Green tomatoes and Green Tomato Chutney

I’m sure many UK tomato growers will be knee deep in green tomatoes at the moment. A poor summer and tomato blight have made many of us strip our plants early. Some of my tomatoes went into my recipe for Green Tomato Chutney. The rest are covering various flat surfaces in the house.

Green tomatoes ripening indoors

Green tomatoes ripening indoors

Here is my recipe. As you see from the picture above it did not use up all my green tomatoes but at least it helped a little.

Chopped ingredients for Green Tomato Chutney

Chopped ingredients for Green Tomato Chutney

(Makes 4 lb jars)

2lb green tomatoes (chopped)
8 oz onions (chopped)
1 lb cooking apples (peeled & chopped)
8 oz sultanas (or raisins, cranberries, chopped dried apricots etc)
8oz brown sugar
1 pint vinegar spiced or malt (but any other will do)
2 tablespoons mustard seed
1 inch fresh ginger (peeled & finely chopped) or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon (or spice of choice)

1. Put all ingredients into a large pan and bring to the boil.
2. Simmer uncovered until reduced to a thick mix. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking. It should take 2 3/4 to 3 hours. Test by scraping a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan. If the pan bottom shows clear for a while before the chutney slowly fills the gap then it is ready. (In other words there should be very little thin liquid sloshing around).
3. Put into hot sterilised jars and seal.
4. Label when cool. Chutneys improve in flavour if kept for at least a couple of weeks before use.

Gren tomato chutney simmering

Green Tomato Chutney simmering

Green Tomato Chutney - testing if it's ready. It is!

Green Tomato Chutney - testing if it's ready. It is!

Green Tomato Chutney in jars

Green Tomato Chutney in jars


Gravatar 1 Karen { 09.03.08 at 11:33 am }

Thanks – at this rate I might be needing this.
Warm regards

Gravatar 2 Lucy Corrander { 09.04.08 at 4:47 pm }

I’ve got two red tomatoes.


Gravatar 3 Karrita { 09.05.08 at 8:47 pm }

These look like great recipes… can’t wait to try them!
Thanks for sharing them,

Gravatar 4 Debs { 09.20.08 at 10:58 am }

I have some nice red cherry toms for the odd sandwich but more green so this recipe is just what I need, thanks a lot

Gravatar 6 Pauline { 08.02.09 at 4:35 pm }

Thanks for the receipe, I got lots of green tomatoes this year, as my two year old daughter decided it was time to harvest them!

Gravatar 7 Rachel { 09.08.09 at 3:24 pm }

Great recipe, really enjoyed making it, have just popped it into jars now, so we’ll see what its like in a couple of weeks!
Thanks for sharing….!

Gravatar 8 Lizzie { 09.25.09 at 5:34 pm }

Hey there,

Thanks so much for this recipe. All the best recipes begin with “put all the ingredients in a large pan” ^_^

I halved the recipe (not enough green toms, would you believe?!) and now have two jars of the most incredible chutney. I varied the recipe slightly by using cider vinegar plus a good slosh of balsamic vinegar. My goodness it’s good stuff.

Thank you so so much for sharing this recipe. My partner has just announced (after fighting with me to lick the pan clean) that we aren’t allowed to let any of our tomatoes ripen next year, so that I can make loads of this. Haha!

Gravatar 9 harry { 10.07.09 at 5:30 pm }

Many thanks for the fab recipe. Just made 1.5 times your amount.

Just on the ripening of green tomatoes. I have tons this year and find the best way to ripen them slowly is to put them in a box (or drawer or other enclosed container) and cover them. They gradually ripen beautifully which means you could have an ongoing supply of red tomatoes (for red tomato jam?) for weeks. Putting a ripe apple in with a 100% green load helps to start off the ripening process. It is all to do with natural gases rather than the sun.

Gravatar 10 Sandra Leeson { 10.11.09 at 12:50 am }

Thanks for sharing this recipe! I made a half dozen jelly jars filled with green tomato chutney today. It tasted delicious when it was done cooking – I’m sure it will improve further with some aging.

Gravatar 11 Maureen Hodson { 10.12.09 at 2:13 pm }

This is probably the best recipe I have ever used for all those pesky green tomatoes! Tastes good already and it’s not really matured to its full potential yet!
Tried a batch with some home grown green chillis in too – wow, you’ve just got to try it!

