways: as a dip for tortilla chips, or topping for tacos, grilled meats, eggs, burritos, a burrito bowl, enchiladas, and more.
Yes, you can definitely adjust the spiciness of this tomatillo salsa verde recipe! The level of spiciness depends on the amount of chili peppers you use. If you prefer a milder salsa, start by adding one chile at at time to the blender and tasting it as you go. Keep in mind that as the salsa cools, the heat level also reduces.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH THIS TOMATILLO VINEGAR SALSA?
- Kale and Mushroom Egg Bites
- Easy Breakfast Tostadas
- Burritos de Chorizo con Huevos (Mexican Chorizo and Egg Burritos)
- Tasty Turkey Picadillo Tostadas
- Lola’s Breakfast Molletes with Potatoes and Chorizo
LOOKING FOR MORE INSPIRATION?
- Spicy Golden Salsa
- Salsa Bandera (Pico de Gallo)
- Fresh Tomatillo Salsa with Avocado | Salsa de Tomatillo con Aguacate
- Mango Salsa | Salsa de Mango
- Salsa de Cacahuate
- Smokey Chipotle Salsa
Tangy Tomatillo Vinegar Salsa
- Comal or flat pan
- Glass jar wide-mouth mason jar works great
- Boil ingredients: In a small pot, cover tomatillos with water and over medium-high heat, cook tomatillos until soft but not falling apart, for about 5 – 8 minutes after water comes to a boil.
- Toast chiles: In a separate comal or pan, lightly toast chiles over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes or until they release their aromas. Move frequently to avoid burning. Remove from heat.
- Blend: Transfer tomatillos and chiles to blender and blend on medium setting for 60 seconds with salt and vinegar. Add water from boiled tomatillos until salsa reaches desired consistency, if necessary.
- To serve: Enjoy immediately with chips over your favorite tacos, tostadas, taquitos, or burritos. Store in the fridge for up to one month.
A Note from Lola
- I’ve made this exact recipe using yellow cherry tomatoes and it’s wonderful! The cherry tomatoes add a bit of sweetness to this spicy salsa. You can also try it with red cherry or grape tomatoes.
- You can also roast the tomatillos in the oven instead of boiling them, for a roasted tomatillo salsa.
- Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a bright twist.
Recipe originally published: January 19, 2018 / Photography: Cacey McReavy
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Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.