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What Do Tomatillos Taste Like? A Comprehensive Guide to Their Flavor Profile

Have you ever heard of tomatillos?

These small, green fruits are a staple in Mexican cuisine and are often used to make salsa verde.

But what do tomatillos taste like, and are they worth trying?

Tomatillos have a unique taste that can be described as sweet, tart, and slightly citrusy. When eaten raw, they have a firm texture and a tangy, acidic flavor. However, when cooked, tomatillos become softer and milder in taste, making them a versatile ingredient in many dishes.

So, if you’re looking to add a new flavor to your cooking, tomatillos might be just what you need.

What Are Tomatillos?

If you’re not familiar with tomatillos, they are small, round fruits that are similar in appearance to green tomatoes.

They are typically about the size of a golf ball and are covered in a papery husk. Tomatillos are a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are used in a variety of dishes, including salsa verde, guacamole, and chile verde.

Tomatillos have a unique flavor that is both sweet and tart. They are often described as having a lemony or citrusy taste, which makes them a great addition to dishes that need a bit of acidity. When eaten raw, they can be quite acidic, but when cooked, their flavor becomes milder and more balanced.

In terms of texture, tomatillos are a bit dry and dense. They have a firm, meaty flesh that is similar to that of a green tomato. Their seeds are small and edible, and their skin is thin and easy to remove.

Overall, tomatillos have a delicious and distinct flavor that is well worth trying if you haven’t already.

They are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes, both raw and cooked. Whether you’re making salsa, guacamole, or a hearty stew, tomatillos are sure to add a unique and delicious flavor to your dish.

What Do Tomatillos Taste Like?

When it comes to describing the taste of tomatillos, the first thing that comes to mind is tartness.

Tomatillos are known for their tangy, acidic flavor that can be compared to a mix of lemon, lime, and green apple. However, the intensity of the tartness can vary depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Raw tomatillos are quite acidic and have a crisp texture. When cooked, they become milder and sweeter.

The cooking process also softens their texture, making them perfect for sauces and salsas. The flavor of tomatillos can be enhanced by roasting or grilling them, which brings out their natural sweetness.

In terms of aroma, tomatillos have a slightly herbal scent, which can be attributed to their membership in the nightshade family. They also have a subtle earthy flavor that complements their tartness.

Overall, the taste of tomatillos is unique and refreshing. They add a bright, citrusy flavor to dishes and are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Whether you’re using them in a salsa, soup, or stew, tomatillos are a versatile ingredient that can elevate any dish.

How to Cook and Serve Tomatillos?

When it comes to cooking with tomatillos, there are several ways to prepare them. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


Roasting tomatillos in the oven, under the broiler, or on the grill is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness and deepen the flavor.

Simply remove the papery husks, rinse the tomatillos, and place them on a baking sheet or grill grates. Roast until the skin is slightly charred and the flesh is tender, about 10-15 minutes. You can then use the roasted tomatillos to make salsa, soup, or any other dish that calls for them.


Boiling tomatillos is another option, and it’s a great way to soften them up if you’re planning to blend them into a sauce or salsa.

Simply remove the husks, rinse the tomatillos, and place them in a pot of boiling water. Cook for about 10 minutes, until they’re soft and tender. Drain the water and let the tomatillos cool before using them in your recipe.


If you want to use tomatillos raw, you can simply chop them up and add them to your favorite salad or salsa recipe.

They have a bright, tangy flavor that adds a nice acidity to any dish. You can also slice them up and use them as a topping for tacos or sandwiches.

Serving Suggestions

Once you’ve cooked or prepared your tomatillos, there are several ways to serve them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Salsa: Blend your tomatillos with some onion, garlic, cilantro, and lime juice to make a delicious salsa that’s perfect for dipping chips or topping tacos.
  • Soup: Use your cooked tomatillos to make a flavorful soup, like pozole verde or chicken tomatillo soup.
  • Sauce: Blend your tomatillos with some jalapeño, garlic, and chicken broth to make a tangy sauce that’s perfect for drizzling over grilled meats or roasted vegetables.
  • Salad: Chop up your raw tomatillos and toss them with some lettuce, avocado, and grilled chicken for a fresh and flavorful salad.


In conclusion, tomatillos have a unique taste that is both sweet and tart. They are a great addition to many dishes and can bring a bright, tangy flavor to your meals. Here are a few things to keep in mind when cooking with tomatillos:

  • Tomatillos are acidic, so they pair well with foods that are rich or spicy.
  • They have a slightly fruity taste, which makes them a great addition to salsas and sauces.
  • When cooked, tomatillos become milder in flavor and can be used in a variety of dishes, including stews, soups, and casseroles.
  • Tomatillos can also be eaten raw, but they are quite acidic, so it’s best to pair them with other ingredients to balance out the flavor.

Overall, tomatillos are a versatile and delicious ingredient that can add a unique flavor to your meals. Whether you’re making a salsa, a stew, or a soup, tomatillos are a great choice that will help take your dish to the next level. So next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a few tomatillos and give them a try!

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.