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21 Green Tomato Recipes For Using Unripe Tomatoes

No matter how successfully you make tomatoes ripen more quickly in your garden, chances are you will still be left with a number of green tomatoes to use up at the end of the growing season.

The good news is, those green tomatoes do not need to go to waste.

There are plenty of ways to use unripe tomatoes – and they can be just as delicious, and perhaps more intriguing than sun-ripened fruit. Besides, after putting all of those ripe tomatoes to good use, and preserving them, you’ll be ready for something different.

These green tomato recipes from around the web should give you a good place to start when concocting your own range of delicious green tomato based dishes:

1. Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are a classic.

Simply slice green tomatoes that are fully sized but not yet ripened fully and coat each slice in egg and flour, cornmeal and breadcrumbs. Season them to taste with salt and pepper and then fry them up in a pan.

This traditional breakfast favourite can actually be enjoyed at any time of day, and heated up with a little spice or hot sauce if you like more intense flavor.

Fried Green Tomatoes @

2. Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickling green tomatoes is a great way to make a tangy, slightly sweet, slightly spicy treat that can be used in much the same way as bread and butter pickles.

This recipe shows you a way to quick pickle your green tomatoes for consuming in the next few weeks, but also reveals how you can process them for winter storage, too.

Quick Pickled Green Tomatoes @

3. Green Tomato Fritters

Another way to fry up those green tomatoes is in fritters. Simply combine fresh green tomatoes with a batter mix of your choosing – like the spiced chickpea flour and rice flour batter described in the recipe in the link below.

Fritters are also a great way to use up a range of other late-season fruits and vegetables from your garden.

Green Tomato Fritters @

4. Fried Green Tomato Burritos

You can add green tomato slices to a wide range of wraps and sandwiches. Why not mix things up a little and make some delicious fried green tomato burritos?

This recipe is a step up from the basic burritos you might find for sale on some street corner, and you will have the added satisfaction of knowing that you made it using produce you grew yourself.

Fried Green Tomato Burritos@

5. Green Tomato Relish

No matter how busy you get in the kitchen cooking home-made meals each night, you may still find that you have too many green tomatoes to use up right away.

The good news is that there are a number of ways to preserve your harvest and make those green tomatoes last longer.

Green tomato relish is a great place to start.

Make some of this and you can enjoy the zingy taste of green tomatoes all year round. 

Green Tomato Relish @

6. Zingy Green Tomato Salsa

Zingy green tomato salsa

Another way to preserve your green tomatoes for longer, or simply to use up a lot of them in one go, is to make some green tomato salsa to accompany a wide range of different dishes – from burgers and sandwiches to wraps and tacos.

Zingy Green Tomato Salsa @

7. Green Tomato Ketchup

If you are a “ketchup with everything” sort of family, then what better way to use up those green tomatoes than by using them to make this handy condiment.

Mix up your end of season tomatoes with honey, vinegar, onions and spices.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily customise it to suit your own particular tastes – making it sweeter, or spicier as required. 

Green Tomato Ketchup @

8. Green Tomato Shakshuka

You can use either green tomatoes or tomatillos in this shakshuka recipe.

Sometimes also referred to as ‘eggs in purgatory’, this fiery dish combines eggs with a base mix of tomatoes, garlic, chillies, and other seasoning.

Great for breakfast, or later in the day, this is another dish that is easily customised to suit your tastes – make it as mild or as hot as you like – however spicy you like it, the green tomatoes will lend the dish a pleasing, zesty, lemon-like flavour. 

Green Tomato Shakshuka @

9. Green Tomato Curry

World cuisine offers plenty of inspiration when it comes to making full use of the green tomatoes from your garden.

Another idea for a flavoursome dish is to make some sort of curry from your green tomatoes. You can use them in a wide range of different curries. The example below is a great option, which is inspired by Thai cuisine.

Green Tomato Curry @

10. Green Tomato Chilli

You could also consider adding green tomatoes to a chilli. The recipe linked to below is for meat eaters, but you could easily also substitute the ground beef for a vegan and vegetarian friendly option, or omit the mince altogether and simply use some beans.

As with other spicy options on this list, you can make your chilli as mild or as hot as you want.

Green Tomato Chilli @

11. Green Tomato Stew

Stews are a wonderful way to use up a wide range of produce from your garden, and green tomatoes work wonderfully in a range of different stew recipes.

This is another great fall warmer that will go well with some rice and other Asian inspired side dishes. And this recipe is vegan friendly too, and is a surprisingly creamy dish that anyone can enjoy. 

Green Tomato Stew @

12. Green Tomato Casserole

You can also pop your green tomatoes and other ingredients into an oven proof dish and concoct a casserole to suit your tastes.

You can layer up a wide range of different vegetables with your green tomatoes if you have them on hand, and layer them up with a creamy or cheesy sauce (or vegan alternatives) to bring out their flavour. 

