Green Tomato Ketchup

Inspired by my Pickling Partners at Slow Food Edmonton’s Pickling Day!

As this was to be my second batch of green tomato chow using Karlyn’s recipe. However, after meeting so many people at Slow Food’s Pickling Canning Bee, and then reviewing Karlyn’s recipe again, I saw it was almost identical to the Quebec Green Tomato Ketchup recipes I had been sent. So, I decided this batch would be Green Tomato Ketchup, instead, and that I would use Karlyn’s idea of the apples to thicken the sauce. See my three new condiments on the sliders, below: Green Tomato Chow Chow, this Green Tomato Ketchup, and Peppy Salsa!

It all started when I took my green tomatoes to the canning bee to get some help dicing them. There were so many and I couldn’t possibly do them on my own! I knew I would get help and I did!

(Cynthia, I owe you a jar of ketchup or chow chow, your pick, for the canning jars you gave me! Which do you choose?)

I brought the diced tomatoes and onions home, layered and salted them, then covered them and sat them overnight. Below is how they appeared the next morning. The bowl was almost to the top of the rim the night prior!

Lots of liquid to pour off here. I used apples from our tree as the natural thickener or pectin for this recipe as suggested by Karlyn.

Prepared the spice pouch. Now that I have made it, I really think it may have been tastier not in a pouch, but free to mix amid the tomato and onions like the spices did in my red Homemade Tomato Ketchup recipe. The flavours were subtler and more muted with this recipe.

Once the liquid and sugar was added, more liquid was created and there was a lot of space for the apples and spice pouch to disappear into the pot.

I boiled this at a strong simmer until the vegetables were very soft then removed the pouches. I gave each a good squeeze first.

It was very simple after that: into the blender (my Thermomix) to puree to desired consistency (I chose not to put this through a sieve) and then into sterilized jars for processing. Below is the green ketchup beside Heinz.


Green Tomato Ketchup Quebec Style (influenced by Karlyn’s Green Tomato Chow)


  • 16 c green tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 cups onions, chopped
  • 1/4cup Kosher Salt
  • 4 c apples in a cheesecloth bag; any local tree apples will do
  • 1 1/2c water
  • ¼ cup pickling spices (in cheesecloth, recipe to follow)
  • ¾ cup cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ¾  cup white sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar

Ingredients for Pickling Spice:

  • 3 t black peppercorns
  • 3 t mustard seeds
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 t celery seeds
  • two 1/2″ cinnamon sticks
  • 3 fresh Bay leaves


  1. In a large bowl, alternative layers of tomatoes and onions, sprinkling each layer with salt; let stand for at least 8 hours or overnight
  2. Rinse and drain well; combine tomatoes and onions with spice bag
  3. Start water bath so it will be ready when you are!
  4. In a large saucepan or stock pot, add water, sugars and vinegars; bring mixture to a boil
  5. Then simmer, uncovered, for about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring frequently until completely cooked (soft); remove spice bag and apple bag
  6. Puree in blender; push through a sieve (didn’t do this)
  7. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal; process in water bath for 15 minutes

Yield: Approximately 6 cups ( 1.5 L)



  1. Patty says

    Love it, Love it…I made this Green Tomato Ketchup and it tastes wonderful! I have been wanting to make a recipe like this for years and I have finally crossed something else off of my tomato bucket list. My aunt made ketchup like this when I was young. It was so good, I would drink it right out of the bottle.
    Gala apples were my choice and I opted out of the spice mixture and purchased a 1.88 oz. jar of picking spice. I used the entire bottle of spices to add extra flavor.
    A true gardener never leaves anything to waste!

    • Valerie says

      Great suggestions! I will have to try them for next year! So glad the recipe worked well for you.

  2. Caroline says

    Hi Valerie,

    I love the look of this ketchup adn have a load of green tomatos after our rubbish summer over her. but can you let me know how cups convert to weight please for my british brain .. grams or ounces will do ..



    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Hi Caroline
      If you have a 250g measuring “cup” that will work to measure the “mass” of tomatoes, onions, etc. It is a very close equivalent to a cup.
      Hope that helps!
      I am eager to hear how you enjoy this ketchup. I loved it, but the green colour can turn off some.

  3. Cindy Byers says

    This recipe is the bomb! I had tons of green tomatoes that I picked because frost was coming that night. I had no idea what to do with them and then I found this recipe. It is so delicous. I went out last night and found more green tomatoes and am planning on making it again this week. The next time I am going to put the apples right in with the tomatoes. I’m sure it can’t hurt and will be even tastier or perhaps I could use it as a base for.a bbq sauce. All I know is that I will be making this every year from now on. Thanks for the wonderful recipes.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Dear Cindy,
      What a lovely note to wake up to this gorgeous fall morning. Tickled pink that you like it and have told everyone here how much so that others can roll up their sleeves and give it a go, too – should they have some green tomatoes at the end of the season.
      Thank you so much and a big hug for you!

  4. says

    Thank you Valerie for such an awesome bit of inspiration. I was very pleased to take your recipe and put it through my own test kitchen and use it to preserve 6lbs of green cherry tomatoes this past week ( Not only was the result a taste sensation, but the green cherry tomatoes produced twice the yield as traditional tomatoes. Based on this success, not only will I be planting my pear tomatoes again next year, but I plan to make this green ketchup an annual tradition going forward. The idea of adding the apples in was brilliant and I can attest that this does indeed produce a ketchup that kicks the butt of Heinz and anything else you might find in a store. Thank you so much for sharing such a great recipe.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      Hey Dale,
      Thank YOU for making the effort to come back and comment on my recipe under the post. That is such an important part of the reader confidence. Does the recipe work? Will it taste good? I truly appreciate it, and definitely learned a lot from your experience with the recipe, as well – and would encourage anyone planning to make this recipe to head over to Dale’s sight as well – especially if you are going to do it with cherry tomatoes!

  5. monica heffernan says

    Hello Valerie,
    I’m in Australia Victoia and my tomatoes have only just starting to grow fruit and its nearly winter (its been a weird summer). I love your recipient for green tom sauce (ketchup) and plan to make some. I was just wondering in the “t” in the pickling spice measurements for teaspoon or table spoon? Many thanks Monica.

    • Valerie Lugonja says

      HI Monica
      I sent you an email earlier
      t = teaspoon
      T = Tablespoon
      I need to fix this!

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