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How To Make Pickled Green Tomatoes

Updated on September 15, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty collects various recipes from past generations and is interested in early American history, the Civil War, and the 19th century.


Growing and Pickling Garden Vegetables

For nearly three decades, our city has rented garden plots to individuals and families very inexpensively. The plots of land are located in city-owned vacant lots and the unencumbered areas beside freeway on ramps and off ramps.

In Detroit, abandoned properties have been tilled and planted with increasing numbers of fruit and vegetable gardens each year in the 2010s, with the result that urban farmers markets are springing up downtown. Many cities are taking advantage of unused land this way.

Some Garden Plots In My City

McKinley Field Park, Grandview Heights Ohio:
McKinley Field Park, Grandview Heights, OH 43212, USA

get directions

1570 Goodale Blvd.:
1570 Goodale Blvd, Grandview Heights, OH 43212, USA

get directions

Just south of this address, the green space is plowed for individual garden plots each spring for community members.

Until the lands were needed for new construction projects, or city landscaping for beautification with trees and flowers, these areas around the city were full of gardens. It was here that I learned to garden and can or preserve the resulting produce with help from the local library and Extension Service. Finally, I could use some of my old time recipes collected through the years.

Today, some supermarkets and specialty grocery stores sell green tomatoes throughout the year, so the recipes below are handy for a longer time than the few months of the summer or the harvest season. Home gardens can be more productive than imagined, yielding enough produce to give away to friends and local food banks.

Making some green tomato pickles during the summer can help cut down on the number of tomatoes that may be wasted from over production, and the attractive finished jars can be given as gifts.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Cook Time: Green Tomato Dill Pickles

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 15 min
Ready in: 45 min
Yields: 6 Quart canning jars, ready to use in about 4 wks.
5 stars from 2 ratings of Green Tomato Dill Pickles


  • Enough tomatoes for six quart-sized canning jars full of Green Tomatoes, small size and firm. If larger, cut tomatoes in half or quarters.
  • 6 Ribs of Celery, washed and cut to 2-in lengths.
  • 6 Green Bell Peppers (rather small), washed, seeded, cut into quarters.
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
  • 2 Quarts Water
  • 1 Quart White Vinegar
  • 1 Cup Pickling Salt
  • Handful of fresh Garden Dill, adjust to your taste.

Instructions appear after a few tips below.


Friendly Traditions

One good thing about canning these pickles is that you can use the 6 Quart Jars called for by the recipe, or use 12 Pint Jars. They all make attractive gifts with a simple bow tied around the neck of the jar.

An old tradition in my area is that when you receive a gift of home canned goods, you return the canning jar packed with something else. This can be your own garden produce, candies, nuts, or something else appropriate as a gift to your friend and the season of the year.

Some Notes

To can these Green Tomato Dill Pickles, you will be using a Hot Water Stove Top Canning Method with a large pot, a wire rack inside for the jars to sit on, and a lid. A pressure cooker is not needed for these pickles!

The higher your town's elevation above sea level, the longer the processing time need in the hot water bath:

  • Up to 1,000 feet above sea level = 15 Minutes
  • 1,000 - 6,000 feet = 20 Minutes
  • Over 6,000 feet = 25 Minutes
  • For Below Sea Level, use 15 Minutes.
  • For Higher Altitudes, call your local college's Extension Service and they can help.


  • Wash the quart or pint jars in hot water or run them through the dishwasher to sterilize.If hand washed, set jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel on the counter.
  • Pack washed tomatoes in hot jars.
  • Set jors right side up and into each Quart Jar, place 1 garlic clove, 1 celery rib and 4 quarters of a green pepper. If using Pint Jars, physically cut everything in half to have enough for 12 jars.


  • Pour water, vinegar, and salt in a large saucepan over medium high heat; stir, and then break up the dill somewhat into the brine. Allow to boil for 5 minutes. Remove from fire and set up a large stock pot for a Hot Water Bath, filling with water, placing rack inside, and allowing to boil.

