17 Delicious Ways to Use Tomatillos Any Time of Day

updated Aug 2, 2022
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A tomatillo is like a gift: It’s a tart green fruit (that’s sometimes confused with an unripe green tomato), wrapped in a crinkly husk. Peel the wrapping away and you’re left with a world of culinary possibility.

If the first thing you think of when you see tomatillos is salsa verde, we don’t blame you. Us too! Not only is the sauce totally irresistible, but it’s also super versatile; it’s the perfect spread to take a chicken or steak sandwich to the next level and a must for enchiladas. Don’t limit tomatillos to just salsa verde, though — they’re capable of so much more! They can give a standard plate of huevos rancheros a delicious lift, add huge flavor to soups, and transform a pork tenderloin.

While tomatillos are available year-round, their peak season is right now. To help you take full advantage, we’re sharing 17 delicious ways to use these green gems for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and happy hour!


Tomatillos can help bring so much variety to the morning table. Use them as the base for a green shakshuka, embrace breakfast nachos and enchiladas, or simply use your favorite tomatillo dip as a spread for breakfast sandwiches.

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Tomatillo Shakshuka
Take advantage of in-season tomatillos, chilies, and herbs with this smoky tomatillo shakshuka.
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Baked Egg and Chorizo Enchiladas
This enchilada recipe skips the premade canned sauces in favor of a homemade variety with a vibrant, smoky punch. Made with roasted tomatillos, serrano chile, garlic, cilantro, and onion, it is refreshingly tart and spicy.
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Breakfast Nachos
Does it get better (or simpler) than nachos for breakfast? Even the salsa verde is pretty darn simple; all you need are a few fresh ingredients and a food processor.
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Salsas and Dips

You obviously can’t talk about tomatillos without talking about salsa verde. Definitely make a batch or two, or try a twist on the dip.

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Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe
Amp up your homemade enchiladas with this leftover-friendly sauce packed with roasted tomatillo, poblano, and serrano peppers.
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Fresh Salsa Verde
A simple combination of tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, chile pepper, and onion turns into a vibrant and tart salsa.
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3-Ingredient Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
This everyday sauce hits your tongue with punchy flavor that's just the right balance of sweet and smoky, with a hint of heat at the back of your mouth.
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Hearty Dinners

One of the best things to make with tomatillos is chile verde. It’s the green cousin to your usual pot of chili that’s filled with shredded pork instead of beef and beans.

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Chalupa Recipe
This platter of deliciously crispy pork chalupas, with either a green tomatillo salsa or equally vibrant red tomato salsa tucked inside, are worth the extended cook time.
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Enchiladas Verdes (Green Enchiladas)
These enchiladas are filled with chicken, bathed in a creamy salsa verde and covered with cheese, before being baked in the oven.
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Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa
Spicy, smoky shrimp and a homemade tomatillo salsa combine in these flavor-packed summer tacos.
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Slow Cooker Chili Verde
Green tomatillos form the foundation of this pleasantly spicy and surprisingly fresh chili.
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Pork & Green Chile Stew (Chile Verde)
This New Mexican pork and green chile stew is the perfect candidate to make on a lazy Sunday and then eat for the rest of the week. It’s spicy, savory, and hearty — and just when you think it can’t get any better, it does!
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Chicken Posole
Posole is traditionally a slow-cooked dish, but this 30-minute version is still an absolute winner. It’s so satisfying and makes for a great last-minute dish on a busy weeknight.
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Pork and Green Chile Tamales
The ultimate guide for making tamales at home — specifically pork and green chile tamales, which might be our favorite kind.
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Mushroom and Goat Cheese Tamales with Mole Verde
In Mexico, tamales of pork and chicken are most traditional, but vegetarian tamales made of beans, cheese with rajas (or chile strips), and mushrooms are more popular than ever.
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Pork Tenderloin in Tomatillo Sauce
This tender, tangy pork is best served with toasted tortillas, Mexican red rice, black beans, and a stiff margarita to wash it all down.
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Cocktails and Desserts

Tomatillos might seem like an odd addition to a cocktail or dessert, but their tart, bright flavor is actually perfect blended into a happy hour concoction or after dinner treat.

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Think of this as a green version of a traditional tomato-based Michelada, made with avocado tomatillo salsa and served in a pitcher with chilled beer mugs rimmed with salted coriander.
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Boca Negra Picosito con Salsa Dulce de Tomatillo (Spiced Chocolate Cakes with Sweet Tomatillo Sauce)
Boca negra cake got its name because, once you dig in, your mouth will be covered in luxurious chocolate. The tomatillo sauce may seem unusual, but the smokiness of the chipotles gives an incredible depth to this scrumptious dessert.
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