Looking for the best way to preserve green tomatoes? These pickled green tomatoes are it! They’re tangy, salty, crunchy, and make the most delicious condiment or snack. They’re the perfect way to use up all the green tomatoes that are left at the end of the growing season.
Pickled Green Tomatoes
This pickled green tomatoes recipe is easy and delicious. The crunchy tomatoes are infused with fresh garlic, dill, and mustard seeds, which give it the whole “pickle” vibe.
The kids down the road went nuts over these. They even came back the next day to ask for more, then got their dad to make some of their own!
I love how versatile these quick pickled green tomatoes are. You can go ahead and enjoy these pickled green tomatoes straight out of the jar as a tangy snack, or use them to add a burst of flavor to sandwiches, salads, and more. Pickling transforms these firm, somewhat tart fruits into the most delicious, tangy, and flavor-packed snack.
Green tomato pickles are easy to make and are the best way to use up green tomatoes that would have otherwise gone to waste.
As daunting as pickling might sound, refrigerator pickles really are pretty easy to pull off. Making old-fashioned pickled green tomatoes is just about as simple as boiling water. Plus, it uses simple, easy-to-find ingredients, like water, distilled white vinegar and kosher salt, garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill, coriander, and bay leaves. Give it a try! It’s really not intimidating once you’ve done it the first time.
The longer they sit, the better they become. After 24 hours they absorb the flavor and could definitely be snacked on, but I think they’re much better after 48-72 hours.
Just a quick reminder: These are quick pickles, or refrigerator pickles, so they’re not shelf-stable. The green tomatoes have to be stored fully submerged in the pickling solution in a sterilized airtight container in the refrigerator to be safe to eat.
Green Tomatoes: Green tomatoes give a unique tangy flavor and a firm texture that holds up well to pickling. Use unripe red tomatoes that are firm to the touch and have a vibrant green color.
Garlic: A couple of cloves of garlic add a delicious depth of flavor to the pickling liquid and infuse the tomatoes with a subtle, savory note. Look for firm cloves with a tight, unbroken skin.
White Vinegar: This is the primary preserving agent in this recipe. White vinegar has a sharp, clean flavor that doesn’t overwhelm the natural tanginess of the green tomatoes. Use distilled white vinegar that’s labeled with 5% acidity.
Water: Water is used to dilute the vinegar. This makes sure that the tomatoes are pickled without being too acidic.
Kosher Salt: Kosher salt not only adds flavor, but also helps to preserve the tomatoes.
Sugar: A touch of sugar is used to balance out the tartness of the vinegar and bring out the tomatoes’ natural sweetness. Regular granulated white sugar works best in this recipe.
Mustard Seeds, Peppercorns, Dill, Coriander, and Bay Leaves: These are the pickling spices. They add an aromatic depth and complexity to the pickling liquid, infusing the tomatoes with layers of flavor. Try to use whole spices where you can, as they tend to have a better flavor than ground ones. I used two types of peppercorns in the recipe, black to give it a peppery taste, and pink to give it a hint of sweetness.
If you’re wanting to experiment with the flavor, try adding spices like cloves, cinnamon, or even a splash of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
How To Make Pickled Green Tomatoes
Prepare the Pickling Seasoning: Begin by combining your mustard seeds, peppercorns, dill, coriander, and bay leaves in a bowl. Put this to the side for later. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Prepare the Tomatoes: Clean and quarter the tomatoes. Place the quartered tomatoes in a sterilized jar along with your crushed garlic.
Prepare the Pickling Liquid: In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Heat this mixture, stirring frequently until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved. Add the pickling seasoning you prepared earlier to the saucepan. Bring this mixture to a boil, then take the saucepan off the heat.
Fill Up the Jar: Add the quartered tomatoes and pressed garlic gloves to a glass jar.
Assemble Your Pickled Green Tomatoes: Carefully pour the hot pickling liquid over the tomatoes and garlic in your jar. Make sure all the ingredients are submerged under the liquid. Leave about half an inch of space at the top of the jar. Secure the lid on the jar and allow it to cool down to room temperature. Once cool, place the jar in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld together. Let them rest for at least a day in the fridge, but they’ll taste even better after a few days. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, and helpful tips, etc.
- Always use unripe, firm green tomatoes.
- Allow the pickles to rest for at least 24 hours before eating to let the flavors fully develop.
- Keep the pickles refrigerated and make sure that they are submerged in the pickling liquid.
- Experiment with flavors by trying different spices in your pickling seasoning.
What’s The Best Way To Preserve Green Tomatoes?
