Green Tomato Chutney

November 10, 2010(updated on February 20, 2024)

This green tomato chutney is an excellent way to preserve your end of season harvest. Sweet, tangy, and nicely spiced, it is ideal for perking up winter meals.


Tomato season is moments away from completion. My tomato plants withered and blackened months ago, so any that have come into my kitchen since September had to either be begged, borrowed or bought. There are still a few vendors at my Saturday farmers market with precious half pints of cherry and grape tomatoes, but I know their days are strictly numbered.

halved tomatoes

There have also been a couple of farmers with baskets of big, firm green tomatoes for sale at my neighborhood market and it’s thanks to them I’ve been able play around with these under-ripe fruits. As a side note, can I just say what a wonderful thing it is that tomatoes are useful, edible and delicious both ripe and green. How many other fruits or vegetables are similarly blessed (well, papaya does spring to mind. But beyond that).

chopped tomato and onion

How to make green tomato chutney

The ingredients are quite basic, as chutneys go. Chopped onion (that’s one small white onion) and green tomatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds).

Combine in a heavy, non-reactive pot with 1 cup of white vinegar (apple cider vinegar is fine if you prefer, just make sure that it is also 5% acidity) and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar.

building the chutney

Spices included cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, red chili flakes and ground ginger. Fresh ginger is also fine to use, if you happen to have it around. If you make that swap, go for a full tablespoon of peeled and grated ginger.


As you can see from the picture, I used a little stainless steel teaball to keep the cloves contained, so that the finished chutney wouldn’t be to overwhelmingly clove-y.

The resulting chutney is a bit sweet, with plenty of tang and spice. It tastes a little like Christmas, but I think it would also be quite lip-smacking on a post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. I’m going to let it hang out a bit before I open it, to let the flavors mingle and marry a bit more before serving it up.

green tomato chutney

Do note that this takes at least an hour to an hour and a half to cook down into a finished chutney and that it cooks down significantly. I started with nearly 10 cups of raw ingredients and my final yield was just 2 pints. You could easily double it for a greater yield, but it will take even longer to cook down.

Is chutney not your thing? Green tomatoes almost make great pickles. Here’s a preserved version and one for the fridge.

5 from 8 votes

Homemade Green Tomato Chutney for Canning

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Processing Time10 minutes
Servings: 2 Pints


  • 6 cups chopped green tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves, use a teaball or spice bag to keep them from overpowering your chutney
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 star anise pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes, use more for a spicier chutney
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Combine tomatoes, onion, vinegar and sugar in a 5 quart non-reactive pot over medium heat. Add the ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, red chili flakes, and salt.
  • Cook over low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  • When chutney has reduced by more than half, turn off heat. Use tongs to remove cinnamon sticks and star anise pieces. Funnel into prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
  • When time is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid from the pot. Let the jars sit in the cooling water for an additional five minutes.
  • Remove the jars from the canner and set them to cool on a wooden board or folded kitchen towel. Let them cool completely. When the jars have reached room temperature, check seals. Sealed jars are shelf stable for at least one year. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used promptly.
  • Eat on turkey sandwiches, or with a bit of goat cheese.

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53 thoughts on "Green Tomato Chutney"

  • The most awesome-ist of fruits; the tomato! My absolute favorite! I love this about them, how they are useful and tasty both unripe and ripe and your recipe makes me yearn for about half a bushel of green tomatoes about now!

    I sometimes wish farmers at the local markets would plant some just to sell green ones. I never find enough of them through the season.

  • When you mentioned in your last post that you had made a small batch of green tomato chutney I was wondering what you considered small. I had just finished making a batch with ten pounds (which is enormous by my standards) and was hoping that your small batch wasn’t bigger than my enormous one! Yours looks wonderful. I love the idea of star anise. I never have it in the house, but I don’t think I would have thought to add it if I had.


  • too cool… i was just about to make sweet green tomato pickles today with the very last of my garden tomatoes that have been hanging around on the counter. they stubbornly refuse to ripen, but i can’t bring myself to throw them away. it truly is the end of summer.

  • Perfect timing! I have been searching for something to do with the green tomatoes, and this looks like The Thing! Just out of curiousity, why do you add the salt at the very end of cooking?

