Salsa Verde or Salsa Roja Recipe | Mexican Recipes | PBS Food

Salsa Verde or Salsa Roja

Salsa Rojo

Salsas verde and roja are staple Mexican sauces, used daily by the average family. Salsa verde, or green sauce, is typically made with cooked tomatillos, jalapeños, white onions, cilantro, and sometimes lime to taste. Salsa verde can be served warm or cold and can range in spiciness from very mild to completely mouth-searing. Salsa roja, or red sauce, is usually used as a condiment and made with tomatoes, chili peppers, onion, garlic, and fresh cilantro. Both are frequently used as a dip for tortilla chips or served with tacos, grilled meats, and even fish.


Yield: 4 servings



  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • For salsa verde: 1 dozen medium-sized tomatillos (enough to fill 4 cups)
  • For salsa roja: 1 dozen medium-sized tomatoes (enough to fill 4 cups)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dry oregano (Mexican oregano is best)
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Pepper


  1. Chop onions, cilantro, garlic, jalapeño peppers (removing seeds and veins from both first), and tomatillos (for verde) or tomatoes (for roja).
  2. In a frying pan, sauté the onions in olive oil. Add tomatillos/tomatoes to the pan when the onions start to brown, as well as the oregano.
  3. Roast the poblano peppers right on the flames at the top of the stove. When they gets black and the skin blisters, wrap them in a moist kitchen towel to cool, then hold them under running water and peel the skin off. Chop them into fine pieces after seeding and deveining. Add the poblano peppers, as well as the jalapeños and garlic, to the onions and tomatillos/tomatoes.
  4. Wait until the last moment to add the cilantro. Then throw in a pinch each of salt, sugar, and pepper.


Recipe Courtesy of Casa Romero in Boston, MA

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