Photo by Catherine Arena

Habanero Tomatillo Salsa

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
This habanero tomatillo salsa is excellent with steak, chicken, fish, tacos, tostadas, burritos and even tortilla chips if you’re daring enough.  Excellent salsa!

The habanero tomatillo salsa has simple ingredients and is very easy to make. However, let me forewarn you my foodie friends, if you do not like spicy salsas, maybe you should not make this one. As for me, I do truly enjoy having some spice and heat in my food, but not when it is so overpowering that I will not enjoy or taste my dish.

Surprisingly, this salsa for me is not overpowering, and a little of it goes a long way! I find this salsa perfect for steak, fish and chicken. Of course, you can also choose to enjoy it with tortilla chips if you’re a little daring!


Tomatillos originated in Mexico and were cultivated in the Pre-Columbian Era. They are known as the Mexican husk tomato because of their outer husk, and are a true staple in Mexican cooking. They are used raw or cooked in a variety of dishes, especially in salsa verde. Interestingly enough, tomatillos keep well refrigerated for two weeks and freeze well when kept whole.

Check out my Chilaquiles Verde with Chicken recipe made with tomatillos.  One recipe that will certainly not disappoint you.


Habanero peppers are extremely hot and were once considered the hottest pepper in the world, ranging from 100,000 to 350,000 units on the Scoville Scale. Today they are a little further down the Scoville Scale, and the Carolina Reaper holds the title of the hottest pepper in the world at 2,200,000 SHU!

Unripe habaneros are green but come in a variety of colors, from orange, red, white, yellow, brown and even purple. They are believe to have originated in Mexico and currently grow in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Columbia and also in some parts of the U.S., like Idaho, Texas and California.  However, today the largest producer of habaneros is in the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.

Today I also made roasted poblano tacos and added my habanero tomatillo salsa to them, and it just made my tacos that much more delicious… look for recipe in the next couple of days.


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  1. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse them well to remove stickiness from outer skin. Rinse habaneros. Add water to a small pot and over medium heat, boil tomatillos and habaneros for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Remove from pot and place tomatillos and habaneros in a blender after removing stems from habaneros. Blend for a few seconds until you have a chunky salsa. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Place salsa in a dip bowl. (You can refrigerate for 30 minutes if you like). Chop onion and cilantro and top salsa with both.
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