The best way to preserve green tomatoes? As pickles! These pickled green tomatoes are the perfect condiment: tangy, salty, and 100% delicious.
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!
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.
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.
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:
- Straight out of the jar. Duh!
- On toast. Make this Green Tomato Toast, but use pickled tomatoes instead.
- On burgers and dogs. Try our Best Veggie Burger Recipe.
- In a bowl meal. Try them with Go Green Bowls, Roasted Vegetable Bowls, Raw Falafel Buddha Bowls or Broccoli & Turmeric Rice Bowls. Or even Homemade Dolsot Bibimbap.
- In potato salad. Chop them up and put them in Classic Creamy Vegan Potato Salad.
- In salad dressing. Mince them for classic Thousand Island Dressing.
- On sandwiches. Chop them for the Russian Dressing in this Vegetarian Reuben Sandwich or Coleslaw & Swiss Melt Sandwich.
- Fold them into hummus. Chop them and stir into this Homemade Hummus Recipe.
This pickled green tomatoes recipe is…
Vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and vegan.Print
Quick Pickled Green Tomatoes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 1 quart 1x
The best way to preserve green tomatoes? As pickles! These pickled green tomatoes are the perfect condiment: tangy, salty, and 100% delicious.
- 4 cups green tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ tablespoon black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- Wash a wide-mouth 1-quart mason jar and and its lid in hot soapy water, then rinse and let air dry.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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
More preserving and pickle recipes
Looking for more pickle recipes? You’re in luck! We’re all about pickles over here. Here are our favorites:
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!
So glad you loved them! Thanks for making it :)
If I wanted to make them shelf stable, how long would I need to boil for? Thanks!
15 minutes in boiling water.
I live at about 5000 elevation. Would I still boil them for 15 minutes for shelf storage?
I don’t have experience with canning at elevation. Sorry!
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.
So glad you love them!
Ready to make these. I don’t like any sweetness. Can I leave out the sugar or won’t I even notice it?
You won’t notice the sugar — it just adds a bit of balance.
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?
They will work! Just cut them in half.
Can I can them so they will last. I have a canner.
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
So glad you enjoyed! We’ll have to try the ferment.
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 )
I’m so sorry they didn’t work out for you!
You are probably a sweet pickle person like me. You should look for recipes that are “bread and butter” pickles.
Dear Alex, could we substitute the white vinegar for any other vinegar? Like apple cider vinegar? Thank you!
Yes! It will probably make the color a bit more dull but it will work.
Many thanks! Will try :)
What would I used to make the “spicy” or “sweet & zesty”?
Just add a sliced jalapeno or serrano to the jar for spicy. I’m not sure about the exact mix for sweet, sorry!
Thank you Alex.
I will say I wondered what they would taste like they are amazing going to make more lots more….
Can I use a Kilner jar instead?
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!
So glad to hear this! It definitely extends the life of a tomato plant into fall. Happy cooking!
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 :)
Can I use the plastic Ball containers? I don’t have any mason jars.
Yes, that will work!
Hi! What would be the equivalent if I were to sub other spices with only pickling spices?
I’ve never used it, but I think a 1:1 total substitution would be fine.
Can I use a regular jar instead of a pickling jar?
These green tomato pickles are delicious! I had no idea they would be this good. So easy to make. I did wait 48 hours before opening, and WOW they tasted great.
ASo glad you enjoyed!
I made one batch. Wasn’t sure they’d be okay because I’m not really a cook. Brought a small jar to a friend’s house for an outdoor social distance get-together. I gave everyone fair warning because I hadn’t even tried them. They all said they loved them. I thought they were just being nice because, you know, “friends” and “desperate because nobody sees each other anymore.”
Then I gave a small jar to my daughter who actually IS a good cook and made quick pickles all the time before she moved to NYC. She said she tried them —- and then ate almost the whole jar “as a snack.”
So, before frost hit NJ, I got every last green tomato off my two plants. And have two big jars ready to eat. I have to say, my patio “garden” and making these pickles have been ione of the very few bright spots of this pandemic life. THANK YOU!
Haha! So glad you are loving the recipe :)
I used this recipe three times already. My children love them! We used it on the last of our tomatoes in our small garden. The third time I used the remainder of our cherry and grape tomatoes. I cut some of them in half and didn’t with smaller ones. Big mistake! The one’s that I didn’t cut in half turned out sour, even though they were in the same jar as the others. I took them out, cut them in half and put them back in..three days later they were fine. This is a great way to use those last green tomatoes in the garden. Thanks!
So glad you enjoyed them!
