Tomatillo Grilled Chicken with Queso Fresco

  • Servings 4 Servings
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Tomatillo is native to Mexico and has been consumed in traditional Mexican cuisine, including indigenous cultures. A tomatillo is a small, green, spherical fruit that looks like a small tomato. In fact, tomatillo means “little tomato” in Spanish but tomatillos are not tomatoes. Its most common use is in the famous salsa verde, popular throughout Mexico.  Tomatillo sauce is slightly acidic and has a unique flavor; it’s combined with onion, garlic, cilantro, and green chiles such as jalapeño to give it the desired spicy touch.  Green sauce (salsa verde) is usually found next to other sauces, like red sauce (salsa roja), which generally contains tomatoes and red chilies; so people can choose their favorite sauce to top tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, etc. Other classic dishes made with tomatillo are green chilaquiles, green enchiladas, Swiss enchiladas, chicharrón in salsa verde, and many more.

In this Tomatillo Grilled Chicken recipe, we tell you how to make a classic Mexican salsa verde, which will be served with this delicious grilled chicken, Tropical Mexican Queso Fresco, and rice. These ingredients are never missing in any Mexican home and restaurant, so get ready for an authentic meal.

This recipe includes canned tomatillos, but if you get them fresh, boil them in water with the onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper.


Tomatillo Sauce:

  • 1 can of whole tomatillos (26 oz.), drained
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded
  • 1 small onion, in quarters
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil of your preference

Chicken Breasts:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup crumbled Tropical Queso Fresco Mexicano
  • 3 cups cooked rice pilaf


  1. For the tomatillo sauce, put the onion, garlic, and jalapeño in a pot with water and boil until soft.
  2. Then, place these ingredients in a blender or food processor and add the canned tomatillos, cilantro, and salt; puree until the mixture is smooth. For a more liquid consistency, add a little water from the boiled ingredients.
  3. Pour the mixture into a saucepan with oil and cook for a few minutes to thicken. 
  4. For the chicken, preheat the grill to medium-high. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with cumin and salt. Cook the breasts for about 10 minutes, turning once.
  5. To serve, place one breast on the plate; add tomatillo sauce generously to the chicken and sprinkle with Queso Fresco. Serve with rice.

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