Gran's Green Tomato Chutney

My gran's been making this wonderfully tangy and sweet green tomato chutney for as long as I can remember. It's fantastic as a relish in a burger or just with cheese and biscuits.

It's a brilliant way to use up unripe tomatoes if the weather (like this year) hasn't been great for them. I picked 5kg of green tomatoes from my allotment as they were starting to get blight then made two batches of this stuff. Some will be saved for Christmas presents and some will get eaten over the year.
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Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

  • 2.5kg green tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 0.5kg onions, finely sliced
  • 4 tsp / 30g salt
  • 1L malt vinegar
  • 0.5kg soft light brown sugar
  • 250g sultanas, roughly chopped
  • 3 tsp / 20g ground pepper


  • Preserving pan or other large lidless pan
  • 7 - 10 jars with lids
  • Food wrap / cling film
  • Sticky labels

Approximate cost: 2.5 GBP per batch (if you grew the tomatoes).

Step 2: Prepare

Picture of Prepare
Finely slice your onions and washed green tomatoes, cutting out any bad bits. Add to a large bowl and stir. Add the 4 teaspoons of salt, stir again and then cover with food wrap or a large plate and leave overnight.

This will draw out lots of the tomato juices and help enhance the flavours. This step can be skipped if you don't want to leave it overnight, just reduce the salt by half.

I thoroughly recommend doing this step as it will reduce the time you need to cook your chutney for. Much of the cooking time is just reducing the liquid down so it's a thick enough consistency for chutney.

Step 3: Heat the vinegar, add the sugar.

Picture of Heat the vinegar, add the sugar.
The next day...

Place the litre of vinegar into a large pan. Add the 500g of light brown soft sugar and stir over a medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved.

Bring to the boil.

Step 4: Sultanas

Picture of Sultanas
Roughly chop the sultanas then add to the simmering vinegar and sugar. Bring the whole lot to a gentle boil.
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PS43011 months ago
Tried out this recipe for the first time today, am a complete novice at doing this type of cooking. We'll it worked out great have no worries in recommending it to all.

try it with dark brown sugar its amazing

First go at chutney this morning and it's easy to follow and tastes great. Don't know how ill resist to let it mature for a month :-)
hurstead6 days ago

I am a chutney junky.... has anyone tried stirring a small spoonful through a tossed salad. Certainly helps with the diet :)

Im picking my green tomatoes from the garden this weekend and will try your gran's recipe.

I notice that in the ingredients list you ask for 20g of ground pepper yet further into the recipe it changes to 15g. I cannot see where the other 5g is added. Also, for how long do the jars stay in the oven to dry and sterilise?


i made this chutney but mine tastes very vinegary can i save it or shall i throw it?

Jayefuu (author)  liz.langridge.111 days ago

Hmmmm. If you're sure you used the correct ratio of ingredients it should be fine. I'd just jar it and leave it a month to mature then taste it. It might mellow out.

will give that a go thanks .

I love this chutney, completely fool proof and I've still a jar left from a year ago and is still good. Only managed to make two jars this autumn, so worth the effort..

maryedoris24 days ago

I was halving the quantities, but forgot to do it for the vinegar, and added the whole lot. Is it ruined now?

No, it should be fine. Just boil it until it reduces to the right consistency

CerysB24 days ago

New to chutney last year, I made this recipe and another one last year and I was gutted I hadn't used all my green tomatoes on THIS recipe. It is absolutely delicious! I am making it today and can't wait to eat it in a couple of months... and my mouth is watering at the prospect :D Thank you !

Jules621 month ago
Have never made chutney before but wow this was a great recipe to follow, and I have 4 8oz jars plus half a jar of great looking chutney. Will make again soon.

made it last year for the first time and now my brother-in -law cant get enough he has just bought another 5 kilo of tomatoes that's 20 kilo this year alone thanks for a great recipe

Am at the last 30 mins or so off bottling a batch of this.. My kitchen smells Amazing :) ( have already had a sneak taste and I love it already ) I adapted with the vinegar.. 1/2 white and 1/2 apple cider ( all I had in pantry ) and sugar ( only had dark brown ) also added a few sprinkles of chilli flakes.. and black pepper instead of white... All the tomatoes are home grown. Have the biggest tomato plant I have ever seen.. lol and it had way too many tomatoes on it for the fruit to survive, so plucked 2.5 kg to make the chutney ( still around 3 kg of tomatoes on the plant ) Am so looking forward to enjoying my 1st batch of home made chutney and maybe sharing a few jars.. maybe.. LOL Thank you :) :)

Jayefuu (author)  chris.james.92102561 month ago

Looks fantastic! Glad you like it, gran will be please too. I'm giving a free 3 month Instructables pro code to everyone who posts photos, would you like one?

scrowe3 made it!1 month ago

First timer at chutney here, although I made jam donkey's years ago.