Green Tomato Casserole @

13. Green Tomato Parmesan Bake

A green tomato parmesan bake, or parmesan-crusted green tomato gratin is another way to make the most of the flavour of your green tomatoes in an oven baked dish.

This is a recipe that looks impressive, though it is surprisingly easy to make, and the flavours of the green tomatoes, caramelized onions and parmesan complement each other perfectly.

Parmesan-Crusted Green Tomato Bake @

14. Green Tomato Pasta

Another very easy way to use up some of your green tomatoes is in a pasta dish.

The green tomatoes lend pasta dishes a very different flavour from their redder, ripe relatives, which can allow you to ring the changes when it comes to Italian cuisine and try something a little bit different.

Green Tomato Pasta @

15. Green Tomato Pizza

Speaking of Italian cuisine, you could also consider adding your green tomatoes to a pizza base for a different take on the family favourite.

You do not have to stick to the traditional red tomato sauce and cheddar or mozzarella cheese.

You could also consider trying something a little different – pizza purists look away now – this pizza suggestion below combines green tomatoes with pesto and feta and mozzarella. 

Green Tomato Pizza @

16. Green Tomato Focaccia Sandwiches

Staying with the Italian theme, another option is to use green tomatoes in focaccia bread, or layered into a focaccia sandwich as in the recipe below.

A bread base infused with garlicky olive oil and dotted with green tomatoes and perhaps other Mediterranean vegetables and herbs can be delicious, or, more simply, you can simply grill some tomatoes and place them in your sandwich.

This option has bacon – but you could make this a veggie option too.

Green Tomato Focaccia Sandwiches @

17. Green Tomato Frittata

Another delightfully easy light lunch or mid-week meal to make with your green tomatoes is a light and airy frittata.

Combine the eggs (from your own free rangers if you have some) with green tomatoes and pretty much whatever other herbs and veggies you have to hand. 

Green Tomato Frittata @

18. Green Tomato Quiche

Another way to use up your green tomatoes (and eggs) is to make a delicious quiche.

Of course there are a huge range of quiche recipes out there – both crustless and with crust, depending on your preferences.

The green tomato quiche in the recipe below is a simple version, but you can customise this recipe to include other herbs or vegetables that might be available.

Green Tomato Quiche@

19. Green Tomato Tart

If you do fancy trying your hand at some pastry (and really want to impress your family and friends) then you could consider making a delicious tart using some of the green tomatoes from your garden.

The fried green tomato tart in the recipe below is a great way to showcase their flavour – and it looks good too, so could be an impressive addition for a dinner party.

Fried Green Tomato Tart @

20. Green Tomato Cake

You might be surprised to learn that green tomatoes are not only good in savoury dishes, but can also be used to make a range of delicious desserts.

One option is to make a tasty green tomato cake, such as the one in the recipe below.

Green Tomato Cake @

21. Green Tomato Pie

Another great green tomato dessert option is a green tomato pastry pie – similar to a traditional apple pie and something to surprise your friends with. They’ll never be able to guess that you made this sweet and flavoursome pie with the unripe tomatoes from your garden.

Green Tomato Pie @

These are just some of the many ways to prevent waste and use up all those unripe green tomatoes from your garden.

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Elizabeth Waddington

Elizabeth Waddington is a writer, permaculture designer and green living consultant. She is a practical, hands-on gardener, with a background in philosophy: (an MA in English-Philosophy from St Andrews University). She has long had an interest in ecology, gardening and sustainability and is fascinated by how thought can generate action, and ideas can generate positive change.

In 2014, she and her husband moved to their forever home in the country. She graduated from allotment gardening to organically managing 1/3 of an acre of land, including a mature fruit orchard,which she has turned into a productive forest garden. The yield from the garden is increasing year on year – rapidly approaching an annual weight in produce of almost 1 ton.

She has filled the rest of the garden with a polytunnel, a vegetable patch, a herb garden, a wildlife pond, woodland areas and more. Since moving to the property she has also rescued many chickens from factory farms, keeping them for their eggs, and moved much closer to self-sufficiency. She has made many strides in attracting local wildlife and increasing biodiversity on the site.

When she is not gardening, Elizabeth spends a lot of time working remotely on permaculture garden projects around the world. Amongst other things, she has designed private gardens in regions as diverse as Canada, Minnesota, Texas, the Arizona/California desert, and the Dominican Republic, commercial aquaponics schemes, food forests and community gardens in a wide range of global locations.

In addition to designing gardens, Elizabeth also works in a consultancy capacity, offering ongoing support and training for gardeners and growers around the globe. She has created booklets and aided in the design of Food Kits to help gardeners to cool and warm climates to grow their own food, for example. She is undertaking ongoing work for NGO Somalia Dryland Solutions and a number of other non governmental organisations, and works as an environmental consultant for several sustainable companies.

Visit her website here and follow along on her Facebook page here.