Instant Pot Salsa Verde is a cooked restaurant-style tomatillo salsa with a sweet and spicy tang. It's healthy, delicious, and easy. Salsa Verde made at home beats jarred salsa any day! Use Salsa Verde for dipping chips, to make salsa chicken, and drizzled on enchiladas, taquitos, and Mexican-style rice bowls.
You'll never buy salsa again after making this Instant Pot Salsa Verde recipe.
⭐️ This recipe has been tested in both a 6 quart and 8 quart Instant Pot.
What Is Salsa Verde?
Salsa verde is made from tomatillos, hot peppers (jalapenos or serranos), onions, and lime. It's also known as "green salsa" in English. In restaurants, you'll often get to choose between a salsa verde and salsa roja when ordering things like enchiladas or tacos.
In general, there are 2 types of salsa: cooked and raw.
This recipe is for the Instant Pot version of cooked salsa verde.
Why choose cooked salsa verde over it's raw cousin? Because cooked salsa verde leaves you with a slightly sweet, slightly spicy salsa that isn't bitter or sour and not too potent in its heat factor.
In fact, you can make salsa verde as mild or as hot as you want by changing how many jalapeno or serrano peppers you use. This makes it great for families who need a mild salsa and others who prefer a high spiciness to theirs.
Pressure cooking salsa lets the ingredients mingle and marinate, perfectly combining them into a smooth restaurant-style salsa that can be used for dipping chips or adding to your favorite Mexican recipes.
What Can I Use Salsa Verde For?
Use salsa verde the same way that you use red tomato-based salsa.
- as a dip for chips, quesadillas, or taquitos
- drizzled over taquitos and enchiladas or mixed into the filling
- mix it into rice, Mexican-stuffed vegetables or taco salads
- as a taco or nacho topping
- drizzled over these delicious zucchini stuffed taco boats
- jalapenos (or serrano peppers)
- onion (red or white)
- lime juice (fresh prefered, but bottled works too)
- fresh cilantro (or dried in a pinch)
What Are Tomatillos, Anyway?
Tomatillos have a unique citrusy, tart flavor. They are sour and sweet, similar to a green apple. They pair well with grilled foods and spicy ingredients. They look like green tomatoes wrapped in a light green dry husk. The best way to describe the taste of a tomatillo is to imagine you're eating a lemon, apple, and some herbs at the same time.
While they are similar to a green tomato and are sometimes called Mexican green tomatoes, they are not entirely the same.
Can Salsa Verde Be Made with Green Tomatoes?
Green tomatoes are an acceptable substitute for tomatillos when making salsa. Since they are hard and unripened, green tomatoes are not as rich in flavor as tomatillos. Because green tomatoes are an unripened fruit, they are harder and slightly more sour than tangy tomatillos. You may need to use more green tomatoes to create a salsa verde with as much flavor as one using tomatillos.
Follow these steps to make Instant Pot salsa verde in only 20 minutes.
- Add a little oil to the inner pot and set to saute on high for 2 minutes. Add the onion and jalapenos and saute, stirring often. When done, add 1 cup of water and deglaze the pot.
- Add roughly chopped tomatillos, the garlic, and salt. Close the lid to the sealing position and set to pressure cook on high for 6 minutes. When complete do a quick release. *It will be liquidy. Scoop out about ½ cup of water before blending.
- Then stir in the lime juice and torn cilantro. Use a masher to crush the salsa into the texture you'd like. Or, put in a food processor/use immersion blender and blend in 30 second increments to achieve a smooth, restaurant-style texture.
⭐️ The salsa will thicken a bit when chilled. If it is too watery for your liking, strain extra liquid using a cheesecloth.
Instant Pot Salsa Verde
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1-2 jalapenos (for a mild version use 1 and hot use 2)
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ pounds tomatillos, husked and roughly chopped (about 16 tomatillos)
- ¼ cup lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
- ¼ cup cilantro, torn
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the Instant Pot and set to saute for 2 minutes. Add the onion and jalapenos and cook until time stops, stirring often.
- Turn off saute and add 1 cup of water. Deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom to release any stuck bits.
- Add tomatillos, garlic, and salt. Close the lid to sealing position and set to pressure cook on high for 6 minutes.
- Do a quick release. Using a soup ladle, remove about ½ cup of liquid and discard.
- Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Use a masher to mash the salsa to the texture that you'd like. Or, put in a food processor/use immersion blender and blend in 30 second increments to achieve a smooth, restaurant style texture. *The salsa will thicken a bit when chilled. If it is too watery for your liking, strain extra liquid using a cheesecloth.
- Transfer the salsa to covered jars or bowls and chill until ready to serve.
Salsa verde is as spicy as you want it to be. For a mild version, make it with only 1 jalapeno and for a hot salsa, use 2 or even 3 jalapenos. For a completely spice-free salsa verde, omit the jalapenos entirely. Serrano peppers can also be used in place of jalapenos in the same quantity.
Yes, this recipe is vegan. It is made without dairy or animal products and contains fresh and whole ingredients only.
Yes, this salsa verde is keto-friendly!
How to Store
Always keep salsa covered and in the refrigerator or freezer.
How Long Does Salsa Verde Last?
It will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days. Store in a covered container and do not keep at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. After 2 hours at room temperature, bacteria begins to grow.
Can It Be Frozen?
Yes, Instant Pot salsa verde can be frozen! It will retain all of its nutrients if stored properly. Put into freezer-grade plastic bags, squeeze out the air, and lay flat in the freezer for safe and easy storage. It will keep for up to 2 months.
I hope you've enjoyed this Instant Pot salsa verde, and will let me know what you thought in the comments below!