Italian Green Sauce (Salsa Verde)

Salsa Verde is a green sauce that is great with boiled meats, like the chicken that’s left over when you make brodo (broth) for tortellini. It is also good with steamed or baked fish. Salsa verde turns bland fish or chicken into something really nice. With a blender it is very easy to make.

The main ingredients are parsley, capers, garlic, anchovies, vinegar, and olive oil. There are many recipes for salsa verde around, some also include pickles, fresh breadcrumbs, or hard-boiled egg yolks. I like to include a bell pepper. In the photo you can see that the Salsa Verde I made is in fact a bit red as well. That is because I prefer a red (or yellow) bell pepper over green because it has a nicer flavor. Green, yellow, and red bell peppers are all the same peppers. The difference is just a matter of maturity: if you leave a green bell pepper on the plant long enough, it will first turn yellow and eventually red. Green bell peppers are unripe and have unripe flavors, which is why I don’t use them often. If the color of the Salsa Verde  is important, you could of course use a green bell pepper or leave it out altogether.


1 bunch fresh flatleaf parsley (leaves only, about 2 cups loosely packed)

1 clove garlic

2 anchovy fillets

2 Tbsp rinsed and dried capers

1 bell pepper, diced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

pinch of sugar

120 ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil


Put the parsley, anchovies, capers and garlic in a blender.

Process until fine, scraping down the sides as needed.

Add bell pepper, salt, pepper, vinegar, and sugar.

Pulse a few times. The bell pepper should only be coarsely chopped.

Add olive oil.

Pulse just enough to incorporate it. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until needed.

16 thoughts on “Italian Green Sauce (Salsa Verde)

    1. Bollito has never appealed to me, so I’ve never prepared it. Boiled meat doesn’t have much appeal in the first place, and certainly not when it’s from the “quinto quarto”.


  1. We truly are traveling down the same road, Stefan. I’ve got a post with salsa verde coming up. Not to worry, it’s not the same that you’ve posted. That’s the thing about Italian cooking. Travel 10 kilometers down the road and though the dishes will have the same name, the recipes will differ. 🙂
    Your recipe sounds delicious and I like that it includes a red bell pepper. I’ll be sure to give it a try.


    1. Sometimes you need even less than 10 kilometers. To me it is also interesting how recipes can be almost the same but are called something different. Like cappelletti and tortellini, or tajarin and tagliolini.


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