Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chile de Arbol

This recipe for roasted tomatillo salsa will make any tacos especially tasty. The use of chile de arbol gives it an extra spicy kick.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chile de Arbol #chiledearbolsalsa #tomatillosalsa

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chile de Arbol

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This past weekend we celebrated my younger brother’s 25thbirthday! The family gathered at my parents’ house where an assortment of ingredients waited to become a delicious meal in my brother’s honor. As is our tradition, whenever we get together at my parents’ for a birthday, holiday, or any occasion really, we spend the entire day in the kitchen.

In my parents’ kitchen they are the head chefs and we are the sous chefs. As dutiful assistants, we help prepare the meal all while sharing old stories, laughing and paying special attention to my parents’ tips and tricks about cooking.

On this special day, the menu consisted of guacamole, refried beans, a roasted tomatillo salsa and the main dish, discada. A discada is a traditional Mexican recipe that is cooked outside in a large disc-shaped pan (called a disco) connected to a propane tank. This is where the name “discada” comes from.

Meat cooking for discada

What is a discada?

In the pan, diced beef, bacon, and chorizo are mixed together with chipotle peppers, cilantro and onions. This is then served on corn tortillas and topped with the roasted tomatillo salsa. I have seen other ingredients used to prepare a discada, but this is how the top chefs of my family do it.

Now, your mouth may be watering at the thought of a meaty discada recipe in your near future. However, since I have never actually made a discada, I will save that post for a later time.

Instead I will be sharing the recipe for the roasted tomatillo salsa. This is a recipe I feel confident making and therefore sharing with you.

Ingredients for Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chile de Arbol #chiledearbolsalsa #tomatillosalsa

This smoky, delicious roasted tomatillo salsa is great on any type of tacos. I must warn you though, because of the use of chile de arbol, it is quite spicy. Some people suggest taking the seeds and veins out to make the chile the arbol less spicy. However my family doesn’t do that, Mexicans like it hot!

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5 from 2 votes

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with Chile de Arbol

       Smoky and spicy salsa with roasted tomatillos and chile de arbol.
Cuisine Mexican
Author Gemma from Everyday Latina


  • 6 medium tomatillos
  • 12 chiles de arbol
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste


  • Heat comal (griddle) to medium high heat.
  • Roast tomatillos on the comal. Turn them periodically until all sides are charred and the tomatillos have softened. Set aside.
  • Next, place the chiles de arbol on the same comal. Quickly roast the chiles for only 5 seconds on each side. Be careful not to leave them on the comal any longer or the chiles will taste bitter.
  • Place the chiles, tomatillos, onion, peeled garlic cloves, and salt to taste, and half a cup of water in the blender
  • Blend until smooth. Strain using a mesh strainer.
  • Serve atop of tacos, steaks, or chicken. 


  • For a varied taste to the salsa, you can also roast the onion and the garlic cloves (with the peel still on).
  • This is a pretty spicy salsa. For a less spicy flavor, take out the seeds and veins of the chiles or use less chiles de arbol.

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