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Health Benefits and Best Recipes For Green Tomatoes

Updated on August 11, 2013

Green Tomatoes Are Healthy To Eat

A lot of people that eat green tomato pies enjoy them and then feel doubly guilty for eating sweets; they think that green tomatoes are unhealthy, since they are not ripe.

Before the Raw Food Movement snatched up fruits and vegetables of all kinds, old wives' tales proliferated in America about certain foods -

Tomatoes were considered poisonous in the Colonies and right into the New Nation in some regions (especially Ohio, but we have grand tomato festivals today).

It was the 1970s before some folks could be convinced that certain mushrooms are edible and not deadly. Plantains and rhubarb were felt to be poison until cooked, but the leaves of rhubarb truly should never be eaten, cooked or raw.

The only poisonous tomato I ever knew was one volunteer plant that crossed with a jimsen weed pant in an alley. Jimsen weed is poisonous, but mostly in children and infants. It turns out that the hybrid tomato-jimsen weed product can be deadly to children. A child ate those tomatoes and, luckily, ended up in the emergency room when parents noted the illness soon after ingestion of the tomatoes.

Green tomatoes are neither unhealthy nor poisonous. In fact, they are nutritious, with vitamins and minerals that are the cancer fighters found in blackberries and blueberries.

One Cup of Raw Green Tomatoes

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 Cup
Calories 41
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Carbohydrates 9 g3%
Sugar 7 g
Fiber 2 g8%
Protein 2 g4%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 23 mg1%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Additional Nutrition Information for Green Tomatoes

  • Calcium - 23 mg
  • Carotene, beta - 623 mcg
  • Carotene, alpha - 140 mcg
  • Choline - 15.5 mg
  • Folate - 16 mcg
  • Iron - 1mg
  • Magnesium - 18 mg
  • Niacin - 1 mg
  • Phosphorus - 50 mg
  • Potassium - 367 mg
  • Selenium - 0.7 mcg
  • Vitamin A, - IU 1156 IU
  • Vitamin E - 0.7 mg
  • Vitamin B-6 - 0.15 mg
  • Vitamin C - 42 mg
  • Vitamin E - 68 mcg
  • Vitamin K - 18.2 mcg

Tomato Aunt Ruby's German Green Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 20 Seeds
Tomato Aunt Ruby's German Green Certified Organic Heirloom Seeds 20 Seeds
Some tomatoes like this heirloom variety were bred to remain green. They are in high demand in some fine dining restaurant kitchens and are not genetically modified.
Aunt Ruby's German Green Tomato
Aunt Ruby's German Green Tomato | Source
Sometimes, green tomatoes appear white, but are just as good tasting and ready to make into a pie as the greener tomatoes.
Sometimes, green tomatoes appear white, but are just as good tasting and ready to make into a pie as the greener tomatoes. | Source

Green Tomato Pies

I have tried many green tomato pie recipes, including some "old timey" ones from the 1940s and 1950s. Some of those recipes result in a mock apple pie that is made with crumbled Ritz crackers or Bisquick, green tomatoes, and the remaining usual apple pie ingredients like sugar, spcies, and butter. Many people still enjoy these pies, but they do not contain my favorite flavor or texture.

Fried green tomatoes themselves have become an icon of southern cooking culture, but are also well known among the Pennsylvania Dutch, Amish, and Mennonite communities in the northern states of America, including the few Canadian Amish communities. Books, songs, and movies hae been made about this dish and enjoyed almost as much as is eating the tomatoes.

A pear pie can be mild and refreshing when made with fresh pear slices and the remaining usualy apple pie ingredients, but a green tomato does not substitute as well.It needs its own recipe.

A Russian variety of green tomato.
A Russian variety of green tomato. | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 10 min
Yields: 6 to 8 slices of savory pie

Green Tomato Recipes

4.5 stars from 2 ratings of Savory Green Tomato Pie

Savory Green Tomato Pie


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 1/4 Cups chopped Vidalia, Spanish, or other sweet onion
  • 1 Cup Crust Mix: In a medium bowl, combine 1 Cup all-purpose flour with 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp table salt and 1 TBSP olive oil (add last) and mix well. Since this is a savory pie, you might like to add a little cayenne pepper, to taste.
  • 3 TBSP cold butter
  • 3 TBSP boiling water
  • 2 Cups Parmesan or Asiago cheese, grated or shredded
  • 3 -4 Large green tomatoes like Aunt Ruby's, beefsteak, best boy or similar varieties, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
  • 2 TBSP Oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 Cup mayonnaise, regular or lite/low fat


  • Spray a 9" glass pie plate with cooking spray or coat it with a little olive oil and pre-heat the oven to 350º F.
  • In a skillet over high heat, place 1 TBSP olive oil and brown the chopped onions.
  • In the Crust Mix bowl, cut in the butter evenly with a pastry cuter or two table knives. Add the boiling water, stir quickly, and make a ball of dough. Press it into the pie plate and up the sides.
  • Distribute 1/2 Cup of the Parmesan around the bottom of the crust.
  • Fit in half of the tomato slices, and you may need to overlap them.
  • Distribute over the tomatoes 1 TBSP flour, half the onions, half the chopped basil, half the organo, half the salt, and half the pepper.
  • Make another layer, starting with cheese, then tomatoes, etc.
  • In a small bowl, place mayonnaise and 1 Cup Parmesan, mix well, and spread over top of the filling to within 1 inch of the edges.
  • Bake 40 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender.

