Discover the beauty of Pickled Green Tomatoes, a tangy and salty condiment that adds a burst of flavor and unique texture to any dish. Packed with bold flavors, this pickled green tomatoes recipe can elevate your dishes to new heights.
If you’re into pickling recipes, check out these favorites: Pickled Peppers, Pickled Asparagus, Pickled Banana Peppers, Pickled Red Onions, Pickled Daikon, Pickled Peaches, Pickled Mustard Seeds and Pickled Cucumbers.
Recipe For Pickling Green Tomatoes
This southern staple is a great way to use up those leftover summer tomatoes. Start making pickled tomatoes now and you’ll have deliciously seasoned pickled vegetables to nosh on in an hour.
Only 10 minutes of prep time is required to make this recipe for pickled green tomatoes. No canning is necessary, unless of course canned green tomatoes is what you’re going for!
Wonder why they’re called quick pickle recipe? Quick pickles, also called refrigerator pickles, are made up of almost any vegetable or fruit that have been brined. These are stored in the refrigerator instead of being a shelf-stable condiment.
Here are the simple ingredients for making green tomato pickles. For the full list of ingredients, reference the recipe card below.
- Green Tomatoes (Unripe Red Tomatoes, not Unripe Green Tomatoes)
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Kosher Salt
- Garlic Cloves
- Pickling Spices (such as dill and peppercorns)
Choosing The Best Tomatoes
For this recipe, you want to select unripe red tomatoes, not tomatoes bred to be green. These unripe tomatoes are tart and extra firm, which is key to a pleasant final flavor.
When shopping, select hard green tomatoes so you’re not left with mush upon pickling. The hard tomatoes will soften while they soak in the pickling brine creating the perfect finishing texture and bite.
Both larger tomatoes and small green cherry tomatoes will work well, when pickling. The large size tomatoes will just need to be cut into wedges, before pickling.
Sterilize The Glass Jars
Before pickling anything, you must properly sterilize the glass jars to avoid mold and bacteria growth. There are a few ways to go about this – choose which method is best for you.
Oven – preheat the oven to 325º F. Wash the jars and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse and transfer the jars to a cookie sheet (not the rubber ring) and bake for 10 minutes, until the jars are dry.
Stovetop – Boil a large pot of water, add the glass jars (should be 100% under the water) and boil for 10 minutes.
How To Make Pickled Tomatoes
The pickling process is simple, quick, and requires only a few ingredients. Here’s a brief overview of the key steps, after the jars have been sterilized. The full list of instructions are in the recipe card below:
Pickling Brine – Bring the brine ingredients to a low boil over medium heat until the sugar and salt dissolves.
Prep the Tomatoes – Cut the tomatoes into wedges and add to the glass mason jars (1 quart), along with the garlic and onions.
Add the Brine – Pour the hot brine over the tomatoes, leaving an inch headspace, and let marinate for a minimum of one hour, preferably 12-24 hours.
Sweet – To sweeten up the final product, increase the sugar by 1 tablespoon. We do recommend tasting the initial vinegar brine first to get a baseline flavor.
Spicy – If you love spice add in extra red pepper flakes, to taste.
Vinegar – Use any type of vinegar you prefer. We prefer distilled white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar also work.
Pickled green tomatoes can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are some ideas for incorporating them into your favorite dishes.
- Smoked Deviled Eggs (dice ’em up!)
- Charcuterie Board
- Garnish – Bloody Caesar, Bloody Maria and Bloody Mary
- Potato Salad (Ensalada de Papa)
- Pasta Salad (Ensalada de Coditos)
- Taco Recipes or Nacho Toppings!
- Sandwich, Hot Dogs or Burger toppings!
- Smoked Meat Side Dish
Pickled Tomatoes Green Tips
- Play around with the brine by adding your favorite herbs and spices, such as celery seed, mustard seed, fresh dill, bay leaves, etc.
- Start by adding a small amount of pickled tomatoes to your dishes, as their bold flavors can be intense.
- Once jarred, marinate for a minimum of 24 hours, if you can. The longer they marinate the more flavorful they will be.
- Pickling Vinegar – Wondering what’s the best vinegar for pickling? We break down the top four in our pickled onions post.
- For the best results, you want to pour the brine over the tomatoes while still hot. You MUST use a glass jar that can withstand high heat.
Store in an airtight glass container, in the refrigerator, for up to 12 months.
Canning Green Tomatoes
This pickled green tomatoes recipe hasn’t been tested for canning. If canning, follow the proper canning methods as outlined on the NCHFP website.
- 3-4 large green tomatoes (*Note 1)
- ½ small white onion, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar (*Note 2)
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- ½ tbsp black peppercorn
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- Sterilize a wide-mouth 1-quart mason jar. See the below notes for sterilization tips. (*Note 3)
- Cut the tomatoes into small wedges (or your desired thickness) and transfer to a the large mason jar (or 2 smaller Mason jars) along with the onion slices. Stuff in as many as you can.
- Add the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, dill, black peppercorn and red pepper flakes to a small non-reactive saucepan and heat over medium heat until the sugar and salt are dissolved (approx. 2-3 minutes). Stir occasionally.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let slightly cool before ladling the brine over the tomato wedges. Leave about 1/2"-1" of space at the top of the jar.
- Add the smashed garlic cloves and push down slightly so they're in the brine.
- Use a butter knife or chopstick to tap on the bottom of the glass to remove hidden air pockets.
- Once the jars are cooled to room temperature, cover with the matching metal lids. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour before serving.