Tomatillos, often mistaken for unripe tomatoes, are a versatile and tangy ingredient that adds a delightful twist to many dishes, with salsa being one of their most popular applications. In this article, I will teach you how to cook tomatillos for salsa, and suggest ideas for using tomatillo salsa in various dishes.

1. How To Cook Tomatillos For Salsa

Making tomatillo salsa is arguably one of the best ways to eat this unique fruit. Tomatillos have a tart and tangy flavor that, when combined with other ingredients, creates a vibrant and versatile salsa


  • 1 pound of fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1-2 jalapeño peppers (adjust to your desired spice level)
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Fresh cilantro leaves (a handful)
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • Salt, to taste


Step 1: Roasting the Tomatillos & Peppers

  • Preheat your broiler or grill to high heat, or use a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat.
  • Place the tomatillos, jalapeño peppers, and onion on a baking sheet, grill grates, or in the skillet.
  • Roast or grill the vegetables until they develop char marks and become slightly softened, about 5-10 minutes. Turn them occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  • Remove the roasted vegetables from the heat and allow them to cool slightly.

Step 2: Blending the Salsa

  • In a blender or food processor, add the roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, onion, garlic, and fresh cilantro.
  • Squeeze in the juice of 1-2 limes, depending on your preference for tanginess.
  • Blend the ingredients until you achieve a smooth and well-incorporated salsa.
  • Taste and add salt as needed to balance the flavors. If your salsa is too thick, you can thin it out by adding a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.

Step 3: Chill & Serve

  • Transfer the tomatillo salsa to a bowl or airtight container.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve chilled with tortilla chips, tacos, grilled meats, or as a versatile condiment for various dishes.

2. What To Do With Tomatillo Salsa?

Tacos and Burritos: Use tomatillo salsa as a zesty topping for your favorite tacos or burritos. It pairs well with a variety of proteins, from grilled chicken to black beans.

Enchiladas: Spoon tomatillo salsa over enchiladas before baking for an extra burst of flavor and a beautiful presentation.

Breakfast Dishes: Serve tomatillo salsa over scrambled eggs, omelettes, or breakfast burritos for a refreshing morning kick.

Baked Meats: Use tomatillo salsa as a marinade or sauce for baked meats such as chicken, pork, or fish. The tangy flavors complement the smokiness of the bake.

Dips and Appetizers: Serve tomatillo salsa as a flavorful dip for tortilla chips or as a condiment alongside guacamole for a vibrant appetizer spread.

Soups and Stews: Add tomatillo salsa to soups and stews for an extra layer of flavor. It’s particularly delicious in chicken or vegetable-based soups.

Salad Dressing: Thin out tomatillo salsa with a bit of olive oil and use it as a zesty dressing for salads or grain bowls.

Marinades: Use tomatillo salsa as a base for marinades to infuse meats and vegetables with its bright and tangy flavors.

Learning how to cook tomatillos for salsa opens up a world of flavor. Whether you enjoy your tomatillo salsa with traditional Mexican dishes or combine it in other dishes, this tangy and zesty condiment is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. So, next time you spot those vibrant green orbs in your local market, don’t hesitate to grab them and follow our instructions in this article.

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Jarrett Stieber

Discover mouthwatering recipes, how to cook basic, and knowledge to know when cooking with Jarrett Stieber on the website Eat Me Speak Me. I'm a chef with over 10 years of experience and is famous in Atlanta.

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