Quick Pickled Green Tomatoes

The best way to preserve green tomatoes? As pickles! These pickled green tomatoes are the perfect condiment: tangy, salty, and 100% delicious.

Pickled green tomatoes

Got green tomatoes? We’ve got an idea. How about…making pickles? Alex and I came up short in the tomato department this season. We were left with a huge bush of green tomatoes, which made us brainstorm what to do with them. And this idea: well, let just say it was a favorite! It’s hard to describe just how next level these pickled green tomatoes are. They’re tangy, salty, a little sweet, and the absolute perfect condiment. If you’re a pickle lover like Alex and I are, you’ll adore these. Ready to make them?

Want more green tomato recipes? This Green Tomato Toast is quick and easy, and this Green Tomato Salsa tastes just like salsa verde.

What are quick pickles?

This green tomato recipe is for quick pickles! What’s a quick pickle? Quick pickles are any blend of vegetables that have been pickled in a mixture of vinegar, salt, sugar, and water, and are stored in the refrigerator. The great part about them? There’s no canning required! No special canning equipment is needed, which makes the entire process quick and simple.

How long do quick pickles last? These pickled green tomatoes last for 1 month in the refrigerator. They are not shelf stable like traditional canned pickles.

As a note, quick pickles can include vegetables that don’t even make it into a jar. You might make Quick Pickled Red Onions to go on a pizza or tacos. This Korean ramen recipe is served with quick pickled cucumbers. Even our cucumber salad with vinegar is essentially a quick pickles recipe that’s served as a side salad!

Green tomatoes

What green tomatoes to use?

Now, what do we mean when we say green tomatoes? Can you use any tomato that is green in color? Well, yes and no. This recipe is meant for unripe red tomatoes that are the color green. These are the ones that are left in your garden after the summer temperatures have cooled down.

However, 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. This type of tomato tastes juicy and sweet, just like a red tomato. You can grow these or find them at your local farmer’s market. You’ll see them featured in this Mozzarella Tomato Basil Salad to bring in a contrasting color.

This pickled green tomatoes recipe is intended for red tomatoes that haven’t yet ripened, leaving them green and hard. Why? They have tart, zingy flavor and a robust texture that makes for perfect pickles.

Pickled green tomatoes

How to make pickled green tomatoes

These pickled green tomatoes are very easy to make. They require only 15 to 20 minutes of hands on time, which is absolutely worth it for the flavor you’ll achieve. Here’s how to make them!

Step 1: Wash the jar.

Wash a wide-mouth 1-quart mason jar and and its lid in hot soapy water. Rinse and let it air dry. This step is important to make sure that there’s no bacteria in the jar.

Step 2: Slice the green tomatoes.

Slice those green tomatoes into wedges (here’s a video on How to Cut Tomatoes). Pack them tightly into the jar. If you’re using have very large tomatoes, you may want to slice them into smaller wedges. While you’re at it, peel those garlic cloves.

Step 3: Make the brine.

In a small saucepan, combine garlic, vinegar, water, dill, peppercorns, turmeric, sugar, and kosher salt. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Step 4: Pour in the brine and refrigerate 24 hours.

Once the sugar and salt are dissolved, pour the brine into the jar. Tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles, then screw on the lid tightly and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating.

Pickled green tomatoes

How to serve pickled green tomatoes

After we made these pickled green tomatoes and waited the 24 hours (so hard to wait!), Alex took the jar out of the refrigerator and handed it to me. I cautiously took one out and took a bite. YUM! I shouted. Yes, they were that good. Alex and I are huge pickle fanatics, so this pickle recipe was exactly what we needed to turn a garden full of green tomatoes into something extra special.

How to use pickled green tomatoes? Let us count the ways:

Pickled green tomatoes

This pickled green tomatoes recipe is…

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

Print
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Pickled green tomatoes

Quick Pickled Green Tomatoes


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (142 votes, average: 3.75 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x

Description

The best way to preserve green tomatoes? As pickles! These pickled green tomatoes are the perfect condiment: tangy, salty, and 100% delicious.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 cups green tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Wash a wide-mouth 1-quart mason jar and and its lid in hot soapy water, then rinse and let air dry.
  2. Slice the tomatoes into wedges and pack them tightly into the jar. (If you have very large tomatoes, you may want to slice them into smaller wedges.)
  3. Peel the garlic. In a small saucepan, combine the garlic, vinegar, water, dill, peppercorns, turmeric, sugar, and kosher salt. Bring to a low boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt.
  4. Once dissolved, pour the brine mixture into the jar, allowing the garlic to settle on top of the vegetables. Tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles. Discard any remaining brine, or top off the jar with extra water if any tomatoes are exposed at the top. Screw on the lid tightly and allow to cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before eating. If desired, discard the garlic after 24 hours. Keeps up to 1 month refrigerated.

