What To Do With Green Tomatoes At End Of Season: Creative Ideas To Try

what to do with green tomatoes at end of season
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Well, folks, it’s that time of year again – the end of the tomato season. You’ve spent months nurturing those lovely red orbs, but now, as the days grow shorter and temperatures drop, you find yourself with a surplus of green tomatoes. What to do with green tomatoes at end of season, you ask? Fear not! In this bountiful guide, we’re about to dive headfirst into a cornucopia of ideas that’ll leave your taste buds tingling and your pantry well-stocked.

Harvesting and Sorting Your Tomatoes

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When temperatures begin to drop, and it becomes apparent that your tomatoes won’t ripen any further or are at risk of succumbing to blight, it’s time to pick all the remaining fruits. Carefully cut off whole trusses of tomatoes, making sure not to bruise them in the process.

Once you’ve harvested your tomatoes, it’s essential to go through them and remove any fruits showing signs of disease or damage. These tomatoes won’t keep well and are not suitable for eating. Set them aside for immediate use.

Next, separate your healthy, clean tomatoes into two piles. The first pile should consist of tomatoes showing any hint of color, usually at the blossom end of the fruit. These tomatoes have a good chance of ripening indoors, away from the vine. The second pile should consist of paler green tomatoes, which have a low chance of ripening fully but can be used in various green tomato recipes.

Ripening Green Tomatoes

Ripening green tomatoes without them being attached to the plant is easily done. One straightforward method is to place your green tomatoes in a paper bag or lidded cardboard box alongside a ripe banana. Ripe fruits emit ethylene gas, which accelerates the ripening process of nearby fruits. Bananas are particularly effective at emitting ethylene. Contrary to popular belief, tomatoes don’t need direct sunlight to ripen; warmth is the key.

If you have a large number of green tomatoes, you can stagger their ripening by keeping the majority of underripe tomatoes in a cool, dark, and dry place. This lowers the risk of them developing mold. Aim for a temperature between 50-55°F (10-13°C). When you’re ready to ripen them, bring them to room temperature.

If your tomatoes already show some color, you can simply leave them on the countertop at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. Adding a ripe banana nearby will speed up the process.

From Garden to Table: Ideas On What To Do With Green Tomatoes At End Of Season

Green tomatoes may be the unsung heroes of your garden, but they’re more versatile than you might think. Here’s what to do with green tomatoes at the end of the season.

Green Tomato Chutney: Tangy Treasures

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When life gives you green tomatoes, make chutney! This tangy condiment is a perfect accompaniment to many dishes. It’s easy to prepare and stores well.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To whip up a batch of green tomato chutney, you’ll need:

  • 3 cups of green tomatoes, diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the diced green tomatoes and chopped onions.
  3. Cook until they soften and release their juices.
  4. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, red pepper flakes, mustard seeds, salt, and pepper.
  5. Simmer for about 45 minutes until the mixture thickens.
  6. Pour the chutney into sterilized jars and seal.
Pairing Perfection

Green tomato chutney is fantastic with:

  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Roast chicken
  • Burgers
  • Charcuterie boards

Green Tomato Relish: A Zesty Twist

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Looking for a way to spice up your meals? Green tomato relish might be just what you need!

Green tomato relish adds a zesty kick to any dish, making it a must-try for culinary adventurers.

Ingredients You’ll Need

To whip up a batch of green tomato relish, gather these ingredients:

  • 4 cups of green tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot, combine green tomatoes, onions, and red bell pepper.
  2. Add sugar, white vinegar, mustard seeds, celery seeds, turmeric, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Spoon the relish into sterilized jars and seal.
A Relish for All Occasions

Green tomato relish pairs perfectly with:

  • Hot dogs and sausages
  • Pulled pork sandwiches
  • Grilled veggies
  • Tacos

The Crispy Delight: Fried Green Tomatoes

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Fried green tomatoes are a beloved Southern dish that’s both comforting and crispy. Here’s how to make them!

Ingredients You’ll Need

To create the ultimate fried green tomatoes, you’ll need:

  • 4 large green tomatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of cornmeal
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Dip tomato slices into buttermilk, then dredge them in a mixture of cornmeal, flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
  3. Fry the coated tomato slices until they turn golden brown on both sides.
  4. Place them on a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.

Enjoying Your Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are delicious:

  • As a side dish with ranch dressing
  • In a BLT sandwich
  • Topped with pimento cheese
  • As a base for eggs Benedict

Salsa Verde Extravaganza

Image Credit: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1012757-green-tomato-salsa-verde

Now, let’s give your green tomatoes a Mexican twist with a zesty Salsa Verde. This versatile condiment can be used in numerous dishes or enjoyed with tortilla chips.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Green tomatoes
  • Tomatillos
  • Jalapeños (for a spicy kick)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and sugar


  • Roast the green tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeños, and onion in the oven until they’re nicely charred.
  • Blend the roasted veggies with garlic, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and a pinch of sugar.
  • Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  • Pour it into a jar and refrigerate. Your Salsa Verde is ready to accompany tacos, enchiladas, or grilled meats.

Pickled Perfection – Green Tomato Pickles

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When it comes to preserving green tomatoes, pickling is a fantastic option. These tangy pickles are an excellent addition to sandwiches and burgers.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Green tomatoes
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Spices (mustard seeds, dill, garlic)


  • Slice green tomatoes into rounds or spears.
  • In a saucepan, heat vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and your choice of spices until it simmers.
  • Pack the tomato slices into sterilized jars and pour the hot brine over them.
  • Seal the jars and refrigerate for at least a week before indulging in these delicious pickles.


As the gardening season comes to a close, don’t let those green tomatoes go to waste. Now that you know what to do with green tomatoes at the end of the season, you can savor their tangy, crispy, and zesty goodness year-round. Whether you opt for chutney, relish, or the classic fried variety, your taste buds are in for a treat. So, roll up your sleeves, get creative in the kitchen, and make the most of your green tomato harvest. Happy cooking!

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