20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Joss Dyckson · This post may contain affiliate links ·

You will often see both homemade and restaurant-style dishes that marry tomatillos with sour (lemons and limes), bitter (cilantro), and savory (meats and beans) ingredients. The best tomatillo recipes complement these flavors and bring out the mild sweetness of the tomatillos.

When tomatillos come to mind, you probably think: salsa! But there is so much more you can do with this little green fruit. This is why I compiled a list of 20 recipes to give you plenty of tomatillo recipe ideas.

20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (1)

Why do we use tomatillos in so many Mexican recipes? They are among the most versatile vegetables. With their ability to fulfill the acidic niche nicely and their tendency to release an unusual complexity of flavors upon cooking, they are staples in Southwestern and Mexican cuisine.

They are quickly becoming popular in North America, hence why I can now find them regularly in local grocery stores and I even grow them in my own garden.

So grab a bag of tomatillos and have a look at all of the unique, fresh and delicious options I compiled below. Two of my favorites on this list are the grilled halibut tacos and easy tomatillo hot sauce. Enjoy!

Jump to:
  • What are Tomatillos?
  • Unique Tomatillo Recipes
  • Tomatillo Recipes with Chicken
  • Tomatillo Salsa Recipes
  • Canned Tomatillo Recipes
  • Conclusion
  • Tomatillo FAQs

What are Tomatillos?

Tomatillos are small, round, green fruits in the nightshade family. Their name says, “Little tomato,” and they are shaped liked tomatoes but they are really only distantly related.

They are tangy and only slightly sweet. In addition, you must shuck them of a paper-like husk as if they were part of the corn family.

Unique Tomatillo Recipes


20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (2)

Grilled Halibut Tacos with Salsa Verde

Create an easy dairy-free and gluten-free meal with these grilled halibut tacos. The halibut is marinated, grilled and then brightened up with fresh mango and a homemade, roasted salsa verde.

Get the Grilled Halibut Tacos Recipe

20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (3)
20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (4)


20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (5)

Life's Ambrosia

Fried Green Tomatillos

Incorporate tried and true classics. For many of you, the fried green tomatoes dish is a staple. Substitute tomatillos for tomatoes and enjoy a southwestern twist on a traditional classic. A creamy chipotle dip compliments their tangy bite.

Get the Fried Green Tomatillos Recipe

20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (6)


20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (7)

Girl Gone Gourmet

Salsa Verde Taco Soup

Catch up on some quality time and comfort food. Enjoy an intimate lunch with none other than tacos in a bowl. Browning the ground beef is the most difficult part. The soup comes out tasty whether cooked stovetop or in an Instant Pot. Garnish with sour cream andguacamole.

Get the Salsa Verde Taco Soup Recipe


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Kevin is Cooking

Stuffed Green Chili Meatballs

These turkey meatballs are simple. Baking them in tomatillo sauce makes them tender and juicy while giving them a hint of spice and tang. They taste unbelievable over rice with a side of corn on the cob.

Get the Stuffed Green Chili Meatballs Recipe


20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (9)

Food Faith Fitness

Grilled Mexican Corn Salad With Tomatillos

Corn salad is a nice side for steak! Pan-searing gives the corn and red onions a smoky taste and nice grill marks. Add raw tomatillos and avocados, and you get a delectable mix of crunchiness, smooth creaminess, and savory warmth.

Get the Grilled Mexican Corn Salad With Tomatillos Recipe


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Love and Lemons

Green Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho

It's time for a pool party! For those of you who have never heard of gazpacho, it is acold soupthat uses raw vegetables blended together. Green cucumber tomatillo gazpacho makes refreshing summer fare. It is a variation on the raw vegetable mantra as you grill or roast the tomatillos, onions, and jalapenos before tossing them in the blender.

Get the Green Cucumber Tomatillo Gazpacho Recipe

20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (13)


20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (14)

Simply Recipes

Baked Shrimp With Tomatillos

True hosts serve appetizers first...Add tomatillos to a shrimp saganaki and you instill a Southwestern flair into a Greek appetizer. Tomatillos add acidity to the sweetness of the shrimp and the saltiness of the cheese. Cilantro rounds it out with bitterness, providing pure deliciousness!