    1. I like to add the salt at the end of cooking, because that’s when the flavors of the chutney are most set. I know what the basic taste of the finished product will be and can salt accordingly. If you salt and taste at the beginning of cooking, you can end up with a finished product at the end that is too salty, because you’ve concentrated the flavors. It’s just my way of ensuring that I don’t make it too salty.

  • Oh I was so waiting for this! I picked all my green tomatoes and dilled them a month or so ago, but lo and behold there are so many more now that will NEVER ripen. I will be making this tomorrow on Veteran’s Day (Yay!) and I think I will call it Ooorah Green Tomato Chutney in honor of the 53 years my family invested in the USMC — it’s the Marine Corps birthday today! Thank you!

  • I love reading your blog with the exception of always wanting to try what you are making! lol I thought I was finished with tomatoes for now (I have puree in the freezer to try making some ketchup with LATER) but now I just NEED to try this cause it sound lovely! 🙂 Next year I swear I am not planting 36 tomato plants for heaven sakes!!

    Oh and I have a question for you, have you ever made jam/jelly with Arbutus Unedo ‘strawberry tree’ or even heard of a recipe for it? I keep googling it but have not found anything yet. Ya I know weird but something to cross off the list AFTER I try it 🙂

  • Green tomatoes? The only time I’ve had them is when I’ve been to Jewish delis, along with other pickled items. But green chutney? That sounds downright delicious! And it looks it too! Thanks for sharing!

  • Since making chutney last year I’ve really come to appreciate its addition/importance to meals and now can not eat some meats without it. I am going to tackle some apple-ginger chutney and some pumpkin chutney this week. I hope I have the same success as you do!!

  • I’m new to canning but funny enough my husband made about 15 jars of green tomato chutney a few weeks back. Because of a late spring frost our growing season was delayed and we had tons of green tomatoes!

  • A year later, I thought you should know that I’ve spent a desperate week trying to re-find this recipe. I had a bumper crop of green tomatoes and happened across the link from our farmer’s market. It was a huge hit among family and friends! Now here we are in mid-October, the tomato vines are weighed down again and there’s a rainy weekend ahead…

  • I have a friend offering me all the green tomatoes I can carry, but I do not want to end up with more than I can use. Can you guesstimate how many pounds of tomatoes it will take to yield 6 cups of chopped?

  • How do you serve green tomato chutney? Mine tasted good on a cracker with goat cheese but not so great as a sandwich spread. More ideas appreciated! I made lots!

  • Just came across your blog when searching for green tomato chutney! And I’m so delighted I did. I have been learning many ways of preserving foods, especially here in Cuba as we only eat foods in season. So I have a feeling that I’ll be trying out many of your recipes in the months to come.

  • Can this be made as a “refrigerator” product and not processed? I do not trust hot water bath methods, being a child of the 40’s and 50’s when things could go wrong &I long ago gave away my pressure canning equipment. Also, if so, how long does it keep? Thank you.

    Please answer ASAP, as I have loads of green tomatoes ripening faster than I can eat them and sweet kindly neighbors insistent on giving me more. I need to begin producing a product.

    1. You could keep this as a fridge pickle and skip the processing step (though I promise you, there’s enough acid in this product that it’s entirely safe for boiling water bath canning). It should keep a few weeks.

  • YEY! I just put this up tonight. I <3 small batch canning, I can make and put-up a whole product in one evening. A much better evening activity than making cookies or cupcakes (which I used to do in college, before all the butter caught up with my middles), now I can make 8-10 4 oz jars of yummyness and eat them over a few days to a few months without feeling the need to eat it all at once!

    PS- now my apartment smells WONDERFUL. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  • I prepared this chutney in September, and just yesterday opened my first jar. Served it with roast pork, and the combination was amazing. Not only an excellent flavor profile, but the texture, too, was great. Thank you so much.

  • I know this is way past when you did this post, but wondered if you substituted some red tomatoes in to make six cups if it would make a difference. I am sure it won’t be as pretty in color, but I don’t have six cups of green tomatoes and cannot find any at the store and unfortunately we don’t have any farmer markets here. This recipe sounds so good!! Thanks Maria

  • Hello! I was wondering if the cinnamon stick and start removed from the mixture before canning it?
    Btw, I bought your book and I love it! Your site is wonderful as well!