My favorite way to preserve green tomatoes is to pickle them. Pickling not only extends their shelf life but also enhances their flavor, making them tangy, crunchy, and delicious.
How Do You Use Green Unripe Tomatoes At The End Of The Season?
You can use your unripe tomatoes in salsas, chutneys, or even fry them for a Southern-style dish. They are the perfect for adding a delicious tangy flavor to any recipe.
Are Green Tomatoes The Same As Tomatillos?
No, green tomatoes and tomatillos are not the same. They might look similar, but green tomatoes are unripe red tomatoes while tomatillos are a completely different fruit altogether. Tomatillos have a husk and are more tart in flavor.
Can You Fry Pickled Green Tomatoes?
Yes, you can fry pickled green tomatoes. They add a wonderfully tangy flavor to the usual fried tomato dish. Just remember to pat them dry before dredging and frying to get a crispy coating.
How Long Do Pickled Green Tomatoes Last?
Pickled green tomatoes can last in the refrigerator for up to a month. Make sure they are submerged in the pickling liquid and stored in a sterilized, airtight jar.
What To Do With Pickled Green Tomatoes?
They make a great addition to sandwiches, can be used as a side for grilled meats, or you can simply enjoy them straight from the jar as a tasty, tangy snack.
Why Are My Pickled Green Tomatoes Mushy?
If your pickled green tomatoes are mushy, it could be that they were overripe before pickling or they were overcooked during the pickling process.
Can Pickled Tomatoes Go Bad?
Yes, pickled tomatoes can go bad if they’re not stored correctly. Always keep them refrigerated and make sure they are fully submerged in the pickling liquid. These are quick pickles, or refrigerator pickles, so they’re not shelf-stable. They have to be stored in the refrigerator to be safe to eat.
What Do Pickled Green Tomatoes Taste Like?
They get their tangy and sour flavor from the pickling process, with a hint of sweetness from the sugar. The pickling spices infuse them with an aromatic and slightly spicy flavor.
Can I Use Other Types of Vinegar for Pickling?
Yes, even though we’re using white vinegar and I prefer the flavor of distilled white vinegar, you can try using other types of vinegar like apple cider or wine vinegar. Just make sure you’re choosing a vinegar that’s distilled to 5% acidity. Each will add its own unique flavor to the pickled tomatoes, so feel free to experiment and find your favorite.
Do I Need Special Equipment for Pickling?
No, all you need to pickle is a clean jar with a lid, a saucepan for making the pickling liquid, and a good wooden spoon for stirring.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other tomato recipes. Some reader favorites are:
- Restaurant Style Salsa
- Instant Pot Tomato Sauce
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup
- Pico de Gallo
- Tomato Rice Soup
- Cucumber Tomato Salad
Pickled Green Tomatoes:
- 2 pounds green tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 quart-sized canning jar with lid, sterilized
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns (can substitute with more black peppercorns)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 bay leaves, crumbled
- Prepare the pickling seasoning first. Combine the mustard seeds, black peppercorns, pink peppercorns, dried dill, ground coriander, and crumbled bay leaves in a small bowl. Mix and set aside.
- Clean and quarter the green tomatoes, then place the quartered tomatoes and crushed garlic in your clean quart-sized jar, leaving about 1/2” of space at the top.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the white vinegar, water, kosher salt, and sugar. Heat this mixture over medium heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve completely.
- Add the prepared pickling seasoning to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. After boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Pour the hot pickling liquid over the tomatoes and garlic in your jar. Make sure that the ingredients are submerged under the liquid and leave about 1/2” of space at the top of the jar. Tap the jar lightly on the counter to help any air bubbles escape.
- Secure the lid on the jar and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, place the jar in the refrigerator.
- Let the pickles rest for at least 24 hours before eating to allow the flavors to fully meld together, but it’s even better after a few days.
Store these pickles in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Use firm, unripe green tomatoes.
If you’re planning to serve these on sandwiches, you may want to cut the tomatoes into slices instead of quartering them.
You can replace the white vinegar with apple cider vinegar for a slightly different flavor profile.
The jar should be clean and sterilized before use.
Handle the hot pickling liquid with care.
Serve these tasty pickled green tomatoes as a side dish, on sandwiches, or as a tangy snack on their own.
Serving Size:1 quart jar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 316Total Fat: 0.4gCarbohydrates: 60.2gFiber: 11.9gSugar: 37.1gProtein: 10.6g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
I hope you enjoyed making these pickled green tomatoes. This is the perfect way to use up your end of season green tomatoes and are absolutely delicious as a topping for your dinner.