Meanwhile -

  • Pour hot brine over the produce in the jars, leaving ½ inch head room at the top.
  • Remove any air bubbles from each jar by inserting a clean table knife into the jars to the bottom and add more brine, if needed; still leave the same amount of head room. Make sure some dill is in all of the jars.
  • Wipe the rims of the filled jars with a damp clean cloth.
  • Place the two-piece metal canning lids and tighten lids about half-way.
  • Place jars in the hot water bath and cover; boil for the prescribed time.
    turn off fire, remove jars with tongs to the clean towel on the counter and wait to hear the "pop" of the lids sealing.
  • Tighten screw-down part of lids and place in cool dry place when cooled.


© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

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

      Fried green tomatoes are very good! Pickled zuchini slices are also good. if you have not tried them yet, and are the same texture as cucumber pickles when you make bread and butter variety. Thanks for commenting!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 

      6 years ago from North Texas

      Love fried green tomatoes. Didn't know they could be pickled. Great idea for gifts like you suggested and they can be made early to avoid the rush at Christmas!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

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

      It figures.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

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

      Please enjoy the recipe again!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      7 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I usually make green tomato marmalade. Now I have an alternatet thanks.

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      7 years ago from Alabama

      I never heard of eating green tomatoes until i moved south. I have had fried green tomatoes and I love them. I'm sure I would enjoy pickled, too.

      Wonderful hub.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      My Aunt Jessie taught me how to pickle green tomatoes when I was a kid. We also made pickled watermelon rind and used both as condiments on relish trays with olives and other specialties. Thanks for the recipe. It's been so long I had forgotten how to do it.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

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

      I have never tried to pickle ripe tomatoes in this way and think they would be very mushy. However, I think that we can take cold brine and marinate sliced tomatoes for a few hours and have something almost like pickled ripe tomatoes, but not mushy I would use some other pickling spices that come in a packet, mix with vinegar, and let tomato slices marinate in the refrigerator.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 

      7 years ago from Jamaica

      I didn't know we could pickle green tomatoes! What recipes do you use pickled tomatoes in or can they be eaten just like that? Can we pickle ripe tomatoes too? I love tomatoes so just a little excited about this.

      I always learn something new when I visit your hubs Patty. Thanks!

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 

      7 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      I make green tomato pickles every year. I also have made green tomato chutney, sauce and many other things. Learn what you can do with 200 pounds of green tomatoes It'll give you a laugh too.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

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

      Rochelle - Good to see you! I like to make pickles from zucchini as well, using a bread and butter pickle recipe of spices. I can't tell them from pickled cucumbers. Homemade applesauce is a favorite, though.

      homesteadbound - Slicing sounds like a good alternative and would probably pick up more flavor. I will try that.

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I have made dilled sliced green tomato slices and my husband loves them. They are great for the end of the season crop.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      7 years ago from California Gold Country

      Thanks for the recipe, Patty. I used to help my mother-in-law make dill pickles (cukes), and this doesn't sound much different. I'm glad I had the experience, though I've never done pickles on my own. I have canned a lot of ripe tomatoes , over the years.

      During the past year I have also amassed a lot of jars. Last year I only canned pears and applesauce. This year-- well, maybe, pickled green tomatoes.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

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

      I am glad to hear of your canning success - Keep growing as much as you can. Iraq climate would dry fresh tomatoes and cucumbers right up, wouldn't it?

      We still have a few dozen companies that sell heirloom seeds, non-Monsanto, and I try to remember to tell people about them. Time for a Hub on that.

      I have the belief that the govt. cannot go to every house and pull up the gardens or pull down the hanging pots of vegetables and fruits. A few folks are doing soil-less growing in their basements under artificial light. Does the govt. have enough people for that type of search and seizure? It would be a visible, blatantly evil act worse than N. Korea's starvation tactics. We all need to grow as much as possible and make it a hard job to stop it!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      This is wonderful!

      First I'd like to relay a short bit of story. My best friend (male) did four tours in Iraq. He's a very high ranking officer, and he'd had quite a lot of influence over there.

      He told me that in Iraq -the people love to have tomatoes and cucumbers with every meal. They can not do that, however, because of the heat, and the fact that the produce just won't last.

      He told me that were the people of Iraq to only bother to learn to can things....they could enjoy those veggies year round.

      Here on the Shaw farm we do garden and we do can. We absolutely LOVE tomatoes, and we start them off with hydroponics.

      These vegetables and the rights of humans to grow their own damned foods - are things our governments truly wish to attempt to take from us. Thanks for spreading good information.


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