Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

4.88 from 8 votes
Comment
Jump to Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Avocado tomatillo salsa is neither guacamole or Mexican salsa verde. It’s its own thing, and it is the best of both worlds.

Tart from the tomatillos, creamy from the avocado, and as picante or mild as you want it. I vary the heat according to my mood, and you can, too. This is a great salsa for fish tacos or arrachera tacos.

Avocado tomatillo salsa in a bowl with tortilla chips
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

First things first: Avocado tomatillo salsa is not guacamole because that salsa has no tomatillos, nor is is a traditional Mexican salsa verde because that doesn’t have avocado. Instead, this is a sort of hybrid.

It can be smooth or chunky, and either completely raw or a mix of raw and cooked ingredients.

You’ll either toss everything in a blender and call it a day — I do this on hot days — or roast the tomatillos and chiles and add that to the raw ingredients in the blender. If you want a more textured salsa, crush everything in a molcajete or mortar and pestle, or chop fine and muddle it all up in a steel bowl with a spoon.

My favorite way to make avocado tomatillo salsa is to use roasted green chiles like a Hatch (Anaheim) or poblano, roasted tomatillos and lots of fresh avocado, cilantro and lime juice. I like garlic so I add a raw clove, but you can roast it if you want, or leave out the garlic entirely.

Avocado tomatillo salsa in a bowl
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Some variations and ingredient notes for avocado tomatillo salsa that will help you out:

  • You want avocados that are fully ripe, even with a few blemishes. Underripe, hard avocados are not good here. Use those in something like my caldo tlalpeño recipe.
  • Tomatillos can be of whatever variety, either the big supermarket ones, or my favorite, the little tomatillos de milpa. I grow them, but you can find these little guys at most Latin markets.
  • Ditto for the green chiles. I prefer hot Hatch chiles, roasted by hand. Poblanos are my second choice. But any roasted green chile will do, even canned ones. Don’t want to roast chiles? Skip them and use hot green chiles instead — anything from jalapenos to serranos or even green chiltepins or pequins if you are a hot head.
  • Roasting the garlic with the tomatillos and chiles mellows it out, so if you don’t like raw garlic, do this instead. Roasting will let you use more garlic, too.
  • I like this with green onions, but you can use chopped white onion if that’s what you have.
  • You can vary things up by using alternate herbs instead of cilantro like pipicha, papaloquelites, huacatay, hoja santa or even epazote. Each will give you a different effect. If you have access to culantro, that will taste almost exactly like cilantro and is in fact native to Central America.

I mostly use avocado tomatillo salsa on chips as a snack, but as I mentioned it is great on fish or lobster tacos, carne asada or basically anything you’d like. I would pair this with a hot salsa like my salsa de chile de arbol or my salsa morita, so people have a choice. And if you are roasting vegetables anyway, go ahead and make my fire roasted salsa, too.

Once made, avocado tomatillo salsa will keep a few days in the fridge. Cover the salsa directly with plastic wrap to keep it from discoloring. Serve at room temperature or a little cooler.

Avocado tomatillo salsa in a bowl
4.88 from 8 votes

Avocado Tomatillo Salsa

This is a great salsa for chips, or, along with some other spicier salsas, great for tacos, sopes or burritos, too.
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 5 large tomatillos or a dozen small ones, husked and halved
  • 2 Hatch chiles, or Anaheim or poblano chiles
  • 6 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 or 3 avocados, pitted and skins removed
  • 1 or 2 unpeeled garlic cloves (see below)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime juice and salt to taste

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F as you are husking the tomatillos and chopping the other ingredients. Don't mess with the avocados just yet.
  • When the oven is hot, put the halved tomatillos and the chiles on a baking sheet and roast until the tomatillos have some blackening, and the chile skins are well blackened on all sides. The tomatillos may take less time than the chiles. If you want roasted garlic, add this with the chiles and tomatillos and remove when partially blackened. All this should take about 20 minutes or so.
  • ALTERNATE METHOD: You can char the chiles directly on a gas flame or grill. I prefer this method, but it involves constantly moving the chiles to evenly blacken.
  • When things are well charred, put the tomatillos in a blender, peel the garlic and put the cloves in the blender, and remove the skin, stem and seeds of the chiles and put the chiles in the blender, too. Add the cilantro, green onions and avocado to the blender, along with some salt and about 1 tablespoon of lime juice. (NOTE: If you like raw garlic, you can skip the roasting step and just add a peeled clove right to the blender.)
  • Puree everything and add more salt or lime juice to taste.
  • ALTERNATE METHOD: You can make this a raw salsa by skipping all the cooking steps and simply pureeing everything in the blender. This takes seconds and is great for making this salsa on a hot day.

Video

Notes

Variations and Keys to Success

  • You want fully ripe avocados, even with a few blemishes. Underripe, hard avocados are not good here. 
  • Tomatillos can be either the big supermarket ones, or the little tomatillos de milpa
  • I prefer hot Hatch chiles, roasted by hand. Poblanos are my second choice. But any roasted green chile will do, even canned ones. Don't want to roast chiles? Skip them and use anything from jalapenos to serranos or even green chiltepins or pequins.
  • Roasting garlic with the tomatillos and chiles mellows it, so if you don't like raw garlic, do this instead.
  • I use green onions, but you can use chopped white onion.
  • You can vary things by using alternate herbs instead of cilantro like pipicha, papaloquelites, huacatay, hoja santa or even epazote. If you have access to culantro, that will taste almost exactly like cilantro.

Nutrition

Calories: 287kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Sodium: 65mg | Potassium: 932mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 457IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

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

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

You May Also Like

Huitlacoche Quesadilla

A recipe for huitlacoche quesadillas. Huitlacoche, “corn smut,” is a mushroom that grows on corn, and is amazing cooked with chile and onion on a tortilla.

How to Make Chipotles

How to make chipotles at home. You need ripe jalapenos, a smoker, and time. They’re easy to make, and store well.

Mahi Mahi Ceviche

A mahi mahi ceviche recipe inspired by ceviches I’ve eaten in Baja California. Dorado ceviche is common there, and often uses fruit like mango or pineapple.

Cucumber Agua Fresca

How to make a cucumber agua fresca with lime and a touch of salt. This is a great hot-weather drink that also uses up cucumbers if you have too many.

About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




7 Comments

  1. Hank,

    I don’t have any fresh Green Chiles at the moment, but I do have a bag of roasted, dried New Mexico Chiles. Could I use them instead? If so, what changes should I make to the recipe?

    Cheers,

    Bobby

  2. This was a great dip. I’m adding more garlic and peppers next time but that is my taste. The dip went as quickly as the bag of good Mexican chips so this was a hit

  3. Hank,
    Can you make an exception and allow me to rate this 10 stars?
    Holy carp!
    -Lou

    Typo in first submission. Can you clean everything up, sir? Grazie

  4. Looking forward to trying this!

    Have you had any success in doing large batch and canning this?

  5. Hass avocados are dirt cheap right now and I have bags of home grown tomatillos in the freezer. I know what I’m doing tomorrow (after quail hunting).
    Just have to pick a pheasant recipe from Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail and I’ve got dinner!