30 Things to Do with Tomatillos


Here are 30 delicious recipe ideas for how to use tomatillos (photo credit: BigStockPhoto.com)

Found in many Mexican dishes, tomatillos are also the main ingredient in most of the green sauces associated with Mexican and Central American cuisine.  Although they feature heavily in green sauce recipes, these small members of the nightshade family grow in a variety of colors including green, yellow, and purple.   Tomatillos grow inside a papery husk that turns brown and may even split when the fruit inside is ripe and ready to be picked.

Tomatillos, which were popular with the ancient Aztecs and Mayans, are native to Mexico.  They may also be called husk tomatoes, jamberries, husk cherries, Mexican tomatoes, and Mexican husk tomatoes.  They are relatives of the larger red tomato and can be confused with un-ripened tomatoes that are still green.  The purple and reddish versions of the tomatillo generally have a sweeter flavor and may be used to create things like jam.  In addition to being made into sauces, jams, and jellies, tomatillos can also be eaten whole or in part and can be fried, steamed, and boiled.

Despite its many uses and flavorful taste, the tomatillo has never really achieved world-wide notoriety.  It was grown successfully in several parts of the United States but never caught on enough to make it a profitable agricultural commodity.  Today is shows up in only a few regions around the world.  In addition to Mexico and the countries of Central America, it is also popular in some parts of India, South Africa, and in Queensland, Australia.

The tomatillo is one of April’s Vegetables of the Month.  Here are some delicious ways you can use this tasty veggie in your April meal planning to use something new and different to fill your family’s plate.

  1. Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa
  2. Spicy Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Tomatillo Salsa
  3. Grilled Pork Chops with Tomatillo Corn Avocado Salsa
  4. Salsa Verde Green Tomatillo Salsa Recipe
  5. Herbed Chicken Breast with Tomatillo Salsa Queso Fresco
  6. Cornmeal Crusted Tilapia with Tomatillo Salsa
  7. Cumin Spiced Pork with Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
  8. Braised Chicken with Tomatillos and Jalapeños
  9. Tequila Pork Tomatillo Guacamole
  10. Tomatillo Soup
  11. Chipotle Lime Roast Chicken with Tomatillo Sauce
  12. Roasted Tomatillo and Garlic Salsa
  13. Avocado and Tomatillo Dip with Cumin Pita Chips
  14. Tomatillo Shrimp Fajitas
  15. Basa Fillets in Tomatillo Sauce
  16. Tomatillo Chicken
  17. Posole Chicken, Tomatillo, and Hominy Soup
  18. Corn and Tomatillo Salsa
  19. Shredded Chicken and Tomatillo Tacos with Queso Fresco
  20. Tomatillo Chicken Breasts
  21. Fried Green Tomatillos
  22. Spiced Tilapia with Roasted Red Pepper Tomatillo Sauce
  23. Quinoa Salad with Vegetables and Tomatillo Vinaigrette
  24. Seared Chicken with Tomatillo Avocado Salsa
  25. Tomatillo Glazed Baby Back Ribs
  26. Pork Carnitas with Cilantro Tomatillo Sauce
  27. Chicken Mushroom Empanadas
  28. Steak Quesadillas with Roasted Tomatillo and Apple Salsa
  29. Ancho Chile Fettucini with Cilantro Tomatillo Cream Sauce
  30. Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tamale
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