Pan Fried Tomatillos Recipes

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Are you looking for a new, healthy side dish to spice up your meals? Try these pan-fried tomatillos! Not only are they incredibly easy to make, but they also bring a unique tangy flavor that’s sure to delight your taste buds. This recipe is perfect for anyone looking to add a quick and nutritious dish to their repertoire.

pan fried tomatillo recipe

Why You’ll Love Pan Fried Tomatillos

  • Unique Flavor: Tomatillos offer a tangy and slightly sour taste that is different from regular tomatoes, adding a refreshing twist to your meals. The pan-frying method enhances their natural flavors, making them incredibly delicious.
  • Healthy and Nutritious: This recipe uses minimal oil and no breading, making it a healthier option compared to traditional fried dishes. Tomatillos are also rich in vitamins and antioxidants, contributing to a balanced diet.
  • Quick and Easy: With just a few simple steps and common ingredients, you can have this tasty side dish ready in under 15 minutes. It’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you need a last-minute addition to your meal.
  • Versatile Side Dish: Pan-fried tomatillos pair well with a variety of main courses, from grilled meats to vegetarian dishes. Their vibrant flavor complements many different cuisines, making them a versatile addition to your recipe collection.
  • Minimal Ingredients: You only need a handful of ingredients to create this dish, most of which you probably already have in your kitchen. This simplicity makes it an accessible recipe for cooks of all skill levels.

how to fry tomatillos

Ingredients For Pan Fried Tomatillos

  • Tomatillos: These are the star of the dish. Their unique tangy flavor sets them apart from regular tomatoes.
  • Olive Oil: Used for frying, it adds a subtle richness and helps to brown the tomatillos nicely.
  • Salt: Enhances the natural flavors of the tomatillos.
  • Black Pepper: Adds a bit of heat and depth to the seasoning.
  • Garlic Powder: Brings a warm, savory note that complements the tartness of the tomatillos.

For the exact measurements of the ingredients, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.

easy pan fried tomatillos

Kitchen Tools You Need To Make Pan Fried Tomatillos

  • Frying Pan: Essential for cooking the tomatillos evenly and achieving a nice browning.
  • Knife: Needed for slicing the tomatillos into chunks.
  • Cutting Board: Provides a safe surface for chopping the tomatillos.
  • Measuring Spoons: Ensures precise measurements of the seasonings and oil.

healthy fried tomatillos

How To Make Pan Fried Tomatillos

  • Heat a frying pan over high heat and add olive oil.
  • Slice the tomatillos into chunks, removing any stems as you go.
  • When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium-high and add the tomatillos to the pan.
  • Cook the tomatillos, stirring every minute or so, until they are browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes.
  • Once the tomatillos are cooked, season them with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Stir well to coat the tomatillos with the seasoning, and cook for another 20 seconds to blend the flavors.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the tomatillos to a serving plate.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!

fried tomatillos side dish

Serving Suggestions

tomatillo frying method

Tips For Success

  • Selecting Tomatillos: Choose firm tomatillos with bright green husks. Avoid any that are soft or have blemishes.
  • Removing Husks: Make sure to remove the husks and wash the tomatillos thoroughly before cooking. The husks can leave a sticky residue that needs to be washed off.
  • Preheating the Pan: Ensure your pan is hot before adding the tomatillos. This helps achieve a nice browning without overcooking the tomatillos.
  • Stirring Frequently: Stir the tomatillos every minute to prevent them from sticking and to ensure even cooking. This also helps them brown nicely.
  • Seasoning at the End: Season the tomatillos at the end of cooking. This way, you can taste and adjust the seasoning as needed without risking over-salting.
  • Oil Choice: While olive oil adds a lovely flavor, you can use other oils like vegetable or coconut oil if preferred. Each type of oil brings a slightly different flavor to the dish.
  • Heat Control: If the tomatillos start to burn, reduce the heat slightly. Keeping an eye on the heat ensures they cook evenly without burning.
  • Serving Immediately: For the best flavor and texture, serve the tomatillos immediately after cooking. They can become mushy if left to sit for too long.
  • Complementary Dishes: Think about what you’re serving with the tomatillos. They pair well with dishes that benefit from a tangy, slightly sour side, like rich meats or creamy dishes.
  • Experiment with Seasonings: Feel free to experiment with additional seasonings. A pinch of cumin or a squeeze of lime juice can add a new dimension to the flavor.

best fried tomatillos

Variations And Substitutions

  • Spicy Pan Fried Tomatillos: Add a diced jalapeño or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the pan for a spicy kick. This variation adds heat that pairs well with the tangy tomatillos.
  • Herbed Tomatillos: Mix in some fresh or dried herbs like cilantro, oregano, or thyme towards the end of cooking. These herbs complement the tomatillos and add a fresh, aromatic touch.
  • Cheesy Tomatillos: Sprinkle some grated Parmesan or crumbled queso fresco over the tomatillos just before serving. The cheese melts slightly, adding a rich and savory flavor.
  • Tomatillo and Onion Mix: Sauté some thinly sliced onions with the tomatillos for a sweet and savory combination. The caramelized onions add depth and sweetness to the dish.
  • Garlic Lover’s Tomatillos: Increase the amount of garlic powder or use freshly minced garlic instead. This intensifies the garlic flavor, making it a perfect side for garlic lovers.
  • Lime Zest Tomatillos: Add a sprinkle of lime zest before serving for an extra burst of citrus flavor. The zest enhances the tanginess of the tomatillos and adds a refreshing note.
  • Vegan Option: Ensure the dish remains vegan by using vegetable oil instead of any butter or animal-based fats.
  • Gluten-Free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free, but always check your seasonings to ensure they are gluten-free as well.
  • Low-Sodium: If you’re watching your sodium intake, reduce the amount of salt or use a salt substitute. You can also add more herbs and spices to make up for the reduced salt.
  • Tomatillo Relish: After pan-frying, chop the tomatillos finely and mix with diced red onion, cilantro, and lime juice for a delicious relish. This makes a great topping for grilled meats or tacos.

