Green Tomato Relish; A Delicious Farewell to Summer

When the Summer tomato vines are at their end, but still covered in tiny green tomatoes, we make Green Tomato Relish to be enjoyed throughout the year. You could make this with large green tomatoes at any point during the summer. But this really is a perfect way to use up the tiny, hard, leftover, end of season fruits.

4587B11D-6FC4-458B-AE6D-A56DE58BFE8CThis yummy relish adds a sweet and tangy addition to many of our favorite dishes such as smoked chicken, burgers, southern peas, pulled pork, and collard greens. I add a big spoonful of Green Tomato Relish to my collard greens while they are cooking. Once you try this, you will never make greens without it.

This delicious meal enhancer is one of my favorite home-canned goods. But I can’t take credit for the creation of this recipe. My Love started making it for us a few years ago and I’m so very glad that he did. I wasn’t very excited when he first had the idea to make it because I really don’t like relish. So I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried it and discovered that this Green Tomato Relish is amazing. I love this stuff!

This is one of the last things we can each summer. By the time we are wrapping up the busiest part of canning season, we are happy to get to this easy project. There is no reason to peel and core green tomatoes, so prepping this relish is super simple.

Green tomato recipe


  • 12 lbs (20cups) finely chopped green tomatoes
  • 4 large bell peppers, finely chopped (6 cups)
  • 8 medium sweet onions, diced (10cups)
  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons pickling spice to fill satchel
    • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
    • 2 tablespoons allspice berries
    • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 2 dried bay leaves
    • 2 cinnamon sticks
    • 10 whole cloves

Directions: (yield 8 pints), but can be scaled depending on the amount of tomatoes

  • Finely dice green tomatoes, onions, and peppers and toss them into a heavy bottomed pot. I recommend chopping and dicing the vegetables in this recipe by hand to get the ideal relish consistency. But, if you are pressed for time, you might be able to save time by using a food processor for the job.
  • Make a cheese cloth satchel to contain the herbs and spices. Cut and double the cloth to form an 18″ square with 2 layers. Place herbs and spices in the center of the cloth, and tie with twine. This satchel can float freely in the relish mix, or be tied to the handle of the pot. This infuses the relish with wonderful flavors without adding woody dried herbs and seeds.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce to a low boil and cook uncovered for 2 hours stirring occasionally. The liquid will reduce and the relish will thicken.
  • Remove satchel.
  • Prepare pint or half-pint canning by sterilizing in a water bath canner.
  • Ladle hot relish into prepared jars leaving 1/2″ headspace.
  • Clean jar rims with wet paper towel and screw on lids.
  • Process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. For higher altitudes please refer to this link for processing times.


“One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.”

— Henry David Thoreau


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