Monday, July 18, 2016

Salsa Verde with Roasted Hatch Chiles (Canning recipe)

Salsa Verde with Roasted Hatch Chiles (Canning recipe)

This tangy green salsa gets bright flavors from tomatillos and roasted Hatch chiles for a smooth dipping sauce that is also excellent in baked dishes. This canning recipe provides ample stores to enjoy the flavor year round.

an assortment of jars of canned goods

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close up of a home-canned jar of salsa verde with roasted hatch chiles

This salsa is one of the easiest canning projects I've done--very little chopping, doesn't matter if you've chopped uniformly or not, only a few ingredients to measure. The immersion blender (and the chile roaster at my local grocery store) do the bulk of the work. The hardest part for me last year was sourcing the tomatillos.

tomatillos being chopped for salsa verde with roasted hatch chiles

In previous years I'd get ample amounts of tomatillos in my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. In fact, that's how I started making salsa verde. My first time making salsa verde was NOT born from a desire to eat salsa verde, but from a lack of anything else to do with the tomatillos that were sitting on the counter!

tomatillo plants in the garden, showing the balloons that will become tomatillo fruits

After the initial batch, we got hooked on this tangy concoction. Last year I had difficulty sourcing enough local tomatillos to make a batch. I even spent 2 Saturdays hitting up various farmer's markets in order to get enough. This year I'm growing my own tomatillos. So far, so good. Wish me luck!

a square image of jars of salsa verde and tomatoes from the canner

No Hatch chiles? No problem! Simply use the hot pepper that's available to you. It doesn't even matter if you roast it or not--the flavor will be different if using roasted peppers, but the recipe works either way. I can't give you any roasting tips because I buy my chiles already roasted. I picked up a container of roasted Hatch chiles once on a whim and I loved the flavor so much I come back year after year for more. Roasted chiles freeze well, so what doesn't get put up in salsas in the summertime gets used throughout the year. This year I'm going to try my hand at making chile rellenos with a quart, since we discovered that amazing concoction while Eating Locally on the Road last summer.

You could cool and eat this salsa right away, but I'm also giving canning instructions because this is my spouse's favorite salsa (mine is my Peach, Yellow Plum and Hatch Chile salsa recipe) and we eat salsa all year long. It's a terrific after school or pre-dinner snack, especially if you have family members who need to eat RIGHT NOW while you're standing in the kitchen finishing dinner preparations. Not that it's ever happened to me.

a title image showing jars of salsa verde with roasted Hatch chiles

It's wonderful in the winter months to crack open a jar of something you made and use it as an appetizer or an ingredient in an enchilada casserole.  Other recipes I've made that use salsa verde are my Avocado Queso Dip, Beef Tongue Nachos, Fish Taco Enchiladas, Harvest Sweet Potato Salsa, and Zucchini & Pork Enchiladas.

the kitchen set up for making salsa verde with roasted hatch chiles

When I make this, I've often got the canning pot going for some other reason. If I'm gonna heat up the kitchen anyway I might as well get a few projects done. Since the Hatch chiles ripen in August and arrive up here in Ohio soon afterwards, they come when I'm canning tomatoes or putting up pickles or making tomato or peach salsa. It's very easy to get the bigger project into the canner then throw these ingredients in a pot to simmer. I usually put up a variety of sizes of jars. I will throw an assortment into the canning pot to heat while I'm preparing the salsa, and when the sauce is ready I'll pick and choose if I want pint jars, half pint jars, or 12 ounce jelly jars.

a screen shot of all the photos under the category 'salsa verde'

Regular readers may notice a ton of photos in this post. Here's why--I make this salsa verde annually in late August/early September. Every year I take photos, thinking I ought to post my version here on the site. When I finally decided to post it this year, I searched my files for photos. I had 3 years of photos to choose from, so I grabbed a variety.

coring tomatillos to make salsa verde with roasted hatch chiles

Unfortunately I don't have a jar handy for a fresh photo--we ate the last jar a couple of months ago, and have been subsisting on a Rick Bayless avocado and key lime version of salsa verde. It's so good, I think I'll try cracking open a jar of my salsa verde and dumping it on top of an avocado in a blender sometime.

