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Wondering what to do with green tomatoes? Make green tomato salsa, of course! They blend into a zesty dip that tastes just like salsa verde.

Green tomato salsa
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Got a garden full of green tomatoes? We’re here to help! Because, get this: the only tomatoes we got this year were green ones. Yep, without going into scientific detail, let’s just say it wasn’t a great year for tomatoes. But! Now we have a whole bush of green tomatoes. There are so many ways to use green tomatoes: like this electric green fancy toast, or green tomato pickles (so good!).

But our new favorite way to use green tomatoes? Salsa. This green tomato salsa that tastes just like salsa verde. Salsa verde is made with tomatillos, but using green tomatoes works just as well: or better! Here’s how to do it.

Green tomatoes

What green tomatoes to use?

Before we start, it’s important to clarify exactly what type of green tomato to use. Can you use any tomato that is green in color? Actually, no. This recipe is for unripe red tomatoes that are the color green. The confusing part is there are actually varieties of tomatoes that are bred to be green when ripe! The green zebra tomato is a good example of a green-when-ripe tomato. We used this variety of tomato in our Mozzarella Tomato Basil Salad to bring in a lovely contrasting color. In this case, the green tomato tastes juicy and sweet, just like a red tomato.

This green tomato salsa recipe should only be made with red tomatoes that haven’t yet ripened, leaving them green and hard. Why? They have tart, zingy flavor that absolutely makes this salsa. Green-when-ripe tomatoes are absolutely as delicious in their own right: just different.

Green tomato salsa

How to make green tomato salsa

Making green tomato salsa is very similar to making a salsa verde, like our roasted tomatillo salsa. All you need to do is broil the veggies, then pop them into the blender with the other ingredients. Here are the basic steps for making green tomato salsa (scroll down for the full recipe).

Step 1: Broil the vegetables.

Place the green tomatoes on a baking sheet with a quartered white onion, halved jalapeño peppers, and peeled garlic cloves. Broil on high for about 5 minutes per side until tender and browned.

Green tomatoes and onion on baking sheet

Step 2: Blend!

Add the roasted vegetables to a food processor or blender (but start with half the jalapeño). Add cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Pulse until the desired texture forms.

Food processor with green tomato salsa

Step 3: Taste!

Taste and adjust flavors as needed. If you like it very spicy, add the other half of the jalapeño or some of the seeds. You may want to refrigerate until serving since the salsa will be warm from the roasting; or leave it at room temperature until serving.

Green tomato salsa

How to serve green tomato salsa

So, once you’ve got that green tomato salsa: what to do with it? We can think of lots of ideas!

This green tomato salsa recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and vegan.

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Green tomato salsa

Green Tomato Salsa

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5 from 18 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Wondering what to do with green tomatoes? Make green tomato salsa, of course! They blend into a zesty dip that tastes just like salsa verde.


  • 8 ounces green tomatoes (about 5 small)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (without seeds)
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 medium white onion
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice


  1. Peel the garlic. Peel and quarter the onion. Remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño (save the seeds for a hot salsa). If tomatoes are large, quarter them; otherwise leave them whole. (Ours were small so we left them whole.)
  2. Place the green tomatoes, garlic, onion, and jalapeño on a baking sheet. Broil on high for 4 to 5 minutes until just beginning to blacken. Flip and rotate the veggies and broil another 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer everything to a food processor or blender, except use only ½ of the jalapeño. Add the cilantro, kosher salt, and lime juice. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Taste, and if you’d like it hotter add the other ½ of the jalapeño and/or some seeds. You may want to refrigerate until serving since the salsa will be warm from the roasting; or leave it at room temperature until serving. Stores up to 1 week refrigerated.
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Broiled
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Looking for more salsa recipes?

Outside of this green tomato salsa recipe, here are a few of our favorite salsa recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Elizabeth says:

    Love your recipes!
    Wondering if you can use this recipe and store it long term by using canning method?
    Thanks! 😊

  2. Kristin says:

    Can I can or freeze this? If so, which is better?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      You can freeze this salsa, but the texture becomes broken down and watery. We recommend eating it fresh!

  3. Brenda Jones says:

    Can this salsa be canned

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Probably but we don’t have experience!

  4. Rossana Merritt says:

    I used some green San Marzano tomatoes from my garden to make this salsa. I added 1/2 extra teaspoon of salt and some Peruvian spicy peppers ( that’s all I had in my fridge). This salsa is so yummy! Thank you for a great way of using green tomatoes :)

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You’re welcome!

  5. Jasper says:

    Was super good, thank you! Used a couple green chilis to roast as we didn’t have jalapenos growing.

  6. Nancy Bull says:

    Can I can this?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Yes, but we don’t have the experience to give you timing. Sorry!

  7. Carolyn Moorman says:

    I’m making this recipe for the 2nd time. The first time I followed the recipe completely. The salsa was fabulous! This time I’m adding a few regular cherry tomatoes because they need to be eaten. I left a few seeds in my pepper to ramp up the fire! Still fabulous! Thank you for your content!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Thank you!

  8. sally webb says:

    Frost threatened over the weekend, and my husband came in with half a bucket of green tomatoes, all sizes. Not wanting to be wasteful, a quick search came up with this awesome green tomato salsa recipe, and it is a hit! So fresh and tasty! Will never again wonder what to do with end-of-the-garden bounty. Thank you!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad to hear that!

  9. Wayne Grinnell says:

    The green tomato salsa is quite good, with my adaptations. Serrano chiles (We stopped using jalapeño long ago, as even the home-grown ones have been bred not to have heat) chopped, with ribs and seeds, in quantity of half (at least) of the tomatoes. I use garlic from a jar, or even powdered. Lime juice a great call, as it is superior to lemon (Try Nellie’s Key Lime!) I add a very small amount of olive oil and vinegar, and black pepper, and very little salt. Best chips with good salsa are El Indio, made here. salty commercial chips do not work; make your own, to taste, with plenty of corn flavor, and low salt.
    We grow our own Serranos and Jalapeños, tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and I consume about a quart of pico de gallo/salsa per week, and around 100 pounds of chile annually (Spell ” chile head”)
    BUT, with regard to heat – The heat from the chiles derives from the ribs; the seeds do not contribute at all materially. Please refer to the Chile Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University, THE leading info base in the world. (Just down the mountain from me, in Las Cruces, NM. The Hatch and Mesilla Valleys, the best chiles in the world!
    Original spelling of “chile” was “chilli” (Nahuatl language); Spanish apparently changed to “chile”, which all are called now. “Chili” is that bean stuff they make in Texas and some other places.
    The correct term for a popular food is “chiles relent”, as the noun “chile” can be plural, but an adjective, “relleno” does not.
    Just as the trees are “Palos Verde”.
    Great basic recipe, and very easy. I suggest everyone own a Pampered Chef chopper, in case of power loss, although a person skilled with knives has all they needThanks; this was fun.

  10. Pam Mitchell says:

    We just made this with a pound plus of green cherry tomatoes. Since we were out of lime juice, used pickle juice instead! Turned out deelish. May add more garlic next time! Oh, we also used a red instead of white onion, and it’s a bit strong. But still – great recipe!

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