Farm To Table

Canning Tomatillos

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Canning Tomatillos is an easy job that will use up a lot of your crop in one easy task. They have so many uses all year long.

Jars of canned tomatillos on light background.Pin
Canned Tomatillos

What are tomatillos

Tomatillos, aka Mexican husk tomatoes are not actually green tomatoes. They are a fruit, like tomatoes, in the nightshade family. They’re also related to eggplant, gooseberries and others.

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They are grown extensively in Mexico and South America but will grow well in northern gardens, if they are planted as seedlings.

They’re an easy crop to grow. They are susceptible to few diseases and insects.

They like full sun and a fertile, well drained soil.

New to canning? Start with our comprehensive article on “How to Can Everything“. It will walk you through all of the dos and don’ts related to canning.

What you need

  • tomatillos
  • lemon juice – always use bottled lemon juice for canning.
Ingredients for canning tomatillos. See details in recipe below.Pin
Ingredients for canning tomatillos.

How to make it

Step One

Remove papery husk from tomatillos.

Whole tomatillos on board.Pin
Remove husks.

Step Two

Peel husk toward the stem end. Grab with your fingers and twist the husk off. Wash well under warm water. That will dissolve the sticky residue better than cold water.

Grabbing husk between fingers to remove.Pin
Gather husk between your fingers and pull to the stem end. Twist off.

Step Three

Remove core. Leave tomatillos whole.

Cored tomatillos on board.Pin
Remove core. Chop tomatillos.

Step Four

Place them in a large stock pot. Add water. Cover with lid.

Fresh tomatillos in pot with water.Pin
Place tomatillos in a large pot.

Step Five

Steam until they change color and turn yellowish. Don’t get them too soft.

Cooked fruit in pot.Pin
Steam until they change color.

Step Six

Add lemon juice or lime juice to hot jars.

Ladle fruit into jars leaving ½ inch headspace. Pour hot cooking liquid over the tomatillos, leaving the ½ inch headspace.

Fruit loaded into jars.Pin
Load into jars. Remove air bubbles.

Step Seven. Remove air bubbles with bubble tool or plastic or wooden chopsticks.

Step Eight. Wipe rim with damp paper towel or damp cloth.

Step Nine. Center lids on jars. Screw on bands fingertip tight.

Step Ten– Add jars to hot water bath canning pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and low boil for 10 minutes.

Step Eleven– Remove from heat. Let jars cool in the canning pot for 5-10 minutes. Remove from canning pot with jar lifter. Place on counter on a kitchen towel. Leave undisturbed for 12-24 hours.

Step Twelve– Test lids. Lids should not flex up or down when pressed in center. If they do, they are not properly sealed and should be reprocessed with a new lid or refrigerated and used first.

Three quart jars of tomatillos.

Pro tips for your success

  • Don’t overcook the fruit, like I did here. It will fall apart. Just cook it until they change color. Five to ten minutes, depending on the size.
  • Make sure to process for proper time for your altitude.
  • Allow jars to rest in the hot water for 5-10 minutes after processing.
  • If you would like to roast the tomatillos first, you can. Many recipes call for roasted tomatillos. Place tomatillos on a rack placed over roasting pans. Broil or roast on high heat, turning often, until the skin blisters and the fruit turns yellowish green. Then process as normal.

New to canning? Start with our comprehensive article on “How to Can Everything“. It will walk you through all of the dos and don’ts related to canning.

How to use canned whole tomatillos

Use tomatillos in all of your favorite Mexican dishes for a different twist on taco Tuesday.

  • Salsa Verde / Tomatillo Salsa
  • Pozole
  • Tacos, burritos, quesadillas and fajitas
  • Use them for a tomatillo shakshuka or chilaquiles instead of red sauce
  • Green Enchiladas
  • Use them for a spicy green shrimp with tomatillo salsa
  • Make green chili, especially with chicken or pork, instead of red tomato chili

Helpful tools

Canning tomatillos is an easy job and will pay dividends throughout the year when stored in your pantry. The flavor is so much better than store bought!

Jars of tomatillos with fresh tomatillo on top.Pin
Canned Tomatillos

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

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Close up of jars of tomatillos.Pin

Canning Tomatillos | How to Can Tomatillos

Canning Tomatillos is an easy job that will use up a lot of your crop in one easy task. They have so many uses all year long.
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
4.67 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: canning, pantry item
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
processing time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 quarts
Calories: 277kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $10


  • 7.6 pounds tomatillos
  • 2 tablespoons Bottled Lemon Juice
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt or sea salt optional


  • Start water bath canner heating. It can take up to 40 minutes to boil.
  • Remove paper shell from tomatillos.
    7.6 pounds tomatillos
  • Wash well in warm water to remove the waxy coating. Remove core.
  • Place fruit in large saucepan. Barely cover with water. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes until tomatillos soften and turn yellowish green.
  • Add lemon juice or citric acid to jars. Load the fruit with the aid of your canning funnel, into hot quart or pint jars with a slotted spoon.
    2 tablespoons Bottled Lemon Juice
  • Cover with the cooking water with a ladle leaving ½ inch headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles with tool or plastic or wooden chopstick.
  • Clean rims of jars with a damp cloth or paper towel.
  • Center lids on jar. Screw on bands fingertip tight.
  • Load mason jars into boiling water canner. Bring to boil.
  • Wait until water boils and start a timer for 45 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
  • When timer is up, remove from heat. Allow jars to rest in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove jars and allow to thoroughly cool. Check lids after about 12 hours. If any lids flex up or down, the jar isn't sealed and should be refrigerated.
See all of my favorite tools and gift ideas on my New Amazon Store!Check out Binky’s Amazon Store!


Altitude Adjustment
Information from National Center for Home Food Preservation.
For Pints
0-1000 feet above sea level  40 minutes
1000-3000 ft.                          45 minutes
3000-6000 ft.                         50 minutes
above 6000 ft.                          55 minutes
For Quarts
0-1000 feet above sea level  45 minutes
1000-3000 ft.                          50 minutes
3000-6000 ft.                          55 minutes
above 6000 ft.                          60 minutes


Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 2317mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 983IU | Vitamin C: 104mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 5mg
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Originally published September 6 2022.

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  1. 3 stars
    It would be great to inform the reader who wishes to roast the tomatillos just where the liquid then comes from. . . I’m assuming I will ladle the roasted tomatillos into the jars and then cover with boiling water.

    Your recipe is in good company. NONE of the instructions I have found online cover this particular aspect, nor do they give any guidance at all about how to know when they’re “roasted enough.”

    1. This recipe specifically covers canning tomatillos. If you want to roast them first, you can use boiling water to cover them. Or can a salsa or sauce.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never canned tomatillos myself but this makes it look so simple. Can’t wait to try this method, thanks for all the tips!

  3. 5 stars
    What a great recipe – thank you for these detailed directions! I love the flavor of tomatillos in salsa and sauces, and had no idea you could can them!

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