Molcajete Salsa Verde


You'll be spooning this sweet and spicy salsa over everything.

This molcajete salsa verde recipe is inspired by two things: The city of Oaxaca and the Youtube channel “De Mi Rancho A Tu Cocina”. If you haven’t watched Angela cook on her comal at her ranch, you need to prioritize making that happen. Be warned you will get hungry and have a hankering to visit your granny.

Molcajete Salsa in Mexico

My husband and I travel to Mexico every winter to warm up, visit family and eat some of the best food in the world. On our last visit to Oaxaca de Juarez, we ate at the restaurant Casa Oaxaca in the Colonia Reforma. Right after sitting down, our waiter came up with a gigantic tray filled with little dishes of prepared salsa ingredients alongside a molcajete.

He set the whole tray down on the table and began by adding a huge pinch of salt to the molcajete, followed by two roasted garlic cloves. After mashing them to form a paste, he then asked us to pick our next ingredients. Roasted tomato? Chopped raw tomato? Chile de arbol? Jalepeño? Picante? Más picante?? Within seconds we had our custom molcajete salsa on the table with a fresh tlayuda on the side. Dios mio! We left inspired to 1) purchase a molcajete immediately and 2) make more regular salsa bars at home. The flavor in a molcajete is not like blender salsa. It’s chunkier and earthier.

Secretly in season

You might think that posting a recipe like this in the middle of the winter is out of season. But I have a little secret…most of these ingredients came from my garden and preserved for use all winter long. Tomatillos can be peeled and frozen whole in a plastic bag, along with whole peppers of any kind. For us, that means fresh salsa all year long.

Pair this molcajete salsa verde with our killer winter citrus paloma cocktail.

Molcajete Salsa Verde

Servings 2
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 lb. tomatillos 7-8 medium
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1-2 green cayenne peppers
  • 5 sprigs cilantro
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Brown the garlic and cayenne peppers on a small cast iron skillet until charred and softened.
  • Peel and rinse the tomatillos and boil in a medium saucepan until soft like a deflated basketball.
  • Add the garlic and salt to the molcajete and mash into a paste. Slip the chiles from their stems and mash into the paste as well.
  • Remove the tomatillos from the water and add to the molcajete. Mash into your desired salsa consistency.
  • Finely chop cilantro and green onion and add it to the salsa. Stir to incorporate and taste for salt. Season as needed.
Course: Savory

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @growingwithgertie on Instagram.

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