Salsa Asada de Aguacate (Avocado Salsa)


Tomatillos, serrano chile, and avocados come together in this hybrid of creamy guacamole and salsa verde.

Salsa Asada de Aguacate

Eva Kolenko / Food Styling by Carrie Purcell / Prop Styling by Nidia Cueva

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
6 servings

This creamy and spicy salsa blurs the line between guacamole and salsa verde. Tart tomatillos, lightly charred on the grill, are mellowed by buttery mashed avocados. Lopez prefers using marble-sized milpero tomatillos, prized for their sweet flavor and mild acidity, but larger tomatillos also work well for this salsa. After peeling off the papery husks, rinse the fruit under cold water to remove the sticky film from the skin. Grilling the tomatillos brings out their natural sweetness and concentrates flavor while adding a smoky flair. If using small tomatillos, a grill basket works well to keep them contained and prevent them from slipping through the grill grates. Cilantro stems are often discarded, but they’re actually more flavorful than the leaves. Blend the stems into the salsa to add a bright, citrusy flavor that pairs well with the charred tomatillos and buttery avocado. Serve this versatile salsa dolloped on tacos, to scoop with chips, or as a spread on sandwiches. The acidic tomatillos help to prevent the salsa from oxidizing as quickly as regular guacamole, but pressing plastic wrap directly onto the surface will help extend the shelf life in the fridge for up to three hours.


  • 8 ounces tomatillos (about 5 medium tomatillos), husks removed 

  • 1 spring onion or 2 scallions

  • 1 serrano chile, stemmed

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems  

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons water, as needed

  • 2 small avocados, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)


  1. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 500°F). Place tomatillos, spring onion, and serrano chile on oiled grates; grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until evenly charred, 3 to 4 minutes for chile, 6 to 8 minutes for spring onion, and 8 to 10 minutes for tomatillos. Remove from grill, and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  2. Combine tomatillos, spring onion, chile, cilantro, garlic, and salt in a food processor, and pulse until a smooth paste forms, 20 to 30 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. (Add up to 2 tablespoons water, if needed, to reach a smooth consistency.) Add avocados, and pulse until mostly smooth, about 10 pulses. Season with salt to taste.

To make ahead

Salsa can be made up to 3 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in refrigerator. Press plastic wrap directly on surface of salsa to prevent it from oxidizing.


This recipe is adapted from Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling by Bricia Lopez with Javier Cabral

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