Tomatillo: Benefits, Uses, Recipes, Side Effects, How to Eat & All

If you’re looking for a delicious, nutritious way to add some flavor to your meals, look no further than tomatillo. This little green fruit has a ton of health benefits.

It is used for many purposes such as in food, medicine, and even skincare.

Tomatillo has many nutritional benefits including being high in antioxidants. It is also known to have anti-inflammatory effects.

Tomatillo can be eaten fresh or cooked. It can also be dried and used in powder form.

Here are all the details on tomatillo including its benefits, recipe, uses, side effects, nutrition, and how to eat it!

A tomatillo on a tomatillo tree.

What is a Tomatillo?

A tomatillo is a small, green, spherical fruit that is related to tomatoes, but has a different flavor and texture.

The name “tomatillo” comes from the Nahuatl word tomatl, which means “tomato.” Tomatillos are native to Mexico and Central America, and have been cultivated for centuries.

Tomatillos are about the size of a golf ball, and have a papery husk that must be removed before eating.

The flesh of the tomatillo is firm and slightly acidic, with a vegetal flavor that is reminiscent of green beans or asparagus.

Tomatillos are often used in Mexican cuisine, particularly in salsa verde. They can also be eaten raw, or cooked in stews or soups.

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Nutritional details of Tomatillo:

Here is the nutrition chart for 100 grams of tomatillos:

NutrientAmountDaily Value (DV)
Fat1.02 grams1.7%
Saturated fat0.13 grams1%
Polyunsaturated fat0.06 grams0%
Monounsaturated fat0.73 grams1%
Carbohydrates5.84 grams2%
Fiber0.7 grams2.5%
Sugars1.3 grams2%
Protein0.96 grams2%
Sodium1.3 milligrams0%
Potassium268 milligrams7%
Calcium11 milligrams1%
Iron0.2 milligrams1%
Magnesium12 milligrams3%
Manganese0.1 milligrams1%
Vitamin C20 milligrams33%
Vitamin K9.3 micrograms15%

Tomatillos are a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as potassium and fiber.

They are also a low-calorie food, making them a healthy option for people who are watching their weight.

All the health benefits of Tomatillo:

Here are some of the health benefits of tomatillos:

  • Antioxidant: Tomatillos are a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Digestive health: Tomatillos are a good source of fiber, which can help promote digestive health. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy by adding bulk to stool and helping it to pass through the intestines more easily.
  • Heart health: Tomatillos are a good source of potassium, which is an important mineral for heart health. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Weight loss: Tomatillos are a low-calorie food, making them a healthy option for people who are watching their weight. They are also a good source of fiber, which can help you feel full and satisfied after eating.
  • Eye health: Tomatillos contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids that have been shown to protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in older adults.
  • Cancer prevention: Tomatillos contain withanolides, which are compounds that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Withanolides have been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in laboratory studies.

Overall, tomatillos are a healthy and versatile food that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes.

They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and they can help promote digestive health, heart health, weight loss, eye health, and cancer prevention.

Uses of Tomatillo:

Tomatillos are a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

They are often used in Mexican cuisine, but they can also be enjoyed in other cuisines as well.

Here are some of the most common uses for tomatillos:

  • Salsa verde: Tomatillos are the main ingredient in salsa verde, a popular Mexican salsa. Salsa verde is made by blending tomatillos with chili peppers, onions, and garlic. It is a versatile salsa that can be used on tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and other Mexican dishes.
  • Stews and soups: Tomatillos can also be used in stews and soups. They add a tart and slightly acidic flavor that can balance out the richness of the other ingredients.
  • Enchiladas: Tomatillos are a popular filling for enchiladas. They can be blended with other ingredients, such as chili peppers, onions, and cheese, to create a flavorful and satisfying filling.
  • Quesadillas: Tomatillos can also be used in quesadillas. They can be added to the filling, or they can be used to make a sauce that is drizzled on top of the quesadillas.
  • Salads: Tomatillos can be added to salads for a tart and refreshing flavor. They can be chopped and added to a variety of salads, such as green salads, fruit salads, and salads with grilled chicken or fish.
  • Salsas: Tomatillos can be used to make a variety of other salsas, such as pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa, and green chile salsa. These salsas can be used on tacos, burritos, chips, and other dishes.
  • Chutneys: Tomatillos can be used to make chutneys, which are a type of condiment that is often served with Indian food. Tomatillo chutney is made by blending tomatillos with other ingredients, such as onions, ginger, and spices.
  • Jams: Tomatillos can also be made into jams. Tomatillo jam is a sweet and tart spread that can be used on toast, bagels, or crackers.

Tomatillos are a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

If you are looking for a new and exciting ingredient to add to your cooking, be sure to give tomatillos a try.

