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Easy Green Tomato Chutney

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My Easy Green Tomato Chutney is sweet and sour with aromatic spices and a touch of chilli. Delicious on everything from cheese and cold meats to burgers or your favourite sandwich.

A perfect solution to make the most of unripe green tomatoes. All deliciously preserved as jars of flavour packed chutney for the winter months.

My Green Tomato Chutney is a tried and tested family favourite, a proper old fashioned chutney. And you’ll be pleased to hear how easy it is to make. Simply chop up your ingredients, put them in your pan with spices, vinegar and sugar and cook. Then simmer until your chutney is glossy and thick.

Cheese topped with green tomato chutney, unripe tomato and bread with chutney next to a chutney jar.

Back when my Kitchen Shed garden produced masses of tomatoes and chillies, we’d pick green tomatoes early in the season. That way we could guarantee the best Green Tomato Chutney for the local Christmas fayre. Fortunately for us, we still had plenty of ripening tomatoes on vines so we could make Red Tomato Chutney.

Chutney making still forms a large part of what happens here at The Kitchen Shed. And, as it always has, chutney making follows what’s in season and what’s in surplus. We generally start with courgettes and before I know it, we’re into the summer glut of tomatoes.

A chunk of cheese with chutney on top, unripe tomato and bread with chutney next to a chutney jar.

Out comes the preserving pan and on goes a big batch of green tomato chutney. Not long after all the tomatoes are done and dusted, we’re harvesting apples and it’s time for Spicy Apple Chutney.

Old fashioned green tomato chutney is a great make ahead Christmas gift. Not least because it partners perfectly with Christmas cheeses and cold meats. So why not make an extra batch and you’ll have a few Christmas gift items for family and friends ?

4 jars of chutney with unripe tomatoes and lids.

What equipment do I need ?

  • Preserving pan – nice and wide so liquid can evaporate and your chutney becomes glossy and thick. If you make a lot of chutneys and jams it’s worth investing in a good solid preserving pan. I use an 8.5 litre Penguin Home Professional pan.
  • A ladle.
  • A jam funnel. I prefer to use a stainless steel funnel because vinegar reacts with other metals such as aluminium.
  • 5 or 6 jam jars with screw top lids. Make sure to use vinegar proof lids – generally plastic coated on the underside to prevent any acid reaction with metal.
  • Adhesive labels.

How to Sterilise Jars

Sterilise jars shortly before they are to be used. This minimises the time in which the jars might pick up new bacteria and ruin your chutney. Make sure your jars are dry when you come to fill them.

Washed jam jars in the microwave.
  • I like to sterilise jars in the microwave. Clean your jars as normal and rinse. Whilst the jars are wet, pop them in the microwave for two minutes on full power. Remember the jars will be very hot, so remove with care.
  • Pour boiling water into a bowl or jug and add the lids and leave for 5 minutes. Drain and leave to dry completely before using.
  • Alternatively, wash jars and the lids in the dishwasher on a hot cycle.
  • Always sterilise more jars than you think you will need.

What ingredients do I need ?

Apples, sugar, vinegar, green tomatoes, onions, sultanas, spices, salt and fresh ginger root.

Amounts are detailed in the recipe card.

  • Apples – I used cooking apples as they cook down and thicken the chutney. Eating apples can be used – Braeburn, Cox’s Orange Pippin or Gala work well. But they will give a slightly different consistency to the chutney.
  • Onions – I used white onions.
  • Green tomatoes – choose firm fresh green tomatoes.
  • Dried fruit – I used sultanas but you could substitute with raisins or currants.
  • Vinegar – I like use cider vinegar in a chutney as, unlike malt vinegar, it doesn’t overpower the final flavour. You will need a good quality vinegar with an acetic acid content of at least 5%. Most reputable brands have at least 5% acetic acid and some even go as high as 8%.
  • Salt – adds flavour and helps to preserve your chutney.
  • Sugar – I’ve used a light soft brown sugar, with a molasses flavour in mind. Feel free to use dark brown sugar if you prefer a darker colour chutney.
  • Coriander seeds – add a warm, aromatic and slightly citrus flavour.
  • Yellow mustard seeds – gives a warm spice tone as well as slightly sweet.
  • Black peppercorns – not as hot as white peppercorns and tend to mellow during cooking.
  • Ginger – fresh ginger root adds a gentle heat.
  • Chilli – I used chilli flakes which add a final kick to boost the heat. The amount of chilli I use won’t blow your socks off but omit it if you prefer less heat.

How to make Easy Green Tomato Chutney

Making a chutney couldn’t be more straightforward – just follow these easy steps for your best homemade green tomato chutney.

