Have leftover tomatoes that didn’t quite ripen this growing season? Not to worry, we have ample inspiration for what to do with your green tomatoes.

Jessica Ball, M.S., R.D.
October 09, 2020
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If you’re like me, you may have been a little overzealous with your tomato planting this year. And if you also live in a cold weather state, you may have found yourself with an abundance of green tomatoes. So, they are not exactly pasta-sauce-worthy, but don’t write them off just yet! You can still use these unripe beauties to make delicious dishes, sauces and sides you can enjoy right away or save for fresh flavors all year long. Here are a few ideas for what to do with green tomatoes. 

Salsa

One great way to use up green tomatoes is to roast them in the oven and puree them into salsa. The acidity of green tomatoes mimics that of tomatillos. In fact, you can substitute green tomatoes in many recipes that call for tomatillos. However, since they are so tart to begin with, go easy on other acids like vinegar and citrus juice to start and then add them in to your flavor preference. Also, don’t be afraid of salt, which can help cut the acidity and make the tomatoes' flavor shine. Our recipe for Green Tomato, Tomatillo & Lime Salsa Verde is perfect for serving on fish, as an enchilada sauce or simply for dipping chips. 

Fried

OK, this is one you have probably heard of before. We would argue that there is a reason for that, though. This tried-and-true method for using green tomatoes is nearly as versatile as salsa, and quick too. Simply dredge thick slices of tomato in flour and your seasonings of choice, fry in a hot skillet and enjoy! You can also add ingredients like cornmeal, as in our Fried Green Tomatoes recipe, for an extra crunch. 

Serve fried green tomatoes as is with a sauce like rémoulade, or on a sandwich (we recommend this Fried Green Tomato Sandwich). You can put a fried egg on top and call it breakfast, or pair it with fish and call it dinner. This method for using green tomatoes works for so many reasons, and you’ll believe the hype once you try it. 

Pickles 

It is true that you can pickle pretty much any vegetable. As a bonus, you don’t have to be a canning pro to do it. So why not try it with green tomatoes? Our Spicy Green Tomato Pickles recipe helps you make a plan for the tomatoes you don’t want to use right now. These pickles even keep in the fridge for up to one year, so you can have garden-fresh flavors all winter long. 

Chutney

Tangy and sweet Green Tomato Chutney is a perfect condiment to help use up your green tomatoes. Store it similarly to salsa in the fridge and enjoy the taste well beyond growing season. Chutneys pair particularly well with meat, like pork tenderloin or beef, and are also wonderful on a cheese plate. 

Pie

Try something totally out of the box and make a Green Tomato Pie that is sure to impress. You will want to have unripe tomatoes in this recipe so that the pie holds its shape; ripe tomatoes would turn the pie to mush. The cinnamon and pinch of sugar pair nicely with the burst of acidity from the tomatoes and cider vinegar to create a unique and balanced after-dinner treat (or before, we aren’t judging).

Grilled 

If you want an added layer of smokiness to your salsa, try throwing the green tomatoes on the grill instead of roasting them in the oven. Green tomatoes can be used in place of tomatillos in our Grilled Tomatillo Salsa recipe for a tasty side or topping that can bring the flavors of summer all year. Like other types of salsa, serve on tacos, with chips or as a sauce for enchiladas.