substitute for tomatillos

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Mexican green tomatoes are also know as tomatillos. they are used in making tomato salads, spaghetti pastas, tacos, salsa dishes by people across the world. They are mainly added to salsa Verde to make it tasty. they have tarty flavor which is liked by many people across Mexico and other regions across the world. substitute for tomatillos are essential to use when you don’t have then or don’t like the flavor of them in general but want something similar to them.

They come in thin paper like green wrapping on them which need to be removed before cutting and using them. you can also make pickles out of them by adding white vinegar to the jar with salt and diced tomatillos if you like sour pickles then this would give good taste to you.

substitute for tomatillos

due to the unique taste that tomatillos carry it is hard to find exact match substitute for them with the same taste profile but the substitute for tomatillos shared below come pretty close to its taste which you can add to your dish.

tomatillo substitutes and alternatives

Green tomatoes

They serve as a good alternative for tomatillos. you can cook them and make tasty sauce, soup or salsa with green tomatoes. to get a flavor similar to tomatillos you can add 1-2 spoons of lemon juice in your recipe with green tomatoes as it will make taste of these tomatoes match to that of tomatillos.

green bell peppers

they can also be used to replace tomatillos as they taste is quite similar with the tomatillos but the amount of sweetness you get from these green peppers is less than what’s in tomatillos. both tomatillos and green peppers have vibrant green color for good looking dish. adding lime juice to your dish with enhance the flavor when you have green peppers in it instead of tomatillos.


To get sour and tarty flavor in your dish gooseberries seems to be one of the best option to replace tomatillos with it when you don’t have them. gooseberries are easy to find in your local grocery store and wont cost much or you can also grow them in your kitchen garden.

they are packed with lot of health benefits. the sour taste of gooseberries provide a different taste to your recipe that you may like which makes it worth a try one time to find out if this is your ideal tomatillo replacement or not. adding roasted green chilies to your dish with gooseberries will further match the taste profile with tomatillos thus making your food hot and tasty just like you would have with tomatillos.

green chilies

green chilies is also a good alternative to tomatillos to add in your recipes if you like something spicy and hot in your dish. many Mexican dishes uses green chilies like Mexican salsa Verde, tacos, tortillas etc. in place of tomatillos to make the dish hot as per your taste requirement. you can also add jalapenos and its substitutes with chilies to make your recipes even more tasty and hot.

salsa Verde

you can also use green salsa Verde to replace tomatillos s they are mild in taste and would give you good flavor similar to tomatillos. you can replace salsa Verde in equal amount as tomatillos in your dish. people like to have it with tacos, tortillas, hot dogs, chili recipes etc.

adding some veggies like onion, garlic, escarole, roasted green chilies will further enhance the tangy taste of your salsa.

red chilies

Red chilies can also be used instead of tomatillos when you don’t have tomatillos with you. salsa also taste good with red chilies. make sure you add them in right quantities to get the hotness as per your liking in the dish you are preparing. many people use them in making pasta, sauces, sips, pesto sauce, marinades etc.

pepper have sweet and spicy taste so use them to see if you like it in your food items.

cherry tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes which are small in size provides a good alternative for tomatillos. they come in green and red colors and both work great in your recipes to make them tasty in place of tomatillos. these small tomatoes have concentrated tomato flavor which taste good in soups, salsa, curries, stir fries, cheese salad etc. you can add lime juice with them to get tartness in your dish just like tomatillos.

Roasted green peppers

Roasted green peppers can also replace tomatillos up to certain extent. you can add gooseberries with it as it would help you get similar flavor to tomatillos which is tangy and hot. with the right spices, roasted chilies and gooseberries mixture you can make a good tasty dish for consumption.

Canned tomatillos

Canned tomatillos can also be used instead of fresh tomatillos. they come pre cooked so you don’t have to overcook the recipe when you add them in your dishes. canned tomatillos are sweet in taste so you can add in recipes to get sweet and spicy taste. they come in diced and mashed form, you can buy as per your dish requirement and your taste preferences.

Frequently asked questions

can i use green tomatoes instead of tomatillos?

green tomatoes comes with similar texture and taste profile with tomatillos so you can definitely use them in place of tomatillos in all kinds of recipes like salsa, soups, pizza, cheese salad bowls with swiss chards as leafy greens in it, sauces, dips etc. for great flavor in your recipes.


Hope you like my collection of tomatillos substitutes to make your recipes even when you don’t have tomatillos at hand its its out of season in the market. these are very good and healthy substitutes you can buy and use in dishes in place of tomatillos to make them delicious.

Let me know in comments below which one you like the best to make our dishes tasty. add some other spices and herbs with them to get good flavor in your dish. veggies like sliced onion, garlic, chilis, cabbage also go well with tomatillo and its substitutes in different dishes.

Share this with your friends and family who like tomatoes and tomatillos to help them make different food dishes in absence of tomatillos with these substitute for tomatillos.

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