10 Simple (and Delicious) Uses for Green Tomatoes

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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.

Perhaps you aren't quite to that time yet of the year yet (aka: the hard freeze) but are beginning to think about it. Tomatoes are one of the things we will always pick all of, 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. #greentomatoes

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.

green tomato pickles

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.

Uses for Green Tomatoes

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

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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.

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  1. Luckily we have not had a hard freeze yet, but will very soon.. I still have a lot of green tomatoes, and had no idea what to do with them.

    1. I make green salsa with mine. It becomes the base for my shrimp and sausage gumbo that I make. It’s also good over cream cheese.

  2. Recipe for ONE batch:
    5 lbs green tomatoes , 1-3 yellow onions , 1-2 jalapeno peppers more if you like hot, 4 red bell peppers, I used what I had so yellow and green too. Just make sure it’s 4 altogether. 6 garlic cloves, 1 cup shredded zucchini since I had some in the frig. 1 cup lemon or lime juice.. I use lemon had that in the frig too.. 1/2 cup vinegar, 1TBSP salt I used table salt. but pickling would work too..1/2 TBSP cumin, 1 TBSP oregano, Or Itailano spice from Costco because I had that..2tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 2tsp sugar…

    Chop ingred. to your liking. I just used my food processor to make it thick instead of chunky. OH you don’t need to take the skin off green tomatoes. Just wash and chop… super easy!!

    Bring to a boil.. then simmer for abt 1 hour… bottle and water bath for abt 15 mins…Store bottle in fridge if doesn’t seal. Otherwise, put away on shelves. So easy and SO good! I ate an entire bottle myself for lunch one day with some whole grain crackers. ; )

      1. Green tomato ketchup

        4lbs tomatoes
        2 large onions
        1t black pepper
        1T ground mustard
        1t worchesteshire sauce
        1 1/2 Cups white vinegar
        1/2 Cup honey
        Simmer all ingredients except honey for 2-3 hours. Blend and and return to pot. Strain if desired. Add honey(I used raw can sugar). You’re done! At this point you can store in fridge or can in a water bath. Process pints for 15 minutes. Enjoy the yummy goodness!

  3. 4lbs tomatoes
    2 large onions
    1t black pepper
    1T ground mustard
    1t worchesteshire sauce
    1 1/2 Cups white vinegar
    1/2 Cup honey
    Simmer all ingredients except honey for 2-3 hours. Blend and and return to pot. Strain if desired. Add honey(I used raw can sugar). You’re done! At this point you can store in fridge or can in a water bath. Process pints for 15 minutes. Enjoy the yummy goodness!

  4. When we have been fortunate enough to have a few green tomatoes at the end of the season, we would make green tomato pie. It’s made like an apple pie except using green tomatoes and a little extra sugar….I liked to add a few raisins and lots of cinnamon.

  5. Ill have to keep the stir- fry tip in mind, i love stir fry! We usually use green tomatoes for green tomato relish – delicious!

  6. Mmm, those tomatoes look so good! I have been wanting to make fried green tomatoes for a while! Our tomatoes were attacked by whiteflies and they destroyed our plants 🙁 But I will pin this and keep it in mind for next year’s bounty!

  7. Make a green tomato pie! Double crust pie. Slice thin green tomatoes and about 1 lemon. Layer tomato, lemons, sugar, instant tapioca and a drizzle of molasses until you fill up the pie crust. You’ll use a total of about 3/4-1C. sugar. Put a pat of butter on top and put on top crust. Bake in oven at 425 for 15 minutes and 350 for the rest of the hour. Let it cool and enjoy! It’s old fashioned and a unique taste that makes a nice afternoon dessert.

    1. I have made green tomato pie. I used apple pie recipe and subbed green tomatoes for apples- need to use more sugar than a regular apple pie recipe.

  8. All I got was mostly green tomato’s this year . I made green tomato salsa just like you would make red. I did add some red tomato sauce and some tomato past to it and it worked great.

  9. I have made GREEN TOMATO JAM really good here is how I make mine 5 cups ground/ shredded green tomatoes ,4 cups Sugar, 2 small pkgs or 1 large pkgs jello any flavor I used my blender to puree my tomatoes , bring tomatoes to a boil,add sugar and slow boil for 15 min. take off stove and stir in jello until well mixed , fill jars and water bath for 10 min .

  10. I use my green tomatoes for pie, in salsa verde, in freezer raspberry green tomato jam, in canned blueberry green tomato jam, in apple green tomato chutney, and I dry the rest in slices or can them in slices for fried green maters through the winter. I also did some tomolives a couple of years ago that were wonderful!!!

