This utterly delicious, Easy Green Tomato Chutney recipe makes using up your remaining unripe tomatoes a breeze! The inclusion of dried figs and cooking apples introduces a delightful sweetness to balance the tartness of green tomatoes and vinegar, while a medley of spices imparts a subtle, warming flavour. Best of all, this chutney is ready to enjoy right away!
When the sunny autumn weather came to an abrupt end last week I decided to pick the green tomatoes from my tomato plants before they rotted.
I had heard a lot about Green Tomato Chutney over the years but never made one.
Hence, I set about researching the subject. I noted that Nigel Slater didn’t make Green Tomato Chutney as in his experience it could either be divine or disgusting.
Green tomatoes are very sour and acidic but I was determined to make an easy and delicious green tomato chutney. I had this gut feeling that dried figs would be the perfect sweet companion and how right I was.
After much delving, I found a recipe for Green Tomato Chutney by Marguerite Pattern in her Jams, Preserves and Chutneys Handbook and set about adapting it.
I swapped out sultanas for figs and added cayenne pepper and mustard seeds for a subtle kick. I also used light soft brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar.
Marguerite peeled her tomatoes but we all know that dietary fibre is essential for health so I left the skins on.
Many green tomato chutney recipes use a muslin bag of pickling spices but I decided to keep this recipe really simple and accessible.
Ingredients for Easy Green Tomato Chutney Recipe
I wanted to use ingredients that you’d probably have in your store cupboard/spice rack or could easily buy.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- White wine vinegar – helps this chutney to be edible straight away as less aggressive than malt vinegar.
- Ground ginger – adds a subtle heat.
- Yellow mustard seeds – also add heat.
- Cayenne pepper – adds a subtle kick.
- Mixed spice – gives a festive flavour note.
- Garlic cloves, crushed – ward off vampires!
- Green tomatoes, finely chopped – from your garden, greenhouse, allotment etc.
- Brown onions, finely chopped – a staple chutney ingredient.
- Cooking apples, finely chopped – I use Bramley apples for added sweetness.
- Light brown soft sugar – adds depth of flavour and colour along with sweetness.
- Dried figs, finely chopped – have the starring role in this chutney.
- Freshly ground black pepper – for a bit more heat.
- Sea salt flakes – to counteract the sweetness from the sugar.
- Digital scales – are vital for precision, cups are not precise.
- Measuring jug – with milliliter markings.
- Chopping board – wood please, no one wants traces of plastic in their chutney.
- Sharp knife – such as a paring knife or whatever knife you’re comfortable using.
- Measuring spoons – all measures are level.
- Preserving pan or large saucepan – the chutney will spit so a large pan is necessary.
- Long wooden spoon – for intermittent stirring and to keep your hand away from spitting chutney.
- Large metal spoon – to spoon the chutney into the hot jars.
- Jam funnel – not necessary if you use wide-mouthed jam jars.
- 5 x 324 ml Glass jam jars with plastic coated lids – vinegar will corrode uncoated metal lids and the orange rubber seals on Kilner-style clip jars so avoid these. It’s best to use proper preserving jars but you could recycle old jam jars.
Steps for Making Easy Green Tomato Chutney
Find the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
- Start by putting the wine vinegar, ground ginger, ground mixed spice, yellow mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, and crushed garlic into a preserving pan.
- Add the finely diced green tomatoes, onions, and cooking apples as you prepare them.
- Bring the pan to a gentle simmer and cook until everything is tender.
- Add light soft brown sugar over a low heat and stir until dissolved.
- Stir in finely chopped dried figs, salt, and pepper.
- Simmer the mixture (stirring occasionally).
- Until it turns jam-like, and a wooden spoon dragged across the bottom of the pan leaves a clear trail. (Takes about 1.5 hours).
- Spoon hot chutney into hot jars using a jam funnel (if you have one) and pat chutney down with the back of a spoon to eradicate air bubbles. Place lids on immediately.
Top Tip: If necessary, wipe rims clean with kitchen paper that’s been dabbed in a little freshly boiled water (so that it’s just damp, not wringing wet).
Easy Green Tomato Chutney Flavour Profile
The spices (ginger, cayenne pepper, mixed spice and yellow mustard seeds) plus the dried figs, onions and cooking apples, make the green tomatoes take on a whole new flavour.
There’s a sweet and sour vibe that initially hits your taste buds followed by a gentle heat. The freshness of the green tomatoes and cooking apples is beautifully complimented by the sweetness of the brown sugar and dried figs.
The white wine vinegar adds a beautiful tang and the mustard seeds a lovely crunch.
My son insisted on trying the green tomato chutney with our all-day breakfast as soon as I’d finished making it.
To my surprise, the chutney tasted incredible straight away and he gave it a score of 10/10!
Easy Green Tomato Chutney can be used in many ways. Serve it with:
- Cheese and biscuits.
- Ploughman’s lunch.
- Cold cuts of meat.
- Roast dinners.
- Hot dogs.
- Sausages, bacon, chops, etc.
