Smokin’ Heat Salsa Verde

Smokin Heat Salsa Verde

This is a couple of recipes crammed into one. It’s very flexible with how much heat you want to throw into it and has a really solid flavor. Smoking the Tomatillos and Peppers is highly recommended. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Salsa, Salsa Verde, Smoked
Servings: 8 people



  • 1 lb Tomatillos Try to get tomatillos that do not completely fill the husk or have split it. They have a bit more of a tart flavor that works well in the salsa. Fully ripened tomatillos have a bit more sweetness to them.
  • 2 Habaneros Use one for mild heat, two for medium. Substitute for your favorite peppers
  • 1 cup Chopped Basil
  • 1 cup Chopped Parsley (flat or curly)
  • 1 cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup Water as needed
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper Dry roast whole peppercorns in a pan before grinding
  • 3 cloves Garlic Crushed and/or chopped


  • 1 Smoker
  • 1 Food Processor or Blender



  • Fire up the smoker to 225 and fill the water tray
  • Quarter the tomatillos. Lightly coat with salt and pepper
  • Using a small tray or a foil liner, place the tomatillos and habanero peppers on the tray and place into the smoker when ready. It is desirable to retain any juice that the tomatillos release so don’t place them on something that will lose the juice. There will be some that evaporates which is expected. Place the highest rack, if using a cabinet smoker. 
  • Add small amount of wood for a light smoke. Applewood or Hickory is preferred. 
  • Leave in smoker for 90 minutes

Food Processor Prep

  • While the tomatillos and peppers are in the smoker, begin prep for the food processor
  • Place small saute pan on medium-low heat on the stove. Once heated add whole peppercorns to pan and dry roast them. Once roasted, put in spice grinder.
  • Add lime juice, vinegar, salt and pepper to the food processor
  • Chop basil, cilantro, parsley, red onion, garlic and add to food processor with the garlic and onion on the bottom so they sit in the lime and vinegar solution. 

Finishing Up

  • Once tomatillos and peppers are done remove them from the smoker. 
  • Remove peppers from the tray, remove the stems and add the the food processor along with the tomatillos and any juice that was in the tray
  • Blend to desired consistency and transfer to a serving or storage bowl. 



  • If the salsa is too thick, you can add water to thin it out
  • Adjust the acidic profile with lime juice or vinegar.
  • Dry roasting peppercorns is not required but try to at least use fresh ground pepper
  • After a day the salsa tends to thicken quite a bit, this can be remedied with additional water mixed in to restore the consistency

Additional Notes

  • The heat profile seems to change over time. The day after it is made the heat tends to lessen quite a bit but returns in the next day or two.
  • Keeps for about a week.