  11. My favorite relish recipe is made with green tomatoes instead of cukes, don’t have the recipe off hand but I’m sure folks can google and find it

  12. Green Tomatoe Pie (taste of apple pie, but small children may not like it)
    5 medium green tomatoes
    1 T. butter or coconut oil or palm oil
    1/2 c. honey
    1 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. nutmeg
    1/4 tsp. cloves
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 T. flour
    Note, do not cut down on the spices. If done wrong, might taste like mincemeat pie or etc. If you’re like me, it might taste good regardless, but if made correctly, one child might like it (of several, and adults).

  13. We can our green tomatoes to use for making fried green tomatoes over the winter. Very easy.

  14. My family originates from Mexico and in my home we grew up with green tomatoes, my grandma says they’re called “Tomatillos” (the double l, ll, makes a y sound in Spanish), we use them everyday! Mostly in “Salsa Verde” = Green Salsa, which is a typical Mexican salsa that is recognized anywhere, made with the green tomatoes, garlic, a bit of onion, and chiles! You can adjust how spicy it is and it gives plenty of meals an extra kick!

  15. Green Tomato Pie, tastes like apple pie and Taste of Home has a 5 star recipe. Try it, you’ll be surprised how good it is.

  16. New use! New use! Mock fruit jam! There are several recipes online. What I did was run my green tomatoes through my Ninja, a food processor should work fine too. 4 cups of that, 4 cups of sugar and 1 6oz package of jello. Warning, only use very strong flavors. Black cherry, and raspberry work well. Other reviewers all said orange, lemon, and strawberry do NOT work. This year I’m going to order some black raspberry jello for the green tomato glut. I had a five gallon bucket full last year when we had to pull for the frost. I can the jam in a water bath for 10 minutes. Don’t panic if it doesn’t look set. This jam needs to be cool, basement or refridgerator to set properly. The kids love the bright colors. It doesn’t exactly taste like the fruit you’re faking, but so far I’ve had no complaints about the taste either.

  17. I just love your blog. I always find so much useful information! Thanks for sharing. I still have a lot of green tomatoes and out frost will be coming probably late September. Not sure all will ripen. May have to put some of these tricks to use.

  18. When I was younger (about 15) and healthy(am now bed bound in pain) I had lots of green tomatoes, never could get them to ripen – think UK, shadowy garden, no greenhouse. I made green tomato marmalade. It was lovely. I don’t like marmalade due to the bitter peel but this was just green tomatoes, sugar and lemon juice. I read above about putting gelatine in jam. Is this common in the US? Love and blessings.

  19. Had to go read your post after seeing the title. Until then, the only thing I knew you could do with them is to fry them. Yum, so tasty. Visiting from Merry Monday Link Party #121.

  20. What a great collection of recipes for green tomatoes! I have a feeling with the extra warm weather we are experiencing that people will have more green tomatoes than usual when the first frost finally hits.

  21. All ripening fruits “off-gas”, so to get your tomatoes to ripen, put them into a paper bag with a piece of fruit, like a banana, and the off-gassing from the fruit will aid the ripening of the green tomatoes.

  22. Last year I made Green Tomato Chutney. I even entered it into our county Fair and it won a Reserve Grand Champion! This year, I made Dilled Green Tomatoes. Looking forward to tasting them.

  23. Green tomato mincemeat, for mincemeat pie (mincemeat needs to come back in fashion, with the holidays coming). THere are tons of recipes for it, especially for those who don’t want to go the meat and suet route for a recipe. Make it, can it, use it for pies, cookies and cakes all winter.

  24. Like Michelle G, I use green tomatoes for mincemeat. No one knows it’s made with green tomatoes. I also make a family recipe for green tomato relish. Delish!

  25. Wow! i just made today a large batch of fried green tomatoes- with the egg dip- thenflour -fried in bacon grease.Yum! made a milk gravy to go with it- did not have biscuits- but we did have mashed potatoes- good comfort food. thanks for your suggestions- always so helpful and timely. stay safe and healthy!

  26. I am new to this ‘cooking thing’ thank you all for sharing your receipts and ideas, you give me courage to try new things. 😉

  27. We have a lot of true green tomatoes, and we like tomato juice. Has anyone ever heard of canning juice from green tomatoes? These tomatoes are not red tomatoes, when they are ripe they stay green. I guess my question is can you make tomato juice from green tomatoes? Thanks

    1. I would think the process for canning green tomato juice would be the same as it is for red but I’m just wondering if the amount of acid added would need to be different? Might be good to call your local Extension Office and ask if they know.

  28. WOWZA! So many fantastic ideas, I cannot wait to try them! Especially the salsa verde, relish (also will use for my excess cucumbers!) and green ‘apple pie.’ I have a feeling I am going to pick a lot of green tomatoes this weekend. Quick question, do you all think a fried green tomato recipe could be used with grape or cherry tomatoes? That is all I grew this year.

  29. I love tomatillo salsa. Yum! But, oddly, I’ve yet to try fried green tomatoes and I really must try to make relish with it. Thanks for the great ideas. I figure I’ve got about a week left before frost and plenty of tomatoes left that will be picked green.