Tomatillos, a.k.a. the Mexican husk tomato, are a ubiquitous feature of Mexican markets and well-stocked grocery stores. They’re also easy to turn into salsa, either cooked or fresh table salsas, and they freeze exceptionally well. Considering all of these facts, a tomatillo salsa is the perfect shortcut recipe: Make up a batch of either style, keep it in the fridge, and it’ll enhance quick meals for the week to come.
Three Ways to Make Tomatillo Salsa
Choose one of these, make a big batch, and use it for days to come.
A pound of fresh tomatillos, husked and briefly simmered, becomes a delicious green sauce in under an hour. Use it to make enchiladas, chilaquiles, and a whole lot of other vibrant, zesty Mexican dishes. Get our Easy Tomatillo Sauce recipe.
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You cook the tomatillos as in the previous recipe (peel off the papery husks, poached relatively briefly), but that’s where the similarity ends. Here, you turn the cooked tomatillos into a green and zesty table salsa, perfect for garnishing a variety of dishes. Get our Tomatillo Salsa (Salsa Verde) recipe.
Not such a smooth operator? This chunky salsa is full of fresh texture and bright flavor. It will keep in the fridge for up to five days, and it’s a great garnish when you just can’t dip another chip. Get our Raw Tomatillo Salsa recipe.
How to Use It
Each of the tomatillo recipes below features one of the different types of sauce or salsa shown above, but you can always use these more as inspiration since all the flavors are great together.
Use a cooked rotisserie chicken, and make the tomatillo sauce up to three days in advance—the results come together quickly. And, considering the richness and depth of flavor you end up with, it’s kind of a huge deal. Get our Easy Chicken Enchiladas Verdes recipe.
A spicy and slightly sweet rub gives chicken thighs extra flavor. A smooth tomatillo sauce—balanced with rich avocado—sets them off beautifully. Serve with rice or tortillas and a green salad. Get our Grilled Chicken Thighs with Spicy Tomatillo Sauce recipe. Use the sauce to top tacos and other grilled meats too.
Rajas, strips of roasted and peeled poblano peppers mixed with sautéed onions and tart Mexican crema, are the star of this vegetarian sandwich that’s zesty, tangy, and packs some modest heat. Combined with a smear of refried beans, Monterey Jack cheese, and tomatillo salsa in a split roll, they make for a sandwich with surprising flavors and textures. Get our Mexican Veggie Torta recipe.
Related Reading: Must-Try Mexican Sandwiches
For these vegetarian enchiladas, sauteed mushrooms and spinach combine with tomatillo sauce and Jack cheese. The cheese gives them richness and a certain luxuriousness, the tomatillo sauce gives them vibrancy. Get our Spinach-Mushroom Enchiladas recipe.
It’s a Mexican breakfast sandwich (the best, in our humble opinion). Scrambled eggs and chorizo are piled onto toasted rolls with sliced avocado, refried beans, sour cream, and tomatillo and red salsas. Get our Mollete con Chorizo y Salsa Tricolor recipe.
Our Chipotle Pork Quesadilla recipe is an easy, weeknight-supper kind of dish: You trim the meat off a pork chop, then cook with chipotle chiles. The tomatillo salsa comes in at the end, providing essential flavor and texture relief—and it’s equally good with any of our other quesadilla recipes.
Technically tomatillo salsa is the topping for this tasty make-ahead brunch or supper recipe. But it’s such a delicious, defining flavor that it feels intrinsic. Get our Chiles Rellenos Strata recipe.
Header image by Chowhound.