Green Tomato Jam

The first heavy frost of the season usually sends gardeners like me scrambling to harvest the last of the tender vegetables. This year was no different, and I picked whatever was left in the garden, in this case peppers, eggplant, and quite a few green tomatoes.

Some of those green tomatoes got dipped in a cornmeal/flour mixture and fried. Yes, I know fried food is bad for you, but green tomatoes are a special case, aren’t they? That’s about the only food we fry anymore at HA, and I’m just not willing to give them up! Fried green tomatoes are definitely one of my ‘guilty pleasures’.

But many of the green tomatoes I picked weren’t really big enough to fry, plus we had way more than we needed, so I went looking for other ways to use them. I remembered saving a recipe that was in our paper a while back for some green tomato jam, and that sounded interesting. That recipe is available here.

I also looked online for recipes, and found a lot of rather disgusting sounding (to me) recipes that involved various flavors of jello, usually raspberry. I did find this recipe that seemed better, but it made more than I wanted. I decided to stick with the original recipe I found in the paper, with a couple of small changes. I left out the cinnamon and pepper, and I only used one lemon instead of two.

Green tomatoes are cored and then chopped into about 1/2 inch pieces. Sugar is added, and the mixture is allowed to stand for overnight (or up to 24 hours). A couple of my tomatoes had just started to turn pink but I used them anyway.

The tomatoes will throw off a lot of juice. Zest and juice the lemon and add to the tomato mixture. Bring to a boil in saucepan, then lower heat and simmer for about two hours, or until thick as desired.


This jam will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks, or frozen for up to six months. The resulting jam is sweet/ tart and fruity tasting. I froze two half pint jars and kept the rest in the refrigerator. The full recipe follows.

This green tomato jam is an Italian recipe. In Italy, it is eaten on bread, spooned over cakes and ice cream, or eaten by itself. It’s a great way to use up some of those end of season green tomatoes.

Green Tomato Jam Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Adapted from this recipe

2 lbs green tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (with juice and seeds)
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 medium lemon, zested and juiced
1 pinch of salt

1. In glass bowl, stir together chopped tomatoes and sugar. Cover and let sit overnight, or up to 24 hours.
2. Zest and juice lemon, chop zest into small pieces. Add zest, juice and pinch of salt to tomato mixture. Pour into heavy 4 quart saucepan.
3. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, or until it reaches desired thickness.
4. Refrigerate jam for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months.

Servings: 12 (2 tbsp)
Yield: 1-1/2 cups

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 131 calories, 1 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 34.1mg sodium, 160.9mg potassium, 33.4g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 32.3g sugar, <1g protein, 10.5mg calcium, <1g saturated fat.

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6 Responses to Green Tomato Jam

  1. Mike says:

    It sounds like a nice jam, I have yet to experiment with green tomatoes but I should give it a try one of these days while I still have a few.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Ever since you first mentioned this, I’ve been hanging on to our green tomatoes, as I’d love to try this. At least half were green yellow pear cherries, so too small to much else with. I’m seriously intrigued now about green tomato jam and ice cream! 😛 The recipe looks wonderfully simple too!

  3. bunkie says:

    great recipe! we have several green toms so am going to try this too! i wonder if one could can this jam?

  4. Kelly says:

    What an interesting recipe, do the tomatoes lend any tang (like a tart berry jam) or does it come out all sweet?

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