From elegant appetizers to luscious desserts, these irresistible tomatillo recipes make the most of the unique fruit.
Small, green, and packed with flavor, tomatillos add a little magic to any meal.
And there’s lots of yummy, fruity goodness to choose from on this list of 20+ tomatillo recipes.
Juicy salads, rich stews, tangy sauces – the humble tomatillo shines in these dishes.
Don’t forget to leave some room for dessert! You’ll definitely want a slice (or two) of tomatillo and strawberry pie.
What is a Tomatillo?
Translated from the Spanish, tomatillo means “little tomato.” But don’t let that fool you. These miniature fruits are actually an entirely separate plant.
Tomatillos are hardy members of the nightshade family native to Mexico. Also known as “husk tomatoes” this plum-sized produce can be eaten raw, but it’s usually blended into chunky salsas, soups, or dressings. They’re now grown commercially across North America.
They taste amazing cooked and served as a simple side.
Biting into a tomatillo is a bit different from eating a tomato. They’re more firm but slightly less sweet, with a bright, fresh taste.
Do You Leave the Skin on Tomatillos?
Tomatillos come with their own packaging. They’re easy to spot in the grocery store thanks to the dry, leafy husk wrapped around the green fruit.
Pro tip – choose the tomatillos that are almost completely wrapped in their husk, as these are freshest.
Tomatillos typically come with a husk that is not edible. Once the husk is removed, tomatillos do not need to be peeled or seeded. The texture is firm when raw but turns soft when cooked. Fresh tomatillos are ready to harvest when the husks burst and must be rinsed before using.
Only remove the husk when you’re ready to eat your tomatillos.
Left on, these act as a natural storage device, keeping the fruit fresher for longer.
How to Cook Tomatillos
Cooking tomatillos unlocks all their natural sweetness and mellows their acidity, giving them a lovely vibrant flavor.
You can cook the fruit as you would a tomato – roasting, blanching, or sauteeing.
They can also be grilled for a summery side, or braised with your favorite meats.
Read on for more ideas and inspiration about how to cook your tomatillos.
Whether you like them roasted, fried, boiled, or blanched, there are plenty of amazing dishes to explore on this list!
1. Tomatillo Salsa Verde
A good salsa verde is invaluable.
The versatile dip goes with everything! Try it stirred into spicy stews, drizzled over meat, served on the side of party platters.
This chunky version is made with tangy tomatillos, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime.
The tomatillos and jalapeno are roasted first, giving the finished sauce plenty of lip-smacking flavor.
2. Oven-Roasted Tomatillos
Once you’ve nailed oven-roasted tomatillos it opens up a whole world of delicious eating.
You can use those roasted tomatillos to make salsas, sauces, salad dressings, and more.
And it’s so easy! Just drizzle your tomatillos with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake.
If your garden had a good year, don’t be afraid to make a big batch.
You can freeze your oven-roasted tomatillos to enjoy a hint of summery flavor all year round.
3. Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Soup
Chicken soup may be good for the soul, but this chicken soup is good for mind, body, and soul.
It’s slurp-up-the-last-spoonful good.
Roasted tomatillos and jalapenos add a touch of warming magic to this nourishing soup. It’s a beautiful, bright bowl of healthy goodness.
4. Cucumber Gazpacho with Tomatillos
Chilled gazpacho is a summer-time favorite in our house.
This fun recipe is a refreshing blend of tomatillos, cucumber, jalapeno, and cilantro.
It’s a delicious way to beat the heat on warm afternoons.
5. Tomato and Tomatillo Salad
Double down on your fruity goodness with this tomato-laden salad.
It’s a healthy mix of fresh vine-ripened tomatoes and tart tomatillos.
Tossed in a lime-cilantro dressing, this chunky salad is a must-try summer classic.
6. Black-Eyed Pea Chile Verde
This hearty stew would be a great weekend project. There’s a little bit of prep involved, but trust me, it’s so worth it.
Smoked ham hocks are simmered until beautifully tender and fall-off-the-bone soft.
The shredded meat is then stirred into cooked black-eyed peas with a spicy tomatillo paste.
Serve this beautifully green bowl with sour cream and fresh chives if you really want to impress.
7. Tomatillo Rice
This 4-ingredient recipe is the perfect mid-week side. There’s very little prep time, minimal cooking, and zero assembly.
Just throw everything into the Instant Pot and let it work its magic!
8. Tomatillo Pico De Gallo
Pico de Gallo is a type of Mexican salsa, made with tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
This recipe adds a new taste to a classic favorite by using raw tomatillos.
Blended with serrano pepper and cilantro, this is a tart dish full of fresh flavor.
Serve this one for game days, summer backyard BBQs, or family feasts. It’ll never disappoint.
9. Black Bean & Roasted Tomatillo Soup
Meatless Mondays meet Mexican Mondays with this spicy stew.
The tomatillos are roasted first with garlic and onion, making them extra delicious.
