Ten Fun and Flavourful Ways to Use Up Green Tomatoes

Ten Fun and Flavourful Ways to Use Up Green Tomatoes

As the season winds down and the cooler weather approaches, your garden might still be overflowing with a bounty of... green tomatoes.

While the classic red giants are the undisputed champions of summer salads and sauces, don't relegate their unripened cousins to the compost bin just yet! Green tomatoes, often seen as an unwanted harvest, hold a treasure trove of culinary potential waiting to be explored.

Whether you're a seasoned home cook or a curious beginner, this post is here to guide you on a delightful journey of transforming your green tomatoes from garden "leftovers" into culinary stars. From tangy pickles and vibrant salsas to comforting chilis and surprisingly delicious desserts, we'll unveil a range of creative and flavourful ways to make the most of your leftover green tomatoes.

  1. Try ripening them: If you'd prefer red tomatoes, you can often still ripen the green looking ones. Place them in a paper bag with a ripe apple or banana. These fruits release ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process.

    Whilst not every green tomato will ripen. There are a few indicators you can look for.
  • Colour:Look for the smallest shift to a deeper green, yellowish-green, or slight blush of red/orange. It only needs to be a tiny colour change and that’s enough to indicate ripening potential.
  • Feel:Even if they’re green, if the skin gives a little when pressed then they may still ripen.
  • Size:If the fruit is full size then you have a good chance of it ripening.


  1. Pickle them: Pickling transforms green tomatoes into a tangy delight. You can pickle them whole, sliced, or even fried. Simply pack them in sterilized jars, add flavourings like garlic and peppercorns if desired, and pour over a simmering brine of vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Seal the jars tightly and process them in a boiling water bath canner for shelf stability or store them in the fridge for shorter-term enjoyment. Let the flavours mature for at least a week before savouring these vibrant pickled gems.

  2. Make salsa verde: This green salsa is a delicious alternative to traditional tomato salsa. It has a bright, tart flavour that goes well with tacos, burritos, and chips.

    To make salsa verde, chop some green tomatoes, dice some onion, and slice some moderately hot chillies like serrano or jalapenos. Toss them all together with salt, coriander, and lime juice. Enjoy it chunky or give it a pulse in a food processor for a smoother texture.


  1. Fry them: Fried green tomatoes are a Southern classic that offer a delightful textural and flavour contrast. Sliced tomatoes are coated in a flavourful combination, often involving cornmeal and breadcrumbs, for a crispy and golden exterior. The hardness of the unripe tomato ensures it holds its shape during frying. Once cooked the snacks are crispy on the outside and soft and creamy in the middle. Drizzled with a tangy sauce or enjoyed on their own, fried green tomatoes are a unique and delicious way to savour the essence of summer, even when the season has passed.

  2. Add them to stews and chilis: Green tomatoes can add a nice depth of flavour to stews and chilis. They also help to thicken the broth.

  3. Make chutney: Turning your surplus green tomatoes into a flavourful chutney is surprisingly simple. Start by chopping the tomatoes, onions, and any additional fruits or vegetables you desire, like apples or raisins. Combine them in a large pot with spices like ginger, mustard seeds, and cloves, along with brown sugar and vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally, until the chutney thickens up. Once the desired consistency is reached, remove the chutney from heat, allow it to cool slightly, and then store it in sterilized jars for a delicious and versatile condiment to enjoy throughout the year. Great for your next cheese platter.

  4. Use them in baking: Green tomatoes can be used in a variety of baked goods. Think green tomato muffins, green tomato bread, green tomato pie or even green tomato coffee cake!

  5. Make jam: Green tomato jam is a delicious and unique way to preserve these unripe fruits. If you like tangy toast in the morning, then this might be a perfect use for these green gems.

  6. Add them to stir-fries: Green tomatoes can be added to stir-fries for a bit of tartness and crunch. They pair well with other vegetables, such as capsicums, onions, and broccoli.

  7. Make chowder: Green tomato chowder swaps classic red tomatoes for their unripe cousins, resulting in a tangy twist. Chunks of green tomatoes simmer with potatoes, onions, and other favourites in a flavourful broth. It's a hearty and satisfying way to use up end-of-season green tomatoes.

So next time you find yourself with a pot of green tomatoes, don't despair! There are many delicious and creative ways to use them.

If you have some other ideas on how to use your green tomatoes we would love it if you shared your ideas by leaving a comment.


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