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Spicy Green Tomato Relish

Spicy green tomato relish is an easy homemade condiment made with green tomatoes and crushed red peppers. It is a delicious compliment to grilled meats.

Towards the end of each summer, as the weather gets colder, tomato plants are often left with a number of green tomatoes that will never ripen. If your tomato plant is one of those, have no fear, I’ve got a great recipe to use up some of your summer bounty: Spicy Green Tomato Relish.

Tomato relish in a glass jar with a wooden spoon on a wooden cutting board with white background.

What do you need?

GREEN TOMATOES: Green tomatoes are basically unripened red tomatoes. They are much more tart and firm than their ripened counterparts. Bigger varietals like beefsteak or early girls work the best for this.

Halved green tomato on a wooden cutting board

DES’ TIP: Despite looking similar once the husk is removed, tomatillos are not the same as green tomatoes. The flesh of tomatillos is slightly more acidic than green tomatoes. However, they do fry up just as nicely as I found out in my Fried Green Tomatillos Recipe

BELL PEPPER: I chose red for the color but you could really use any kind of bell pepper.

ONION: You could use regular yellow, white or a sweet walla walla in this recipe.

VINEGAR: This gives the relish a distinct acidic flavor that is common with relishes. This recipe calls for distilled white.

Pouring vinegar into a sauce pan filled with relish ingredients.

SUGAR: To add sweetness.

SALT: I prefer to use kosher salt but you can use  a sea salt as a substitution. Here is a handy list of salt substitutions from Morton Salt incase you need more options.

GROUND MUSTARD: A must have when making relish in my opinion.

CRUSHED RED PEPPERS: This is where the heat comes from in this Spicy Green Tomato Relish. You can totally leave it out and have a basic tomato relish but try it with the heat. It’s a perfectly compliment to the sweetness from the sugar.

WATER

Overhead photo of relish ingredients in a saucepan.

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS AND INSTRUCTIONS:

Step #1: Dice all of your vegetables: tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. You want them to be about the same size so that they cook evenly.

Diced green tomatoes on a wooden cutting board.

Step #2: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium – large saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until it is reduced by 2/3rds. This will take about an hour or so.

Green tomato relish simmering in a saucepan.

STEP #3: Remove from heat and allow to cool. Store in clean glass jars in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

What do you use this on?

This is FABULOUS on hamburgers and hot dogs, friends. It would even be great with grilled chicken or white fish like cod. Or, for a quick appetizer, pour some over some softened cream cheese and serve with crackers. Divine. 

Green tomato relish in a glass jar.

How long does this last?

Unlike most relish recipes, this Spicy Tomato Relish, makes a small batch about two cups. This is great for people like me, that don’t can. It’ll last a few weeks in the refrigerator. I mean, if you don’t put it on all the things.

But you probably will.

If you love making your own condiments like this Spicy Green Tomato Relish, try your hand at these recipes:

Homemade Tartar Sauce Recipe

Habanero Hot Sauce

Garlic Aioli Recipe

Tomato Jam

Cocktail Sauce

Looking for other recipes to use up your green tomatoes? Here are my favorites!

Fried Green Tomatoes 

Green Tomato Grilled Cheese

Fried Green Tomato BLT

Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012. It was updated with new step by step photos and instructions in 2020.

Spicy Green Tomato Relish Recipe

Makes 2 cups Prep Time: Cook Time:
5 based on 9 reviews

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

Instructions

1

Combine all ingredients together in a 3 qt sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until it reduces by about 2/3rd's, about an hour.

2

Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

3

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Notes

Enjoy!

Nutrition information

Amount per serving: 8 servings per batch
Calories: 75 , Total Fat: 0.2g , Saturated Fat: 0g , Cholesterol: 0mg , Sodium: 296mg , Carbohydrates: 17.6g , Fiber: 1.2g , Sugar: 15.5g , Protein: 0.9g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Sandra
    August 26, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    This is perfect! I love that it is spicy!! So yummy!

  • Reply
    Debbie
    August 23, 2020 at 7:25 am

    This spicy green tomato relish sounds amazing !! I bet the red pepper gives it a nice kick and contrast in flavors. I can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply
    Beti | easyweeknightrecipes
    August 19, 2020 at 8:29 am

    I love how easy and delicious this is!! A great way to use up my summer tomatoes!

  • Reply
    katerina @ diethood.com
    August 19, 2020 at 8:28 am

    This relish sounds SO delicious!! I can’t wait to try it! :)

  • Reply
    Allyson Reed Zea
    August 19, 2020 at 7:45 am

    This was so delicious and easy! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Cathy
    August 19, 2020 at 5:52 am

    I’ve never worked with green tomatoes or tomatillos, so thanks for the tip! This relish sounds awesome!

  • Reply
    Kim
    August 18, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    I know I’m going to end up with a lot of leftover green tomatoes! I am printing for later! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Sara Welch
    August 18, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    What a great way to use my summer tomatoes! Looking forward to making this later this afternoon; looks too good to pass up!

  • Reply
    Julie Redman
    February 29, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    How would you modify for a longer shelf life?

    • Reply
      Deseree
      February 29, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      Hi Julie! I don’t have much experience with canning so I am not sure how to modify this to give it a longer shelf life. Sorry!

  • Reply
    Teresa Grimm
    August 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

    This looks wonderful. Would love to see some more hatch chile recipes too. Going to Whole Foods this weekend for the roasting.

    • Reply
      Deseree
      August 29, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Thanks Teresa! I actually have some chilies that I plan on experimenting with tomorrow. If all goes well I should have a new recipe using them next Wednesday :)

    Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.