Gran Luchito
Tomatillo Salsa

What Is A Tomatillo?

Home | Blog | Mexican Cuisine

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Tomatillo translated might mean “little tomato” but they are totally different to tomatoes. Tart, bright, green and plump, they get nowhere near the attention it deserves and receives in Mexico! Maybe it’s their papery husks that put people off, but we love them. So much so, we offer a Zingy and Tangy Gran Luchito Tomatillo Salsa and Gran Luchito Enchilada Cooking Sauce as part of our range. In this blog we share what a tomatillo is and some of our favourite recipes using them.

What Do Tomatillos Taste Like

Tomatillos are sour and sweet with bright citrusy notes and a dense, dry texture.

Can You Eat Tomatillos Raw

Yes you can, raw tomatillos are sweet and fruity which makes them ideal for fresh dishes

What’s The Difference Between Tomatillos and Tomatoes

Tomatillos have a much brighter and tarter flavour. They stay green even when ripe and they also have thick and sticky skin which allows the fruit to remain longer in the fridge

Pronounced tohm-ah-TEE-oh, they are native to Mexico and have been around centuries dating back to the Aztecs. They may look like small, green tomatoes with papery husks, but they are a closer relative to the gooseberry than a tomato. Known also as a Mexican husk tomato they are part of the nightshade family. Tomatillos may be in the same family as tomatoes but they have a much brighter, tarter flavour.   

What is a Tomatillo?

Do Tomatillos Have Healing Powers

They have high levels of nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbs and iron. The fruit is also considered to have powerful healing properties and is used to treat respiratory problems, ear pain, stomach inflammation and high blood pressure. 

Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillos’ acidic flavour becomes softer and tastier the longer you cook them. Often you will find them used in sauces paired with onion, coriander, garlic, and any chillies, or just raw. Tomatillos help to smooth down the intensity of spicy chillies in sauces.

You will find tomatillos in almost every dish including enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, pozoles, and huevos divorciados. One of our favourite things about going to a restaurant in Mexico has to be that as soon as you sit down they bring to the table before you order totopos (fried tortillas chips triangle-shaped) with a variety of sauces, mostly hot. One of these sauces is green, tart and made with tomatillo.

How Do You Prep Tomatillos?

  1. First use your hands to remove the papery husk
  2. Then wash to remove the sticky residue
  3. Now they are ready to chop and then you can add them raw to salsas or cook in a sauce

Where To Buy Fresh Tomatillos

In Mexico, tomatillos are grown and harvested all year round. Elsewhere in the world such as UK, Australia and Europe buying fresh ones is possible but tricky. Growing seasons are short and shelf life short. In the UK you can try the Cool Chile Company has them or you can have your hand at growing your own from seeds.
Gran Luchito has a Chunky Tomatillo Salsa and a smooth Green Enchilada Sauce which make excellent substitutes to fresh tomatillos in recipes.

Sign Up To Download Our Free Guide To Mexican Classics

  • Free Mexican Cook Book

  • Save £10 On Our Ultimate Mexican Bundle Box  (UK Only)

  • Monthly Newsletters with our latest recipes and special offers

Our Favourite Tomatillo Recipes

1. Tomatillo Sauce

Here is our homemade recipe for a lovely fresh salsa verde! Just combine all the ingredients into a blender and whizz it all up! Hey presto – a gorgeous dip for those Gran Luchito Chipotle Tortilla Chips, or for drizzling over tacos or dunking into quesadillas!

2. Easy Chicken Enchiladas

With Gran Luchito Enchilada Cooking Sauce, we make it easy for you to make delicious and savoury, ooey, gooey Chicken Enchiladas. It has the mild, fresh flavours of tomatillos, jalapeños, onion and garlic, it’s a real crowd pleaser perfect for when friends come ’round. This green enchilada recipe serves 2-3 but you can easily double or triple it.

Cinco de Mayo

3. Guacamole

This recipe uses Gran Luchito Tomatillo Salsa and the result is a tasty guacamole recipe that is super easy to make and full of fresh flavour.

4. Fish Tacos

This isn’t a tomatillo recipe as such, but we’ve added it because we thoroughly recommend our Tomatillo Sauce recipe or Gran Luchito Tomatillo Salsa drizzled on top! The combination of flavours is divine.

Baja Fish Tacos

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about tomatillos and we’ve inspired you to try them in your cooking! We would love to see how you get on, so don’t forget to tag us #granluchito.

Other Blog Posts You Might Be Interested In

Please share your comments below to let us know what you think of this article

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sign up for free cookbook.

Subscribe now for a free copy of the Gran Luchito e-cookbook filled with delicious, authentic Mexican recipes and join our mailing list for all the latest recipes, news and blog updates.