- Indian curry.
- Quiche or spoon into raw quiche before baking for added flavour.
- Stir into stews and casseroles for an added fruity flavour.
I would suggest a serving size would be around 2 – 3 heaped teaspoons.
There are so many ways you alter this green tomato chutney to your own taste and make it your own. Here are a few suggestions for your next batch:
- If you don’t like any of the spices then just leave out or substitute for one that you do like.
- Use apple cider vinegar or malt vinegar in place of white wine vinegar.
- Change the sugar from light brown soft sugar to white sugar for a greener colour. Alternatively, use Muscovado sugar for a more intense flavour or a combination of sugars.
- Red onions can be used in place of brown onions.
- Ground ginger can be substituted for grated fresh ginger root (about 3 cm).
- Make your own pickling spices and add to a muslin/cotton spice bag or you can even use a tea ball. Experiment with coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, star anise, cloves, cinnamon sticks etc
- Add in red tomatoes if you don’t have enough unripe tomatoes.
- Substitute dried figs for dates, golden raisins or other dried fruit.
- Heat things up a little more with fresh green chillies or red chilli flakes (dried crushed chillies).
- Pop in a couple of bay leaves or curry leaves (just remember to remove them at the end of cooking).
- Add fresh herbs from your garden that also need to be used up.
- Keep the peel on the cooking apples for extra dietary fibre. I would definitely do this next time.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. If you keep the lid on the moisture won’t evaporate and the chutney will take hours to thicken.
You’ll get 4 – 5 jars
If you’re pushed for time or not able to use a knife to chop up the green tomatoes, onion, apple and dried figs then you could use a food processor to grate all the ingredients instead. The texture would just be more like Brinjal Pickle (Aubergine Pickle).
You can allow the chutney to mature for 4 weeks before eating for optimum flavour but it tastes great as soon as it’s cooked so you don’t need to.
Beneficial Nutrients in Green Tomato Chutney
Dried figs are a great source of iron which is needed to combat anaemia. They’re high in potassium which has many health benefits including supporting normal blood pressure. Plus, they’re a great source of dietary fibre which is needed for gut health and avoiding constipation.
Bramley apples are also high in potassium.
Green tomatoes aren’t particularly nutritious but as the skins are kept on in this recipe, they are a good source of dietary fibre.
Easy Green Tomato Chutney should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place and is best eaten in the first 12 months but can keep up to 2 years.
Once opened it should be kept in the fridge where it will keep for a few months.
I seriously don’t think storage will be an issue as you’ll have eaten this delicious chutney before it has a chance to perish!
More Green Tomato Recipes
Once you’ve tried my Easy Green Tomato Chutney with figs then you should also check out the following recipes:
- Mixed Tomato Chutney (uses green and red tomatoes)
- Green Tomato Ketchup
- Quick Pickled Green Tomatoes
- Burnt Green Tomato Relish
- Fried Green Tomatoes
So, I hope you’ve learned that there’s no need to fret at the end of the tomato season when your tomato plants are on borrowed time!
Just pick those green tomatoes and make Easy Green Tomato Chutney for yourself, for Christmas presents or both! Simples!
Do leave a comment and rating below when you’ve made this recipe as I love getting your feedback! You can also share your pictures by tagging @FabFood4All over on Instagram.
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Easy Green Tomato Chutney
- 1 Digital scales
- 1 Measuring jug
- 1 Chopping Board
- 1 Sharp knife
- 1 Measuring spoons
- 1 Preserving pan or large saucepan
- 1 long wooden spoon
- 1 Large metal spoon
- 1 jam funnel
- 5 324 ml Glass jam jars with plastic coated lids
- 450 ml white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon mixed spice
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 900 g green tomatoes finely chopped
- 450 g brown onions finely chopped
- 450 g cooking apples (Bramleys), peeled & finely chopped (prepared weight)
- 350 g light brown soft sugar
- 300 g dried figs finely chopped (hard stem tips removed)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 teaspoons sea salt flakes
- Place 450 ml of white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon mixed spice (if using) and 4 crushed garlic cloves into a preserving pan or similar large pan.
- Add the finely diced green tomatoes, onions and cooking apples to the mixture as you prepare them. They should all be cut in similar sized small dice.
- Bring pan to a gentle simmer and cook until everything is tender (took me 14 minutes).
- Add the light brown soft sugar over a low heat and stir until dissolved.
- Then stir in the finely chopped dried figs, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and 3 teaspoons sea salt flakes.
- Simmer (stirring occasionally) until mixture thickens to a jam like consistency and a wooden spoon dragged across the base of the pan makes a clean track (with no vinegar filling up the void). Don’t over-cook! (This step took me 1 ½ hours).
- Pot up the hot chutney into hot sterilized jars using a large spoon and jam funnel if you have one. Pat the chutney down with the back of the spoon to eradicate any air pockets and screw lids on immediately.
- Allow to cool, then store in a cool, dark place.
- Can be eaten immediately or left a few weeks for flavours to develop further.