Sweet and Spicy Pickled Green Tomatoes

I have never had much of a green thumb. I tend to kill all plants, inside and out. Growing up in a family filled with hobby farmers, and gardeners, you'd think I'd have learned a thing or two, and would follow in the footsteps of my parents and grandparents. But nope... I fail so hard at growing plants.

Every couple of years I decide I want to be an urban gardener, and plant vegetables and flowers around our little city lot, but then about 3 or 4 week into the summer months, they tend to shrivel up and die. Either from lack of water, or an infestation of some kind.  This year however, I grew some amazing heirloom tomatoes. No horn worms, no blight, and the right mix of water and sun to bring me daily bowls and baskets filled with perfect tomatoes.

But now that the warm days have come to an end, and frost is looming over use every night, I found myself with an abundance of green tomatoes that needed to be picked before the frost got to them. While looking for ways to use them, I stumbled upon an old New England favorite for pickled green cherry tomatoes in one of my Nana's old cookbooks.

These are great served on their own in any relish tray, or as a condiment, but they are also great with cream cheese on crackers, or in cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. They are sweet, sour, and they have some heat!

Sweet and Spicy Pickled Green Tomatoes
Inspired by a vintage canning cookbook at my Nana's house (can't find the copy now) 

5 lbs of green tomatoes
1 large white onion
6 small hot chili  peppers (use your favorite variety)
6 cloves of garlic, peeled 
Handful of fresh cilantro
6 tbs pickling spice
8 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup of sugar
4 tbs pickling salt

6 qt canning jars, sterilized
Sterilized jar lids
Canner  or large 10+ quart pot
Canning rack


Fill canner with water, add a canning rack. Bring water to a full boil, with the lid on. 

Slice tomatoes, onions into thin slices.

Cut the tops off each chili pepper, halve them if desired.

Place tomatoes, onions in each jar. Filling it as much as you can leaving 1 inch of head room. 

Place one chili pepper, clove of garlic, and a sprig of cilantro to each jar. 

Prepare the brine by bringing the vinegar, water, sugar salt, and pickling spice to a boil. 

Pour into the jars, leaving 1 inch of headroom.

Place lids on each jar, and place in the boiling water bath, covered for 15 minutes. 

Remove jars from the canner, and place on a towel or cooling rack. 

Allow the jars to sit for at least 2 weeks before opening. 

Pickles will last up to 12 months unopened at room temperature. Refrigerate open jars.



  1. These would be the perfect addition to my boring old sandwich! Plus, they're so pretty in the jar :)


    1. Thanks Sues! They really do spice up any sandwich ;)

  2. You know what...I've never had a green tomato! Not fried...not pickled. Just no green tomatoes! I love ANYTHING pickled so these are gonna be what changes that!

    1. They are actually quite good, I don't fry them often, but on occasion if I see them being served somewhere... I have to order them!

  3. Yum! I love hot and spicy additions to anything and everything! This looks so good!

  4. I know that I could eat that whole jar by myself, if given just one day. Beautiful!

  5. Sigh, I need to do this with our tomatoes. Thank for the motivation because I forget that it's not super complicated!!

  6. My mom just brought me a bunch of green tomatoes from her friend's garden and I've been trying to figure out what to do with them! We LOVE pickles in this house, so I think I'll give this one a go!