11 Tomatillo Recipes

The tomatillo is a tart, citrusy cousin of the tomato

A cousin of the tomato, fresh tomatillos impart a citrusy tartness to stews, dips, bloody marys, and more. Cooking them deepens their flavor and softens their tough skin; broiled and puréed, they bring a tangy, fruity flavor to Mexican salsas and moles. We’ve rounded up some of our absolute favorite tomatillo recipes for you to try.

Tons of classic Mexican dishes feature tomatillos. Mole is a traditional staple across Mexico. In Zacatecas, they make a version with fresh tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeños, and garlic. In Pueblo you’ll find pipián verde, a sauce made of tomatillos and pumpkin seeds that goes great on chicken. Enchiladas suizas is a more modern dish invented in Mexico city in 1950. It uses tomatillos to brighten up its creamy cheese sauce.

Tomatillos are also popular in the American southwest. New Mexicans are particularly proud of their chile verde, with its hunks of juicy pork shoulder and tart tomatillo-based sauce. The dish gets its oomph from green chiles, ideally the gorgeous ones grown around the town of Hatch, of which New Mexicans are likewise justly proud.

A classic bloody mary is made with tomatoes, but tomatillos are a good addition. Our tomatillo bloody mary has a beautiful green hue thanks to tomatillos, green tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro. The Border Grill bloody mary follows a standard recipe, but is chilled with ice cubes made from puréed tomatillos, cucumber, and jalapeños.

Find all of these dishes and more in our collection of our best tomatillo recipes.

Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa

Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa
This salsa verde has a fresh, tangy sourness (and kick of heat if you like) that helps cut through richness. Get the recipe for Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa »Heami Lee

Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa

Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa
The key to moist, flavorful tamales is not being shy about adding fat. Lard is traditional in Mexico, but you can use softened butter for vegetarian versions. Tamales are best eaten doused in salsa or hot sauce. This salsa verde has a fresh, tangy sourness (and kick of heat if you like) that helps cut through the richness of the masa. Get the recipe for Corn Tamales with Tomatillo Salsa »Heami Lee

Zucchini Latkes

Zucchini Latkes
Zucchini don't have as much starch as potatoes, but they do make great latkes. This recipe from New York chef Julian Medina makes tender fritters with a delicate zucchini bite. "The sauces are where I really add the Mexican flavors," Medina says of the horseradish crema, chipotle-honey, and apple tomatillo salsa that get served on the side. Get the recipe for Zucchini Latkes »Matt Taylor-Gross

Chicken Enchiladas in Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (Enchiladas Suizas)

Chicken Enchiladas in Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (Enchiladas Suizas)
This cheesy, creamy dish originated at a Sanborns cafe in Mexico City in 1950. Its name, "Swiss enchiladas," alludes to its copious use of dairy. Get the recipe for Chicken Enchiladas in Tomatillo-Cream Sauce (Enchiladas Suizas) »Todd Coleman

Tomatillo Salsa with Avocado and Queso Fresco (Salsa de Albañil)

Tomatillo Salsa with Avocado and Queso Fresco (Salsa de Albañil)
This fruity tomatillo salsa layered with queso fresco and avocado slices can be served as a side dish or as an appetizer with warm tortillas. Get the recipe for Tomatillo Salsa with Avocado and Queso Fresco (Salsa de Albañil) »Penny De Los Santos

Green Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)

Green Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde)
Bright and fruity, this salsa is the perfect counterpoint to the richness of cheesy dishes and grilled meats. Get the recipe for Green Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde) »Todd Coleman

Green Salsa with Avocado (Salsa Verde con Aguacate)

Green Salsa with Avocado (Salsa Verde con Aguacate)
This green salsa is made thick and luscious by adding fresh avocado. Serve tableside with almost any dish— it's especially delicious with roasted pork dishes or tacos carne asada. Get the recipe for Green Salsa with Avocado (Salsa Verde con Aguacate) »Todd Coleman

Chile and Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa de Chile Pasilla Oaxaqueño y Miltomate)

Chile and Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa de Chile Pasilla Oaxaqueño y Miltomate)
This simple salsa is little more than pureed tomatillos and pasilla chiles. Get the recipe for Chile and Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa de Chile Pasilla Oaxaqueño y Miltomate) »Todd Coleman

Chile Verde

Chile Verde
You can get a bowl of green chili most anywhere in the American southwest, but New Mexicans are particularly proud of their chile verde, with its hunks of juicy pork shoulder and tart tomatillo-based sauce. Get the recipe for Chile Verde »Penny De Los Santos

Tomatillo and Roasted Green Chile Ketchup

Tomatillo and Roasted Green Chile Ketchup
Spicy, tangy, and smooth, tomatillo ketchup can do double-duty: It's great as a dipping sauce or burger topping, but can also serve as a simmer sauce for meats. Get the recipe for Tomatillo and Roasted Green Chile Ketchup »Khushbu Shah

Tomatillo Bloody Mary

Tomatillo Bloody Mary
Tomatillos give this Bloody Mary variation its green hue. Get the recipe for Tomatillo Bloody Mary »Michael Kraus

Border Grill Bloody Mary

Border Grill's Bloody Mary recipe
Spicy tomatillo and cucumber ice cubes chill this twist on the classic brunch drink. Get the recipe for Border Grill Bloody Mary »Ariana Lindquist