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Trying Something New: What Is Salsa Verde?

If traditional red salsa has been your go-to for burritos, dips, and nachos, it might be the perfect time to step outside the box and try something new. Enter: salsa verde, also known as “green salsa” or “green sauce.” Made with tomatillos and green chili peppers, this refreshing condiment lends a tart and tangy taste that’s sure to shake up your salsa experience. Don’t be scared, we’ve got all the info you need to start using salsa verde like a skilled saucier

What is the main ingredient in salsa verde?

The main ingredient in salsa verde is tomatillo. Also known as a “Mexican husk tomato”, the tomatillo is related to the traditional red tomato, but—as you may have guessed—it’s green. These aren’t immature tomatoes, though. They stay green, even when they’re fully ripe and ready for pickin’. Tomatillos feature a zesty, tart flavor that gives salsa verde its signature “zing”. 

What is the difference between salsa and salsa verde?

Everyone and their mom has tried traditional red salsa, but not as many people are familiar with its green cousin, salsa verde. While salsa is made from a tomato base, salsa verde is made from tomatillos, which provide the green color. They also change up the flavor, giving salsa verde a more tart, tangy flavor (like limes, but mellower). You could also describe salsa verde as refreshing, slightly sweet, and seriously smoky since the tomatillos are typically fire-roasted before being salsa-fied. Think of it as the perfect accompaniment to your smoky mezcal margarita.

What do you use salsa verde for?

Salsa verde is a sauce that you can turn to so often, it’s hard to keep count on all the possible uses. Here are some excellent examples of meals that are instantly improved with a dash of zesty salsa verde:

  • Your Go-To Mexican Dish. Enchiladas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chilaquiles, nachos, and just about any other tortilla-based dish you can dream of.
  • Green Eggs (No Ham Necessary). Whether you like ‘em scrambled, poached, or fried, throw in a few drops of salsa verde for egg-cellent flavor.  Pair your eggs with rice, avocado, cilantro, and beans for a Tex-Mex twist.
  • Salad Dressings. Add a few scoops of salsa verde to a store-bought salad dressing or make your very own with a few tablespoons of salsa verde, diced red onion, jalapeño, red wine vinegar, salt, and olive oil.
  • Saucy Side Dishes. Mix some green salsa with your rice or toss it on your roasted veggies and potatoes for an unexpected flavor boost.
  • Meat Marinade. Chicken, pork, and steak: Marinate your meat in tangy salsa verde, then grill it up and prepare to be amazed.
  • Mac and Cheese. Stir in a few spoonfuls to spice things up.
  • As a Dip (Obviously). This is pretty self-explanatory. Just grab some tortilla chips and dive right in.

Does salsa verde freeze well?

Yes, you can freeze salsa verde in an airtight container. To use it, just let the container sit at room temperature until it thaws completely, then enjoy!

If all this talk about salsa verde has you jonesing for some new salsa in your pantry, Pepper Palace has a variety of salsas for you to explore, from mild to extra hot.
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