Ashley Adamant at Practical Self Reliance has compiled a list of 50+ Green Tomato Recipes with links. A few years ago we had few of our tomatoes ripen. I don’t remember if we planted late or had an early frost, but we were left with plants full of green tomatoes. We ended up canning many different green tomato products like the mentioned green tomato mincemeat, green tomato salsa, green tomato chutney, and more. We also met green tomato spice cake for the first time, which was a delicious surprise. We use a nearly identical recipe to the Paula Deen recipe below, but with a cream cheese frosting (like for carrot cake) instead of the brown butter icing. So don’t despair if you find yourself with a surfeit of green tomatoes.
Green tomato recipes are an old fashioned tradition meant to ensure every last bit of the harvest is put to good use. Don’t let those underripe tomatoes go to waste, there are so many creative ways to use green tomatoes (besides the ever-popular fried green tomatoes).
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Every year my tomato plants set fruit well into the fall months…only to be killed by early frosts in our short 100 day Vermont growing season. We’ll top the plants with spare bedsheets to protect them from light frosts, but when temps well below freezing those tomato plants are done for.
With a killing frost on the way, it’s time to strip the plants bare before nightfall. That often means buckets, baskets, and totes filled to the brim with green tomatoes.
With patience and good airflow, many of those underripe beauties will still ripen on the counter over the next few weeks. Many though, will spoil in buckets long before they ripen.
This isn’t exactly a new problem, and resourceful gardeners have been cooking up green tomato recipes for generations.
Green Tomato Canning Recipes
Since green tomato harvests usually come by the bucketful in the fall, it’s no surprise that there are literally dozens of ways to preserve green tomatoes. You can’t fry them all, but it’s easy enough to preserve green tomatoes with enough creative green tomato canning recipes.
Green tomatoes are actually more acidic than fully ripe tomatoes, and their texture holds up better to prolonged cooking. Add in a flavor that works equally well in savory and sweet recipes, and you’ve got the perfect vegetable for everything from pickles to pie filling. (Yes, really…home canned green tomato pie filling…)
There are so many green tomato canning recipes, I’ve separated them into savory and sweet.
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Savory Green Tomato Canning Recipes
Green tomatoes maintain their crunch better than cucumbers for pickling, but they also make excellent salsa, ketchup, and chutney.
All of these recipes are perfect for water bath canning, but they also make great refrigerator or freezer preserves as well (no canner required).
- Green Tomato Ketchup ~ Kentucky Living
- Green Tomato Salsa Verde ~ Grow, Forage, Cook, Ferment
- Green Tomato Enchilada Sauce ~ Milhorn Farmstead
- Green Tomato Picadilli ~ Southern Kitchen
- Canning Green Tomato Picadilli ~ National Center for Food Preservation
- Green Tomato Chow Chow Relish ~ Attainable Sustainable
- Canning Green Tomato Slices ~ A Farm Girl in the Making
- Fall Garden Relish ~ National Center for Food Preservation
- Rummage Relish (Kitchen Sink Relish) ~ National Center for Food Preservation
- Green Tomato Relish ~ Taste of Home
- Pickled Green Tomato Relish ~ National Center for Food Preservation
- Spicy Green Tomato Relish ~ Life’s Ambrosia
- Pickled Green Tomatoes ~ The Rustic Elk
- Pickled Stuffed Green Tomatoes ~ Natasha’s Kitchen
- Romanian Style Green Tomato Pickles ~ Where is my Spoon
- Green Tomato Apple Chutney ~ David Lebowitz
- Green Tomato, Apple & Pepper Chutney ~ Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Green Tomato Chutney ~ Lovely Greens
Sweet Green Tomato Canning Recipes
I know, it sounds strange, but green tomatoes are actually amazing in sweet preserves. I was really skeptical, but I absolutely loved old fashioned green tomato jam.
Don’t knock it until you try it…(continues)
Here’s the Green Tomato Cake recipe that my family uses:
Green Tomato Cake
4 cups chopped green tomato
1 T salt
1/2 cup soft butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t ground clove
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
Mix the chopped tomato in a bowl with the 1 T salt and let stand for 10 minutes. Rinse and drain the tomatoes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour a 9×13 cake pan.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Add eggs and beat until creamy. Stir together flour, cinnamon, ginger, clove, baking soda, and 1/4 t salt. Add raisins and nuts, mix and then added the creamed mixture. Mix all together then add tomatoes and mix well. Pour mixture into greased baking pan.
Bake 40-45 minutes. Frost with cream cheese icing.