Pickled Green Tomatoes

pickled green tomatoes
Getty Images / SVPhilon
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
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 40
Amount per serving
Calories 54
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 508mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 14mg 68%
Calcium 12mg 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.


  • 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

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this green tomatoes recipe is broken down into workable categories to help you plan for preparation and cooking.

Prepare the Tomatoes and Onions

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

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

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.

  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.

Brine the Vegetables and Pack the Jars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

  2. Cover and continue boiling for 10 minutes.

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

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

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.