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Tomatoes are one of the things we will always pick all of when it’s about to freeze, green or ripe, because there are things you can do with them either way. Take a look below at uses for green tomatoes that you may not have thought of.
Uses for Green Tomatoes
If you had to pick all of your green tomatoes from your garden whether because of an impending frost or another reason, you can still make use of each and every one of them. By doing everything from making delicious Fried Green Tomatoes to grilling them, there are plenty of recipes you can use the green tomatoes in as is.
1. Ripen Green Tomatoes
If you don’t want to make any green tomato recipes, you can either place the green tomato in the window where the sun will ripen it, or you can try another method. Clean the tomato and then wrap it in newspaper and set in a cool place. Check on it daily and within a few days, you should have a red tomato.
If you are able to pull out the entire plant and have space for it, hang up the plant upside down in a warm place for a few days and watch the tomatoes continue to ripen.
2. Use Green Tomatoes to Boost Flavor in Sauce
You can blend your green tomatoes along with a few tablespoons of white wine and get a tasty puree that will give your traditional tomato sauces a boost. Just puree and pour into your sauce.
3. Make Fried Green Tomatoes
This is an old Southern favorite and a great way to use those green tomatoes. First, slice tomatoes and then dip in an egg wash. Place the tomato slice in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Next, place in a pan of hot oil in a single layer and fry until golden brown. Remove them from the oil and cool them slightly on a paper towel before eating.
For something different, try pan-frying them in a cornmeal batter instead of a flour batter.
Why are green tomatoes almost always fried instead of red tomatoes? Mostly because they hold up better!
4. Add Green Tomatoes To Your Vegetable Stir Fry.
If you are making an assorted veggie stir fry, chop or slice your green tomatoes finely and add them in. You can toss them with a little oil and salt and pepper first if you wish for an extra tasty flavor.
5. Make Green Tomato Pickles.
Have you made Green Tomato Pickles yet? Make some! If you don’t like the spiciness or the onion you can always leave that out. This is one of the best ways to use green tomatoes because their high level of acidity makes for a great pickle.
6. Add Green Tomatoes to Your Omelets.
Green tomatoes add excellent color and flavor to your morning meal! Just chop the tomato finely and toss into your omelet or scrambled eggs. Such an easy, tasty, and healthy way to enjoy those tomatoes. While you are chopping up the tomatoes for your omelet, be sure and chop up a few extras for omelets on the following days. several meals…one prep. 🙂
7. Grill Your Green Tomatoes
You can put your green tomatoes on skewers or slice them and place them on the grill directly. As a result, they will taste smoky, meaty, and quite tasty. If you’d prefer, you can soak them in a marinade that’s made using some kind of vinegar prior to grilling if you wish or just season with salt and pepper.
8. Feed Green Tomatoes to Your Chickens.
It seems like this one is kind of a given if you have chickens, but just as a reminder…if you can’t find anything you want to make with the green tomatoes, your chickens will always enjoy a fresh snack!
9. Make a Green Tomato BLT.
A BLT is a super easy meal and you can pair it with the acidity of a green tomato to give it a special color and a little bit of an extra kick. You can fry your tomato in a batter or just in a bit of olive oil before serving it on the sandwich.
If you didn’t already know, a BLT is a sandwich (usually grilled) that contains bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
10. Make a Green Tomato Relish.
Finally, if you’ve got a great recipe for a tomato relish, you can replace the red tomatoes in it with your green tomatoes. Green Tomato Relish is a great hot dog or hamburger topping!
You could also eat the relish as a cracker topping or make an entire side dish by placing the relish on top a layer of cream cheese and them eating it with your favorite crackers!
FAQs About Green Tomatoes
What can I do with all my green tomatoes?
You can try all of the recipes above! If you have a large amount you could also try making something like green tomato salsa verde (Recipe in the Ball Blue Book) to use them up.
Are green tomatoes good for cooking?
Yes! Being a little more firm, green tomatoes hold up better than a ripe tomato in many different cooking recipes including baked dishes and things like stir fry.
Why do people use green tomatoes?
In an effort to curb food waste, it’s a good idea to use up all of your tomatoes at the end of the gardening season, ripe or not. Plus they are nutritious and they taste good!
Is a green tomato just an unripe tomato?
Yes, it is. However, they do have some heirloom tomatoes that are green even when they are ripe so it’s important to know what you planted.
More Ways to Use Up Foods
- Uses for Apple Peels
- Banana Peel Uses: Waste Not Want Not
- No Food Waste: How to Use All of Your Food Scraps
- A Guide to Preserving and Drying Greens From Your Garden
See how easy it can be to use those green tomatoes? When you are thinking and planning ahead you can find some wonderful uses for things so that they never have to go to waste. The next time you find a sad little green tomato that fell off the vine too soon or you have to pick because of a frost, give one of these tips and tricks a try and give it a second life. Because with these ideas in the back of your mind, there are so many practical and tasty choices to pick from!
What are your favorite uses for green tomatoes?
This post on Uses for Green Tomatoes was originally posted on Little House Living in August 2016. It was updated in September 2022.