Red Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

Our tomatillos unfortunately succumbed to powdery mildew so it was time for us to just harvest what we had and process them. We ended up with 30lbs of tomatillos. Usually for me processing involves dehusking them, washing the sticky film off of them the best I can and sticking them in the freezer.

This time I wanted to do something different with them. We use them almost exclusively in green chili stew so I figured I’d make the base sauce minus the chicken broth to make it easier on us when we make it. Usually when I make green chili stew I just defrost the tomatillos and then run them through the food processor. Simple enough, but for this sauce I wanted something a bit different. With 30lbs I may have taken on too much in one afternoon, but I forged ahead and ended up with this amazing sauce that will improve my green chili stew recipe (I’ll post the recipe next week). Of course the recipe I’m giving you is cut down to be more manageable.

My tomatillos aren’t exactly green. I’ve got many yellow ones and just as many purple ones. With the roasting and the addition of chili powder and (mostly) red chilies, the sauce has more of an orange hue.

I chose extra hot peppers including Aleppo, Aci Sivri, and Fresnos. For me the heat is very mild in this sauce, but I like stuff HOT HOT HOT so if you’re sensitive to heat you can replace them with sweet bells or more mild peppers like poblano or Anaheim.

Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
Makes approximately 3 quarts
10lbs dehusked tomatillos
1lb yellow or white onions
1/3 cup garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 oz hot chilies
2 Tbs kosher salt
2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs cumin
Citric acid or additional lemon juice

1. Roast tomatillos on a heated grill until they are caramelized and softened – rotating as needed. After roasting, run them through a food processor until pureed and add to a kettle.
2. Roast chilies on the grill until the skins blister. Allow to cool and peel and remove stems. Run the chilies, garlic and onions through the food processor and then add to the tomatillo puree.
3. Add lemon juice, salt, chili powder and cumin to the kettle and mix in. Heat over medium high until it boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. In sterile quart jars add 1/2 tsp of citric acid or 2 Tbs of lemon juice (1/4 tsp of citric acid or 1 Tbs lemon juice in pint jars) and then add tomatillo sauce leaving a generous 1/2″ head space.
5. Process in a water bath for 40 minutes.

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  1. The sauce looks wonderful. I've always been kind of skeptical when it comes to Tomatillos but I will have to try out your recipe.

    I love reading your blog! It has become a daily thing for me. :)

  2. Can you tell me what they taste like. I've never seem them for sale and I don't want to plant before I try. Limited space you know.

  3. Hi Erin, If you have any Mexican markets up there they'll usually carry them. They are sweet and dry with some acidity. Maybe sweeter and drier but not as acidic as a green tomato.

  4. TheBig Red 67 says:

    Only thirty pounds!

    I put up 50 pounds of tomatoes yesterday. Into 20 quarts and 6 quarts of chili! hehehe Took forever.


  5. Ha ha, roasting 30lbs is what took so long! And them tomatillos suck to dehusk and clean because they have this sticky film that becomes slimy when wet and it just won't wash off your hands.

    We harvested 54lbs of tomatoes early in the week and then on the weekend another 30lbs. It took less time processing them (sauce, ketchup, bbq sauce, pizza sauce and juice) than it did the tomatillos.

  6. Thanks so much for the recipe! We used it tonight for the 9+ lbs of tomatillos we grew in a small planter box. :) Made 7 pints!

    Now I'm looking forward to some chili verde in the middle of winter…


  1. [...] I promised this recipe when I posted the Red Roasted Tomatillo Sauce recipe and I just kept forgetting to post it. Well, here it is [...]

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