  • Category: Essentials
  • Method: Pickling
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pickled green tomatoes, What to do with green tomatoes, Green tomato recipes

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

24 Comments

  • Reply
    Tom B
    July 27, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    I was doubtful that this recipe would be as good as I wanted. I’ve been trying to find good pickled green tomatoes recipe for years! Literally, over 10 years searching for the tangy sour pickles I loved as a child. Well, I FOUND IT HERE! I plan on sharing this recipe with all my brothers and sisters, and challenging them to beat the ease, and the flavor! To make sure I got all the air out, I vacuum sealed the jars, and when I ate them a day later, well the first jar just vanished! Thank you for the best recipe!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      July 27, 2020 at 8:36 pm

      So glad you loved them! Thanks for making it :)

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    August 12, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    If I wanted to make them shelf stable, how long would I need to boil for? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 12, 2020 at 5:23 pm

      15 minutes in boiling water.

  • Reply
    Jeanette Mitchell
    August 23, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Tom B. Is absolutely right! These.tomatoes are so delicious! I’ll never throw another green tomato away. I love these. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Looking forward to more deliciousness from your recipes.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      August 24, 2020 at 10:19 am

      So glad you love them!

  • Reply
    Betty Schiller
    September 12, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Ready to make these. I don’t like any sweetness. Can I leave out the sugar or won’t I even notice it?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 14, 2020 at 12:16 pm

      You won’t notice the sugar — it just adds a bit of balance.

  • Reply
    Sandra K
    September 16, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    I have a bunch of green cherry tomatoes (red and yellow varieties, if they ripened). Can I do this recipe with them? Any nuances to consider?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 17, 2020 at 9:47 am

      They will work! Just cut them in half.

  • Reply
    Gary
    September 16, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    Honestly, this is one of the best recipes I’ve followed. So delicious! I’ve made two batches so far and am about to make more. I’ve also fermented a batch (for 3 days) and even better. Thank you for the great recipe. G

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 17, 2020 at 9:47 am

      So glad you enjoyed! We’ll have to try the ferment.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    September 20, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    I was very disappointed with this recipe. I used the little green tomatoes I bought in the market. I followed the recipe exactly and they were too sour to eat. We threw them out ( I was brought up to never throw out food )

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 21, 2020 at 9:00 am

      I’m so sorry they didn’t work out for you!

  • Reply
    Ana
    September 22, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Dear Alex, could we substitute the white vinegar for any other vinegar? Like apple cider vinegar? Thank you!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      September 22, 2020 at 9:09 am

      Yes! It will probably make the color a bit more dull but it will work.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 23, 2020 at 5:12 am

    Many thanks! Will try :)

  • Reply
    Jon Kelley
    October 13, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    What would I used to make the “spicy” or “sweet & zesty”?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 14, 2020 at 10:14 am

      Just add a sliced jalapeno or serrano to the jar for spicy. I’m not sure about the exact mix for sweet, sorry!

      • Reply
        Jon Kelley
        October 14, 2020 at 9:54 pm

        Thank you Alex.

  • Reply
    kate h
    October 23, 2020 at 9:13 am

    I made these yesterday – I have never had pickled green tomatoes but wanted to use what I had on my plant before the upcoming freeze. OMG!!! So easy and delicious! I made a few small changes:

    1. Omitted the turmeric because I didn’t have any

    2. Added 1 serrano pepper to the jar – cut lengthwise and then into thirds. I did not remove the seeds and veins. This gave a nice spicy kick but was not overwhelming. (I didn’t boil it with the other ingredients, just put it in the jar with the tomatoes.)

    3. I don’t have regular sugar, so I subbed 4.5 packets of Sweetleaf Stevia to equal the 3 tablespoons of sugar.

    4. I used a generous sprig of fresh dill instead of dried since I have some in my garden.

    So thank you for this recipe!!! I went from thinking of just throwing my plant into the compost to wishing I had MORE green tomatoes! I will be adding more tomato plants next spring just to make a bunch of these fabulous pickled tomatoes!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 23, 2020 at 6:55 pm

      So glad to hear this! It definitely extends the life of a tomato plant into fall. Happy cooking!

      • Reply
        kate h
        October 23, 2020 at 8:25 pm

        Funny update: I posted on my local website asking for anyone with green tomatoes they didn’t want. I got a response from someone on the next street over…..I now have 20# of green tomatoes!!! I think I also made a new friend :)

        • Reply
          Alex Overhiser
          October 23, 2020 at 9:01 pm

          Ha!

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