How to cook tomatillos so they are tender and ready to make into homemade salsa verde at home. Great addition to green pepper jelly too!
Wondering how to cook tomatillos so you can make homemade salsa verde or guacamole at home? It is so simple I tell you. These are so versatile, delicious inside chili or in soups too. Give your next recipe a kick with these babies and let us know what your favorite creation is. (affiliate links present)
Recently we used these with other peppers to make homemade green pepper jelly, they were a great new addition. Never bought these yourself, but had them at your favorite Mexican restaurant? No worries, we were new to handling them too until this year.
I bet you’ve seen these and wondered if they were green tomatoes? May apples, persimmons? Weren’t sure until you saw the sign and thought huh…….and walked away. Don’t next time, grab a few and give these ideas a whirl.
When are tomatillos ripe?
The color will tell the tale. You want them to be a nice green color like you see here for the boldest flavors. If you see that they are yellow the flavor will be tamer and the outsides will be softer. For the strongest taste it will be a firm texture on the outside and a brilliant green color.
Can you eat a raw tomatillo?
Yes they are safe but wouldn’t taste very good. Without cooking them first they’re quite sour with a very strong pungent flavor. When they are boiled, like blanched peppers, the tartness will subside a bit to become the flavor you’re most familiar with. It will soften the outsides too of course and make them easier to blend into a sauce.
As far as prep is concerned there isn’t much at all. There is a sort of paper feeling husk on the outside you’ll want to remove. Then just rinse the outside to remove the stickiness outer film that may be present.
How many tomatillos in a pound
If you are going to make fresh tomatillo verde salsa you’ll want about 2 pounds, so how many is that? Well they will all vary in size but I would suggest choosing medium sized. We prefer to buy organic but that is up to you too. In general 8 pieces will = 1 pound of weight. So you’d want about 16 to make a batch, or cut in half for less.
You can find them at almost all grocery stores. If you are in a smaller town, like we are, you may need to go to a natural and/or organic market instead.
How to store tomatillos
If you buy them at the store but don’t want to do anything with them for a little bit put them inside of a paper bag and into the fridge. Left inside their papery husks they will last this way in the cold for 2-3 weeks easily. That will give you plenty of time to get your stuff together and make whatever you want.
All that you need to cook them is some water and a bit of salt. If you want to add a bit of heat to Mexican cooking recipes throw in a few jalapenos too.
I do not recommend roasted tomatillos for cooking as they won’t be as tender on the outsides. While you’re preparing tomatillos by removing the husks and washing, get a pot of water boiling on high heat.
- Fill with about 8 cups of water until it reaches a rolling boil. Sprinkle in some salt too.
- Remove the outer husk. Rinse under water to remove as much of the shiny coating off the outside.
- Gently drop rinsed tomatillos husked and ready to cook into the rolling boiling water and allow to cook for approximately 8 minutes so the outsides get very tender and shrivel up.
- Blend to make salsa verde or slice to add into recipes like Instant Pot carnitas and more.
- if you want to thin it out a bit you could add a bit of olive oil into the mix and blend again
You can use a blender or food processor to get the right consistency. If you are just enjoying these as is then allow to cool completely, slice and enjoy with a squeeze of lime and salt on top. Some like it juiced so you’d want to blend quite a bit to get them smooth for that. Talk about a superfood gulp.
Inside recipes like Instant Pot chili verde and our Instant Pot Mexican casserole I would leave a little more chunk to it like you see here below.
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How to Cook Tomatillos
- 2 lbs tomatillos
- 8 c water
- 1 pinch salt
- Fill large stockpot with about 8 cups of water. Put on stovetop on medium/high heat until it reaches a rolling boil. Sprinkle in salt.
- Remove outer husk off of all tomatillos. Rinse under water to remove as much of the shiny coating off the outside.
- Gently drop into the boiling water and allow to cook for approximately 8 minutes so the outsides get very tender and start shriveling up.
- Blend to make salsa verde or slice to add into recipes.