One taste of this fresh, vibrant Tomatillo Avocado Salsa will have you craving it again and again. It's fabulous on tacos, enchiladas, burritos... any Mexican entree but it also makes a wonderful sandwich spread, dipping sauce for chips and/or salad dressing.
A recent two-week visit to Arizona opened our eyes to a plethora of delicious salsas and each one was so unique and full of incredible flavor! One of our favorites was served at a fabulous little taco restaurant not far from where we were staying. The tacos were amazing, with combinations of ingredients that were mind-boggling. But the thing that had us smitten above anything else was their "house salsa verde" (the description on the menu). After requesting a second serving, I questioned the waiter about it. He replied, "It's a fresh tomatillo avocado salsa."
A rose by any other name...
Fresh tomatillo avocado salsa? I've made roasted tomatillo salsas in the past, but never a salsa made with fresh tomatillos. I was so intrigued, I had to do a bit of research on it when I got home (actually on the way home!). It turns out that this Tomatillo Avocado Salsa is also called Salsa de guacamole, Salsa Verde, Avocado Sauce and Salsa de Tomatillo Fresco con Aguacate.
According to Mely Martinez of the blog Mexico in My Kitchen (who lived in Mexico most of her life), "this creamy salsa is very common in central México where it is used for Tacos Al Pastor, carnitas or other grilled meats."
Checking online, I discovered that there are tons of variations of this Tomatillo Avocado Salsa, some super simple and some incorporating unusual ingredients like little gem lettuce and/or sour cream. Typically the common denominator ingredients though are fresh tomatillos, onion, cilantro, some type of chili pepper and avocados.
I played around with those ingredients in different proportions until I came up with something similar to the Tomatillo Avocado Salsa that Scott and I enjoyed at our little taco joint. Now I can make it anytime I want, in just minutes!
What are tomatillos?
The one ingredient in this recipe that you may not be familiar with is tomatillos. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes but they have a papery, inedible husk around them that is easily peeled away. They'll often be stocked near or around the area where you find fresh tomatoes. Once husked, they have a sticky surface that needs to be rinsed off before use. Tomatillos are native to Mexico and are often used in Mexican and Tex Mex cuisine. Other names for them are husk tomatoes and Mexican ground cherries.
Fresh vs roasted
Salsa Verde is often made with roasted tomatillos which is delicious, but this Tomatillo Avocado Salsa utilizes fresh tomatillos which give the salsa a super vibrant fresh cucumber-ish flavor vs. the more sour taste that's noted with roasted tomatillos.
How to make this Fresh Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
Honestly, it couldn't be easier. Simply combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender and puree until creamy and brilliantly green. That's it - except perhaps, to pull out a bag of chips and invite a few friends for a party!
What to do with this beautiful green salsa
Besides wanting to drink this Tomatillo Avocado Salsa with a straw, I'm finding more and more ways to use it. Here are some of them:
- Serve it with chips for a delicious dipping sauce.
- Drizzle it over tacos, carnitas, enchiladas, burritos, carnitas and sopes.
- Use it as a sauce for steak or brisket.
- Spoon it over chicken taquitos, fish tacos or chicken tostadas.
- Drizzle it over huevos rancheros and fried or scrambled eggs.
- Serve a small bowl of it with quesadillas for dipping.
- Serve it as a topping for chili.
- Add a drizzle of olive oil and use it as a dressing.
- Serve it with this Mexican Chicken and Rice.
As you can see, there are a zillion ways to use this delicious, fresh salsa. Plus, we've got a few new recipes coming up that will pair fabulously with it, so put the ingredients on your shopping list and make a batch of this Tomatillo Avocado Salsa asap. You'll find yourself making it again and again!
Café Tips for making this Fresh Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
- Because of the acidity in the tomatillos and lime juice, this salsa stays fresh for 3-4 days in the refrigerator and won’t brown like traditional guacamole. It's a perfect salsa to make a day in advance!
- I think the flavor of this Tomatillo Avocado Salsa tastes best at room temperature so I like to take it out of the refrigerator 20-30 minutes before serving.
- You can make this salsa as mild or spicy as you prefer. To make it mild, don't use any of the jalapeño seeds and start with one jalapeño. I like to reserve the seeds and then increase the heat, to taste. You can always add more, but you can't take away the heat.
- Jalapeños vary in heat intensity and you can't determine the heat level by looking at them. Another reason to start with one and increase as desired.
- You can use a food processor or a good blender for this recipe. You may have to stop several times and use a spatula to push down the ingredients before you get a nice smooth puree. I really love my Cuisinart food processor, this blender and my super high power Wolf blender. If you're looking for a nice gift for someone who enjoys cooking, any of these would be much used and appreciated.
- This recipe calls for a white onion which is the type of onion typically used in Mexican cuisine, but feel free to also use a sweet or yellow onion. Red would mess with the gorgeous color!
Thought for the day:
For the word of God is alive and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit,
joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy any of these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
One taste of this fresh, vibrant Tomatillo Avocado Salsa will have you craving it again and again. It's fabulous on tacos, enchiladas, burritos... any Mexican entree, but it also makes a wonderful sandwich spread, dipping sauce for chips and/or salad dressing.
- 10 ounces of tomatillos husks removed, washed and roughly chopped
- 1-3 medium jalapeños seeds removed and reserved
- ½ medium white onion roughly chopped
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems, loosely packed
- 2-4 tablespoons water
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
Combine tomatillos, 1 jalapeño, onion, avocado, cilantro, 2 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon lime juice, salt and sugar in the container of a food processor or blender. If it’s difficult to blend add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Taste and add more jalapeño and/or more lime juice, to taste. If you want to add more heat, add small amounts of the reserved jalapeño seeds until desired spiciness is reached.
Serve and enjoy!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.