Get the Baked Shrimp With Tomatillos Recipe

20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (15)


20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (16)

Love and Olive Oil

Green Tomatillo Shakshuka

A fresh take on poached eggs for breakfast. Fitting for any meal of the day, this shakshuka utilizes the tangy green tomatillo instead of the traditional red tomato. Fresh herbs add to the intensity of the olive color, but the North African roots are clearly evident in the poached eggs scattered throughout the sauce.

Get the Green Tomatillo Shakshuka Recipe

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20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (19)

Easy Tomatillo Hot Sauce

This is a unique and easy take on hot sauce, with tomatillos being the star ingredient. There is no fermentation required; the ingredients are cooked, blended, strained and ready to spice up or add flavor to any dish!

Get the Easy Tomatillo Hot Sauce Recipe

20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (20)


20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (21)

Onion Rings & Things

Pork Chili Verde

Chili night! Chili verde is a favorite meal among so many. Pork ribs meat and tomatillo sauce make this a filling stew for even the largest appetites. It seems to have been specially made to go with rice and tortillas. This is a great crock-pot tomatillo pork recipe.

Get the Pork Chili Verde Recipe


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Carlsbad Cravings

5 Minute Blender Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

Looking for a unique dressing recipe to liven up your next salad? You can whip up this tomatillo avocado ranch dressing in only 5 minutes in the blender! No need to stop at salads alone; try it over tacos, burritos or any Mexican dish really. This may just become your go-to summer dressing.

Get the Tomatillo Ranch Dressing Recipe

20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (23)

Tomatillo Recipes with Chicken

When you look at the most commonly used ingredients in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine, a few foods stand out. Could you cook every dish with cumin, cilantro, tomatillos, avocados, and chicken, beef, or pork? Just add tortillas, cheese, and corn and call it a day? Of course, you would not, but these mainstays show up again and again.

Chicken, in particular, is easy to complement with vegetables and spices because its own flavor is unassuming. We all know how fancy chicken becomes in the hands of some Latin chefs. The relatively delicate meat of chicken lends itself well to soups and salads and blends remarkably well with citrus-based lemon and zesty tomatillos.


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Kitchen Confidante

Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup

Liven up your soup with this roasted tomatillo recipe. Roasted tomatillos provide so much robust flavor in this soup, you can choose whether or not to add heat. You can also experiment with corn, beans, or chicken with this soup. You can have it ready in a little less than an hour.

Get the Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup Recipe


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Two Peas & Their Pod

Chicken Chile Verde

Chicken chile verde is one of my favorite dinner meals. I've made this recipe for my family over and over again. Similar to the popular pork chile verde, roasted tomatillos enhance the flavors of the other spices and the hot peppers in the sauce. You can eat the sauce much like salsa with chips or make a heavy meal of it with rice and black beans (my fave way). Yum.

Get the Chicken Chile Verde Recipe

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20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (27)

Little Spice Jar

Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Enchilada Pie

More a casserole than a pie, this hearty dish is reminiscent of a tortilla bake. The tomatillos add depth of flavor to the creamy garlic-based sauce. Layering ensures every bite is replete with chicken, tortilla, tomatillo, and cheese.

Get the Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Enchilada Pie Recipe


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Girl Gone Gourmet

Tomatillo Chicken Pasta

Roasted tomatillos create a smooth, tasty sauce, unlike either marinara or pesto. However, the slightly acidic mildly sweet flavors lend themselves well to spaghetti or fettuccine pasta and traditional additions of cheeses and garlic.

Get the Tomatillo Chicken Pasta Recipe


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Good Life Eats

Chicken Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

You can readily enhance the boldness of flavors by contrasting them against each other. A sour cream sauce brings forth the savory spiciness of the black beans. A tangy tomatillo sauce provides a stark contrast to both and complements the bitterness of the spinach.

Get the Chicken Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas Recipe

Tomatillo Salsa Recipes

Salsa verde is a classic sauce and tomatillos are the star ingredients. You can use green tomatoes in a pinch, but nothing quite substitutes for the distinctive tart taste of the tomatillos. It is almost as if they were created for salsa.


