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Tomatillos 101: All About Them, How To Use Them

“Don’t be afraid of tomatillos,” we told some friends recently. “They’re basically green tomatoes with a little jacket on them.”


Don’t laugh. These little guys are so serious about coming over to your house that they got all dressed up for you. Once you help them take their little “jackets” off, they’re going to be among your favorite dinner guests.

What Are Tomatillos?

Tomatillos are a member of the nightshade family, which means that they are related to tomatoes, but they’re actually closer in relation to the Cape gooseberry (those little fruits with a similar husk). The taste is very distinctive – more acidic and tart than a tomato. You can eat them cooked or raw, and you’ll find them featured in many Mexican recipes. And since it’s summer, tomatillos are in season and you may see them in your local farmers’ market or supermarket.

If you’re new to tomatillos, the best way to get started is to make a simple tomatillo salsa (salsa verde or green salsa). It’s honestly one of the easiest salsas you’ll ever make and your friends will be impressed. To prepare, just peel off the jacket and roast them.

Peel off the husk and get ready to roast them.

Easy Tomatillo Salsa

An easy green salsa made with fresh roasted tomatillos and jalapeno peppers.

Course Appetizer, Breakfast or Snack, Condiment
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword salsa, salsa verde, tomatillo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatillos
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, cored and seeded
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  1. Remove the "jackets" (outer husks) from the tomatillos. The tomatillos should be bright green and firm. Rinse them off, pat them dry, and then place them along with the jalapeno peppers on a large baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, or until the tomatillos are collapsed and bubbly. Let the roasted items cool.

  2. Using a food processor, blend the roasted tomatillos and peppers, garlic, onion, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately or chill for future use.

Once you have the salsa made, you can just it with just about any Mexican dish. However, the tortilla chip addicts in our house love this salsa best just plain…with chips, of course.

Invite a tomatillo over to your house today!

P.S. Looking for other great salsas that are a little out of the ordinary? Try our White (Hot) Peach Salsa or our Apple Salsa.

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