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Costillas en Salsa Verde

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Costillas en Salsa Verde is a Mexican dish of pork ribs in green sauce. The ribs are seared until crispy and simmered in a tangy tomatillo salsa.

Costillas en salsa verde on a plate with beans.

Costillas en Salsa Verde is my idea of Mexican comfort food, just like my Carne con Papas recipe. It’s a hearty and savory dish that’s loaded with flavor.

Pork ribs are also pretty affordable, making this a budget friendly meal. Any time I find ribs on sale at the store I buy them and keep them in my freezer.


Costillas en Salsa Verde require minimal ingredients. You’ll find different variations of this recipe, so always adjust to your own preference.

Ingredients with text: tomatillos, baby back ribs, garlic, cilantro.
  • Tomatillos
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Baby Back Ribs

You also need some salt and black pepper for seasoning, that’s it!

Salsa Verde

The green sauce is very similar to my salsa verde recipe, just without onion. However, you can also add onion to this recipe, it helps cut down on the tanginess of the tomatillos.

Prepare you tomatillos by removing the husk and washing them well to remove the waxy residue. I add a little bit of vinegar when washing them.

Two image collage of raw and cooked tomatillos in a pot.

Place the tomatillos in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes or until they are softned.

Once cooked the tomatillos go from a bright green color to muted greenish brown color. Drain and place the tomatillos in a blender with garlic, cilantro, and salt.

Cooking the Ribs

I’m using baby back ribs, and just sliced them to separate each rib. If you would like more meat, use country style ribs or a combination of both.

Add the sliced ribs to a large skillet over medium heat. Do not add oil or any seasoning.

Collage of 4 images showing how to cook the ribs in salsa verde.

Cook the ribs and rotate them every few minutes to get them crispy on each side. This process takes about 30-40 minutes for the ribs to cook and develop a crust.

Now add the salsa verde and allow the ribs to simmer in the sauce for 15 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I boil or pressure cook the ribs first?

I have seen some recipes that boil the ribs first, then cook them in the salsa verde. The ribs did turn out tender with the pan searing method, and I haven’t tested other methods, so I can’t provide specific feedback.

Can I make the salsa verde spicy?

Yes! You can add a few jalapeno’s or serrano’s to the pot the same time when you boil the tomatillos. Then drain and blend it all together.

How to Serve and Store

Serve the costillas en salsa verde with creamy beans, rice, nopales, or fresh corn tortillas.

Overhead view of ribs in green sauce on a plate with beans.

Store any leftover ribs in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat the ribs in a pan and simmer with the lid on or reheat in a microwave.

The ribs taste even better the next day since they have more time to absorb the salsa into the meat.

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Feature image of costillas en salsa verde on a plate with beans.

Costillas en Salsa Verde Recipe

Costillas en Salsa Verde is a Mexican dish of ribs in green sauce. The ribs are seared until crispy and simmered in a tangy tomatillo salsa.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6



  • 3 pounds Pork Baby Back Ribs sliced to separate each rib
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper

Salsa Verde

  • 1.5 pounds Tomatillos
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 10 stems Cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Jalapeno or Serrano if you want the salsa spicy

Beans, Rice, or Corn Tortillas for Serving


    • Slice ribs along the bone to separate each rib. You can also use country-style ribs if you prefer more meat and less bone.
    • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the ribs. Do not add any oil to the pan, the pork will release its own fat. Continue rotating the ribs and flipping them over until all sides are browned. This process takes 30-40 minutes.
    • While the ribs are cooking make the salsa verde. Peel and rinse the tomatillos well to remove any residue. I add a little bit of vinegar to wash them.
    • Place the tomatillos in a pot and cover with water. (If adding chiles, boil them with the tomatillos). Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until they are soft. Drain the tomatillos and add to a blender.
    • I prefer to let the tomatillos cool down in the blender for 5 minutes. Then add a garlic clove, cilantro, and salt. Blend and taste for seasoning.
    • Once the ribs are browned on all sides, add the blended salsa verde to the pan. Scrape any browned bits on the bottom to release them. Toss the ribs in the salsa, place a lid on, and allow them to simmer for 15 minutes to absorb the sauce.
    • Serve the ribs with beans, rice, or corn tortillas.



    Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days and reheat in a pan or microwave. 
    If using a leaner cut of pork, you may need to add some oil when cooking to get it seared.


    Calories: 358kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 28gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 514mgPotassium: 672mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 275IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 2mg

    Nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and depends on ingredients and amounts used. Thai Caliente makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

    Keyword costillas en salsa verde, ribs in green sauce
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