What to Do with Green Tomatoes

Debbie from Larson Farm Naturals tried making fried green tomatoes. Her results prompted her to try this recipe for green tomato jam instead!

So we had our first freeze here the other night.  That means end of gardening for me.  I could go all out and try to cover everything each night.  Ya, I tried that.  I just don’t have the energy at the end of the day…or the amount of bed sheets it takes to cover up 15 tomato plants !  So instead we gathered up what we could the other day and just left it at that.

This is what we came out of the garden with…

A few different kinds of peppers and tomatoes.  Mostly green tomatoes.  No matter what method you use, trying to ripen these little green beauties doesn’t work very well.  And if you do manage to get them to turn red, they will taste just like those tomatoes in the store during the winter months… I guess that’s ok if you like eating cardboard.  But I don’t–soooooo I need to find something to do with them now don’t I?

I tried making “fried green tomatoes” once.  I had never even heard of them until the movie came out.  I saw that and thought, hey those look good.  Well, I guess I am no good at frying, they were bad bad bad!  On to the next recipe.  I came across green tomato jam.  hmmmmm interesting, why not.

So here is my recipe and how I did it.  With a few optional add ins and a delicious way to serve it up.  It is oh so good good good!

  • 4 1/2 lbs green tomatoes
  • 6 cups sugar
  • juice from one orange/li>
  • juice from one lemon

Tomatoes all washed and weighed.

I like to quarter them like an apple and then cut out the inside to catch the top blossom and the bottom.  Some people like to scoop out more of the white and the seeds, but I left them in mine.

Dice these up into small pieces.

Add the sugar and the juice from the lemon and orange.  I didn’t have a lemon so I just used about 1/8 cup bottled lemon juice. I also decided to add in a few jalapeno slices to give it a bit of a kick.  I have read other recipes where some might add in ginger and vanilla.

Let the mixture sit for 8 hours or overnight.  I really only let mine sit for about 5 and it turned out just fine.  This is what it will look like, all juicy and ready to be cooked.

While your mixture is cooking, get your jars, rings and lids.  Boil the jars and rings to sterilize.  I like to just throw them in the water bath canner to do this.  Bring that water up to a boil when the tomatoes get close to being done.  I got (7) half pint jars ready.  I ended up with about 5 1/2 jars of jam in the end.

Simmer your tomato mixture for about 2 hours.  It should reach the jelly stage.  Test this by dripping some out onto a plate.  Let it cool a bit and see if it is jelly consistency.  Once it is, you’re ready to fill your jars.

Fill your jars with the jam and fit on your lids and rings.  Process your half pint jars for 10 min. in a boiling water bath canner.  If you don’t want to do the water bath you can just store these in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Easy as that!

One of my most favorite ways to serve this type of jam is with cream cheese and crackers.  I fell in love with this pairing when my sister shared a recipe of curried cream cheese with hot mango chutney served on wheat thins. Yum Yum Yum!! I also tried it with raspberry jalapeno jam and cream cheese. You can plate them up individually or serve like this…(i didn’t have wheat thins today, bummer)

Don’t laugh at the picture please!  It really looks better in person :)


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  1. Tower Deli says:

    It’s not every day that you see a recipe for tomato jam and coming across this post is just great. As a catering Fort Lauderdale company, we can sure make use of a good recipe like this considering that tomatoes can rot after a few days. Thank you for sharing this nice post.

  2. This looks so yummy! I can’t wait to start canning soon and would never have thought to make a tomato jam. Thanks for the great idea.

  3. I’m actually about to start drooling. Jam is pretty high up on the must have food list and this sounds totally cool. Will give this a try soon thanks!

  4. I’m so glad so many of you loved this recipe. It looks delicious.

  5. Yummy Yummy those pics look so scrumptious!! Might have to try this with the late-bloomers in the garden :) Thanks for the awesome recipe (and tasty photos:)

  6. I had 7 pounds of green tomatoes last week and also made a green tomato jam. The recipe I used included vanilla beans and ginger: http://rosajackson.blogspot.com/2007/11/green-tomato-jam-with-ginger-and.html. Oh so yummy!

  7. Brilliant! Love love love it!

  8. I’ve still got plenty of green tomatoes hanging out on my kitchen counter, so I might try this! I’ve already made fermented salsa verde with some. Along with this recipe, and maybe a couple jars of pickled green tomatoes, and that should take care of the rest of them. Thanks!

  9. I wish we had tomatos to try. The Pacific NW was too chilly & cloudy this year for tomatos to grow. Maybe next year.

  10. Oh we love green tomatoes! Being a true southern we like them fried, but I will have to try this recipe. Thanks. We also make green tomato salsa out of ours.