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Fried Green Tomatillos

Fried green tomatillos are a southwestern twist on a classic southern dish, fried green tomatoes. Perfect as a side dish on their own, or add them to burgers and salads. Delicious!

Who loves fried green tomatoes? I know I do. I love them served with bacon ranch dip. They are great on burgers, with mozzarella sandwiched in between and in grilled cheese sandwiches. Today though, I am switching things up a bit and am sharing a southwestern twist on the southern classic with these Fried Green Tomatillos with Creamy Chipotle Dipping Sauce.

Fried Tomatillos on a white plate.

I don’t know why it never occurred to me to fry tomatillos before, but these Fried Green Tomatillos are so stinkin’ good, guys. They get the traditional batter treatment with flour, egg/milk wash and panko bread crumbs. Then they are fried until they are crispy and golden and dipped in a creamy, spicy, chipotle dipping sauce.

Ingredients you’ll need: 

This recipe is broken up into two separate recipes: the fried tomatillos and the creamy chipotle dip. 

Fried Green Tomatillo ingredients.
  • TOMATILLOS: Tomatillos are part of the nightshade family, like tomatoes. They are shaped similar but have a husk and are slightly more acidic and less sweet than their red counterparts. 
  • FLOUR: All purpose flour works great for this recipe. It gives the egg/milk something to stick to. 
  • EGG/MILK: This is sticks to the flour and will help bind the panko bread crumbs to the tomatillo. 
  • CUMIN/CHILI POWDER/SALT: To season the panko bread crumbs
  • OIL: I use something neutral (and less expensive) for deep frying. Canola, peanut or vegetable oil works great. 

Creamy Chipotle Dip Ingredients: 

Creamy Chipotle Dip Ingredients.
  • MAYONNAISE/SOUR CREAM: These are going to be the base of the creamy dip. The mayonnaise adds the creamy oil texture and the sour cream adds tang
  • DISTILLED VINEGAR: Also adds tang and cuts some of the richness from the mayo. 
  • CHIPOTLE POWDER: A little different than traditional chili powder, this has the smoky heat of smoky chipotle. 
  • SALT/GARLIC POWDER: to help round out the seasoning flavor. 

How to make Fried Tomatillos: 

Fried tomatillos are easy to make if you follow a couple of my tips, mainly you want to set up an assembly line so coating the tomatillos is easy. Follow along with these step by step photos and instructions to learn how to make them. 

  • STEP #1: Make the chipotle dip first. That way the flavors have a chance to meld while you’re frying the tomatillos. 
  • STEP #2: You’ll need three separate plates/bowls. Place flour in one bowl, whisk together egg/milk in another and in the third bowl combine the panko with chili powder and cumin. 
  • STEP #3: Season the tomatillos with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour, dip in egg and press into seasoned panko. 
  • STEP #4: Fry. 

Storage and Leftovers:

These are really best eaten the day they are made, ideally once they are cool enough to eat. Otherwise the tomatillos continue to release liquid and make the breading soft.

The creamy chipotle dip will last for several days in the refrigerator though. Try adding it to a burger or some fish tacos!

So as much as I love fried green tomatoes, when I can’t get my hands on the tomatoes, tomatillos are an excellent substitute. They are a little more tangy than their southern cousins, but fried green tomatillos are just as delicious.

Trust me.

Note: Post originally published in 2015. Updated with new photos, step by step photos and nutrition information in 2022.

Fried Tomatillos on a white plate.

Fried Green Tomatillos

Fried green tomatillos are a southwestern version of a classic southern dish, fried green tomatoes. Perfect as a side dish or a burger topping. Recipe here!
3.8 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Easy Appetizer Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 280 kcal

Ingredients
  

Fried Green Tomatillo Ingredients:

  • 3 - 4 medium tomatillos husks removed, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • oil for frying

Creamy Chipotle Dip Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 - 3/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions
 

  • Make creamy chipotle dip first by whisking all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Season the tomatillos lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Set up an assembly line: In one bowl place flour, in another bowl whisk together the egg and milk, in a third bowl combine panko, cumin, chile powder and salt.
  • Dredge a tomatillo in the flour, dip it in the egg mixture and then dredge in the panko. Repeat with remaining tomatillos until all are coated.
  • Heat a 1/4 inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Drop a few panko bread crumbs in and if they sizzle its hot enough. Fry tomatillos, in batches if needed, until crispy and golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle with salt. Serve immediately with creamy chipotle dip.

