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Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

Updated on March 13, 2013

Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillo Salsa


1 ½ - 2 pounds of cooked tomatillos OR buy a large can of already cooked tomatillos!!

½ C. chopped white onions

1 small clove of garlic minced

½ of the juice from a fresh lime

¼ to ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves NOTE: My cilantro herb stand is not very good right now, so you will see one of those little cubes of powdered cilantro in the picture (Knorr brand---if I can say that?) in the picture, as that is what I used.

2 green chilés chopped, using your throw away gloves, wash, core and seed the fresh chilés, keep in seeds and the inner membrane to your taste—this is where the heat resides. This recipe may also made using ½ can green chilés. NOTE: I almost always have frozen green chilés (thawed), so I added a bout a ¼ c. of those….see picture

Kosher salt to taste (not in pictures)


Buy a can of already cooked tomatillos.


How to cook a tomatillo:

#1 Method to cook a tomatillo (or buy a can of tomatillos and drain)

Remove the outer paper-like husks and wash the tomatillo

Immerse the tomatillos in boiling water and boil until they are soft all the way through and this takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the tomatillos. The skins will begin to split.

Drain, cool, remove stems and any bad spots and then prepare per the recipe

#2 Method to cook a tomatillo (or buy a can of tomatillos and drain)

Remove the outer paper-like husks and wash the tomatillo. Dry the tomatillo.

Place the tomatillo on a baking sheet under the broiler and watch closely until the tomatillo skins are looking a bit roasted and black. This will make you a smoky flavored salsa and is a nice alternative to the first method.

Cool to a working temperature, remove stems and any bad spots (do not consider the charred spots as bad!) and prepare per the recipe

Blend all or some of the tomatillos onions, and garlic with a blender or a food processor or a hand-held blender. The hand held blender is so easy to clean and works fine! For a chunkier salsa only blend ½ of the ingredients and reserve the other half of the hand chopped ingredients to add in immediately after you blend the first half of the ingredients. This is for a chunkier salsa, which we prefer.

Now wash, dry and chop the cilantro and mix it in

Squeeze the lime juice into the salsa, mix

Salt to taste

Gently stir

Place in fridge for 10 minutes to maximize the flavors. Both the lime and the salt brighten the flavors in the 10 minutes the Tomatillo Salsa rests in the fridge.

Two notes that I feel I should share: 1. Sink garbage disposals are not real fond of a lot of tomatillo skins. 2. Lime skins will help clean and make your disposal smell better.

This is an excellent dip for Mexican style chips.

Watch here for a tomatillo based chicken enchilada dish that is bursting with fresh summer flavor!

Tomatillo (physalis philadephica) means little tomato in Spanish. It is not a green un-ripened tomato (Solanum lycopersicum.) The tomatillo is of the nightshade family just like tomatoes and peppers. Interestingly, it is related to the cape gooseberry.

The best tomatillos are firm and covered with a loose fitting inedible paper-like husk. The husk of the tomatillo may be split open and a bit brown. You don’t want mushy tomatillos. The tomatillos generally sold in New Mexico are ripe when green. I have read where there are other types of tomatillos that are yellow or even purple. I am told the purple ones are a bit sweet. If I ever find those, I will purchase them and have some fun preparing them.

Tomatillos are a key ingredient in Mexican and other Latin American country’s salsas/sauces. Tomatillos are especially fine when chopped (raw or cooked then cooled) and mixed into guacamole.

This Tomatillo Salsa is a specialty item that I first purchased from upscale and gourmet stores. Like most basic and consistently used foods from Mexico (or any country), I just knew this could not be too difficult to prepare. So, I set out to learn this several years ago.

The first read may make you think this is complicated to make. It is not, if you were here with me in the kitchen you would see how easy it is to prepare!

The recipe I am describing here uses a cooked tomatillo. However, this recipe may also be made with a raw tomatillo as well. We prefer the cooked tomatillo in this salsa.

This Tomatillo Salsa is excellent for chips and anywhere else that you might use the more familiar tomato based salsa. Do note that most of the home cooks that I watched did not put in the garlic but we find a bit of garlic to be a nice addition.

Also, you may purchase a can of prepared whole tomatillos from the grocery, probably in the Mexican/Hispanic food section of the store. The fresh ones are best, as in most foods!

A can of Tomatillos....just drain and use


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    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

      Thanks Dirt Farmer....where is your dirt? Here in NM we have lots and lots of sand and clay. Have had to amend soil BIG TIME to grow my tomatoes.

    • The Dirt Farmer profile image

      Jill Spencer 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks for following me! I'm so happy to discover you--and your terrific recipes. Awesome!

    • NMLady profile image

      NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona


    • manthy profile image

      Mark 6 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Nice pictures and it looks like a good recipe, I will def have to try it