How to Roast Tomatillos 2022


Tomatillos are small, green, tomato-like fruits that are common to Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines. They are easy to roast, and after roasting them, you can eat the tomatillos alone or add them to sauces and salsas.


1 lb (450 g) tomatillos

Cooking spray (optional)

Yields 2 to 4 servings


Method 1 of 6:Before You Begin: Preparing the Tomatillos

1Select good tomatillos. Look for small tomatillos that feel firm and are free from defects.

Small tomatillos will be sweeter than larger ones. Generally, a good tomatillo should be smaller than a golf ball.

Also pay attention to the husk surrounding the fruit. It should be light brown and fresh. Avoid tomatillos with shriveled, dried husks.

2Remove the husk. When you're ready to use the tomatillos, simply peel the husk away using your fingers.

The husks are inedible, so removal is necessary.

You should leave the actual green skin of the fruit intact.

3Rinse. Clean each tomatillo under cool running water before roasting it.

Most tomatillos will be slightly sticky before you clean them.

Dry well with clean paper towels when done.

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Method 2 of 6:Method One: Dry Roasting (Stovetop Version)

1Place the tomatillos in a heavy pan. Arrange the tomatillos in a single layer in a large, heavy frying pan.

Do not stack the tomatillos in multiple layers.

A cast iron frying pan will give you the best results, but if you do not have a cast iron pan, any heavy pan should work well enough.

This method draws out the"earthy"flavor undertones of the fruit.

2Toast gently over low heat. Place the frying pan on your stove and switch the heat to low. Roast the tomatillos for 20 to 30 minutes, turning them occasionally using tongs.

Continue cooking until the tomatillos become very soft on all sides. You should also notice some light browning on all sides, but the skins will not usually blacken when you use this method.

3Cool the tomatillos before using them. Remove the tomatillos from the heat and let them rest at room temperature for a few minutes, or until they are cool enough to touch with your fingers. They should be ready to use or eat as you desire at the completion of this step.

You can peel the skin off tomatillos after cooking them, but doing so is only optional.

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Method 3 of 6:Method Two: Dry Roasting (Oven Version)

1Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or by spraying it with cooking spray.

2Cut the tomatillos in half. Use a sharp kitchen knife to cut each fruit in half horizontally. Arrange the halves on your prepared baking sheet.

Do not slice the tomatillos in half from top to bottom.

Keep the them in an even, single layer on your baking sheet. Do not overlap the halves or stack them in multiple layers, since doing so will prevent them from cooking evenly.

The halves should be cut-side down on your baking sheet.

3Bake for 20 minutes. Place the baking sheet on the top rack of your oven and cook until the tomatillos become very tender.

The skins should begin to shrivel and may take on some light browning, but this method will not cause the skins to char or blacken.

4Cool slightly. Remove the tomatillos from the oven and cool at room temperature until you can safely handle them with your hands. Eat or use as desired.

You can peel the tomatillos, if desired, but doing so is not necessary.

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Method 4 of 6:Method Three: Fire Roasting (Broiler Version)

1Preheat the broiler. Switch on your broiler and let it heat up for 5 to 10 minutes.

Most broilers only have two settings:"on"and"off."If you broiler has"high"and"low"settings, though, switch it to the"low"option.

Prepare a broiler-safe baking sheet or baking dish by spraying it lightly with a thin coat of cooking spray.

2Slice the tomatillos in half. Use a kitchen knife to cut each tomatillo in half from side to side. Arrange the halves on your prepared cooking sheet.

A horizontal cut is preferable to a vertical cut.

The halves should be cut-side up on your cooking sheet and kept to a single layer. Do not stack them or overlap them in multiple layers.

3Coat with cooking spray. Thoroughly spray the exposed sides of the tomatillos with an oil-based cooking spray. Flip the halves over so that the cut sides are now face-down, and spray the skin sides, as well.

The pieces do not need to be dripping wet with cooking oil, but the surfaces should all be covered.

In the absence of cooking spray, you could drizzle a little vegetable oil over the surfaces or brush the oil on with a pastry brush.

4Broil the tomatillos for 8 minutes. Place the tray of tomatillos in your preheated broiler and cook them for about 8 minutes, or until the skins begin to brown and shrivel.

At this point, you should remove the tray from the broiler and flip the halves over to the other side.

5Broil for another 5 minutes. Place the tomatillos back into your broiler and continue roasting them for another 5 minutes, or until the skin side is charred and blistering.

The flesh of the tomatillos will be very soft at this point.

6Cool before use. Remove the roasted fruit from your broiler and let the halves rest at room temperature until they are safe to handle with your bare hands. Use as desired.

You can peel the skins off after cooking the tomatillos, if you so desire, but charred skins can enrich the flavor of sauces, salsas, and other recipes with a smoky taste.

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Method 5 of 6:Method Four: Fire Roasting (Grill Version)

1Cut the tomatillos in half. Slice the tomatillos with a kitchen knife. Cut them into horizontal halves--side to side—rather than cutting them vertically—from top to bottom.

2Preheat the grill. A charcoal grill is usually preferred, but you can use a gas grill, as well.

If using a gas grill, preheat all the burners to a medium-high temperature. Allow the grill at least 10 to 15 minutes to reach an ideal heat.

If using a charcoal grill, light a full chimney of charcoal on fire. Once the coals are covered with gray ash, pour them out into your grill and spread them across the bottom.

3Spray the cooking grate. Remove the grate from the grill and coat it in cooking spray. Place the grate back inside the grill when done.

If you do not have cooking spray, you could also coat the grate with vegetable oil.

Make sure that the grate is also clean before you oil it.

4Grill the tomatillos. Place each tomatillo half on your oiled grill grate cut-side down. Grill them until they begin to soften.

By this point, the cut sides and skins should both be brown.

5Flip and continue grilling. Use tongs to turn the halves so that they are cut-side up. Continue grilling for another few minutes or until they have completely softened.

The skins will usually be charred and blackened by this point.

6Cool to room temperature. Remove the tomatillos and place them in a bowl or on a cutting board sitting out at room temperature. Let them cool until they are safe to handle with your hands.

The skin can affect the texture of your final dish, so if desired, you can peel the skin off your tomatillos after cooking them. Since charred skins contribute a smoky flavor to finished sauces and dishes, though, many cooks prefer to leave them intact.

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Method 6 of 6:Method Five: Fire Roasting (Culinary Torch Version)

1Hold each tomatillo with tongs. Grab a whole tomatillo with long-handled tongs. Make sure that you have a firm grasp on the fruit.

To prevent yourself from getting burned, you may also want to slip on a flame-resistant oven mitt.

Alternatively, you could place the tomatillo on a heatproof surface.

2Apply heat from a culinary torch. Switch on the culinary torch and apply the flame directly to the surface of the tomatillo. Torch the skin for several minutes until it blackens and cracks.

Make sure that you turn the tomatillo as you torch it so that the flame can touch it from all sides. If you do not rotate the fruit, it may cook unevenly.

Note that the tomatillo will also become very soft as you roast it.

3Cool before use. Turn off the flame and place the tomatillo in a dish. Let it rest at room temperature until it is cool enough to handle with your bare hands, then use or eat as desired.

You can easily peel off the charred skins if you do not like the flavor and texture, but the skins are perfectly edible and can be left on if you choose to do so. Moreover, the skins take on a smoky flavor when charred, so they may even enhance the overall taste of a sauce or salsa.

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