Salsa Verde – An Easy Recipe for Young Chefs

The tomatillo is a wonderful fruit that grows well in Florida. Click on the image to see a UF/IFAS article on the subject.

Cooking is one of those favorite projects that we do in 4-H! As adults, we love to see kids in the kitchen to develop skills they will need as an adult, and activities that help them build self confidence. With some guidance, young chefs can follow recipes and will want to, if the ingredients are interesting, the task is not too challenging, and if the end result is yummy. This Salsa Verde (Spanish for green sauce) recipe falls into that category. The finished product goes great as a topping to add a Mexican flair to main dishes, such as eggs, meats and fish, and it is especially good with your favorite corn chips. This tasty sauce is also low in carbohydrates, sugar and gluten free.

Recently, Chef Isaiah from Brevard County 4-H taught us how to make healthy, delicious, and simple quesadillas. Here is the link to that video. This salsa recipe would go great on the quesadillas he is making.

Salsa Verde
Tools Needed:
  • Chopping knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Food processor or blender
  • Oven broiler, charcoal or gas grill
  • Mixing bowl
  • Storage container
  • An adult to supervise*

* Adult supervision is recommended for use of the oven, food processor and potential dangers using hot peppers.

Storing fresh cilantro
Storing fresh cilantro like cut flowers will make it last longer.

– Jalapeno pepper 1 large or 2 medium size
– Poblano pepper, 1 medium size
– Tomatillos, 8 to 10 medium size
– Onion, white or red,1 medium size, cut in half
– Lime or lemon, ½ of a whole fruit
– Garlic, 1 clove or 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
– Cilantro, 1 small bunch, leaves and stems
– Olive Oil, 2 tablespoons
– Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
– Black Pepper, 1/2 teaspoon
– Xanthan Gum, 1/2 teaspoon (optional)*
– Honey (1 tsp.) or 1 packet of Truvia (Stevia) (optional)

* The Xanthan Gum acts as a natural, but uncommon thickening agent.


Peel the husk off the tomatillos, wash all the ingredients, peel the cloves of garlic and slice the lemon (or lime) in half. Peel and cut the onion in quarters. Grill or broil the vegetables and lemon (or lime) until charred and soft, which takes about 10-15 minutes. When lightly blackened, cut in halves or quarters and put in a food processor or blender. Blend together these and the remaining ingredients until it gets to the desired consistency. A food processor will give a chunky consistency, a blender will puree. A de-seeded jalapeno will make mild salsa, whole pepper (with seeds) medium heat, 2 peppers will make extra hot. Yield: about 24 ounces or 1 1/2 pints.


Serving size: 1 ounce
Nutrition per serving: 1 gram net carbohydrates, 1 gram fat, 18 calories


Posted: April 2, 2020

Category: 4-H & Youth, Curriculum, Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, UF/IFAS Teaching
Tags: 4-H, 4H, Cooking, Healthy Food, Youth

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