the ingredients for salsa verde in the pot, ready to be cooked

For more recipes using Hatch chiles, please see my Hatch Chile Recipes Collection. For more recipes using tomatillos, please see my Tomatillo Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

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salsa verde after immersion blending

This recipe is based off the Tomatillo Salsa recipe in the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving (Amazon affiliate link).  I used roasted Hatch chiles in place of chopped raw chile peppers.

ingredients for salsa verde with roasted hatch chiles

Salsa Verde with Roasted Hatch Chiles (makes a generous 3 pints)


  • 2 pounds of tomatillos (about 6 cups, chopped according to directions below)
  • 1 large onion (about 1 cup, chopped, and I often use a sweet onion)
  • 1 cup roasted Hatch chile peppers, packed (remove the stem end) or use chopped hot peppers
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves (pack into the measure)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt (I use kosher)
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup lime juice (I use bottled, you're cooking it anyway)

Short instructions--throw everything into a pot, bring to a boil, simmer 10 minutes, immersion blend. If you're canning this, process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. If not, refrigerate for a week or two.

Long instructions

  1.  If you're canning this--before you begin chopping, fill a tall lidded pasta pot ¾ full of water, add a steamer rack (preferred) or kitchen towel on the bottom of the pot, then add an assortment of jars (half pint or pint or 12 ounce jelly jars). Put the pot on a burner and heat over medium high heat. If you live in a place with hard water, add a splash of white vinegar to the water. It helps reduce the white residue.
  2. Husk, wash, core and coarsely chop the tomatillos. Add them to a saucepan. I use a 3 quart pan and it just barely fits as shown above.
  3. Coarsely chop the onion and add to the saucepan.
  4. Pack 1 measuring cup full of roasted Hatch chile peppers and add to the saucepan.
  5. Slice garlic into a few pieces and add to the saucepan.
  6. Pinch off cilantro leaves from the stems, pack to measure, and add to the saucepan. No need to chop.
  7. Add the spices, vinegar, and lime juice to the saucepan.
  8. Cover the pan, place over medium high heat, and bring to a boil.
  9. Once it's boiling, uncover the pan, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. If you're canning this--while the salsa verde is boiling, place enough lids for your preheated jars in a saucepan and pour hot water over them. [This step is no longer necessary to soften the seals due to new formulations, but I'm writing it anyway because it's in my workflow].
  11. Remove from heat and use an immersion blender longer than you think you ought to, until the sauce is smooth. If you're not canning this--the sauce is done! Keep it in the fridge for a week or two. I've never tried to freeze it.
  12. If you're canning this, place a kitchen towel on your counter next to the stove. Remove the preheated jars from the pasta pot and place them on the towel. Fill the jars with salsa leaving at least ½ inch of space at the top. Wipe the jar rims with a damp paper towel.
  13. Add the warmed lids and then screw on the rings. "Fingertip tight" means that you'll screw the ring on just until it's tight. No need to crank on it. Return the filled jars to the pasta pot.
  14. When the water returns to a full boil (steam escapes from my lid so I know it's a rolling boil) start timing. After 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Wait a few moments until the boiling stops, then take out jars and let them rest on a towel-lined counter for 8 to 24 hours until cool. You should hear a Ping! signifying the jar has sealed. After the jars are fully cool, remove the rings and lift up the jar by its lid. If you can do this, the jar is sealed. Store in a cool dark dry place for up to a year. If the jar is not sealed, place the contents in the refrigerator. I prefer these plastic storage caps (Amazon affiliate link) over the metal lid and ring combo for items in the fridge.

a collage showing how to make salsa verde with roasted hatch chiles


  1. I'm that person who's standing in the kitchen and needs to eat now. Last night, I had peanut butter and chocolate while I worked on dinner.

    I'm a fan of salsa verde although I've never given it a go myself. This looks crazy easy and I have hatch chilis so I may be good to go. Granted, I do need tomatillos and time.

    1. Finding time is trickier than finding tomatillos . . .

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! I think so, too--it's why I make it every year.

  3. Ball has a recipe for canning green tomato salsa verde that I love. And green tomatoes are easy to come by.

    1. This time of year is great for finding green tomatoes in the farmer's market!

  4. I have always wondered why chefs & cooks fail to use the cilantro stems. Most of the flavor of cilantro is in the stem not the leaf...are they not informed? if so they are poor chefs.