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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

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

  • 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

Keywords: Green tomato salsa, What to do with Green tomatoes, Green tomato recipe

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

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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  1. Made this recipe 10-25-2020 with left over green tomatoes from our yard.
    Try this recipe. You won’t be disappointed!!!

  2. I love tomatillos but they are not available in France so tried this recipe because we had a rough growing season so lot’s of green tomatoes. I set it out as an hors d’œuvre and it was gone in 10 minutes…really good!

  3. I just wanted to thank you for sharing you recipe, my after school students ( K-5th grade) loved the green tomato salsa. We harvested all the peppers and tomatoes from our school garden and made your salsa. Big hit.
    Thanks again.
    Mrs. Kirkpatrick

  4. Great way to use some of those green tomatoes that had to be harvested before the first freeze. Really good – thanks!

  5. Just made the Salsa it’s so good, never thought it would be that tasty. It’s my first time using green Tomatoes and won’t be the last.

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