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


  • 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. I prefer a 10 L stainless stock pot.
  • 7 - 10 jars with lids
  • Food wrap / cling film
  • Sticky labels
  • I find a jam funnel really useful. Especially for larger bits of tomato.

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

Step 2: 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.

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

Roughly chop the sultanas then add to the simmering vinegar and sugar. Bring the whole lot to a gentle boil.

Step 5: Drain and Add the Tomatoes and Onions

Remove the cover from the tomatoes and onions that you've left overnight. Drain well but do not rinse. Rinsing will add more water and the goal of leaving overnight with salt was to remove as much water as possible without pulping them.

Add to the chutney and stir in well. Add the 3 teaspoons / 15g white pepper.

Bring to a gentle boil.

Step 6: Cooking Time

Once all the ingredients have been added they need to be boiled gently for 1.5 to 2 hours until thick and golden. The goal of this cooking time is to reduce the liquid down so the chutney's thick and to soften the tomatoes and onions until they take on the sugar and turn brown.

All you're doing for the next 1 - 2 hours is stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat if they start to boil too vigorously.

You might as well get your jars ready now!

Step 7: Preparing Your Jars

Wash your jars and lids well in hot water. I used jars I'd saved from sauces and jams and scrounged from friends.

Place them in an oven preheated to 140 degrees Celcius (280 Fahrenheit).

This will dry and sterilise them.

Step 8: Is It Ready Yet???

When your chutney has reduced by almost half and is thick and golden brown, it is almost ready. Boil it a little longer, I'm almost certain you'll be as impatient as I am and need to leave it just a tiny bit longer. I found a good gauge of it being thick enough was when I could drag my wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan and see the bottom for a little while after it had passed. When that happens, it's ready.

Remove your sterilised jars from the oven and place on newspaper. At this point I realised I didn't have any newspaper so I used chopping boards. Regardless, make sure you have something covering your work surfaces to make it easier to clean up, bottling the chutney will make a fair bit of mess.

Holding the hot jars in an oven mitt in one hand, spoon the chutney into the jars with the other. When full give them a quick tap on the bottom against the work surface to knock out any air bubbles then fill the next jar.

When all your jars are full place a double layer of cling film or food wrap across the top of each jar and then trim around it. As the chutney cools the air below the wrap will contract, sucking the cling film down against the surface, protecting it further from mould. You can see the concave shape of the wrap in the pictures.

Step 9: Labelling and Topping Off

While the jars cool, write some labels showing the date, content and maker.

Once cool, add the lids and stick on the labels. You can start eating the chutney right away, or leave it to mature for one or two weeks. I couldn't wait so had some warm with cheese and biscuits. Mmmmmm.

The finished chutney, if preserved well, should keep for six months or more. Last week I opened a jar my gran gave me the previous Christmas (9 months) and it was still fine.

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239 Discussions


5 years ago on Introduction

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.

1 reply

8 months ago

I have now been using this recipe for at least 5 years, and I'm loving it.
Apart from using it with cheese n crackers, I've used the chutney with burgers and sandwiches (especially with my freshly picked tomatoes!), it's sooooo good.

One more thing I like to mention, I find that my chutney can last longer than a year or two, when properly sealed.

Thanks for posting this recipe.


10 months ago

Roughly what volume does this boil down to? (so I can figure out how many jars I need) When you say 7-10 jars is that like 7-10 500ml jam jars?

1 reply

Reply 10 months ago

Answering my own question: It made about 1800ml for me. (If anyone uses this info though, bear in mind that it will depend on the liquid content of the tomatoes, and you need some airspace in each jar, so it's worth having an extra jar at least)


11 months ago on Introduction

The tip about leaving your prepped ingredients overnight in a pan with salt to bring out the water is simply the best tip yet! I've incorporated this into all my chutney and pickle and relish recipes now as it really makes a difference


1 year ago

I am cooking recipe as I type, however, is it 15g, 20g or 3 tsp of white pepper, they are all quite different (3 tsp ground white pepper weighs around 10g)?


4 years ago on Introduction

Opened a jar today that I made March last year, still tastes amazing! Got to get started on this years green tomatoes : )

Have you ever made this recipe using red tomatoes?

3 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Try this one..
Tomato Sauce

1 and a half kilos tomatoes

500 grams onions

500 grams apples

2 cloves garlic

250 grams garlic

250 grams sugar

2 level tablsp salt

Half teasp cayenne pepper

1 tblsp whole cloves

1tblsp black peppercorns

500 ml malt vinegar
chop tomatoes, onions and apples\par

put in large saucepan\par

add rest of ingredients\par

bring to boil then simmer gently for 2 1/2 hrs UNCOVERED\par

push mixture through a sieve\par

bottle and cover when cold...\par


Reply 1 year ago

Looks interesting I plan to give it a try, however, would I be correct in assuming that the inclusion of 250g garlic was unintended (I wondered if it might be a typo/cut & paste error arising from the combining of the 2 cloves of garlic and 250g sugar)?


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I use a different one for red tomatoes. You can find it on my profile, but I prefer the green tomato recipe.


2 years ago

In desperate need of suggestions of other fruit or veg that would work well with the rest of this recipe, please!! My 3 year old was so proud of her preschool tomato growing project, especially after we created her a special little veggie patch for all the different things she bought home. We ended up with 3 monster tomato plants and loads of tomatoes, but they refused to ripen so we decided on Green Tomato Chutney for everyone for Christmas. Picked them a couple of days ago, took out any that looked a bit manky and stuck them away in the shed. Went shopping this morning for the ingredients needed for this recipe, having spent hours going through various recipes from every direction and deciding on this one as a first attempt. I now have everything I need to make this recipe, except the green tomatoes - they obviously had blight, but most had grown fluff after a fair few had split! Heartbroken Mummy & daughter, but determined to use the ingredients to make something for Christmas presents!!

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

make it with firm Red tomatoes you can use green plumbs to just aadjust the sugar


2 years ago

What a total waste of time and ingredients! This recipe is terrible. I put exactly 10g (measured with digital scales) of white pepper and nearly burnt my mouth out when I tasted it.


2 years ago

This worked really well - great recipe and delicious with cheese.


2 years ago

I need help with the measurements, what is 2.5 kg and 0.5 kg, is it 4 tsp of salt, etc...


2 years ago

Made this last year, went down a bomb with friends. am doing again this year


3 years ago

Not sure what happened, followed recipe but came out very sharp & vinergary!!!


3 years ago

I did everything "wrong", and it still turned out great! Really: sliced the tomatoes instead of chunking them; I was making a 1/2 batch but forgot to halve the sugar; instead of sultanas, used black raisins, with "craisins", and chopped dried apricot. But it turned out great! It will go great with homemade cornbread! Next time, I'll add some chilis to it. Also, loved the idea,

MaitripushpaB, of adding anise or fennel! Thank you.