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.
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.
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.
What you need
- lemon juice – always use bottled lemon juice for canning.
How to make it
Remove papery husk from tomatillos.
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.
Remove core. Leave tomatillos whole.
Place them in a large stock pot. Add water. Cover with lid.
Steam until they change color and turn yellowish. Don’t get them too soft.
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
Pro- Tip: When canning, choose a reputable source for your recipe. The National Center for Home Food Preservation is one and the other is the USDA Complete Guide to Canning.
All of the recipes on this site are based on one or both of these trusted sources. We just do a more thorough job showing you how to do it, step by step.
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!
If you have any questions or comments, please ask in comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!
I hope you enjoyed the recipe today!
Enjoy. And have fun cooking!
Canning Tomatillos | How to Can Tomatillos
- 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.
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Originally published September 6 2022.