Chopping up onions, apples and green tomatoes followed by filling a spice bag.
  • There is no need to skin the tomatoes – the skins stay attached to the unripe tomatoes in cooking.
  • Cut green tomatoes, onions and apples into roughly the same size pieces so they cook evenly. Bear in mind whether you want a chunky chutney or a smaller diced chutney.
Adding unripe tomatoes to onions and apples, adding sultanas, then garlic and chilli and salt to a preserving pan.
  • Add all the ingredients to the pan, adding the sugar and vinegar in last.
  • Give everything a good stir.
  • Make up your spice bag by tying the spices in a large muslin square or use a ready made bag.
  • Add spice bag to the pan and stir.
Adding vinegar and sugar to the preserving pan.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer until nice and thick.
  • You don’t need to watch chutney like you do jam but you still need to keep an eye on it. Stir every now and then to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • The chutney is ready when the liquid has reduced and the fruit, vegetables and sultanas look plump and glossy.
  • Check your chutney is ready by drawing a silicone spatula or wooden spoon through the chutney mixture. If the chutney parts and the base of the preserving pan remains visible for a few seconds, it’s done.
Stirring in the spice bag and cooking the chutney showing the final spatula being drawn through the chutney.
  • Ladle your chutney into sterilised jars whilst still hot, filling to within 6 mm (1/4 inch) of the top. Pack down with the back of a spoon to remove any air pockets.
  • Seal tightly with a lid.
Ladling chutney into a pot.

Do you need to water bath chutney ?

Here in the UK, the water bath method is not generally used for chutneys. Jars and lids are sterilised before filling with hot chutney and tightened lids on filled jars form a vacuum seal as contents cool. However, if you prefer to use a boiling water canner, process Easy Green Tomato Chutney for 15 minutes.

Ways to enjoy Green Tomato Chutney

Green Tomato Chutney is perfect on a cheese or ham sandwich. Serve it up with a traditional Ploughman’s lunch or with cheese and crackers. On barbecue evenings we’ve been known to add a spoon or two to a hot dog or burger.

A chunk of cheese with chutney on top and bread with chutney next to a chutney jar.

But don’t limit your chutney to your favourite sandwich, use it in your cooking too:

  • Add a tablespoon or two to your favourite stew, casserole or tagine.
  • Puree a couple of tablespoons, add a little water and use as a glaze for your Christmas ham or roast.
  • Puree a few tablespoons, add a little water and mustard and use as a dipping sauce.
  • Spread some on toast, layer with cheese and grill.

How long before I can eat my Chutney ?

Easy Green Tomato Chutney improves as it matures. Leaving it in sealed jars for at least two weeks before sampling is definitely preferred. Leave for a couple of months if you can.
Despite knowing I should leave chutney to mature, I admit I have opened a jar the day after cooking. It was delicious and surprisingly there was no overpowering taste of vinegar.

4 jars of chutney with unripe tomatoes and lids.

More Homemade Chutney Recipes for you to try

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A spoon of green tomato chutney with step by step adding ingredients to the preserving pan.
Cheese topped with green tomato chutney, unripe tomato and bread with chutney next to a chutney jar.

Easy Green Tomato Chutney

My Easy Green Tomato Chutney is sweet and sour with aromatic spices and a touch of chilli. Delicious on everything from cheese and cold meats to burgers or your favourite sandwich.
A perfect solution to make the most of unripe green tomatoes. All deliciously preserved as jars of flavour packed chutney for the winter months.
4.98 from 83 votes
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Course: Jams, Pickles, Chutneys, Sauces, Dips & Spreads
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 112
Calories: 27kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • 1 Large preserving pan or saucepan
  • 1 spice bag or muslin cloth and string
  • 1 Ladle
  • 1 Stainless steel jam funnel
  • 5 or 6 450g Sterilised jam jars

Ingredients

  • 1 kg green unripe tomatoes
  • 500 g cooking apples – about 3 medium apples
  • 500 g onions diced – about 3 medium onions
  • 200 g sultanas
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 15 g fresh ginger – grated
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 400 ml cider vinegar
  • 400 g light brown soft sugar
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns

Instructions

  • Cut green tomatoes, onions and apples into dice of roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
  • Add onion, green tomato, apples and sultanas, along with chilli flakes, sea salt, grated ginger and cider vinegar, to a large preserving pan.
  • Give the ingredients a good stir before stirring in the sugar.
  • Make up your spice bag by tying the spices in a large muslin square or use a ready made spice bag.
  • Add spice bag to the pan and slowly bring ingredients to the boil.
  • Turn the heat down to low and let the chutney mixture simmer for at least 1½ to 2 hours.
  • Stir every now and then to prevent chutney sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Check for thickness by drawing a silicone spatula or wooden spoon through the chutney mixture. Your chutney is ready when it parts to reveal the pan base and this remains visible for a few seconds.
  • Remove spice bag and discard.
  • Whilst chutney is still hot, ladle into sterilised jars and fill to within 6mm (1/4″” inch) of the top. Use the back of a spoon to pack down your chutney and remove any air pockets.
  • Seal tightly with a lid.