Gravatar 12 Chistina { 10.20.09 at 3:16 pm }

Really please i gave this a go.. gave some to my partner (and considering he doesnt like dried fruit) it was gone within 2 days and was trying to get me to turn my windowsil ripening toms into chutney!! dead pleased with it! i did substitute the malt to cider vinegar and used dried apricots (i thought that i could cleverly disguise them easier then sultanas sneeky eh?) and even better iv just stripped my plants again today (all the tiny ones seem to of had a growth spurt so i have enough to start cooking up another batch :)

Gravatar 13 gd { 10.27.09 at 4:16 pm }

I thought this recipe was excellent

Gravatar 14 Chris Hall { 11.08.09 at 1:46 pm }

Thanks for this great recipie !!!!

I did tweek it a bit ( Cooking is an art not a science ;-) ) by using 50/50 mix of malt & tarragon vinegars oh and a few cayennes minus the seeds..

What you didnt warn about however is not only did it clear my sinuses whilst cooking but nearly cleared the whole building, to the extent of you could smell it cooking three storeys down in the carpark…

Will leave it a few weeks and try it out on my local club for the elderly ( They have chip shop dinners supplied by club funds once a month ), am sure that 80 plus elderly ladies will either give me the thumbs up or thumbs down ….

Best Regards


Gravatar 15 Pam { 11.08.09 at 6:27 pm }

have had an allotment since may last year, now an obsession, always on the internet looking for receipes, this one was brilliant, as my daughter has decided i can make loads of thing for her friends as christmas presents

Gravatar 16 Kevin (Closet Cooking) { 06.24.10 at 5:27 pm }

I like the sound of a green tomato chutney! I can;t wait to find some green tomatoes this year.

Gravatar 17 feral gardener { 08.05.10 at 7:26 pm }

This recipe is a treasure! I tried it yesterday and served some still warm as a garnish for my glazed cod — it was so good, a real explosion of taste. My guests loved it. Can’t wait to try it in a few weeks once it has matured. Thank you!

Gravatar 18 Hazel { 08.06.10 at 10:13 am }

I am going to try this recipe as I have had to strip all my tomatoes off because something was eating the green ones and it wasn`t me!

Will let you know the outcome.

Gravatar 19 Perry { 09.16.10 at 5:07 am }

I have tried similar recipes in the past but didn’t understand the sealing process. After letting the jars sit around for a few months, I threw them out. Was worried I didn’t seal them properly. Is it as simple as stated? Just fill the jars, seal and they are OK to sit on a shelf? Do I need to water bath can??

Gravatar 20 Janet { 09.24.10 at 11:48 am }

Just making the chutney now and it is so easy cant wait to taste it really dident know what to do with all those green tomatoes

Gravatar 21 Nettle and quince { 10.06.10 at 5:17 pm }


I loved the recipe and it helped inspire my version:

I have linked back to you – I hope that’s OK but let me know if not.

Your blog is lovely.


Gravatar 23 JeannieD { 10.10.10 at 5:22 pm }

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have stumbled upon your blog! I have so many green tomatoes leftover from the season and fried green tomatoes does not sound appetizing at all! I am going out today to buy the spices for the chutney which I can’t wait to make.
2 questions: Who maufactures the jars shown in your photos above? I love the lids! Have you made the chutney in a slow cooker and if so did you have to adjust the recipe in any way?

Thanks so much for the yummy recipe!

Jeannie: The jars come from a firm called Lakeland. I haven’t made the chutney in a slow cooker so don’t know if the recipe would need adjusting. Hope you enjoy it!

Gravatar 24 pat walsh { 10.11.10 at 11:26 am }

I just spent an hour trolling thru the hundreds of green tomato recipees.
The main thing I learned was to boil the mixture for long enough to let the tomato yeild it’s sugars. Not sure this is correct chemistry but with sultanas and rasins in there you have enough sweetness anyway. I like to add 500gm of hot chilli peppers to my pan and a couple of carrots finely chopped to add texture. lotsa gtarlic of course and be sure to use a good malt vinegar not some crappy supermarket fancy brand.

Gravatar 25 Donna { 10.12.10 at 1:46 pm }

What is the sealing process? I do canning but I am not sure of what you mean by sealing?

Donna: By sealing I simply mean screwing the lids on straight after you pour in the hot chutney. Once jars are cool check that the lids are on tight. That’s all there is too it. Because of the high vinegar content and the long cooking the chutney keeps for years, unopened, on a shelf.
I have some unopened jars that are 4 years old – I opened one recently and it was fine. The taste improved with keeping.

