Definition of tomatillo in US English:



  • 1A small edible fruit that is purplish or yellow when ripe, but is most often used when green for salsas and preserves.

    • ‘And what's traditional, tomatoes, tomatillos or neither?’
    • ‘Transfer the onion mixture to a blender, add the almonds, tomatillos, radish leaves, cilantro, parsley, and one cup of the fish stock, blend until smooth, about three minutes, and set aside.’
    • ‘The dishes prepared by Duncan and Gordon, included a scrummy squash and smoked garlic soup, fab pan-fried pork loin and an amazing tomatillo, chocolate and chilli salsa.’
    • ‘If we give them tomatillos, hot peppers, and cilantro, they can try to make a salsa.’
    • ‘Add the garlic, tomatillos, and water and blend until smooth and well combined, about two minutes.’
    • ‘The serious side of this new Midtown spot is represented by the green salsa, alive and kicking with tart tomatillo and hot green chile, with a twinge of cilantro snaking through.’
    • ‘Additionally, the pico de gallo - a fresh tomatillo, onion, tomato and jalapeño salsa - was zingy.’
    • ‘In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, tomatillos, jalapeno and garlic.’
    • ‘Wendy then served a complex dish involving flour tortillas, molé sauce, salsa, pickled tomatillos, serrano peppers, and a mixture of sauteéd chicken and onions.’
    • ‘Choose small, firm tomatillos and store them in an open container in the refrigerator.’
    • ‘Now salsas can be found worldwide, in varieties such as red chilli, guacamole, or green tomatillo, from mild, to tangy, to suicide five-alarm spicy.’
    • ‘Add the onion, garlic, jalapenos, and tomatillos and cook until the onion turns translucent.’
    • ‘The first course is a Mexican Baja lobster ceviche made with Patron 100 percent agave tequila, lobster, yellow grapefruit and tomatillos served with a Dos Equis or Negro Modelo beer.’
    • ‘Is it true that eggplants are in the same family as the tomato and the tomatillo?’
    • ‘Transfer to the bowl containing the tomatoes and tomatillos.’
    • ‘Supermarket produce departments have become exciting ethnic bazaars: Latino imports - yuca, boniato, tomatillos, jicama and mild to fiery chilies - are especially plentiful.’
    • ‘Add the onion and tomatillos and cook until the onion turns translucent.’
    • ‘She makes spinach dip with roasted tomatillos and cream, vegetable ratatouille for empanada stuffing and an olive-bread muffaletta with fennel salami, aged provolone and roasted veggie ragout.’
    • ‘To reduce the fat in guacamole, replace one-fourth of the avocado with an equal amount of puréed, canned or fresh tomatillos.’
    • ‘Initially, tomatillos look like little green paper lanterns.’
  • 2The Mexican plant, related to the cape gooseberry, that bears the tomatillo.

    Physalis philadelphica, family Solanaceae

    • ‘We raised several kinds of tomatoes, peppers, and squash, as well as beans, corn, tomatillos, watermelons, and an assortment of herbs and flowers, all in about 400 square feet.’
    • ‘The tomatillo fruits well in Queensland, Australia, and in S. Africa.’


Early 20th century: from Spanish, diminutive of tomate ‘tomato’.