Green tomato chutney

Green tomato chutney

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(35 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins Plus overnight salting


Makes about 3kg
This chutney recipe is a great way of using an excess of tomatoes from your garden, making them last all year

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per rounded tbsp

  • kcal34
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs9g
  • sugars4g
  • fibre1g
  • protein1g
  • salt0.26g
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  • 2½ kg green tomato
  • 500g onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 rounded tbsp salt
  • 500g sultana
  • 500g cooking apple
  • 500g light muscovado sugar
  • 1.14 litre jar spiced pickling vinegar


  1. Slice the tomatoes (you can skin them if you want, but I don’t usually bother). Finely chop the onions. Layer both in a large bowl with the salt. Leave overnight.

  2. Next day, chop the sultanas using a large, sharp knife, then peel, core and chop the apples. Put the sugar and vinegar into a large pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the sultanas and apples and simmer for 10 mins. Strain the tomatoes and onions in a colander (but don’t rinse), then tip into the pan and return to the boil.

  3. Simmer for about 1 hr, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and pulpy. Transfer to warmed jars (see Know-how, below) and cover with lids.

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Comments, questions and tips

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30th Oct, 2019
I only had enough green tomatoes, so make a half batch. I added some fresh ginger, corriander, black pepper and cloves to pep up the flavour. Like lots of others, I reduced the amount of vinegar (50/50 white distilled vinegar and red wine vinegar) and sugar. I used demerara, because that's all I had in my cupboard. I drained the onion and tomato mixture in 2 colanders and allowed to drain while the sugar was melting. Even so, I had to cook this for way longer than the hour suggested - inbetween, I cut the grass, transplanted geraniums, tidied the garage, made and had lunch. It was about done by the time I'd finished off in the garden!! Don't pay any attention to the prep times either - I've no idea how you could possibly gather, prep, dice, slice and chop all the ingredients in 25 minutes. Having said that the chutney looks good, not dominated by vinegar. It tastes nice nice now, looking forward to it on a chunk of home made bread and cheese.
5th Oct, 2019
I’m about to make this again, having used this recipe in 2016 and again last year. Both times, I followed the recipe to the letter and matured for at least 3 months. The longer it matured, the better it tasted and by the time I was at the last jar I wished I’d kept it all longer! This time, I didn’t have enough green tomatoes, but rather than make half the quantity, I am experimenting with 1.5Kg green tomatoes, plus half kilo of semi-ripe and half kilo of red. Like the idea of adding extra cumin and turmeric, so will be doing that too. Every Good Food recipe I have tried has turned out well.
Pixel Purrsquirmer's picture
Pixel Purrsquirmer
18th Nov, 2018
Forgot to say, it made 3 large jars (that used to have 900ml sauerkraut) and 2 medium jars one about 600g, one about 400g. I used Sarson's Classic Malt Pickling Vinegar 1.14 litres, ready spiced.
7th Nov, 2018
I'm glad my wife suggested I cook half the amount of tomatoes we had to test whether the recipe worked or not. I was sceptical as there were so many reviews but as usual she was right! Following the recipe exactly, this is a sickly sweet and over-sour recipe. The sweetness doesn't have any flavour either although i used raisins instead of sultanas. What I actually ended up doing is using double the amount of tomatoes/onion mixture, half the vinegar, added 1tsp each of cumin and turmeric and cooked for a lot longer. I've a chutney which tastes good but needs more sugar so will add some dates and cook for another 1hr.
13th Aug, 2018
Inadvertently cut down one of my tomato plants that left me with approx 1 kilo of green tomatoes so decided to "experiment" with this recipe. Conscious of past comments and advice, making half-quantities I used a fifty fifty mixture of malt and white vinegar, 200ml total but with 300g mixture of light muscavado and demerara sugar (I like things sweet). . Combined 250g of apples and pears and 250g chopped sultanas. Made sure I drained tomato onion mixture first (produced 250ml of liquid). Added 2 tbsp mild curry powder, a tbsp of wholegrain mustard, a tsp of chilli flakes and half tsp of ground black pepper. Had to simmer for an hour to boil off bulk of liquid and gain desirable consistency. Bottled approx 1.5kg. and first taste is yummy - has a lingering, spicy after taste. As others have said, reckon the trick is to reduce the recipe quantity of vinegar by at least half, and to ensure tomato onion mixture is well drained before adding. Looking forward to having it with the cheeseboard and cold meats at Xmas.
4th Oct, 2017
Just made this recipe. Would agree it needs much longer to cook than stated in the recipe and cut up the tomatoes smaller. No indication as to how thin the slices should be. Tastes good though and looking forward to trying it in a few months.
30th Dec, 2016
Fabulous recipe. Used up all my tomatoes and got the best chutney! Growing more next year, specifically for chutney.
28th Sep, 2016
Made a variant of this 3 years running. I follow it more or less to the letter but add extra spices. Usually chopped chilli and turmeric and cumin. But I imagine various combinations would work. 1hr simmer is enough for me. Leaves it chunky which I like. Matures nicely but also fine almost straight away. Don't really get the too vinegary comments. I think it's a nice balance of sour and sweet. Even better with a bit of chilli.
13th Nov, 2015
Came across this recipe after being given a glut of green tomatoes. Read through the other comments and added in a teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, all spice, caymenne pepper and ground ginger. Used dark brown muscovado sugar and apple cider vinegar. Halved the recipe to match the 1.25kg of green tomatoes I had and then halved the vinegar amount again so 285ml. Still a bit chunky at the end so gave it a blitz in the food processor. Granted the end result is a bit of a sludgy brown colour but I'm sure it'll taste fine. My first batch is maturing at the mo and now need to make some more after aquiring more green toms!
8th Nov, 2015
I made this a week ago, I'm no chutney connoisseur, having only made a beetroot chutney once before, but, 2.5hrs rather than the 1 stated, I have a very nice brown sticky chutney. It does have a vinegary tang, but it also has a sweet crunch to it too... I only had half the green tomatoes required so halved all the ingredients, then read all the comments. Looking forward to eating it at xmas with cheese and left over turkey! AK


