Craving a bit of Chipotle when you're at home? Whip up this simple tomatillo-green chili salsa, and drizzle it on burritos, salads, or bowls. This bright and zesty salsa will bring all the amazing flavors of Chipotle to your homemade Mexican dishes.
Making a burrito bowl at home? Try our copycat Chipotle corn salsa and queso blanco recipes to really take it to the next level!
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Fortunately, this tomatillo green chili salsa is made with simple ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store. Most of the ingredients are fresh veggies that you might already have in your fridge.
- Tomatillos: This is the key ingredient. Tomatillos have a papery husk that's removed before eating, and they are usually roasted to make them less sour.
- Tomato: One roma tomato adds a pop of color, and roasting it gives the salsa even more flavor.
- Jalapeño: Roast two fresh jalapeños along with their seeds and membranes to make them less spicy. Then, add a little bit of a raw jalapeño to make it spicy.
- Onion: Raw red onion adds color, a little texture, and lots of flavor. If you'd like a more mild onion flavor, roast it along with the other veggies.
- Garlic: Adding raw garlic adds a depth of flavor that is very welcome. You can roast the garlic along with the other veggies if you'd like a sweeter note.
- Sour: A touch of lemon and lime juices really add a punch of fresh citrus! Make sure to use freshly squeezed juice for the best flavor.
- Spices: I use salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano to add a rich flavor. Feel free to adjust the amounts of the seasonings to your taste.
What are tomatillos?
Tomatillos are a Mexican fruit that is related to the tomato. They have a papery husk with a sticky residue underneath that acts as a natural insect repellent for the plants. Tomatillos have a very tart flavor and slightly crunchy texture when raw, but become milder and sweeter when they're roasted.
When choosing tomatillos at the grocery store, get ones that are firm to the touch and have smooth husks. Avoid wrinkled tomatillos or ones that are missing most of their husk to keep them from bruising. They can be stored at room temperature for a few days, but if you would like to keep them for 2-3 weeks, keep them in a loose paper bag in the refrigerator.
Is Chipotle tomatillo green chili salsa spicy?
This is Chipotle's medium salsa, so it does have some spice to it. However, when you make it at home, you can make it as spicy or as non-spicy as you would like. The heat comes from the seeds and membranes in the jalapeños.
How many calories are in Chipotle's tomatillo green chili salsa?
According to Chipotle's website, one serving contains 15 calories, 4g carbs, and 2g sugars, but I don't know what the serving size is. My copycat recipe contains 29 calories, 5.6g carbs, and 3g sugars per ¼ cup serving.
Can I make this salsa in advance?
Yes, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 1 week, so feel free to make it well ahead of when you need it.
How to Make
Gather the ingredients for the tomatillo salsa.
Peel the husks off the tomatillos and rinse them to remove some of the sticky residue.
Cut the tomatillos, tomato, and two of the jalapeños in half.
Char the veggies at 450 F for 15-25 minutes, or until they are somewhat blackened.
Dump of all the charred veggies and their juices into a food processor. Add the remaining spices and ingredients.
Pulse the salsa in the food processor until it's well combined. Gradually add some of the fresh jalapeño to make it spicy. It can be as chunky or as smooth as you'd like.
You should have about 4 cups of salsa.
Serve with tortilla chips as a snack, or drizzle on burrito bowls or tacos and enjoy!
- Char the veggies until their skins are starting to blacken. The tomatillos will be done first, so it's best to roast them on a separate tray from the tomato and jalapeños if possible.
- Adjust the seasonings to taste. Feel free to add more garlic or other ingredients if you prefer.
- Remember that the salsa will taste less spicy when it's cold and when it's served with other foods.
- Stir leftover salsa well before serving, as it will gel in the fridge due to the pectin in the tomatillos. The salsa will re-liquify a bit as it warms up to room temperature.
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Copycat Chipotle Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa
- 2 pounds tomatillos, with husks intact and smooth
- 1 roma tomato
- 3 fresh jalapeños, with seeds and membranes
- ¾ of a red onion
- 4 large cloves garlic
- ½ cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Carefully peel off the husks and rinse the tomatillos to remove the sticky residue from their skins. Cut them in half and place them cut side down on a large, foil-lined cookie sheet.
- Split the tomato and two of the fresh jalapeños in half and place them cut side down on the cookie sheet.
- Char the veggies at 450 F for 15-25 minutes. You can also turn the broiler on high for the last 2-3 minutes of the cooking time to really char them a little more. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Dump the roasted veggies and any juices from the tray into a food processor. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro, citrus juices, and spices and pulse to combine.
- Gradually add some of the remaining fresh jalapeño with the seeds and membranes to make the salsa medium spicy. I used about ¾ of the fresh pepper, but the amount of spice is up to you.
- Taste the salsa and adjust the amount of lemon and lime juice and spices to taste. Keep in mind that the salsa will taste less spicy when it is cold and when it is served with other foods.
- Serve the tomatillo green salsa right away with tortilla chips or other Mexican dishes. Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to 1 week. The salsa will thicken dramatically in the fridge from the naturally occurring pectin in the tomatillos, but simply stir it well before serving.
- Make it easy to roast the veggies by putting the tomatillos on a separate tray from the tomato and jalapeños. They will finish first, so then you can leave the other veggies in to roast a little longer.
- Make sure to use a rimmed cookie sheet for the tomatillos; they release a lot of juices as they roast, and that will get all over your oven if you don't use a rimmed pan.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.
Have you ever canned this salsa? Just with a hot water bath? It looks great, and I’m looking for a good tomatillo recipe for when my fruits are ready in the garden.
No, we have never had this canned, but you could try it and please let us know how it turned out.
With each bite, this salsa bursts with lime flavor! The small chunks of onion, the spice of the jalapenos, and the smoothness of the salsa blend together nicely. The light taste of the charred tomato is lovely, and helps bring the salsa together.
Thanks for your kind comment, Alex! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed this salsa so much.
This is such a yummy salsa! It has the perfect blend of cilantro, lime, lemon, and jalapeno. The red onion and spices add a bit of a kick. This tastes better the Chipotle salsa; it fulfills my expectations of an ideal salsa verde better. I prefer a smoother salsa verde rather than a really chunky one.
I'm so glad that you enjoyed this salsa, Beth--especially that you found it even tastier than Chipotle's.