Tomatilla & Arbol Pepper Salsa

I'm taking over Good Food Friday today because I had to share the salsa recipe I made a couple of weeks ago for my birthday. Yes, salsa for my birthday. Much better than cake. (I feel confident Lesley at Recipe for Crazy would agree with me.)

I love Street Tacos, but what truly makes them great is the salsa. Though different than what I've had from a taco truck, this salsa a perfect mix of tart & spicy and is super flavorful! I just used the last of my birthday-weekend-batch last night and will most definitely be making some more!



  • About 7 small tomatillos (10 ounces) with husks removed and washed

  • 10 dried Arbol peppers (5 for mild, more if you dare. I think 10 is a good number to start with the first time you make it. Then you can adjust the next time around.)

  • 3 garlic cloves — more if you love it as much as we do at our house

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Place tomatillos and garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Roast until soft and brown, turning them to get all sides,  about 18-20 minutes. Garlic cloves will be done faster, so remove when they start to brown and throw 'em in your blender or food processor.


Meanwhile, in another skillet, quickly toast the dried Arbol peppers. It takes just a couple of minutes, so stay close. The peppers can burn easily and give your sauce a bitter taste. Once they're done, cut the stems off and throw them in with the garlic.


From experience, we play it safe when handling peppers. (We also cut up Serrano peppers that day, which we definitely needed the gloves for!)


Once the tomatillos are done, quarter them, and add them in with the garlic and peppers. Add the salt and start blending until you get a slightly chunky sauce. Add water if needed, but my experience is that it rarely is.


Put it on your tacos, burritos, quesadillas, chicken, steak — whatever. I promise, it would be good on just about anything. :)

I also suggest a margarita on the side. Can't go wrong.


xoxo Lori Danelle