Gardening Recipes

5-minute tomatillo salsa verde recipe

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Turn your tomatillos into a delicious sauce or dip using our 5-minute tomatillo salsa verde recipe!


The first time we saw tomatillos many years ago, we thought “what the heck is that?” They looked like small green tomatoes wrapped in paper.

A tomatillo growing in our garden. Tomatillo in hand for size reference.

A tomatillo growing in our garden.

However, the first time we tasted tomatillos (moments after the first sighting), we knew we’d found a new life-long friend.    

Where are tomatillos from? 

Tomatillos are native to Mexico, where they were originally cultivated by the Aztecs. They’re a staple fruit south of the US border and are found in many Latin American dishes, even though they’re relatively uncommon here in the US.

Tomatillos (top left) are closely related to other well-known nightshade fruits like tomatoes and ground cherries.

Tomatillos (top left) are closely related to other well-known nightshade fruits like tomatoes and ground cherries.

What’s the difference between tomatoes and a tomatillos? 

Both tomatillos and tomatoes are in the nightshade plant family.

The differences between tomatoes and tomatillos are as follows:

  • Size – The largest tomatillo is about the size of mid-sized tomato (and nowhere near as large as a beefsteak tomato, as you can see in the picture above).
  • Husk – Tomatillos have an inedible papery husk that you remove before eating.
  • Flavor – Tomatillos and tomatoes taste different (see below). 

What Do Tomatillos Taste Like? 

The taste of tomatillos can vary depending on how you prepare them: 

Uncooked tomatillos flavor profile

Fresh uncooked tomatillos taste fruity, acidic, and sweet with notes of ‘Granny Smith’ apple and citrus, but more muted.

Dried/Dehydrated tomatillo flavor profile

The concentrated flavor of dehydrated tomatillo chips is extraordinary. They’re like tangy cake batter with the texture of a potato chip.

When we have a big harvest of tomatillos, we often use our Excalibur dehydrator to dry them into crunchy tomatillo chips. 

Cooked tomatillos flavor profile

Cooked tomatillos are richer and more mellow than raw tomatillos. They’re great in sauces, stews, and other Latin American recipes.

Tomatillos and poblano peppers: the makings for a mighty good meal. Stuffed peppers with salsa verde is hard to beat.

Tomatillos and poblano peppers: the makings for a mighty good meal. Stuffed peppers with salsa verde is hard to beat.

Growing tomatillos in your garden? Get at least two plants!  

The first time we ever tried to grow tomatillos we failed miserably.

We had one giant tomatillo plant that stayed covered with yellow flowers and bees throughout the summer… But it never set a single fruit. What the heck?

After doing a bit of online digging, we realized the source of the problem: tomatillo plants are not readily self-fertile and need another tomatillo plant for pollination.

We’ve had all-we-can-eat tomatillo harvests every summer since this initial mishap simply by growing at least two tomatillo plants in close proximity to each other.

A beautiful summer harvest of tomatillos about to get oven-roasted for a sauce.

A beautiful summer harvest of tomatillos about to get oven-roasted for a sauce.


5-minute tomatillo salsa verde recipe

5-minute tomatillo salsa verde recipe.

You’ll love our 5-minute tomatillo salsa verde recipe!

Perhaps our favorite thing to do with fresh summer tomatillos is to make a quick 5-minute salsa verde with uncooked tomatillos.

We then use salsa verde on pretty much everything: a dip for blue corn chips or quesadillas, a topping for grilled fish and other white meats, etc. For the record, this recipe is also great with roasted tomatillos.

*If you want roasted tomatillos salsa, simply roast your tomatillos on the grill or in a 350 degree oven until the skin is slightly brown, before proceeding with the recipe below! 

5-minute tomatillo salsa verde recipe
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5-minute tomatillo salsa verde recipe

Course: Appetizer, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: Latin American
Keyword: fast tomatillo recipe, green salsa recipe, how to use tomatillos, salsa verde, tomatillo recipe, tomatillo salsa recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Aaron von Frank

A fast, simple, and delicious way to turn fresh tomatillos into salsa verde (green salsa). Perfect with nachos, quesadillas, grilled fish, and more!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ripe tomatillos
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves hardneck garlic is best
  • 1 chile pepper or 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cilantro seed or 1 teaspoon fresh green cilantro seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole toasted mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon organic sugar or 2 stevia leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor (yes, it's that easy!)

  2. Eat as a dip, topping on white meats, or on top of your favorite Latin American cuisines (enchiladas, tacos, etc.)

 

We hope you enjoy this delicious 5-minute tomatillo salsa verde recipe each summer!

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