You might find yourself inundated with ready-to-use, ripe tomatillos. This could be from planting more tomatillos than you could use, or finding them on special at your local store or market.
While you can use tomatillos in a variety of different recipes, you can only use so much before the whole batch starts to go off. Instead of letting the tomatillos go to waste and trying to use them up quickly, you may be wondering if they freeze like other fruits.
Can you freeze tomatillos? Yes, you can freeze tomatillos whole, sliced, or in a puree for up to 6 months. Choose mature, ripe tomatillos, and when freezing whole or cut tomatillos, pre-freeze them. Pureed tomatillos can simply be placed in a freezer-safe container after preparation, and will be good for use in soups or sauces.
Freezing tomatillos is fairly easy, and by freezing them, you will be able to keep them fresher for longer, extending their shelf life, and keeping some on hand (or in the freezer) for whenever you might need some to cook with.
Knowing how to freeze tomatillos properly to use later on will help you make the most of your crop or your bulk purchase, allowing you to enjoy the tangy green fruit at a later stage.
That’s why where this article comes in. We’ll walk you through freezing tomatillos, how to choose the best to freeze and use them after they’ve been frozen, and go over other questions you may have about this under-rated food.
How To Freeze Tomatillos
Once you have used up as many fresh tomatillos as you can and need to freeze the rest to prolong their shelf life, you need to know how to freeze them correctly to ensure they keep their fresh taste and great quality once thawed.
Here is the best way to freeze tomatillos to ensure that they are kept in the best condition possible:
- Remove the husk – Before freezing, you will need to remove the papery husks from the tomatillos. Discard these husks and then discard any tomatillos that are yellowed, brown, discolored, split, or past their prime. Make sure to thoroughly wash away any dirt or grime from the tomatillos, and to wash away any stickiness left on the peels.
- Leave to dry – Once you have washed the tomatillos well, you need to leave them to dry. They cannot be placed in the freezer when wet, so allow them enough time to sit out and dry, or pat them down with a towel to help them dry a bit quicker.
- Place down parchment paper – Place down some parchment paper onto a baking sheet that has a rim. Place the dry tomatillos down onto the baking sheet and spread them out so they are not stacked on top of each other. If you have quite a large batch of tomatillos to freeze, you might have to do this a few times or use a few baking trays.
- Place in the freezer – Once the tomatillos are spread well on the baking sheet, you can place the baking sheet into the freezer. Make sure it is even and not tilted, as this would cause the tomatillos to run down to one side.
- Leave for a few hours – Leave the baking sheet with the tomatillos in the freezer for a few hours until they are frozen. Remove them from the freezer
- Place into freezer bags – Once the tomatillos are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and place them into a sealable freezer bag. You can place them all into one large bag, or into smaller bags for single servings.
- Label and date – Label and date each freezer bag to indicate when you placed the tomatillos into the freezer, and to know when to use them by.
Freezing the tomatillos on a baking sheet first allows them to freeze separately so that when they are placed in a freezer bag and frozen, they do not freeze together as one big clump.
This makes thawing the tomatillos easier, and it allows you to grab a bunch of tomatillos from the plastic bag to use without having to defrost the whole batch.
Freezing the tomatillos this way will ensure they keep their quality for a longer period in the freezer, and that they are easy to remove, thaw, and use when the time comes to use them!
Do You Have To Freeze Tomatillos Whole?
You do not only have to freeze tomatillos whole. You can also choose to puree them or slice them before freezing.
To freeze pureed tomatillos, you will obviously need to wash and prepare them first, and then place them into a food processor to blend into a puree.
Once you have done this, you can then pour the puree into a sealable plastic freezer bag or an airtight freezer-safe container. Do not fill to the top as the puree might expand when frozen. Freezing tomatillo puree is a good idea if you are planning on using the tomatillos in a sauce later on.
You can also freeze sliced tomatillos. Doing this is very similar to how you would freeze them whole:
- You would need to remove the husk and clean the tomatillos well and leave them to dry.
- Then go ahead and slice the tomatillos to the thickness you desire and lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Leave these in the freezer for a few hours until frozen and then place them into one large freezer bag or into smaller serving freezer bags.
- Date and label the freezer bags.
How Long Can You Freeze Tomatillos For?
If stored, handled, and frozen properly, tomatillos can keep their great quality for up to 6 months in the freezer. They will still be fine to use after this time, but the quality will begin to decrease and they will not be as enjoyable when thawed and used.
How To Use Frozen Tomatillos
You can use frozen tomatillos much the same as you would use fresh ones.
If you are adding the frozen tomatillos to salsa or a salad of sorts, you would need to thaw them first. To do this, leave the tomatillos in the fridge overnight or for a few hours until they have thawed.
This allows the tomatillos to thaw without being exposed to higher temperatures that might be conducive to bacterial growth.
There is the option to leave the tomatillos out at room temperature to thaw, and this should be fine as long as you do not leave the tomatillos out for too long.
If you are adding the frozen tomatillos to soups or hot dishes, you will not need to thaw them beforehand. You can simply pop them into the dish as is, and cook them until they are not frozen and have warmed up.
For tomatillo puree, you can leave it in the fridge overnight to thaw. This will keep it at a cool temperature and protect it from spoiling by not reaching higher temperatures.
Freezing The Right Tomatillos
Tomatillo fruits ripe differently to tomatoes, and actually form part of the gooseberry family. You cannot use a change of color to determine whether the tomatillo is mature or not. Most tomatillos remain green when they are ripe, so it is not a trustworthy method.
Look for other signs of ripeness, such as the tomatillo filling the paper husk entirely, or with the hull bursting open itself. These are both good signs that the tomatillo is ripe. If the husk is a brown color and the fruit has filled it up, it is mature.
These mature or ripe tomatillos are best to freeze, and you should avoid freezing tomatillos that have not reached maturity yet. If the tomatillos you want to freeze have not reached maturity, wait until they have before freezing them.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this how-to guide on freezing tomatillos. We’ve also included some more common questions related to freezing tomatillos, just so we don’t leave you hanging.
What can I do with frozen tomatillos?
There are a few options on what you can do with frozen tomatillos.
You can puree them up to make a sauce, or even freeze them as a puree. You can add the tomatillos to salsa or salad, or you can throw in sliced up or whole tomatillos into a stew, sauce, or soup.
Using frozen tomatillos in a sauce, stew, or soup is a good option, as it does not matter if they are mushy after freezing, as they will cook up and become soft in the dish anyways.
Can you freeze roasted tomatillos?
Yes, you can freeze roasted tomatillos. Cook the tomatillos until it looks like they have popped, and place them into a plastic freezer bag when they have cooled down. Label and date the freezer bag and place it into the freezer.
Can you eat tomatillos raw?
You can eat tomatillos raw, but they will have an acidic, sharp taste that is not always so palatable.
To remove the harsh taste, cooking the tomatillos mellows it down and brings out the sweeter side of the tomatillos. However, raw tomatillos can be used to add acidity to salad and salsas.
Freezing Tomatillos Review
Freezing tomatillos is a great way to ensure that your fresh batch does no go to waste. You need to wait until the tomatillos are ripe, and then wash and prepare them for freezing.
You can choose to puree the tomatillos before freezing, slice them, or leave them whole. If you have quite a lot of tomatillos to freeze, you could slice, puree, and leave them whole so you have a variety to use for different dishes and meals.
Freeze your tomatillos to ensure that their quality and freshness lasts for longer!