Hi Alex and Sonja, I grew up eating pickled green tomatoes from a Jar, very Jewish. I made these with what I thought was the end of my tomato crop a month or so ago and love, love, love them! Definitely going to put it on my homemade sourdough with feta, similar to your green tomato toast. Just cleaned up the garden and got another 20 or so green tomatoes so yay! More pickles. Such a good recipe, thank you so much.
So glad to hear this! Thanks for commenting :)
Hi! I am so excited to try this recipe out! Do you think I can substitute Agave/ honey/ maple syrup for sugar?
I think agave or honey or agave would work. Let us know if you try!
Made the fermented green tomatoes.
Wife didn’t care for them. I thought they were okay. I would rate them a 6 out of 10.qq
These don’t last more than a day or two in our house, huge hit!
I gave these a try because a few tomato branches fell during a storm and my doesn’t like fried green tomatoes. I remember something in the Little House books about green tomato pickles and the search led me here. I wasn’t sure but tried anyway. They’re amazing! I’ve even gotten requests from my husband’s work on buddies. Thank you!
I’m going to try and can them, since I have another huge batch of green. I see where someone says 15min bath but are the ingredients shelf stable as is?
Hi! You’d need to do the hot water bath if you want them to be shelf stable. We haven’t tested timing but I think 15 min would do it!
Can you store the pickled green tomatoes and not put in refrigerator
No, this preparation requires fridge storage for safety.
could this be done with slices? I was thinking they would be good on a burger?
Yes, that’s a great idea!
Easy to make recipe, I’ll follow up with my outcome and taste. Thanks.
Can I use fresh dill instead of dry?
Yes! Just a small handful.
Do you add the brine hot into the jar with the veggies or do you wait for it to cool.
What happens if I make the brine and then let it cool and
and then add it to the jar filled with the tomatoes
And are the garlics left whole or do you chop them.
Will be making today
Hi! The hot brine helps the pickling process so you want to pour while hot.
Does pickling diminish the toxins in unripe tomatoes, then?
I’m not sure!
Just made the pickled green tomatoes and they are awesome! I had plum tomatoes, so cut into rings and along with a couple chilis in the brine, they are very similar to banana pepper rings.
Thanks for the recipe.
How doi make sweet pickled green tomatoes? I recently tried them at the Old Red Restaurant and they were amazing!! Came home looking for a recipe.
We don’t have a sweet pickle recipe. I’ll add it to the list!
We picked a bunch of green tomatoes just before a freeze, and it seemed a shame to waste them. I had never had pickled green tomatoes, so I had no idea what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. They turned out very crisp and sour/sharp (in a good way). So far I’ve only eaten a few straight from the jar, but I’m planning to experiment with ways to use them. I’ll be keeping the recipe since I’m sure we’ll have green tomatoes again next year.
Hey, I was really looking forward to making these pickled green tomatoes, but unfortunately, it turned into a big nightmare all because of one little thing. I was mad after it happened, but I re-read the recipe, and saw that I had made an error. At the end of the recipe, you said to “Tap the jar on the counter to release any air bubbles.” Since I didn’t want to spill it, I put the lid on before I tapped it, and the pressure blew out the bottom of the jar, leaving me a big mess of turmeric colored sugary vinegar and broken glass on my counter, in a drawer, and on the floor. After 30 minutes of cleaning, I threw it all away. It was so much fun, I just thought you’d like to know.
Oh man! I’m so sorry to hear this.
Once the jars set for 24 hrs, can they go on a shelf in the cupboard? Or do they have to be refrigerated and used within a month?
They need to be refrigerated!
I have four nice size green tomatoes that I am dying to pickle as I love “sour tomatoes” It may not fill up the whole jar. Do you think it will still pickle well?
Yes, that is fine!
I’ve looked for years for this and can’t wait to try it. I love anything picked. Going to make these this weekend. Thanks for the recipe.
I grew up eating “sour tomatoes” and this year with an abundance of my own green tomatoes decided to try making them! This recipe is perfection! I was so excited when I hoped the jar and tasted my first one. Slightly different but these r delicious! Now I need to find people who want to pick their green tomatoes for me so I can pickle them!!! Thanks for a great recipe!
Just wanted to say that this is REALLY good with green zebra tomatoes (unripened). Thank goodness because we didn’t like those tomatoes.
So glad you enjoyed!
How long will these last on the shelf without being refrigerated
This version needs to be refrigerated. We haven’t tested it fully canned.
I tried this and it was AWWWsome ! My friend Italian Mom would make matters for me ; I loved them, can’t get them anymore !
Love this recipe!! I add 1 teaspoon coriander whole and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes for spice! Delish!
Can I can these and put in pantry?
I think you could but I don’t have experience with trying it.
Giving them a try tonight. They look beautiful! Cannot wait to try them!
Just made these with some cucumbers thrown in and they were delicious!
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