Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 5 hrs 30 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Rest and Chill : 508 hrs
Total: 513 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 40 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
54 Calories
0g Fat
12g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 40
Amount per serving
Calories 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 509mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 13mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 140mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pickled end-of-summer green tomatoes are a treat to have around, as they make wonderful additions to salads and are truly delightful as tangy condiments for burgers, hot dogs, and other meaty meals. If you have a bounty of unripened tomatoes, pickling them with our recipe makes them a great pantry ingredient that you can enjoy for months to come.

Made with green tomato slices, onions, and a spiced vinegar and sugar mixture, these tomatoes are tangy and tart, but have a lot of texture, thanks to the firmness of the green tomatoes. Thus, they're ideal to add to potato and pasta salads, as they add crunch and flavor. Use them in wraps, sandwiches, or cheese and charcuterie spreads. Experiment with the spices and make your own brine; dill, pepper flakes, cumin, allspice, and fresh ginger are excellent additions.

For this recipe, you need green tomatoes, as in unripe red tomatoes, not green tomatoes that have been bred to be green in color. The difference is that unripe red tomatoes that are green, like the ones you need, are tangy and firm, whereas green tomatoes that are ripe are sweet and softer, not ideal to be pickled. Keep in mind the vegetables need to sit for two to three weeks before they're ready, so plan ahead. This recipe makes enough to fill 5 pint-sized jars.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds green tomatoes, cleaned and sliced in 1/4-inch-thick rounds

  • 2 medium onions, halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

  • 1/3 cup pickling salt, or kosher salt

  • 4 to 6 cups ice cubes

  • 3 cups cider vinegar

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds

  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds

  • 1 red bell pepper, or hot pepper; cut into thin strips, optional

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Tomatoes and Onions

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pickled Green Tomatoes ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Place sliced tomatoes and onions into a large nonreactive pot or bowl.

    Green Tomatoes and onions in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Sprinkle salt over vegetables and gently toss to coat well.

    green tomatoes and onions in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Top vegetables with a few cups of ice cubes. Cover and let stand in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

    green tomatoes and onions with ice in a bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prepare the Jars

  1. Prepare the canner and 5 pint-sized jars. Add water to a large canner with a rack and heat to nearly boiling, or about 180 F. The water should be at least 1 inch higher than the jars you are using.

    jar lids in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Wash the jars thoroughly. Heat water in a small saucepan, place lids in the saucepan, and bring them almost to a boil. Lower heat to a low simmer simply to keep the lids hot.

    jars in a pot with water

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Brine the Vegetables and Pack the Jars

  1. Drain vegetables in a large colander and rinse lightly.

    tomatoes and onions in a colander

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seeds, and mustard seeds in a large, nonreactive pot. Bring to a boil.

    vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seeds, and mustard seeds in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Lower heat to medium and add drained tomatoes and onions to the pot. Continue cooking, stirring gently until mixture is back to boiling.

    tomatoes, onions and pickling liquid in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Remove vegetables from the pot with a slotted spoon and pack prepared the jars.

    pickled green tomatoes in jars

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Add a few thin strips of raw sweet or hot red pepper to each jar, if using.

    hot red pepper added to to each jar of pickled green tomatoes

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Fill jars with the hot brine, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.

    Pickled Green Tomatoes in jars

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  7. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth.

    Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean damp cloth

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. Place flat hot lids on the jars. Tightly close the caps with screw-on rings, but do not overtighten.

    Pickled Green Tomatoes in jars

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Can the Jars

  1. Arrange the filled jars in the canner and add more water, as needed, to keep the water level at least 1 inch above the jars. Bring to a full boil.

    covered pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes.

    Pickled Green Tomatoes in jars in a pot

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  3. Remove the jars to a rack to cool completely. Check to make sure the seals are tight.

    Pickled Green Tomatoes in jars on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Store in a cool, dark, dry place for two to three weeks before eating.

    Pickled Green Tomatoes in a jar

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

How Long Do Canned Tomatoes Last?

If canned properly, and the jars' seals don't have indentations, appear rusty, or start to swell, the canned tomatoes can last for up to 18 months. However, if after opening the jar, the color, smell, or appearance of the tomatoes doesn't seem right, it probably isn't, so discard when in doubt.