  • This sounds wonderful. I have a ton of green tomatoes from my garden and would love to try this. Would it be safe to swap out some of the sugar for golden raisins? I know that substitutions in canning recipes must be done very carefully to make sure the finished product is safe.

    1. Sugar doesn’t make something safe, you can swap out some of the sugar for some raisins without a safety issue. It may shorten the shelf life a little, though, because sugar is a preservative.

      1. Thanks so much for the reply. I finally got around to making the chutney. I switched out 1/2 cup of sugar for 140g golden raisins (1/2 cup brown sugar = 100g, golden raisins are 71% sugar, so 140g golden raisins provides the missing 100g sugar). It worked fabulously. I also made another batch later in which I cut back on the spices and added 1/2 tsp of garam masala and 1/4 tsp black pepper. That turned out great, too. I really enjoy your recipes and your willingness to answer questions and teach people.

      2. I will note that the swap of raisins for sugar definitely pushes the texture of this chutney solidly into “relish” territory instead of the slightly-jammy consistency I see in a lot of internet photos from people who have made your recipe (although I suppose it could also have to do with the fact that I was using green giant pear type tomatoes, which are rather meaty and hold their firmness and shape well). That was fine by me for the uses I’ll be putting this to, but I thought I’d make that note for anyone who might be considering doing the same. I did run a knife through the raisins before adding, which I’m glad I did; the cook time on this for me wasn’t long enough to break down the raisins all that much.

  • Finally a recipe with very clear ingredients and instructions – I can’t tell you how much that is appreciated – more often than not I read I need 10 small tomatoes or 13 mediums or 17 large – who in the world can get a good result with that much guessing? This was refreshing – thank you.

  • I just made this chutney for the first time and it is delish! I also just made my new favorite sandwich with it…

    Open Faced Flat Iron Steak Sandwich w/Green Tomato Chutney

    Two slices of white or wheat bread
    Baby arugula
    Left over flat iron steak or other thin tender cut (cold)
    Green tomato chutney
    Triple cream brie cheese (or your favorite soft ripened cheese)
    Bacon crumbles

    Toast both slices of bread, then top with baby arugula, followed by 1/4″ thin slices of steak. Smother steak with chutney and lay very thin slices of the cheese over it. Sprinkle a few crumbles of bacon over the brie and broil at 250 until brie is melted, but not runny (just a few minutes) and enjoy.

  • I just made a batch of the green tomato chutney. I’m canning right now and I did take a taste with the 1./2 cup of “leftovers” (I canned 4 8-oz jars). It tastes fantastic I was a little afraid it might be too vinegar-y, but it’s perfect. I only have one small suggestion: You suggest we put the cloves in a tea ball and that is a great idea. I suggest you also put the star anise in the tea ball too. I noticed some of the star anise broke up a bit and it was tricky fishing all of it out. It would be unpleasant to bite into one of these hard bits.

    I can’t wait to make again. Thanks for a wonderful and easy recipe.

  • 5 stars
    Excellent recipe! I had no clue what to do with 2 lbs of green tomatoes. Glad to find your recipe, thank you so much. We just ate half a fresh pint with our baked chicken, delicious.

  • 5 stars
    I love this green tomato chutney. It’s so easy to make and the flavor is divine. I love to gift it along with sharp cheddar cheese and crackers and a cute little wooden spoon to neighbors and friends.

  • 5 stars
    Delicious! I like my chutney sweet, so I really packed the brown sugar. I also added about a 1/2tsp of ground cinnamon in addition to the sticks. I didn’t think it would even need the salt at the end, but added some little by little, and yes it’s a nice touch to finish off the flavors! Made exactly four half pint jars.

  • Hi Marissa – I likely am not going to find star anise in my little town grocery stores. Can you recommend substitutes or tell how important it is??

    1. I would leave it out and lean into the other spices. You could also use a tiny splash of liquid anise flavoring. That’s often easier to get than the dried spice.