Notes

Avoid overcrowding the pan when frying the tomatillos. Cook in batches if needed. Overcrowding will result in less crispy fried tomatillos. 
Start with 1/4 teaspoon of the chipotle powder if you're concerned about the spiciness of the dip. 3/4 was a little on the spicy side. 
Nutrition information for estimation purposes only. 

Nutrition

Calories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 7gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 527mgPotassium: 219mgFiber: 2gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 412IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 79mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @lifesambrosia or tag #lifesambrosia!
Keywords: chipotle, Fried Green Tomatoes, tomatillos

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




  • Reply
    Cynthia Lender
    August 17, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    5 stars
    I made this recipe and it was actually my first tomatillo! I started working in the produce department of a grocery store a few weeks ago and had to ask “what is a tomatillo? We’ll, I bought some and looked on Pinterest and found this recipe and it sounded appealing. So I made it for my adult family and we all loved it and the dip too. And they are very flavorful looking
    Little fruits!

  • Reply
    npower portal
    October 2, 2019 at 9:56 am

    5 stars
    Its great as your other content :D, appreciate it for posting.

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    September 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm

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    August 29, 2019 at 2:02 pm

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  • Reply
    Seelye
    September 3, 2018 at 4:01 am

    These came out so well and the Chipotle sauce delish! Try them!Have a

    • Reply
      Deseree
      September 3, 2018 at 11:26 am

      So glad you enjoyed them Seelye!

  • Reply
    Alex @ DelishKnowledge
    August 6, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    OMG, you are a genius. I love fried green tomatoes and try to snag them at the market every summer. So far, no luck. Tomatillos are an awesome substitution! This sauce looks to die for, must try these soon.

  • Reply
    Gwen
    August 5, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Just look at those little guys!! And w bacon ranch dressing??? Perfect!

  • Reply
    Florian @ContentednessCooking
    August 5, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    They look delicious, perfect summer dish!

  • Reply
    Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze
    August 5, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I’m sorry about your garden! I bet next seasons garden will do much better. So I’ve never actually had fried green tomatoes, but by the looks of these, they sound delicious! I love tomatillo’s so I know I would just love these!! Pinned! :)

  • Reply
    Melissa Falk
    August 5, 2015 at 11:23 am

    Love the cumin and chipotle chili in this. The tomatillos are a nice swap for tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Kaitie Lawlor
    August 5, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I have never made these before but my goodness you had me sold at fried! :) this looks tasty and such a great recipe to add to a meal of appetizers, as a starter to a sit down dinner… So many options! :)

  • Reply
    Chrisy Toombs
    August 5, 2015 at 9:58 am

    The summer has taken out most of my garden, too. I don’t think I’ve ever had a tomatillos before – I’ll have to check them out for this recipe :D

  • Reply
    Debra C.
    August 5, 2015 at 9:01 am

    Totally love the idea of fried tomatillos, sounds so fun and I bet they are really tasty! Pinning for the future, definitely making this!

  • Reply
    Alisa Fleming
    August 5, 2015 at 6:59 am

    The first time I ever heard of fried green tomatoes was from the movie! I’ve still never tried them, but must, they look so amazing!

  • Reply
    Kristen (amindfullmom)
    August 5, 2015 at 5:28 am

    I have had horrible luck with my garden as well–no idea why!!! It is horrible. This dish–I am IN LOVE!!!! I have to get some tomatillos to make this asap. Pinned!

  • Reply
    Michelle Nahom
    August 5, 2015 at 4:48 am

    I’m sorry about your garden. My tomato plants are looking lousy but they are still giving me tomatoes at least. My basil is doing great though! Your fried tomatillos look amazing and I am so excited because I requested that one of the local farms bring tomatillos to the market this week…they don’t usually bring them to ours because they don’t sell well here.:( But they told me they would bring some for me…hurray! I love them! And now I have a new recipe to try!

  • Reply
    Sarah Rose
    August 5, 2015 at 1:32 am

    How sad about your garden! I admire people who garden because it takes so much patience and then mother nature doesn’t always agree with you. If it’s any consolation-those fried tomatillos looks out of this world delicious! Save me some please :)

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.