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.

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Pickled green tomatoes

Quick Pickled Green Tomatoes


  • 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.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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

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 & 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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49 Comments

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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

  5. 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 )

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

        1. I will say I wondered what they would taste like they are amazing going to make more lots more….

  6. 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!

      1. 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 :)

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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?

    1. 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!

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