Combined with jalapenos, cilantro, black beans, and radishes, they turn into a satisfying stew packed with piquant notes.
Vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free, this is a great dish when you’re cooking for anyone with dietary concerns.
10. Salsa Verde Shrimp
This easy dinner is perfect for busy nights when you can’t be bothered fussing over a big meal.
First, you’ll make a piquant homemade salsa verde, loaded with tomatillos.
Then you’ll stir that salsa into a pot of jumbo shrimp, corn, and cooked rice.
This is a deceptively simple one-pot meal that’s both super delicious and super nutritious!
11. Tomatillo Huevos Rancheros
If your breakfast is getting boring, mix things up Mexican style!
These tongue-tingling huevos rancheros are a mouthwatering morning meal that’ll really impress brunch guests.
They’re made with a fresh homemade tomatillo salsa, packed with sweet and sour flavor.
Corn tostadas are warmed and loaded with salsa, skillet-cooked eggs, and lots of cheese.
Start your day with this delicious dish and you’ll be smiling until dinner!
12. Roasted Tomatillo Guacamole
This smoky guacamole is the best version of the creamy dip you’ll ever try. In fact, it’s the only version you’ll ever need.
Bursting with zesty lime, bright tomatillos, and fiery peppers, it’s a party in every bite.
Smear it onto toast, scoop it up with tortilla chips, or serve it over eggs.
13. Watermelon, Tomatillo and Mozzarella Skewers with Lime-Honey Vinaigrette
These skewers aren’t just fresh and juicy, they’re also gorgeous.
Colorful chunks of pink watermelon, green tomatillos, and white mozzarella make this one pretty plate.
And the vibrant sweetness of the fruit, the slightly sour tomatillos, and the creamy cheese work beautifully together.
Add in the lime and honey dressing and you’ll go crazy for these fun, fresh appetizers.
14. Mexican Corn Salad with Tomatillos
There’s sunshine in every bite of this luscious salad.
Roasted corn is tossed with chunky tomatillos and tangy red onion, then drizzled with creamy ranch dressing.
This gluten-free dish will make you lots of friends. It’s perfect for summer entertaining.
Make up a big bowl for a light brunch, serve with grilled meats for lunch, or make it part of a platter for a mix n’ match dinner.
You can’t go wrong with these South American-inspired flavors!
15. Butternut Squash & Mushroom Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce
Who says vegetarian meals are boring?!
This spicy dish will wake you up to the wonders of plant-based eating with all its intense tastes and textures.
Floury tortillas are stuffed with a hearty mushroom and squash filling, then drenched in a tangy tomatillo sauce.
Top with loads of cheese, bake until bubbly, and you’ll have a little bit of heaven on your plate (and soon to be in your belly).
16. Fried Tomatillos
You’ve had fried green tomatoes, now try fried green tomatillos.
Done in a Southern style, this is just like the better-known traditional treat.
Tomatillos are tossed in a cornmeal batter then fried to crispy perfection.
Thanks to their firm texture, there’s less moisture in these snacks, making them crunchier than tomatoes.
Just remember to use large tomatillos. The smaller they are, the harder they are to slice and fry.
Too small, and you’ll end up with mostly batter, missing out on all that beautiful tomatillo flavor!
17. Chilled Watermelon Tomatillo Salad
Salty and sweet, this salad makes an impression.
It’s a refreshing warm-weather snack that boasts lots of fruity goodness.
Made with chunks of cooling watermelon, tart tomatillos, and spicy jalapenos, there’s a lot going on here.
A dash of honey adds a touch of heavenly sweetness and salty feta provides the perfect finish.
18. Green Bloody Mary Mix
Why not take a walk on the wild side this week and swap out your Friday night cocktail for a spicy Bloody Mary?!
A blend of tomatillo, celery, cilantro, hot sauce, and spices this is a fun and fiery drink.
Shake it up with your favorite vodka to make a tangy tipple and serve over ice.
This unique recipe will definitely level up your cocktail game!
19. Tomatillo Black Bean Tostadas
Crunchy tostadas, piled high with a homemade tomatillo and black bean salsa. Sounds like heaven to me!
This sweet and spicy dish is my new favorite thing. It’ll be yours, too, once you get a bite.
It’s perfect on a tostada and topped with crumbled feta cheese. But you could also use this versatile salsa in quesadillas or to liven up a burrito bowl.
20. Roasted Tomatillo Chicken Enchilada Pie
Gooey, spicy, and satisfying- this pie is comfort food at its flavorful finest.
Tomatillos, peppers, and garlic are blended into a creamy sauce and layered with chicken, tortillas, and cheese for this amazing enchilada pie.
Baked until golden, this cozy casserole is sure to be a family favorite.
21. Tomatillo and Strawberry Pie
Tomatillo is a fruit, so it’s a natural fit for delicious dessert dishes.
This inventive recipe pairs the subtle sweetness of tomatillo with juicy strawberries.
It’s a fun twist on a rhubarb and strawberry pie, with a similar tangy taste but richer depth. Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!
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