Use of Tomatillo as a substitute for tomatoes in any dish

  1. In salads or sandwiches, slice up raw tomatillo as a delicious and tangy addition
  2. Use tomatillos in place of tomatoes in any soup or stew recipe
  3. Puree cooked tomatillos for use in sauces, such as pesto or marinara
  4. Roast diced tomatillo with other vegetables for a tasty side dish or topping for tacos or grain bowls.

How to incorporate Tomatillo into other dishes?

  • Use tomatillo as a base for homemade salad dressings and marinades
  • Blend cooked tomatillos with avocado and spices for a flavorful and nutritious dip or spread
  • Mix diced tomatillo with fruit, onion, and jalapeno for a fresh salsa topping
  • Make roasted tomatillo soup with onion, garlic, and spices. Top with cilantro and diced avocado.

Use Tomatillo to make it into a sauce or paste

  1. Cook tomatillos in a saucepan until soft, then puree with spices and seasonings for a delicious salsa verde or enchilada sauce
  2. Roast tomatillos in the oven until charred, then blend with spices and garlic for a tasty roasted tomatillo paste. Use it as a marinade or dip.
  3. Dehydrate tomatillos in a food dehydrator or low-temperature oven, then grind them into a powder to use as a seasoning. Add to soups and stews for extra flavor.
  4. Mix cooked and pureed tomatillo with herbs and spices for a flavorful sauce to serve over meats or vegetables. Top with crumbled cotija cheese.

How Tomatillo can be dried and used as a powder seasoning?

  1. Spread thinly sliced tomatillo on a baking sheet and dehydrate in a low-temperature oven or food dehydrator until completely dry.
  2. Grind dried tomatillos into a fine powder using a spice grinder or high-powered blender.
  3. Use as a seasoning for meats, vegetables, soups, stews, and more. Can also be mixed with other dried herbs and spices for a unique blend.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Use of Tomatillo in skincare products

  • Use tomatillo extract or powder in DIY face masks and scrubs for its antioxidant properties
  • Mix tomatillo powder with aloe vera gel and essential oils for a hydrating and anti-inflammatory face serum
  • Blend cooked tomatillos with mashed avocado and honey for a soothing face mask
  • Use tomatillo extract in homemade lotions or body oils for glowing, nourished skin.

Potential side effects:

  • May cause stomach discomfort or irritation in some individuals
  • Those with allergies to tomatoes, cape gooseberries, peppers, or eggplant should avoid tomatillo
  • Consuming large amounts may lead to excessive gas or diarrhea

How to eat Tomatillo:

  • To prepare, remove the husk and wash the fruit
  • Can be eaten raw or cooked in dishes
  • Can be used as a substitute for tomatoes in any recipe
  • Can be made into sauces or used as a seasoning
  • Can also be dried and used as a powder
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • Can also be frozen for longer storage.
  • Enjoy in salsa, enchiladas, tamales, or as a topping on tacos.
  • Can also be added to soups, stews, salads, and more!

Tomatillo Recipes:

Salsa Verde


  • 1 pound tomatillos,
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced),
  • 1 small white onion (diced),
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced),
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped),
  • salt and pepper to taste


Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse.

Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes until slightly softened and lightly charred.

In a blender or food processor, combine roasted tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper. Pulse until desired consistency is reached (can leave it chunky or blend until smooth).

Serve with chips or as a topping for tacos or other dishes.

Tomatillo Avocado Salad


  • 1 pound tomatillos (husked, rinsed, and diced),
  • 2 avocados (diced),
  • 1/4 cup red onion (diced),
  • juice of 1 lime,
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped),
  • salt and pepper to taste.


In a large bowl, combine diced tomatillos, avocados, red onion, lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper. Toss to mix well. Serve as a side salad or topping for tacos or burrito bowls.

Tomatillo Chicken Soup


  • 1 pound tomatillos (husked, rinsed, and diced),
  • 1 small white onion (diced),
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced),
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced),
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-sized pieces),
  • 6 cups chicken broth,
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed),
  • 1 cup corn kernels,
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped),
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
  2. Add diced onion and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add tomatillos, chicken broth, black beans, corn, cilantro, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and tomatillos are tender.
  7. Serve hot topped with extra cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Related FAQs:

How do you husk a tomatillo?

To remove the husk from a tomatillo, simply peel off the paper-like outer layer. Rinse before using in recipes.

Can I substitute tomatoes for tomatillos in recipes?

Yes, they can generally be used interchangeably in recipes, though keep in mind that tomatillos have a slightly tangier flavor. Adjust seasonings accordingly.

Can tomatillo be frozen?

Yes, they can be frozen for longer storage. Remove the husks before freezing and place in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw before using in recipes.


Although tomatillos are not as well-known as other types of tomatoes, they offer a host of benefits and can be used in a variety of recipes.

They have a unique flavor that can add something special to your meals, and they also come with some impressive health perks.

So, next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a few tomatillos and give them a try in some of your favorite recipes. Who knows? You might just find a new favorite food! Thanks for reading.

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