Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

You say potato, I say potato, you say tomato, I say tomatillo (loud groans at feeble attempt at humor) I know, I know, but seriously do you know what a tomatillo is? Like if you ran into it in the market, would you recognize it covered in its little crinkly papery sheath? Until a few years ago I was tomatillo clueless. Not only had I never eaten one but I had absolutely no idea what a Tomatillo looked like. The thought of buying them and cooking with them was more than a little intimidating, but life is all about growth and taking risks and mostly I really wanted to try this salsa (if you haven’t, you really should—it’s amazing!) so I took the plunge me and tomatillos, we’re the best of friends! Who knew? Whether you’ve been tempted to try tomatillos or you’re already a big fan, I think you’re going to love this easy-to-make Roasted Tomatillo Sauce. Seriously, it comes together in minutes with the barest of effort and is loaded with intense flavor and has a wonderful smooth/chunky texture. So much better than anything you could find in a jar!! Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing a recipe for enchiladas that uses this sauce as it’s base, so a little trip to the store for some tomatillos today is probably a good idea. Just a friendly little warning...

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Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Makes about 2 cups
You will need a blender or food processor for this. 
Prep Time:  About 30 minutes, but only a small percentage of this is hands on


  • 6-8 medium tomatillos,husked, rinsed well to get rid of stickiness and dried well
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves  
  • 1-2 serrano or jalapeño chiles (use one if you want it less spicy) 
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and sliced into ½ inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil 
  • 1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth or water 
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or flat leaf parsley

The Recipe  

1.  Turn the broiler on and place the tomatillos, garlic, chiles and onion slices on a rimmed baking sheet that you’ve lined with foil or parchment paper for cleanup ease. Place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes until everything looks all charred and the turn the veggies over so the other side can get all charred too. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool a little.

2.  When veggies are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off the garlic and remove the stems from the chiles. I cut them open and removed the seeds so that it wouldn’t be too spicy, but you can absolutely leave them in if you like. Place the garlic and chiles in the blender, along with the tomatillos and their juice, the onion and a pinch of salt. Blend to a coarse purée.

3.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the contents of the blender. Stir well and let it cook for about 5-7 minutes, so that it reduces and thickens. Stir in the broth (or water) and the cilantro or parsley. Taste and season with more salt if needed. Let simmer so the ingredients can meld together.  

4. The sauce is now ready to be used or refrigerated until ready. If you are not using it right away, let it cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge. It should last about a week. 


Note:  Recipe adapted from More Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. As usual I tinkered a bit. 


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