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A zesty, creamy dip featuring ripe avocados, sweet tomatillos, and a wonderfully bold kick of spice from fresh Serrano chiles, this avocado salsa (also known as salsa de aguacate) is like the perfect cross between guacamole and salsa verde. It’s the ideal condiment for every game day or taco night!
Like most people, I am a sucker for Mexican food. It’s rare that I’ll turn down a good Mexican meal, whether we’re chowing down on street tacos or savoring a zesty shrimp corn soup. Mexican is always a great option for dining out, but I love to try my hand at recreating the mouthwatering meals I love right at home, and that includes everything from the meats to the rice to the condiments!
Avocado salsa, or salsa de aguacate, is not the same as guacamole. It’s definitely known for its signature avocado flavor, but it has more of the consistency of a classic tomato salsa and features ingredients similar to that of salsa verde. I like to think of it as a creamy version of salsa verde.
It’s truly a knockout condiment and makes the ideal addition to your Cinco de Mayo party menu. It comes together fairly quickly and will elevate anything it’s eaten with!
Salsa Recipe Video
If you’re thinking, “How hard can it be to make a simple salsa dip?”, I understand. Making salsa is very simple to do. But, some of you have told me that you love my recipe videos, so I made one for this recipe too.
To see the process from start to finish, watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Avocados – I use three avocados for this recipe. It’s important that they are as perfectly ripe as you can find them, to ensure that the texture is right and that the sauce doesn’t brown too quickly.
- Tomatillos – These green tomatoes, also known as husk tomatoes, are similar to regular tomatoes with a slightly different taste. You’ll have to remove their outer husks and boil them to really extract their robust tomato flavor. Regular tomatoes won’t give this dip the unique, signature flavor that tomatillos will, and you’ll wind up with a different color and consistency.
- Serrano Chiles – I love cooking the tomatillos alongside Serrano chiles to acheive an incredible aroma and bold, spicy flavor in this sauce. If you don’t want this dip to be too spicy, you can substitute with fresh jalapeños or Anaheim chiles.
- White Onion – This provides a nice bite of sweet onion flavor throughout the sauce, pairing perfectly alongside the garlic and spice. You may substitute with red onion if needed.
- Cilantro – For a lovely presentation and a bright, citrusy taste in each bite! If you’re one of many who don’t like cilantro, you can substitute with fresh parsley or leave it out.
HOW TO MAKE AVOCADO SALSA
- Cook Tomatillos & Chiles. Add tomatillos and chiles to a medium sauce pan and fill with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil and let the vegetables cook for two to three minutes. Remove cooked tomatillos and chiles carefully and reserve the cooking water.
- Blend Ingredients. Place the tomatillos, chiles, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until blended. Then, add avocado and pulse until combined. Add a bit of the reserved water until you achieve the thin consistency of salsa.
- Season & Serve. Taste your salsa and season to your liking with salt. If you’d prefer to enjoy this salsa chilled, place it in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes. If you enjoy it warm, it’s ready to eat! Before serving, top it off with fresh cilantro and diced white onions. I also like to serve it with fresh lime wedges for squeezing on top.
How to cut and peel an avocado
- Use a sharp knife to cut the avocado around the large seed in the center. Separate the two halves.
- Gently tap the pit with the sharp end of the knife to “grab” it. Then turn the knife to release the pit and remove it from the green flesh. You can also remove it with a spoon if that feels safer.
- Now you can either peel the skin off with your fingers or you can use a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh. Since it’s getting blended for this recipe, it doesn’t matter if it gets a little messy.
Blanch the tomatillos and chiles.
Remove the husks from the tomatillos and the stems from the serrano chiles. Rinse the tomatillos to remove the sticky residue, then add them and the chiles to a saucepan and cover with water. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then use tongs to remove them from the pan.
Normally, you would plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process, but we’ll skip this step. Just transfer them to the bowl of a food processor.
NOTE: Leave the water in the saucepan; you’ll use it later to thin out the salsa.
Is Avocado Salsa the Same as Guacamole?
Salsa de aguacate is not the same as guacamole, although they contain similar ingredients. Guacamole is usually chunkier than avocado salsa, and it typically includes lime, tomato chunks, and jalapeños. Conversely, this salsa is blended to a thin consistency and has a bit more spice and tomato flavor.
How Can You Tell When an Avocado is Ripe?
Look for an avocado that is very dark in color — almost black. Then, press gently on the avocado skin. You do not want a hard fruit that doesn’t give at all when you press on it, but you also don’t want one that is very soft. Ideally, the skin should be just firm enough to give a little when you press on it.
How to Keep Avocado Salsa From Turning Brown?
Store this dip in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent it from browning. Since there is a good amount of liquid in this sauce (as opposed to guacamole), it should stay green for a few days. Some say storing it with avocado pits inside helps to keep it fresh, but even if there is some browning, it’s usually only on the top — a good mixing will make everything nice and green again.
This recipe post, originally published on Kevin Is Cooking May, 2020, has been updated with new content, photos and/or video in January, 2023.
Avocado Salsa (Salsa De Aguacate) + Video
- To a medium saucepan, add the tomatillos and chiles, and add enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes. Carefully place tomatillos and chiles in a food processor bowl, reserving cooking water.
- Pulse together cooked tomatillos, chiles and garlic until blended. Add avocado and pulse until blended. Add a little of the cooking liquid to thin to a salsa consistency. Taste and season with salt.
- At this stage, the guacamole salsa will be warm. If you prefer, chill salsa in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with diced onion and chopped cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and limes (optional) to squeeze on top.
- For less heat, feel free to substitute fresh jalapeños or Anaheim chiles for the Serrano chiles.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.