Let me be dramatic for a second. I live for this tomatillo salsa with avocado! Few things make me happier than going to my favorite taquerias in Mexico City, ordering tacos with carnitas, barbacoa, or other tasty braised meats, and spooning on some salsa verde cruda.

Really, though, I’ll add it to almost anything that benefits from a bolt of tartness and spiciness. It always amazes me that a salsa that takes so little effort can deliver such tremendous flavor. You just toss tomatillos, such unassuming little fruits, along with a few other easy-to-find ingredients in the blender, purée, and you’re done.–Roberto Santibanez

LC Such A Cinch Note

“It’s a cinch to turn simple fresh tomatillo salsa into the kind of tart, creamy, slightly soupy condiment that you find in Mexico City’s incredible taquerias,” says the author of this salsa creation.

“You just blend in an avocado and add a little more salt. The addition of water gives it just the right texture. Even though it acts like salsa, strictly speaking it’s a guacamole— yet as long as you promise to spoon some on my taco, I don’t care what you call it!”

We’re not arguing. But the true beauty of this recipe—well, taste and ease aside—is that it’s just as swell minus the avocado, as you’ve still got a really swell tomatillo salsa. (Not that we have anything against avocado. Heck no. Just saying…)

A blender half-filled with tomatillo salsa.

Tomatillo Salsa with Avocado

5 / 4 votes
Each time you make this salsa, it’ll get even better as you get a sense of the balance of flavors—tweaking the level of tomatillos’ acidity with a little lime juice and adding just the right amount of salt to make it all sing.
David Leite
Servings10 servings (makes 2 1/2 cups)
Calories10 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


  • 1/2 pound tomatillos, (5 or 6), husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 fresh serrano or jalapeño chiles, coarsely chopped, including seeds, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped white onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 cup water


  • Toss the tomatillos in the blender jar, then add the cilantro, half the chiles, the onion, garlic, and salt. Blend until the salsa is very smooth, at least 1 minute. (It takes a minute or so for the blades of the blender jar to catch chopped raw tomatillos. Once they do, all the ingredients will be pulled toward them. Be patient, and do not add any water. If the tomatillos don’t liquefy after a minute or so, stop the blender, prod them with a wooden spoon, and try to blend again. The tomatillo seeds will still be visible when the salsa is properly smooth.)
  • Scoop the avocado from its skin into the jar and add the remaining chiles and water. Blend until smooth. Season with additional chile and salt and blend again. This salsa tastes best no more than a few hours after you make it.
Truly Mexican Cookbook

Adapted From

Truly Mexican

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Serving: 1 servingCalories: 10 kcalCarbohydrates: 2 gProtein: 0.3 gFat: 0.3 gSaturated Fat: 0.04 gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.05 gSodium: 234 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 1 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Roberto Santibañez. Photo © 2011 Romulo Yanes. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Yum! This tomatillo salsa recipe is authentic, unique, simply delicious, and easy to make. The end result is quite impressive, as it is not your ordinary salsa. All the ingredients blend together to create a fantastic and harmonious flavor profile, one that will leave you wanting another taste. My family loved it. And I love that all the ingredients are raw. I whipped this up in the blender in just minutes. (I have a Vitamix and didn’t even have to chop my tomatillos, I just threw them in whole and they blended nicely.) I made the salsa as stated except I used 2 jalapeños instead of 4, seeds and all, which was just the right amount of heat. Even though the recipe states the salsa tastes best within 2 hours of making it, a day and a half later, my salsa is still a vibrant green with no discernible change in color or taste. This salsa would make a fabulous accompaniment to nachos, chips, flautas, taquitos, or any style of tacos or burritos. It was the perfect salsa for the Carnitas taco recipe found on the site.

I really enjoyed this salsa. I did find it pretty spicy and would probably omit some of the seeds and veins (I used jalapeños). The salsa had quite a bit of heat but the tartness of the tomatillos was a good balance. The salsa came together quickly, in about 5 minutes from start to finish. I used kosher salt (2 teaspoons) and found that to be the right amount of seasoning.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    We made this recipe over the weekend sans avocado-we only had one and it turned out to be bad :-(. But still the salsa was excellent. We really like the tarty, earthiness of the tomatillos, especially when blended with cilantro, garlic, etc. You could really taste everything. And it was plenty liquidy – we didn’t need to add water. Like others, we’ll be putting this on our go-to salsa list! And next time we’ll be sure to add the avocado, I imagine that will only add to its deliciousness?

    1. It definitely will, Greg! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know how much you enjoyed this.

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing! Served this with Authentic Carnitas https://leitesculinaria.com/80909/recipes-carnitas-mexican-braised-fried-pork.html, homemade tortillas, etc. for Cinco de Mayo 2020. As good as any restaurant meal I’ve had. 5 out of 5!

    1. Wonderful to hear this, Kimberly! Looking forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next.