2nd Mar, 2015
Can I use tin tomatoes?
16th Oct, 2014
when you chop tomatoes and onions do you put water on them
28th Sep, 2013
How do I read the answers to the questions posted? I too want to know the shelf life of this recipe, and does it freeze well?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Oct, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. You shouldn't need to freeze chutney as the combination of vinegar and sugar preserves it well. As long as you have sterilised the jars thoroughly, your homemade chutney should last for up to a year in a cool, dark place.
8th Oct, 2014
I googled this a few days ago and there were people that had jars of chutney that were made 8 years ago, and said it was still lovely when they opened the jar up....not sure I would want to keep it that long though :)
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Oct, 2013
You shouldn't need to freeze chutney as the combination of vinegar and sugar preserves it well. As long as you have sterilised the jars thoroughly, your homemade chutney should last for up to a year in a cool, dark place.
20th Sep, 2013
Can I use a pressure cooker ? If so how long are the cooking times
8th Oct, 2014
I wouldn't use a pressure cooker as you need to boil off the vinegar and reduce it down a lot. Use your pan by all means but without the lid. You will actually need to simmer it for at least 3 - 4 hours, not one hour, as stated in the instructions.
goodfoodteam's picture
15th Oct, 2013
Yes, you can - we'd suggest, at step 3, cooking for 20 minutes on high and then taking the lid off and simmering until thick.
19th Sep, 2013
Is there a recipe for chutney made without vinegar?


jeremy noodle
19th Oct, 2019
This is the third time I have made this Devil's Brew, as my wife refers to it. The first time I did not chop the tomatoes finely enough, I just sliced and hence, not enough water was pulled out by the salt. I had to use the magic wand to do some selective blending, or I might still be boiling it down to a usable consistency. However, I ended up with some very tasty, if a bit smooth, chutney. The second time I made it- I sliced finely, which allowed the salt to pull out more moisture and make it easy to reach the required gelatinous goop stage. Add a little salt throughout, but put the majority at the top so it percolates down and dehydrates the full container. This year I have doubled the recipe, but don't have a pan big enough to boil it in- so I borrowed the mother-in-law's cauldron. I hope to get it back to her before- ribbit, ribbit, ribbit o-o /,_,\ ,Mm/_\mM,
26th Aug, 2019
I have used this recipe a few times. I add a teaspoon of ground ginger which really brings out the flavours and adds a little bit of spice
Pixel Purrsquirmer's picture
Pixel Purrsquirmer
18th Nov, 2018
I'm glad I didn't get put off by the negative comments before trying this recipe, though I did tweak it slightly once I'd read about adding spices. I added a couple of teaspoons of ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, a teaspoon of chilli flakes and a good bit of black pepper and think that this improved the flavour. Also the comments on how long it took to reduce were right, several hours of simmering quite hard with the lid off, not just 1 hour. I think the sweetness and sourness will mellow with age like any other chutney so I wouldn't go on how it tastes as soon as it is finished. I'm looking forward to trying this in a month or two, hopefully it will have matured by Christmas!
17th Oct, 2016
Instead of the muscovado, I used brown Splenda. I added a pinch each of Cumin and coriander powder. Progress with simmering was very slow and I removed about half a litre of liquid after about 3 hours. I ended up simmering for 5 hours. At this point the mix was just beginning to burn. However, I regard my cookup as a great success - sweet, with a bit of a kick. Nest time i will start with perhaps a quarter litre less vinegar, but everytbhing ewlse just as stated in the recipe (with my few variations). The family vote it a highly successful resipe.
17th Oct, 2016
I forgot to say that I was unable to get spiced pickling vinegar, so used just a regular pickling vinegar.
Mrs Mudge
23rd Oct, 2014
All chutneys need time to mature, usually about three months and this one is no exception, give it time and you will enjoy. Some types of tomato have a higher water content than others which will account for the longer simmering time.
Mrs Mudge
23rd Oct, 2014
All chutneys need at least three months to mature in order to lose the raw vinegar taste and this one is no exception, give it time and you will enjoy. Some types of tomatoes have more water content than others which will account for the longer simmering time.
28th Sep, 2014
Even with 750 mls of vinegar, the simmering process still took 2.5 hours. End result delicious !
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