What do you do with all of the green tomatoes left on the vines in September, October? Why you make this amazingly delicious Green Tomato Salsa! Green Tomato Salsa couldn’t be easier, and it cans and freezes well!
This is a recipe that has been requested many times, I have just never gotten around to posting it.
I’ve had so many requests for this Green Tomato Salsa this year, I thought I best not wait! It is a needed recipe!
I had a bumper crop of green tomatoes when it started getting too cold for them at night.
Mind you, these are not tomatillos, the fruit related to a gooseberry, that you make Salsa Verde with. These are actual green tomatoes, that if you lived down South could stay on the plant and all of them could turn red!
When the nights go below 50°F for a few consecutive nights, it is time to pick all of your green tomatoes.
Tomatoes like warm nights to ripen, so the chances are, if you left them until the first frost in your area, all of the green tomatoes would rot anyway. That would be a shame, because you wouldn’t be able to use them.
See the difference in the two photos above? The first is my last picking of tomatoes and peppers from the garden. The one above is my first picking of tomatoes and peppers for the year! Quite a contrast, eh? Polar opposites, in fact!
At the beginning of the season the peppers are not mature enough so they are all green. The tomatoes on the other hand are all brightly colored.
At the end of the season, the peppers are more mature so they have lovely colors but the tomatoes are juvenile so they are all still green.
You can make many things with green tomatoes. They are great for pasta sauces, green tomato pie, use them in salads, pickle them, ferment them, roast them, and can them.
What do green tomatoes taste like?
Green tomatoes taste very similar to red tomatoes but they tend to be more acidic. Depending on the variety, some can be more acidic than others. They have a slight bite on the tip of your tongue.
Pro Tip: If the acidity of tomatoes gives you heartburn, a good trick is to add a pinch of something that is a little sweet. White sugar, brown sugar, honey and even maple syrup are good options, depending on the recipe you are making.
What you need
- green tomatoes- use unripe tomatoes, not tomatillos.
- onion- any color onion will work.
- garlic- fresh is best.
- bell peppers- use a colorful bell pepper (red, orange or yellow) for contrast in the final product.
- jalapeno peppers- use either green or red jalapeños. Keep in mind the red ones are generally hotter than the green.
- fresh oregano – can substitute dry but fresh is best.
- fresh cilantro or parsley – if you don’t like the flavor of cilantro then add flat leafed parsley.
- bottled lime juice – Do not use fresh lime juice if canning. The bottled juice has a guaranteed pH which is important for food safety when canning.
How to make Green Tomato Salsa
- Either chop or process tomatoes in a food processor, to desired consistency. I like a chunkier salsa, so I chopped.
- Place tomatoes in large saucepan.
- Dice onions, get a few bell peppers, hot peppers and garlic together.
- Fine dice the peppers and the garlic.
- Add onions, peppers and garlic to the tomatoes in pan.
- Next, add fresh oregano, and parsley or cilantro. Then add dried cumin, salt and black pepper. Combine.
Bring pot to boil, reduce heat and simmer until cooked down to desired consistency, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
How to store it
You can serve this green tomato salsa fresh.
Place it in freezer containers and freeze small portions. Make sure you label and date packages.
You can also water bath can this salsa. See details below.
How to can it
- Once salsa is cooked down to your liking, heat water bath canning pot. Clean jars in hot soapy water and rinse well. Jars should be hot when hot salsa is added so place jars in the water bath to heat up. (According to new recommendations, there is no need to sterilize the jars because this recipe is processed for 10 minutes or more.)
- Heat lids with hot water. Leave until ready to use.
- Fill hot jars with hot salsa, leaving half inch headspace. (the space between the product and the top of the jar.)
- Wipe rims with damp towel to remove any debris.
- Apply lids.
- Screw on bands, fingertip tight. Add jars to canning pot.
Process pint jars for 20 minutes at a low boil. Remove from heat. Allow jars to sit in the hot water for at least another 5 minutes.
Remove jars from canning pot and set on the counter for at least 12 hours. Check seals. Lids should not flex up or down when pushed in the center. Store in a cool, dark place for at least a year.
Why should you try this recipe?
- It’s a great way to prevent food waste and use up all of the tomatoes in your garden.
- The flavor is so bright.
- Pairs perfectly with so many of your favorite Mexican foods.
- Another way to increase your family’s vegetable intake that is easy and delicious.
- Green tomatoes have many of the same health benefits of red tomatoes.
How to use green tomato salsa
- Serve with tortilla chips for an easy snack or appetizer.
- Use it in Mexican dips like pico de gallo, bean dips, seven layer dips, etc.
- Use it in Mexican casseroles.
- Top tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, burritos or dip taquitos in it.
I hope this helps all of you folks that don’t have a use for all of the green tomatoes that are left at the end of the growing season!
Stay tuned next year, I have a bunch more ideas for your green tomatoes, but I have none left to use!
Want your own crop of green tomatoes? If you love growing your own produce, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss our How to Start a Garden Series!
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Green Tomato Salsa
- 15 cups chopped green tomatoes, or pulse in food processor 5.5 lbs.
- 1 medium onion
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 3 jalapenos, minced this makes a medium hot salsa, adjust to taste
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tbsp Salt
- 2 tbsp heaping, fresh oregano, chopped halve if using dried
- 6 tbsp heaping, fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped halve if using dried
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 6 tbsp bottled Lime juice
- Add all ingredients to large pot and combine.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on desired consistency.
- Can be processed in water bath canner. Follow directions in this post to can. Process pints 20 minutes.
Depending on your desired thickness of the salsa, the yield could be more, or less. I cooked mine for about 1 hour. Makes approximately 4 pints. Follow safe canning practices, if using water bath canning pot. pH levels should be below 3.5, for canning.
Originally published October 26, 2018 Updated July 26, 2021.