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My Latina Table

Authentic Mexican Salsa Verde

This salsa verde relies on jalapenos for its heat and broiled tomatillos for its rich tangy flavor. You can control the spiciness by the number of jalapenos you add to the blender. It serves as an easy-to-prepare dip or you can use it to garnish tacos or rancheros. You can make different varieties if you wish.

Get the Authentic Mexican Salsa Verde Recipe

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20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (32)

How to Make Tomatillo Salsa

This particular recipe takes you step by step through the process of making tomatillo salsa. Rather than roasting, it calls for cooking all of the ingredients that make up the salsa ahead of time, such as tomatillos, onions, a serrano chili pepper, etc.

Get the How to Make Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

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Canned Tomatillo Recipes

Sometimes you just have to put yumminess in a jar and seal it up. Canning does a good job of preserving tomatillos and salsas for months if the seal remains undisturbed. It is also good for areas where it may be difficult to locate tomatillos.

You can use two methods to preserve tomatillos. There are others, but I found these most useful and delicious. If you make a salsa, which you will probably use a lot of anyway, you can it for future enchiladas or Rellenos. You can also pickle them and jar them in a more direct manner.


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Grow a Good Life

Canned Tomatillo Salsa

Remember all that salsa verde you made? Can it! If you enjoy home canning, tomatillo salsa verde is perfect for this. Salsa verde is so prominent in Southwestern recipes, it is ideal to always have a good supply on hand. Once you open a jar it is still good in the refrigerator for up to a week. An unopened sealed jar is good for longer.

Get the Canned Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

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20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (36)

Mexican Please

Pickled Tomatillos

There is more than one way to can tomatillos. If you grow tomatillos, you may find it challenging to keep up with the excess. Tomatillo plants have high yields. A great solution is to pickle and can them. This tomatillo preserving recipe adds tartness to the natural acidity in the vegetables. For optimal results, leave tomatillos in the brine for a full 24 hours.

Get the Pickled Tomatillos Recipe

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Did you enjoy this list of unexpectedly easy ways to prepare tomatillos? Does it make you want to cook up some tomatillos right now? As you can see there are many ways to get creative. Hopefully, you learned some interesting things about tomatillo dishes and have a few to add to your meal plan.

Tomatillo FAQs

Are tomatillos OK to eat raw?

Absolutely, raw tomatillos are edible. They will have a tart and slightly sweet flavor. You can slice or dice them for salads, tacos, salsas or as a condiment. Some prefer eating them whole.

What happens if you don't wash tomatillos?

Underneath their outer layer, tomatillos have a sticky sap. Although it's unnecessary to wash it off until you're ready to use them, keeping it helps protect the tomatillos in the refrigerator. However, make sure to wash it off before you begin cooking.

Should tomatillos be refrigerated after picking?

For optimal storage of ripe tomatillos, leave the husks on and place them in a paper bag within your fridge's crisper drawer. This will help to preserve their moisture and freshness for up to three weeks.

If you ❤️enjoyed this Tomatillo Recipes List or any other recipe on my website, please let me know what you thought in the 📝 comments below. And please share the post!

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Reader Interactions


    Leave a Reply

  1. sound of Text says

    These tomatillo recipes look delicious! I can't wait to try some of these dishes at home.


    • Joss Dyckson says

      Yes, they're delicious! Thanks for the comment. 🙂


  2. Lydia Priest says

    How can I see the actual recipes? I click on the picture and nothing happens. Please help.


    • Joss D says

      Hi Lydia, you need to click on the links below the pictures where it says 'photo and recipe credit' or 'full recipe'.


20 Simple and Tasty Tomatillo Recipes - In the Kitch (2024)


What is the best way to cook tomatillos? ›

Place the tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping them over halfway through, until softened and olive green.

What makes a good tomatillo? ›

A ripe tomatillo is bright green, fills the husk, feels firm but slightly soft when gently squeezed, and the husk may split or become papery. If you are buying tomatillos from a grocery store or farmers' market, it is best to choose ones that are plump and firm, with no blemishes, yellowing, or signs of mold.

