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There are two ways to make Mexican salsa, one with red ripe tomatoes and the other using tomatillo, (pronounced “toe-mah-TEE-yo”). This recipe with give you both options…

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe

To cook the tomatillos, you can either roast them in the oven, or boil them, or just blend them raw! Roasting will you that nice roasted flavor; boiling or just having them raw is faster. I had tried all these methods and all taste great and works well!

  • 1 1/2 lb tomatillos / optional red ripe tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves / parsely if you don’t have cilantro available
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice – I use more, I like that lime taste!
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of cumin
  • 2 Jalapeño peppers OR 2 serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped (you can use whole pepper for more heat)
  • 2 garlic cloves (more if you like), raw or oven roasted
  • sea salt to taste

Mexican Salsa with Red Tomatoes  (option)

mexican-salsa with red tomatoes


1 Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.


2a Oven Roasting Method Cut the tomatillos in half and place cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin.


2b Pan Roasting Method Coat the bottom of a skillet with a little olive oil/sunflower oil. Heat on high heat. Place the tomatillos in the pan and sear on one side, then flip over and brown on the other side. Remove from heat.

2c Boiling Method Place tomatillos in a saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove tomatillos with a slotted spoon.


 2d Raw Method – Can be used for both green or red tomatoes! Remove husk on tomatillos, wash and dice tomatillos and follow next step…

3 Place tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers, cumin, garlic, etc. in a blender or food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Place in jar mason jars, cool in refrigerator.

Serve with chips or as a salsa accompaniment to Mexican dishes.

Yield: Makes 3 cups.

Mexican Salsa Verde

Health benefits of Tomatillos

  • Tomatillos are low in calories. 100 g of berries provide just 32 calories. On a comparison basis, they contain slightly more calories, fat, and protein than tomatoes. (100 g tomato has 18 calories). However, they have good amounts of much health benefiting plant nutrients such as dietary fiber, minerals, anti-oxidants and vitamins.
  • Unlike tomato, tomatillo does not contain lycopene. On the other hand, it is good in different kind of antioxidant phyto-chemicals known as withanolides. Ixocarpalactone-A is one such withanolides present in tomatillo which has been found to have anti-bacterial and anti-cancer properties.
  • Tomatillo contains small amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Further; the berry consists of flavonoid anti-oxidants such as ß-carotene, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds possess antioxidant properties and, together with vitamin A, are essential for visual health. In addition, Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural vegetables and fruits rich in flavonoids helps to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Fresh tomate has very good sodium to the potassium ratio (0:6). Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Further, the fruit has more minerals weight per weight basis than that in the tomatoes. They are also good source of copper, iron, phosphorous, manganese, and other minerals.
See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

Tomatillos (Physalis philadelphica), raw, Nutrition value per 100 g.
(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)

PrincipleNutrient Value Percentage of ~

  • RDA Energy 32
  • K cal 1.5%
  • Carbohydrates 5.84 g 4.5%
  • Protein 0.96 g 1.5%
  • Total Fat 1.02 g 4%
  • Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
  • Dietary Fiber 1.9 g 4%


  • Folates 7 µg 2%
  • Niacin 1.850 mg 11.5%
  • Pyridoxine 0.056 mg 4%
  • Thiamin 0.044 mg 4%
  • Vitamin A 114 IU 4%
  • Vitamin C1 1.7 mg 20%
  • Vitamin E 0.38 mg 2%
  • Vitamin K 10.1 µg 8.5%


  • Sodium 1 mg 0%
  • Potassium 268 mg 6%


  • Calcium 7 mg 1%
  • Copper 0.079 mg 10%
  • Iron 0.62 mg 8%
  • Magnesium 20 mg 5%
  • Manganese 0.153 mg 6.5%
  • Phosphorus 39 mg 5.5%
  • Selenium 0.5 µg 1%
  • Zinc 0.22 mg 2%


  • Carotene-ß 63 µg–
  • Carotene-α 10 µg–
  • Lutein-zeaxanthin 467 µg–
  • Lycopene 0 µg–

Selection and storage

Central and Yucatán peninsula in Mexico and Guatemala are the main husk tomato growing-regions in Mesoamerica. It is grown in small parts of California, Louisiana and other Southern states in the USA. Fresh fruits are generally imported from the Central American countries.

Fresh tomatillos are available around the year in the market, especially in the stores selling Latin American vegetables. While buying, look for fresh, firm, unripe berries featuring bright green color since they have superior tart flavor and preferred in cuisines. Avoid sticky and yellow, or purple ones, as they appear over-mature, soft, and out of flavor.

To store, place them inside the vegetable compartment set at right temperature and humidity where they stay fresh for up to two weeks. To preserve longer, remove the husk and store the green fruits inside the refrigerator placed in a zip pouch.

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