Avocado Salsa

It’s a short jump from everyday guacamole to this unusual avocado salsa, but the leap is definitely worth taking. This creamy salsa—piqued with jalapeño peppers and pungent with cilantro—makes a stimulating accompaniment to grilled seafood, poultry, or pork. It’s delectable on tacos al pastor (grilled pork and pineapple tacos), which is how I first tasted it at the famous taqueria EL Lago de los Cisnos (Swan Lake) in Mexico City. Avocado salsa is easy to make, but unless you start with ripe, squeezably soft Hass avocados, you won’t get the right effect. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes with a papery cap or husk. Look for them in the produce section of the supermarket. If you don’t have time to grill the tomatillos, boil them.

NotesTry This!

I first tasted this sales with grilled pork, I kept thinking how delicious it would be with grilled seafood. And it is!

Makes2 cups; enough to serve 4 to 6


Total Timeunder 1 hour

Dietary Considerationgluten-free, halal, kosher, lactose-free, low carb, low cholesterol, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian


Taste and Textureherby, hot & spicy, light, sweet, tangy, tart

Type of Dishsalsa, sauces


  • 5 medium tomatillos, husked
  • 2 to 4 jalapeno chilles, seeded and minced (for a hotter salsa leave the seeds in)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea), or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced


  1. Preheat the grill to high.

  2. Place the tomatillos on the grate and grill, until lightly browned on all sides and soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Or bring 2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the tomatillos and simmer, covered, until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. Drain the tomatillos, reserving the cooking liquid.

  3. Transfer the tomatillos to a food processor and process to a coarse purée. Add the chilies, cilantro, onion, garlic, lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper and process just to mix. The mixture should be soupy; if too thick, add a few tablespoons of water or tomatillo cooking liquid. Add the avocado and process just to mix. Don’t overprocess; the avocado should remain in small pieces. Correct the seasoning, adding salt or lime juice; the salsa should be highly seasoned. Serve within 1 to 2 hours of making.


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