What can you do with tomatillo tomatoes? ›

They're best used in tomatillo salsa, or blended with spicy peppers (also known as salsa verde). They can also be chopped finely and added to salads or as a garnish for rich meat dishes in place of lemon juice. When cooked, tomatillo's flavor mellows and sweetens.

Can I freeze tomatillos? ›

Storing tomatillos: Tomatillos can be stored in their husks for 2 to 3 weeks in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Tomatillos can also be frozen. To freeze them, peel the husk, rinse and dry the fruit. Place them in one layer on a baking tray (optionally lined with parchment paper) until frozen.

How do you take the bitterness out of tomatillos? ›

Let them ripen and turn into red, yellow, or purple before you use them. Tomatillos taste sour with a bit of bitterness. To cut through the bitterness put them with something that's sweet, for example mangoes, honey or sugar. Lime juice, or vinegar (red or white) cuts through the sourness.

Is it OK to eat raw tomatillos? ›

You can eat tomatillos raw or cooked -- I prefer cooking them to tone down their distinctly sour flavor. The tomatillos you find at the supermarket are mostly imported from Mexico. You may be able find some at your local farmers' market from late July through September.

Are tomatillos an inflammatory food? ›

Tomatillo contains antibacterial qualities that may destroy Streptococcus bacteria, and its anti-inflammatory characteristics help reduce throat inflammation. Tomatillos are abundant in Vitamin A, a nutrient essential for maintaining eye health. Beta-carotene, a vitamin A derivative, is also present in them.

Do tomatillos cause inflammation like tomatoes? ›

Tomatillos should not be consumed by people suffering from arthritis or inflammation as these conditions may get aggravated due to the presence of alkaloid substances in this vegetable. This vegetable may also cause allergic reactions in some people as it is a member of the nightshade family.

Why do you need two tomatillos? ›

Tomatillos are not self-fertile so multiple plants are needed for proper fruit set.

Can you cook tomatillos like tomatoes? ›

Fried tomatillos are delightfully akin to fried green tomatoes—but with that lovely lemony kick that make tomatillos so delicious, plus with a bit more "crunch" to them even after a turn in the hot oil.

What do tomatillos taste like cooked? ›

What Do Tomatillos Taste Like? Tomatillos are sweet, tart, subtly fruity, and a bit earthy. When raw, they're quite acidic. Cooked tomatillos are a bit milder in flavor.

How do you cook and eat tomatillos? ›

You can chop them up raw to make a piquant green salsa, or you can boil them to mellow their color and flavor. In our favorite enchilada recipe, we start by roasting the tomatillos to give them an earthy, fiery flavor before making them into a sauce.

Should tomatillos be refrigerated after picking? ›

Fridge: The best way to store ripe tomatillos is to keep them in a paper bag and store them in your fridge's crisper drawer. The paper bag will help retain moisture. Do not remove their husks. They will keep fresh for up to three weeks.

Can you use tomatillos that have fallen on the ground? ›

You can also collect any underripe fruits that have fallen to the ground (but avoid overripe or rotten ones). Place these under-ripe tomatillos in their husk in a paper bag to ripen on your countertop.

How long do tomatillos last on the counter? ›

Tomatillos can be stored on your kitchen counter for up to 2 days if they need some extra time to mature. Make sure to leave the husks on until you're ready to use them. If you plan to use them in the next day or two but they're very underripe, place them in a paper bag with a fully ripened banana or apple.

Is it better to roast or boil tomatillos? ›

Roasted tomatillos might taste better eaten plain beside a boiled one, but they do not make better Salsa Verde. So says the Chef. Tomatillo Salsa can be made in huge batches and then canned, or made in small batches to enjoy over the course of a week.

Are you supposed to cook tomatillos? ›

But, raw tomatillos can taste tangy and acidic. People do eat them raw, but their flavor is more mellow and sweet when cooked, so most people prefer to roast or sauté them before adding them into a dish. The canned tomatillos in stores have already been roasted.

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