Kitchen Basics: How to Cut & Cook Tomatillos

If you like Mexican food, you’ve probably eaten tomatillos, or Mexican husk tomatoes, many times. And if you love salsa verde (green salsa), you have absolutely eaten tomatillos. While most people have had tomatillos in their Mexican dishes, many still haven’t cooked with them. I bought my first fresh tomatillos to make salsa verde. I took them home, had a look at that papery shell on the outside and realized I didn’t have a clue! I had to google how to cut them, whether I should peel it, and what about that pulp inside?

how to cut tomatillosA lot of people think salsa verde is made from raw tomatillos, like red tomato salsa. But, raw tomatillos can taste tangy and acidic. People do eat them raw, but their flavor is more mellow and sweet when cooked, so most people prefer to roast or sauté them before adding them into a dish. The canned tomatillos in stores have already been roasted.

I’ve included instructions for broiling, roasting and sautéing tomatillos in the recipe below. When tomatillos are roasted or broiled, then seasoned with salt and pepper, cilantro, oregano, or cumin, they are a great addition to tacos and sandwiches.

Tomatillos can be found in the grocery stores for most of the year, but the tomatillo season is generally from early summer through fall.

You might be interested in these recipes for using tomatillos:

Fresh Salsa Verde

Enchiladas Verde


Print Recipe
Kitchen Basics: How to Cut & Cook Tomatillos
Easy instructions for peeling, cutting, broiling, roasting and sautéing fresh tomatillos.
how to cut tomatillos
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword tomatillos
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword tomatillos
how to cut tomatillos
To cut tomatillos:
  1. Remove the outer papery shell from the tomatillos. You will notice a stickiness on the green peeling of the tomatillo.
  2. Wash the tomatillos to remove the stickiness on the green peeling. Do not remove the green peeling.
  3. Cut the stem spot out of each tomatillo, then cut each tomatillo in half. There is no need to cut out any of the pulp or seeds inside the tomatillos.
    fresh peeled tomatillos
  4. Cut into chunks for roasting, or chop for mixing into soups or other dishes.
    peeled and cut tomatillos
To broil tomatillos:
  1. Preheat your oven to broil and move the top baking rack to about 6 inches below the top of the oven.
  2. Place the husked and cut up tomatillos on a baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle with some olive oil and broil for 5 minutes, or until the tomatillos are softer and have dark roasting spots on them.
  4. Flip the tomatillos over and broil for another 5 minutes. Let cool. Can store in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To roast tomatillos:
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Arrange the tomatillos, husked and washed, and cut into chunks, on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to thoroughly coat the tomatillos.
  3. Bake for 60 minutes, tossing half way through. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  4. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
To sauté tomatillos:
  1. Slice or chop husked and washed tomatillos.
  2. In a skillet heat olive oil (or another neutral oil) or vegan butter.
  3. Add the tomatillos and sauté on both sides until tender and golden, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired, or other herbs.
  5. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Recipe Notes

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  1. Had to look up how to do my tomatillos and you taught me. Going to try to freeze some for later. as in salsa.

  2. Great post, Lisa !!!
    I bought 3 tomatillos yet not a clue how to cook them, so you saved the day !!!
    Thank you 😊

  3. I am wondering can I cut tomatillo in half and put on top of pork chop and cook both at same time on 350 ? or do I need to do seperatley ?

    • As written in the recipe, the tomatillos roast for 60 minutes at 400°F, so unless you are cooking meat at 400° for an hour, you might want to add the tomatillos to the oven earlier than the meat. 🙂

  4. Thanks for your help! We acquired some fresh tomatillos and didn’t have a clue how to prepare them! I’m opting to sauté them in my new frypan.

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