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Fire Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

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This tomatillo salsa is a perfect example of a multi-purpose sauce.

You can use this pretty green salsa as a dip, a marinade, a topping for meats and fish, or simply cook with it. However you decide to use it, this sauce will add depth and a smokey tanginess to all your dishes.

Fresh fire-roasted tomatillo salsa and tortilla chips with text.

Sourcing Tomatillos

In some parts of the country tomatillos can be hard to find. That’s why I grow my own tomatillos every year!

If you can’t grow tomatillos yourself, try finding them at your local health food store, farmer’s market, or Mexican market.

Look for tomatillos that are firm and still have the dry husk on the outside. The husk should be green or slightly yellow. If the husk is brown and withered looking and the fruit is soft the tomatillos aren’t fresh.

Once you’ve found your supply I encourage you to make a double or triple batch and can it for the cold winter months. Nothing warms up a winter evening like a pork roast cooked in spicy tomatillo salsa.

Fresh tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, and garlic.

Fire Roasted Tomatillo Salsa Recipe 

2 large sweet onions

2 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed

1/2 pound tomatoes

1 head of garlic, cloves peeled

1 to 3 whole jalapeños, optional (for mild salsa omit the jalapeño, for medium salsa add 2, for spicy salsa add 3 or more)

2 tablespoons dried oregano 

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat your barbecue. We use mesquite charcoal because we prefer the smoky flavor, but a gas grill will work, as will the oven on broil.

2. Slice the onions in thick slices. When the barbecue is hot arrange the tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, and peppers over the coals. You want the coals to be very hot. Don’t be afraid to char your veggies. The fire roasting and charring are what give this salsa such a wonderful flavor.

Lightly charred fire roasted tomatillos, tomatoes, and onions.

3. Rotate the veggies until all their sides have had a chance to char a little bit. At this point the veggies will be getting soft and the tomatillos and tomatoes will be starting to split.

4. Remove the veggies to a large bowl, add the garlic, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let the veggies sweat in the bowl until cool.

Tender fire roasted vegetables.

5. When the salsa ingredients have cooled add them into your food processor or food mill and process them until almost smooth. Add the oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Process again.

6. When the salsa is well combined remove it from the food processor and store it in glass jars in the refrigerator or freezer, or can it for future use.

Tomatillo salsa served with corn tortilla chips.