Followed this recipe to the letter - Oh WOW! is this stuff yummy! Really zingy.

Can't wait to make more :)

Jayefuu (author)  scrowe31 month ago

Nice one! I made my batch for this year yesterday. I give a 3 month Instructables pro code to everyone who posts photos, would you like one?

CarolineW11 month ago

Have just chopped and prepare my mix for cooking tomorrow after reading
all the reviews im looking forward to tasting it i have had to use some
red tomatoes so will take a 1/3 off the amount of sugar and hope it
comes out ok .. best wishes to your Gran :)

Just finished making it...The house smells awesome ..Following the recipe exactly we got 6 half pint jars. Can hardly wait to taste it.


I also put in some nutmeg and Cayenne pepper to give it some spice, it tasted great

Dear Jayefuu, simmered mine for 1.5 hours and the liquid has all gone. It's only a light brown at the moment and not really sludgy enough. Any suggestions? Should I add a little more vinegar or water? I've done half of the recipe as only had 2.5kg of tomatoes.

thanks for any tips if you're online today.

Jayefuu (author)  hermione.ireland2 months ago

Don't add more liquid, just keep simmering it on low until it is thick enough. Read step 8 regarding how to know when it's done then let me know if you have any more questions.

Thank you.

GrahamH12 months ago

Worked first time! Subbed white wine vinegar for the malt vinegar and apples for the sultanas, because that's what I had in the cupboards. Also added mustard seeds and a small chilli for fun.

Soooo tasty, thanks for putting this on.

Kiteman4 months ago

This is lovely - so far, I have had it with pork pie, cheese, celery, crisps, and a spoon.

(I got it on the right instructable now!)

nannachook made it!5 months ago

Followed this recipe, adding a couple of old floury apples, a small piece of butternut pumpkin, using the end of all tomatoes (large and cherry, green and red) on my vines, and substituting my own dried raisins for the sultanas. I added only 750ml of vinegar, a mix of brown and white (all I had in the pantry). Reducing took 4 hours at a constant simmer on my wood stove, and yield was around 2.4kg (7 x 350g jars). I found this recipe easy and the instructions clear, thank you from Victoria, Australia.

Jayefuu (author)  nannachook5 months ago

Nice! How's it taste?

Mighty fine, thanks Jayefuu, thumbs up from everyone here. It has been added to cheese and crackers, sausages in bread, and minced meat penne so far - and very popular! :)

CraftyMaria5 months ago

Hi, Just wondering, Do you drain the liquid from the salted tomato/onion mix before cooking?

babsboyle6 months ago

Help please!!! I have made the chutney and ready to bottle it. But its really 'vinegary'

Should I do anything before bottling or is it normal?

I am in Australia so if anyone is still up I would appreciate quick reply. Thanks.

Dakymash6 months ago

G'day, please let you Gran know that her recipe has made it to our humble kitchen in Australian. We have the first batch simmering as I write. Smells yummy!

groves76 made it!7 months ago

Diced, cooked, bottled, delicious.

Need a few more of your gran's recipes ; )

Jayefuu (author)  groves767 months ago

Excellent! Thanks!

jackintas7 months ago

Made this for the first time today. I did the full recipe salted and rested overnight and it took me 5 hours on low heat simmer to reduce to a manageable chutney. Tastes great but returned only a little over 1kg of chutney. Sadly no more green tomatoes but I do have some plums which I will try it our on.. Well done fantastic

Jayefuu (author)  jackintas7 months ago

5 hours!? Wow.

groves767 months ago

This is absolutely delicious, a real keeper! I was looking for a green tomato chutney that didn't have curry or chilli, and this was perfect, the white pepper gives it a nice warmth.

Jayefuu (author)  groves767 months ago

Glad you like it :) I've got some for lunch today! If you got photos, you can use the "I made it" button above to add one to the Instructable.

Granny Jo Jo10 months ago
Thank you Gran’s recipe appealed to me, I made the mistake of throwing in a few chilli which cut down my takers, still those that like chili are on to their second jar in a day! Not wanting to waste anything, I put the excess tomato juice in the soup.
I have another batch on now, great aromas! Problem is I am now scratching around for more jars, luckily I can safely leave it to see what the op-shop has.
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