A good green sauce can be the perfect finishing touch on a taco or burrito, often adding a bright tangy flavor, usually with less heat than their red counterparts. On a very basic level, green sauces are usually made with green (unripe) chiles, which have less sweetness that red chiles, because the sugars develop during the ripening process. Green chiles also contain more chlorophyll, giving them that distinctive 'green' flavor. One of the most common ingredients in green sauces is Tomatillo, which look like green tomatoes (though they are a distinct species) with a papery husk on the outside. They have a nice tartness and varying degrees of sweetness, and they often make up most of the bulk of a salsa verde. Green sauces also often feature Cilantro, and to round it out, lime is a traditional finishing touch, adding a bright citrusy note. But green sauces don't need to follow that formula - any sauce made with green peppers, or even green base ingredients with red peppers, can be considered a green sauce.
Here are some of our favorite green sauces. Each has a different take on this classic genre of hot sauce, and each one would make a great gift!
Sea of Green
Bigfat's Sea of Green is a tangy tomatillo style sauce made with poblano and habanero peppers. This sauce also has cilantro, lime juice and garlic so it tastes great on tacos and burritos.
Humboldt Hot Sauce Emerald Style is a delicious mild hot sauce made with habanero and bell peppers, ginger puree, cilantro, garlic and lime juice.
Dia Del Perro
Lucky Dog's Dia Del Perro is a delicious verde sauce made with Alderwood-smoked serrano peppers, green tomatillo, toasted onion, roasted garlic and chile tepin.
Green Peppa Madness
Men Pa'w Green Peppa Madness is the most unique of the green style sauces on this list. It's a unique Haitian style hot sauce that's full of flavor and features a blend of green habaneros, jalapenos, fataliis and datils, along with olive oil and Haitian spices.
Infinity Sauces Hatch-Quatch is a verde style sauce that has roasted hatch chiles, roasted garlic, roasted jalapenos, cilantro and a just a hint of Scorpion pepper. It has a very fresh and crisp vinegar note up front, balanced with the legendary hatch chile flavors.
Chiporro Sauce Co. Cilantro Jalapeno Hot Sauce is a zesty, cilantro-forward green sauce, with a creamy consistency and barely any vinegar. The mild heat comes from jalapenos.
Char Man Verde
Char Man Verde Hot Sauce is a fire-roasted sauce that's notable for its omission of tomatillos. It's less tangy than many green sauces and it uses jalapenos, serranos, guero and Thai chilies. Another departure from the traditional green sauce territory, lemon provides the citrus component rather than lime.