Notes

  • For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.
  • The recipe approximately makes enough to fill 5 x 450g jars.
  • The recipe is easily doubled. Just make sure you use a large enough preserving pan so the ingredients can reduce. Also, you’ll need to cook for an extra half hour to an hour. Tripling or quadrupling the quantities is not recommended.
  • There is no need to skin green tomatoes. The skins remain attached to the unripe tomatoes pieces during and after cooking.
  • The amount of chilli I use won’t blow your socks off. But if you prefer less heat, simply reduce the amount or omit it altogether.
  • Keep at least 2 weeks before eating.
  • Green Tomato Chutney will keep for up to a year when stored in a cool dry place.
    Once opened, use within four weeks.
  • Here in the UK, the water bath method is not generally used for chutneys. Jars and lids are sterilised before filling with hot chutney and tightened lids on filled jars form a vacuum seal as contents cool. However, if you prefer to use a boiling water canner, process for 15 minutes.
  • Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.

How to use Chutney

  • Serve with cheese, cold meats or your favourite burger.
  • Add a tablespoon or two to your favourite stew, casserole or tagine.
  • Puree a couple of tablespoons, add a little water and use as a glaze for your Christmas ham or roast.
  • Puree a few tablespoons and mix with a little water and mustard to make a dipping sauce.
  • Spread some on toast, layer with cheese and grill.
Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.1mg
Recipe Rating




Chris H

Monday 6th of November 2023

Thanks for the excellent, easy to make recipe. We had a lot of green tomatoes that we harvested this year just before the first frost. What to do with them? This recipe is perfect. We grew all the items that went into the chutney in our garden so that seems a nice touch. I made the double batch and the yield was 8 x 500ml jars. It took 5 hours to cook it down to the correct consistancy. Maybe thats helpful to someone else to know timing and how much to expect from the production. We have not tried any yet as we just finished minutes ago but our batch should last us through the winter until springtime. Smells great! Also thanks for all the good tips within the recipe article and the visuals that were quite helpful. Regards from the colony of Upper Canada.

Sarah James

Monday 6th of November 2023

You're most welcome Chris, it's a pleasure to share the recipe. How lovely that you've been able to use all the ingredients from your garden. Thanks for your feedback on cooking times, I'm sure it will be useful to other readers. Cooking time when doubling the quantities depends even more than usual on the diameter of the pan in relation to the volume of the ingredients. Interestingly, I've made a double batch of chutney in my pan and the extra cooking time was one hour. Thanks again, Sarah.

Lisa

Saturday 4th of November 2023

When you have filled the jar do you put the lid on tight straightaway or wait for the chutney to cool

Sarah James

Saturday 4th of November 2023

Hi Lisa, thanks for getting in touch. You put the lid on straightaway once you've filled the jar. Hope this helps, Sarah.

Ian Ferguson

Monday 23rd of October 2023

Used this recipe for my first ever attempt at chutney. As well as a glut of unripe toms I had lots of green chillies so I chopped up half a dozen small ones and added for an extra kick. Delicious and should be even better after being in the fridge for a couple of weeks or so. Thanks for such a simple recipe.

Sarah

Tuesday 17th of October 2023

I look forward to making this tomorrow! Q for you: I have the seeds and pepper, but in a pinch, could I just add them to the mixture in their powdered form? Or do you think that might be too overpowering?

Sarah James

Tuesday 17th of October 2023

Thanks for getting in touch. In response to your query about the coriander seeds, mustard seeds and peppercorns, if you were to use ground spices you would need to use a smaller amount. I haven't tried it myself in this recipe so I wouldn't like to give a definitive answer without testing the amounts required myself, Sarah.

Debbie

Monday 2nd of October 2023

Hi, this recipe sounds delicious. Can I half the quantities? Also, will it work with white wine vinegar? Many thanks

Sarah James

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

Hi Debbie, thank you. Yes, you can half the quantities and white wine vinegar will work in this recipe. Just make sure it's a good quality vinegar with an acetic acid content of at least 5%. Most reputable brands have at least 5% acetic acid and some even go as high as 8%. The chutney should reduce down quicker as it's a smaller batch so keep an eye on it while it's reducing. Hope this helps, Sarah.