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This Green Tomato Ketchup knocks socks off its red supermarket cousin. It has a full bodied flavour that’s both tangy and sweet with a gentle chilli kick.
The green tomatoes we use in this recipe are those scallywags left on the vine at the end of the season who resolutely will not turn red.
Green tomatoes are firmer and not as sweet as fully ripened red ones so you can’t really substitute one for the other in recipes, also why would you want to? These beauties are the cherished treasure at the end of the tomato harvest and they are an amazing ingredient in their own right.
This Green Tomato Ketchup is a brilliant recipe which allows us to enjoy our green produce even after the season has ended. It also elbows out the processed red stuff which somehow always wheedles its way into our fridge.
Why is this recipe worth making?
- Uses up those green tomatoes left at the end of the season which never end up turning red.
- Full bodied flavour that’s both tangy and sweet with a gentle chilli kick.
- It enhances whatever food you are accompanying it with rather than overpowering it.
If you still have a load of green tomatoes to use up after making this recipe then why don’t you try this Green Tomato and Stem Ginger Streusel Cake. It may seem unusual but it’s an amazing cake!
- Green tomatoes – these are the ones left at the end of the season that don’t turn ripe.
- Bramley apple – for texture and fruity flavour
- White onion - for flavour
- Green chilli – leave the seeds in for the chilli kick or remove the seeds if you want something a little mellower. You can even leave the chilli out entirely if it's for the kids too.
- Fresh ginger – here’s where we pack in the flavour.
- Spices - mixed spice, fennel, coriander and star anise for a little complexity
- Cider vinegar – for that tang and for the preservation of the ketchup
- White sugar – for sweetness and for the preservation of the ketchup
Hey, but this ketchup has another very special secret ingredient…
- Sherry - The sherry provides a lovely cheeky note to the end of the ketchup which cannot be left out. I like to use Fino but a sweeter sherry can be used if you like.
How do you make Green Tomato Ketchup?
- Place all the ingredients, except for the sherry, in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down and cook at a medium simmer for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the sherry.
- Pour into a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Pour back into the saucepan and add the sherry, turn the heat back on and simmer for a further 20 minutes until it reaches a ketchup consistency.
- Decant immediately into sterilised bottles.
FAQs and Pro Tips
- You can leave out the seeds of the chilli for less intense heat.
- Cider vinegar can be swapped out for white wine vinegar.
- Once you’ve blended the ketchup then pour back into the saucepan and cook for a little longer until it reaches a lovely thick ketchup consistency. This can take up to 20 minutes.
- Use clean sterilised bottles and new lids to ensure the bottles are sealed and stored correctly with no contamination.
- The sauce will keep un-opened if stored in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.
- The ketchup is good to eat immediately but only gets better if you leave for at least 2 weeks before eating.
- Once you’ve opened the ketchup store in the fridge where it will keep for up to 1 month.
How do you sterilise the bottles?
- Place the very clean bottles you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes.
- Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar (this keeps the lids from going cloudy). I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.
What can you eat it with?
Don’t draw the line at chips this green tomato ketchup is excellent with sausages or in a bacon sandwich but we also love it with...
If you love making homemade preserves then why not try these:
If you make this Green Tomato Ketchup then please leave a comment below and give the recipe a rating which allows others to find this recipe on Google. If you make the recipe or use it as a building block for another delicious creation, I’d also love it if you tag me on instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your creations and variations of my recipes.
Green Tomato Ketchup
- 1 kg green tomatoes - diced
- 1 large white onion - diced
- 1 large bramley apple - diced
- 1 green chilli - roughly chopped
- 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger - chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 star anise
- 200 ml cider vinegar
- 200 g white sugar
- 150 ml sherry
- Place the fennel seeds and star anise in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind until fine.
- Place the spices with all the ingredients, bar the sherry, in a large saucepan and cook on a medium heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the sherry then pour into a blender and blitz until smooth.
- Pour back into the saucepan and simmer for up to 20 minutes until it reaches a good ketchup consistency.
- Decant into sterilised glass bottles.
- Taken from Hazel Atkinson’s recipe in the Metro, slightly adapted for quantities
- Makes 4 x 250ml bottles.
- If you don't want the chilli kick then you can leave it out.
- To sterilise the glass bottles place the very clean bottles you would like to use in an oven pre-heated to 140°C for 20 minutes. Sterilise the lids by dropping them into a saucepan of boiling water for 10 minutes with a splash of vinegar. I don’t sterilise my lids in the oven as they tend to ruin.
- You can use the ketchup straightaway. The flavour will mature though if left for a couple of weeks.
- The ketchup will keep up to a year if stored in a cool dark place.
This post was originally published in November 2013 but updated in October 2020 with more process pictures and further tips to make an excellent ketchup. The original recipe remains exactly the same.