Green Tomato Relish/Salsa

This recipe will make 3 or more pint-sized jars (2 cups each) of relish.

Time required - about 30 minutes.


  • 2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 or 3 Cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 Cup chopped sweet onion, like Vidalia
  • 1/2 Cup sliced green onions - all the white and first half of each green tail.
  • 4 Cups chopped green tomatoes - chopped either coarse or smaller, however you like.
  • 2 Cups chopped red or yellow bell pepper
  • 3/4 Cup jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped


  • Put all ingredients into a large pot over high heat and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Wash and sterilze pint canning jars in the dishwasher and when ready to use, set them on a clean kitchen towel.
  • Pour the relish into clean, hot pint-size canning jars, cover with lids and rings, tighten halfway and let the jars seal themselves. You will hear a popping noise. Any that do not pop, place into the refrigerator for sooner use. Some cooks process the jars in a hot water bath for 30 minutes, but so far, mine have always popped and sealed without the extra step.



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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      6 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I hope you find some and that you like them. I made green pickle tomatoes during the summer and they came out delicious = not too tart!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany

      I have not seen green tomatoes sold here in Germany. I have not tried eating green tomato. After reading this very useful and informative hub, I will try. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I'm going to the farm market and getting a basket of tomatoes today!

    • bettybarnesb profile image


      8 years ago from Bartlett, TN

      Hey Patty - love this article! One reason is because I love "green tomatoes." My favorite is "fried" green tomatoes but of course, I am from the south. Thank you for sharing. Gave it a thumbs up!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Those pickles are very good tasting. Have you tried green tomato jelly?

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      8 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting benefits from green tomatoes I once tired pickling green tomatoes and turned out great.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      wetnosedogs - Fried green onions. Let's see. I did have some of those at a restaurant - fried in sesame oil and put on top of a Korean rice dish. Other than that, I don't know :)

      WhatToCook - I do like that relish. Sometimes I use zuchinni instead of tomatoes and cook it for a lesser time.

      randomcreative - Alton Brown made me aware of food history and how to find it. Too bad his show is no longer being produced. It wore him out.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I learn so much from your food articles! Great job with this topic. I'm burning to make a green tomato pie now.

    • WhatToCook profile image


      8 years ago from Springfield, MO

      Thanks for sharing. I grew up eating green tomatoes, in well almost every thing as my mom has a love them. Your recipe for the green tomato relish looks amazing, and I look forward to trying it. Voted up.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      8 years ago from Alabama

      Patty Inglish, MS,

      I have no idea how fried green onions are done, but I'm not on a diet! LOL

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Everyone - These recipes are good when I want to cut down further on meat consumption. The pie can make you pretty full - from having good, natural food. I'll have to make one soon!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      wetnosedogs - I just saw a recipe for a bacon sauce for the fried green tomatoes - maybe too many calories and fat grams?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      peachpurple - I learned about the always-green tomatoes at a couple of supermarkets - Whole Foods, Blue Oats, and a local speciality market a few years ago. I was surprised!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Kasmir56 - I hope you enjoy these recipes. I try something new in the puie every time I make it. Some Swiss cheese added is good. :)

      JSMatthew - Thank you and thank your wife for the idea of green tomatoes in soup. Sounds refreshing. I bet green tomatoes could be used for fritters and tempura as well.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Patty had to come by to read the because i have a lot of green tomatoes in my garden right now so I'm going to give these recipes a try !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      8 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Gee, I wrote a lot of replies and Firefox browser lost them for me. I'll back to re-post, but thank you all in the meantime!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Thank you for these recipes Patty. I have hundreds of green tomatoes growing in my garden right now and now I have 2 recipes to try. My wife is Asian and she eats most fruits green and unripened. She often adds green tomatoes to soup. I want to try these and I bet she'll enjoy them and so will I! Up and shared.


    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks, Patty, for all this interesting information about green tomatoes which I have seldom seen available in local supermarkets.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      8 years ago from Alabama

      I never had fried green tomatoes until I came South. I love them.

    • peachpurple profile image


      8 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      all the while i thought green tomatoes are unripe

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very nice and useful information about green tomatoes. I like green tomatoes, though it is not always available at the market.

      You have provided lot of information in a single hub. I like the salsa recipe too.

      Thanks for sharing! Voted up as useful!

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 

      8 years ago from Pune, India

      Thank you for sharing this great information on Green Tomatoes.

      I like Green Tomatoes at they are very tasty.

      Shared with Hub followers.


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