Chipotle Tomatillo Green-Chili Salsa Recipe (Copycat)

An easy, spot-on copycat recipe for Chipotle’s Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa, their medium-heat version of Salsa Verde.

Chipotle tomatillo green chili salsa in a red bowl and a bowl of chips.

Recipe ingredients:

Chipotle tomatillo green chili salsa ingredients.

Ingredient notes:

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.

Tomatillos on a gray counter.

Step-by-step instructions:

A food processor or blender makes this recipe happen super fast. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees for some quick, high-heat roasting.

  1. 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.
    A halved tomato and halved green chilies on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.
  2. Roast in the oven until they develop toasty, blackened bits. Even a little char is okay. This should take about 20 minutes.
    A halved tomato and halved green chilies baked on a baking sheet lined with tin foil.
  3. 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.
    Tomatillo green chili salsa ingredients in a blender.
  4. 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!
    Tomatillo green chili salsa in a blender.

Recipe tips:

  • 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).

Someone scooping chipotle tomatillo green chili salsa onto a chip and a bowl of chips.

The full list of Chipotle salsas:

More delicious Chipotle recipes:

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a rating and a comment below!

Chipotle tomatillo green chili salsa in a red bowl and a bowl of chips.

Chipotle Tomatillo Green-Chili Salsa Recipe (Copycat)

An easy, spot-on copycat recipe for Chipotle's Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa, their medium-heat version of Salsa Verde. Yield: About 2 cups.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 47kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds tomatillos husks removed, halved
  • 1 roma tomato halved
  • 1-2 jalapeño chiles stemmed, seeded if desired (see note 1)
  • 1/2 red onion cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves loosely packed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2-4 limes)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Hold 4 raw tomatillos back, but place the rest of the halved tomatillos and the roma tomato skin-side down on the baking sheet. Bake until they begin to toast, about 20 minutes.
  • In a food processor, combine the roasted tomatillos and tomatoes, the raw tomatillos, jalapeños (start with a half jalapeño if you're not sure, see note 1), red onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin and oregano. Pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth with some texture (see note 2).
  • Taste and add more chiles and/or seeds depending on your preference for spiciness. Remember, the salsa tastes spicier when warm and when tasted without food. It will be milder after chilling and when eaten with food.
  • Add lemon and lime juices, and season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Yield: About 2 cups.

Notes

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Grill: You could also roast the tomatillos and tomatoes on grill. Keep them whole when using coals.
  4. 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).

Nutrition

Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 359mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Jenny

    I tried! Delicious! I’ve tried different recipes trying to one like the one at Chipotle and this is by far, the closest to it! Thanks so much for sharing.5 stars

  2. Lauren

    I love Chipotle’s green salsa & this recipe is spot on! Thank you.5 stars

  3. Jill Shah

    If i want to make a lot of this to food prep or store away, how long would it stay fresh till in the fridge? could i possibly freeze it?

  4. Quanisha

    Where do you add the 1/2 tomato? The ingredients calls for 1/2 tomato cut in large chunks but the recipe does not say when to add it in 

    1. Quanisha

      Oh no problem! Thank you for clarifying! 

    2. meggan

      Thanks for finding that typo! You roast the 1/2 tomato with the tomatillos in Step 1 and then pulse. I fixed the recipe. Thank you so much again, and sorry about that!

  5. Devon

    My husband just made this and its incredible! He toasted his own cumin seeds and its phenomenal. Thank you so much for sharing this!5 stars

  6. Avanti

    How many lbs of tomatillos since they vary so much in size?

  7. How delicious! Something you wouldn’t really see in the UK (or Australia, I don’t think) so once again I’ve learnt something by passing by your blog today! :-)

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