quick fried tomatillos

Storage and Reheating

  • Storage: Allow the pan-fried tomatillos to cool completely before storing. Place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Make sure the container is well-sealed to keep the tomatillos fresh.
  • Freezing: While fresh tomatillos freeze well, pan-fried tomatillos may lose some texture upon thawing. If you choose to freeze them, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze individually before transferring to a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.
  • Reheating: To reheat, place the tomatillos in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. You can also reheat them in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until they are hot.
  • Reviving Texture: If the tomatillos have become too soft after storage, you can add a little oil to the pan while reheating to help crisp them up slightly.
  • Using Leftovers: Leftover tomatillos can be added to salads, tacos, or even mixed into scrambled eggs for a quick and easy meal.

tomatillos in frying pan

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use unripe tomatillos for this recipe?

Yes, unripe tomatillos can be used in this recipe. They are firmer and have a more pronounced tangy flavor. Make sure to remove the husks and wash them thoroughly before cooking.

What can I substitute for olive oil?

You can substitute olive oil with other cooking oils such as vegetable oil, canola oil, or coconut oil. Each type of oil will impart a slightly different flavor to the dish.

Are tomatillos the same as green tomatoes?

No, tomatillos are not the same as green tomatoes. They are a different fruit with a papery husk and a unique tart flavor. Green tomatoes are simply unripe tomatoes and have a different texture and taste.

How do I know when the tomatillos are done cooking?

The tomatillos are done when they are nicely browned and tender. They should be cooked through but still hold their shape. This usually takes about 6 minutes of cooking time.

Can I add other vegetables to this dish?

Yes, you can add other vegetables like onions, bell peppers, or zucchini to this dish. Sauté them along with the tomatillos for a more varied and colorful side dish.

What dishes pair well with pan-fried tomatillos?

Pan-fried tomatillos pair well with a variety of dishes, including grilled meats, tacos, burritos, and salads. Their tangy flavor complements rich and savory foods perfectly.

Can I prepare this dish in advance?

Yes, you can prepare pan-fried tomatillos in advance and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in a skillet or microwave before serving.

How do I prevent the tomatillos from becoming too mushy?

To prevent the tomatillos from becoming too mushy, avoid overcooking them. Cook them just until they are browned and tender. Stir them gently to keep them intact.

Is this recipe suitable for a vegan diet?

Yes, this recipe is suitable for a vegan diet as it uses plant-based ingredients and cooking methods. Ensure that the oil and seasonings you use are also vegan.

What can I do if my tomatillos are too sour?

If your tomatillos are too sour, you can balance the flavor by adding a pinch of sugar or honey while cooking. This will mellow out the tanginess and create a more balanced dish.

simple fried tomatillos

Other Ways To Cook Tomatoes

Healthy Oven-Baked Green Tomatoes: Simple, Crunchy, and Tasty: Enjoy a healthier take on a Southern classic with these crispy baked green tomatoes, perfect for a delicious and easy snack.

No Breading Fried Green Tomatoes: These fried green tomatoes are simply seasoned and cooked to perfection without any breading, highlighting their natural tangy flavor.

Herb-Marinated Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes are marinated in a savory blend of herbs and spices, creating a refreshing and flavorful side dish.

Tomato Bruschetta Recipe: This simple yet delicious tomato toast combines ripe tomatoes with a touch of garlic and olive oil, perfect for a quick breakfast or snack.

Air Fryer Crispy Green Tomatoes: Get that crispy, golden-brown texture with less oil using this easy Air Fryer Green Tomatoes recipe.

Homemade Tomato Soup with Tomato Paste: A rich and comforting tomato soup made from concentrated tomato paste, providing deep, savory flavors in every spoonful.

Chinese Stir-Fried Tomato and Eggs: This quick and easy Chinese tomato egg stir fry combines soft scrambled eggs with juicy tomatoes for a flavorful and satisfying dish.

Fresh Watermelon and Tomato Salad: A refreshing summer salad that pairs sweet watermelon with juicy tomatoes, fresh herbs, and a tangy dressing.

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Pan Fried Tomatillos

Delicious and tangy, these pan-fried tomatillos are a healthy twist on a classic recipe. Cooked with minimal oil and seasoned to perfection, they make a delightful side dish that's both simple and flavorful. Perfect for a quick and healthy addition to any meal!
Cook Time10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: easy tomatillo recipe, healthy side dish, Pan fried tomatillos
Cooking Method: Stovetop
Diet: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 100kcal


  • 1 lb tomatillos husked and washed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Recommended Kitchen Tools (click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe)


  • Preheat a frying pan on high heat and add olive oil.
  • Slice the tomatillos into chunks, removing any stems.
  • Once the oil is hot, reduce heat to medium-high and add the tomatillos to the pan.
  • Cook, stirring every minute, until the tomatillos are nicely browned and cooked through (about 6 minutes).
  • Season with salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Mix well and cook for an additional 20 seconds to blend the flavors.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a plate.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


  • Make sure to adjust the seasoning to your taste at the end.
  • If the tomatillos start to burn, lower the heat slightly.
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Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 583mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 131IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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