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Ground Cherry Salsa Recipe

One of my favorite summer time treats are Ground Cherries! We’ve been growing them in our garden for the past several years and they are so delicious. And our favorite way to enjoy them in is in this Ground Cherry Salsa Recipe!

Members of the nightshade family, Ground Cherries (Physalis pruinosa), also commonly referred to as husk cherries or husk tomatoes, are small pale orange/yellow fruits wrapped in a crinkly, paper husk similar to tomatillos.

And they are featured in one of my favorite slow foods resources Ark of Taste, we grow the heritage variety in our garden; Aunt Mollys Ground Cherries.

Their flavor is mild, yet quite sweet, most commonly referred to as a cross between a tomato and a pineapple. They are often confused with the cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana).

Growing ground cherries at home is very easy. We grow the Heirloom Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherries with great success here in Pennsylvania. They are easy to grow, prefer full sun and consistent soil moisture. The pant produces heavily each year for both us and our chickens.

We start our seeds indoors and transfer the plants outside on the same schedule as our homegrown tomatoes. These strawberry tomato plants produce an abundant harvest to ground cherries to harvest. .

Ground Cherries are ready to harvest when their husk turns from soft/green to brown/papery, fall to the ground. Just remove the husks and enjoy!

Just one plant will yield you enough ground cherries to nibble on throughout the summer. This year we have 3 plants and feel *slightly* overwhelmed – but in a good way.

I’ve heard that some people experience flea beetles in their plants, however in 5 years of growing ground cherry plants we’ve had no pest infestations at all.

They abundant harvest as given us plenty of ground cherries to not only snack on but plenty to use as husked fruits in creative and delicious recipes, like this crazy good Ground Cherry Salsa!

Yesterday I got up early and harvested nearly a gallon bucket of ground cherries then quickly got to work removing their papery husk in preparation for a full day of recipe development and photography in ground cherry recipes, like this one.

If you find some ground cherries at your local farmers’ market (or plant to grow them in your own garden next year) this is definitely the BEST recipe to use them in.

They also make a delicous ground cherry pie and using lime or lemon juice always enhances their flavor.

I promise you’ll LOVE them!!

And don’t worry! You can still enjoy chips with your Ground Cherry Salsa if you are grain-free and/or Paleo with THESE delicious tortilla chips.

There’s only one problem with this delicious salsa, you won’t be able to stop eating it until it’s all gone!

When Ray came home from work, he quickly ate the entire bag of chips and bowl of salsa!!

Admittedly, I was bummed. I mean really. I used great restraint all day and I didn’t even get any to snack on! But don’t worry, I’m making myself a second batch today just for me!

One last tip, you can also FERMENT ground cherry salsa by adding 1 tablespoon of whey, loosely covering it and storing it at room temperature for 24 hours. Then chill completely before serving.

Here’s a few other Ground Cherry Recipes you may enjoy:

Yours in Health,

Hayley Ryczek

Ground Cherry Salsa

Ground Cherry Salsa

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Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 cup Ground Cherries outter husk removed
  • 1/2 cup Red onion
  • 1/3 cup roasted tomatoes *see note
  • 1 medium lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped jalapeño seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt


  • Combine all ingredients in your food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Chill prior to serving for flavors to combine. Will keep for about a week in the fridge.


*To roast tomatoes, remove core, cut in half and de-seed. Place cut side down on a baking sheet with sides and broil for roughly 5-10 minutes or until the skins blacken slightly.  Allow to cool, then remove skins. Use the tomato meat for the 1/3 cup roasted tomatoes in this recipe. Store extra roasted tomatoes in the freezer to use later.
Tried this recipe?Mention @hayley_inthekitchen or tag #hayley_inthekitchen!

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    1. 5 stars
      I followed your recipe to a “T” The salsa is a nice condiment to have with roasted duck. My guests loved it!!! I now have to make more with the remaining ground cherries and hope I don’t run out until next year!

    1. I haven’t tested the recipe but generally speaking you can’t go wrong with 10psi for 40 minutes for a pint!

    2. 4 stars
      I made this recipe except I cut everything up put it in a big pot and cooked it. After it softened I took a hand blender and blended it all. I turned out amazing. Highly recommend.

    1. You are always welcome to modify a recipe to suit your taste, I do not feel garlic is needed, hence why I didn’t add it.

  1. 5 stars
    I used this recipe as a rough guide so I can’t speak to its exact measurements, but oh my god, this was amazing!!! I never thought of putting husk cherries in a fresh salsa even tho I make hot sauce with them. Thank you for this inspiration!! It is going to be one I make again and again

  2. 5 stars
    my hubby can be a little averse to new and strange ideas, so in order to ease him into the new taste, i used almost twice as much of the tomatoes. we both loved it! thanks.

  3. Hi Hayley,

    Just found this recipe as I sat here wondering to do with all these wonderful ground cherries I grew this year, same type as you have.

    This salsa looks perfect, thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

    Would also love to ferment the salsa, but without whey. Do you think that is possible? If so, do you think I could just use brine from a previous ferment?

    I already have a request for the chocolate covered cherries too! Can’t wait to try this. 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing! I got the tip to it (and your blog) from a woman selling at our local farmer’s market. Thank you!

  5. Haley, this looks amazing! I have never heard of ground cherries, and I don’t know if I can find these in South Louisiana unless a place like Whole Foods has them, and I’m not sure if they would grow well here with our oppressive heat and humidity here. Is there a substitute for them? I love salsa.

    1. There are varieties that grow in South America – So you could totally grow them in Louisiana! There really isn’t a substitute since their flavor is so unique!

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