Gravatar 27 angel { 09.12.11 at 7:11 pm }

I am so excited to use my green tomato to make this chutney. This will be the first time ever doing anything with green tomatoes. Looking forward to trying this out. Thanks angel

Gravatar 28 Jon { 10.18.11 at 5:25 pm }

Left mine quite chunky and have selected a fine Bordeaux and some locally made cheese (Bingham Blue) and a Sunday afternoon after a couple of pints in the pub a roast lunch , watch the footie then my Claret & Ploughmans…

Gravatar 29 Phileppa { 04.15.12 at 10:14 am }

I live in Australia and we’ve had a pretty cold and damp summer so we do have lots of green tomatoes too. Having make green tomato chutney in the past, I was recently given 5kilo to make more but, having lost the recipe, spent ages trying to find a nice recipe on line. I used 2 1/2k to make the first batch, following an online recipe, but it is more like a tomato pickle, being quite sour. So back to the internet where I found your recipe which sounds very like the one I preciously use.. so thankyou, in advance. I’m sure it’s going to be yum. My only prob now is changing lbs to k’s!

Gravatar 30 Phileppa { 04.15.12 at 10:21 am }

I meant ‘previously’ though the recipe will become precious if it’s good. And, isn’t the internet amazing.. I just found a lbs to k’s and oz to cups converters on line!

Gravatar 31 beth { 08.26.12 at 7:56 pm }

This sounds like a great way to use all the green tomatoes. Can someone tell me how it would be used?

Gravatar 32 Mrs M { 09.02.12 at 8:19 pm }

Wow, thank you SO MUCH for this excellent recipe! We harvested our green tomatoes yesterday as the blight is just starting to take hold after yet another wet summer. Our chutney is still on the hob simmering away but it tastes fantastic already – we can just imagine us on Boxing Day tucking in to a spread of cheeses and cold meats with this delicious home-made chutney… only I’m not sure there’ll be any left by then!

Gravatar 33 Bonnie Jean { 10.20.12 at 4:02 am }

Oh well. Results not as I anticipated. I had the heat too high and the bottom started to burn, which means the entire batch tastes a bit burnt. …and not pungent enough — too mild and sweet. Clearly I was too lenient with my measurements. Still – the experience was helpful, so the recipe was a good find for me. I tried making the chutney in a wok, as it was the largest “pot” I had. Maybe I should try my enameled cast iron dutch oven type vessel next time?…comments/advice welcome.

I’ll be making pickles from at least half the remaining green tomatoes, as my grandson liked the last ones very much. (So did I, but pleasing him is more satisfying to my soul than pleasing myself.)

Gravatar 34 winnie ryan { 11.10.12 at 1:33 am }

Hi, just letting you know my experience. I had just enough tomatoes from the end of the season – how did Mother Nature know? Apparently mine were quite a bit greener than Bonnie Jean’s because my finished product is a good bit tart. Not griping, just noting that it may be as much a function of the tomato type and their ripeness as the recipe. I added more ginger by length since I was finishing off a piece I had in the refrigerator, and also added a good couple of shakes of red pepper flakes for a touch of heat (after living near New Mexico, that bit of heat is something I rather like once in awhile).

For Bonnie Jean, from my experience in cooking, I would rather use a somewhat smaller pot with a thicker bottom than a larger, thinner pot to eliminate chances of scorching. Enameled pots won’t cut it where you’re trying to get a thick product in my 30 or so years of experience. I went ahead to break this maxim this year and used enamelware and came to regret it – scorched pot and product not just caramelized, but burnt tasting. I’ll mix the recipe in the enamel ware but cook it in two smaller pots next time!

Thanks so much Greenforks for this recipe, it’s one that I needed to use those green tomatoes! Maybe next year I’ll get luckier on the weather, but that’s always a toss up.

Gravatar 35 Diana { 10.11.14 at 2:49 am }

This was really tasty! I added a bit of molasses and coriander. A keeper!

Gravatar 36 Becquel Smith { 10.20.14 at 4:01 pm }

I live in the mountains of Idaho in the States, and our growing season here is short and this year especially so. It left me with a enormous batch of green tomatoes.

This was such a wonderful recipe and I found it just in time to make a double batch that used up nearly (but not all) of my green tomatoes. I’ve served it to some friends and it’s been a huge hit. Thanks so much for sharing.

Gravatar 37 melissa lange { 11.06.14 at 8:31 pm }

This is the best tomato chutney recipe ever!! I absolutely love it, just wish I’d had more green tomatoes!!!!