Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa

Roasted tomatillos and garlic are combined with chipotle peppers in adobo to make this simple, hot and smokey salsa (that Rick Bayless calls “essential“).

I used a molcajete, but a food processor or blender works fine. Find some information on molcajetes here and be sure to season it properly before using. I bought mine at a local Mexican grocer and was assured by the manufacturer that it is 100% lava stone. With the Chinese now making them and pressed concrete versions out there don’t trust Crate and Barrel, buy¬†this one.

This salsa tastes best the day it is made, but it can be refrigerated for up to one week in an airtight container.


  • 3 to 6 canned chiles chipotles en adobo (I used 5)
  • 3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 5 to 6 medium (8 ounces) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional


  • Blender, Food Processor, or Molcajete
  • Skillet
  • Baking Sheet, Oven
  • Knife and Cutting Board


  1. On a heavy, ungreased skillet or griddle over medium heat, roast the unpeeled garlic, turning occasionally, until blackened in spots and soft, about 15 minutes. Cool, slip off the papery skins, and chop roughly.
  2. Preheat the broiler. Place the tomatillos on a baking sheet, and place in broiler about 4 inches from heat. When, after about 5 minutes, the tomatillos have blistered, blackened, and softened on one side, turn them over, and roast on the other side. Cool completely on the baking sheet.
  3. Scrape the tomatillos (and any juices that have accumulated around them) into a molcajete, food processor, or blender, and add the chiles and garlic. Combine until everything is thick and relatively smooth. For a chunkier alternative, scrape the tomatillos and juices into a molcajete, food processor, or blender, and add the garlic. Combine until everything is coarsely pureed. Chop the chiles into tiny bits, then stir them into the tomatillo mixture. Transfer salsa to a serving bowl, and add enough water to give the salsa an easily spoonable consistency, about 3 to 4 tablespoons. Season with salt, and add sugar if you want to soften its tangy edge.

*Makes about 1 1/4 cups

All recipes stolen/borrowed from somewhere, butchered/adapted exclusively by CHEF BOY/R/C.