Charlynn’s Green Tomato Chow – Green Tomato Relish

5 from 9 votes
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a cup of Green Tomato Relish around 6 pieces of fresh green tomatoes on a checkered green plate
Green Tomato Relish

Alrighty, I put some of my green tomatoes to good use. Ever since Charlynn mentioned her green tomato chow, I knew it was something that I had to try.

She kindly sent my her recipe and instructions, so I gave it a whirl.

How to Make Green Tomato Relish

  • 30 green tomatoes
  • 16 onions
  • Slice and mix the tomatoes and onions in a non-reactive container.
  • Add 1/2 cup pickling salt.
  • Let mixture sit overnight. Mixture will stink up the house, better to put it in the garage if you don’t want the smell of onions all through the place.
  • Drain mixture well, put in a large stockpot.
  • Add:16 apples (in cheesecloth)-any kind of apples will do, my grandmother usually used the crab apples from her backyard. This adds natural pectin to the chow.
  • Ad in  3 cups white sugar, 2 cups brown sugar, 1/2 cup pickling spices (in cheesecloth), 1 cup cider vinegar, 2 cups white vinegar.
  • It won’t look like enough liquid in the pot-I added 2 more cups of vinegar, and it came out watery and really tart. DO NOT DOT THAT! Just make sure you bring it to a boil slowly to avoid scorching, and then the liquid will come out of the apples.
  • Bring it to a boil, then lower the temp to a good simmer. Cook for an hour and a half, or until veggies reach desired consistency.

onions and green tomatoes all ready for the making of Green Tomato RelishI used my slicer attachment to cop up everything, thanks goodness for that, because that is one heckuva job, to chop everything up. If it went through too large, I just added it right back into the chopper and made it smaller again.

chopped green tomatoes for the making of Green Tomato Relish

Holy tears Batman. My eyes were a’ stinging by the end of these babies. Ouch. My daughter gave up helping and ran away since her eyes also started watering like mad.

sliced onions on wood board

Ok, so we put on the pickling salt and let it sit overnight.


pickling salt added to chopped onions and tomatoes

Now, before I put it in the pot I forgot to drain it. Completely skipped that direction.

That would be why I was wondering how Charlynn thought she didn’t have enough liquid. I had more than enough.

Because she drained hers. Whoopsie.

Look, once again, I never claimed to know what I am doing here.

So then I put it into the sterilized jars. It didn’t look that liquidy, so maybe I got away with it.

Green Tomato Relish in sterilized jars over red wire rack

Boil ’em up! Can those little suckers.

boiling the sterilized jars with cover

So it tastes great, a sweet green tomato relish basically is what I would classify it as, probably healthy as heck for you as well, even with the sugar. But I ask the expert Charlynn now, was it supposed to be jelly-ish? Because mine is not, it’s liquidy without a speck of jellyishness to it. Jelly-ish-ness. I totally made that word up.

She serves it as a side dish with roasts and says it;s amazing with pork, which I can definitely see. With the apple taste in it thanks to the apples, it would be a lovely match.

a cup of Green Tomato Relish around 6 pieces of fresh green tomatoes on a checkered green plate


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Green Tomato Relish

Amazing green tomato relish, perfect for those tomatoes that didn't ripen! Step by step photos and instructions.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Total Time
1 hour 20 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 30 green tomatoes
  • 16 onions
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • cheesecloth
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pickling spices in cheesecloth
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 16 apples wrapped in cheesecloth


  • Slice and mix the tomatoes and onions in a non-reactive container.
  • Add 1/2 cup pickling salt. Let the mixture sit overnight.
  • Drain mixture well, put in a large stockpot.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.
  • Bring it to a boil slowly, stirring to avoid scorching, and then the liquid will come out of the apples.
  • Bring it to a boil, then lower the temp to a good simmer.
  • Cook for an hour and a half, or until veggies reach desired consistency.
  • Remove the apples from the pot, squeezing the cheesecloth lightly to release the flavour and pectin from the apples and can the chow!
  • Carefully ladle the hot mixture into clean hot jars,  ( the size is up to you!) leaving 1/2-in. head space. 
    Remove air bubbles by tapping slightly and adjust head space, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe the rims clean. 
    Center the lids on the jars; screw on the metal bands until they are fingertip tight.
  • Place the jars into a canner pot with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. 
  • Bring to a boil; process for 15 minutes. Remove the jars and cool. Listen for the lids to POP and seal.

Recipe Notes

The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes. WHEN IN DOUBT LEAVE THEM IN LONGER.
Read about canning safety before you attempt canning for the first time.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 514kcal, Carbohydrates: 127g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 52mg, Potassium: 998mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 110g, Vitamin A: 1805IU, Vitamin C: 80.5mg, Calcium: 105mg, Iron: 2.1mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Ericka says

    First time making chow and had to halve the batch cause I didn’t have enough tomatoes, plus I left out the apples, but it turned out awesome! In fact, I was declared “chow champ” among the foodies in my world! Thanks5 stars

  2. Moriah says

    Would you be able to give me an approximate weight on the tomatoes and apples? I cut up all mine and stuck them in the freezer because I didn’t know what else to do. Thanks, can’t wait to try this!

  3. Charlynn says

    V, I did squeeze the cheesecloth when I took it out, just to get all of the flavor out of it. I wouldn’t worry about getting absolutely all of the liquid out, just give it a healthy squeeze with a set of tongs.

    5 stars

  4. A Canadian Foodie says

    I thought the apples were for pectin – but that is a heck of a lot of apples for pectin – I reread the post – and am clarifying again (well, you haven’t actually cooked with me yet – I wing it – only after I know how it is actually supposed to be! 😉
    Do you squeeze the cheese cloth bag when you remove it and get as much liquid and mush into the chow as you can – and then throw out the pulp?
    Can you e-mail me when you answer this, too – as there is no place to click to get answers to comments here sent to me 🙂 V

  5. Karlynn says

    The apples are for natural pectin! It doesn’t use any pectin in it, the apples give it a little flavor but definitely give it pectin! I am off to edit the recipe and put that in for explanation.

  6. A Canadian Foodie says

    So, why are the apples in cheese cloth – do you remove them – that part I do not understand – but am definitely up for making this – but it will have to be tomorrow. Hope you answer soon. He he

  7. Charlynn says

    Just saw this now-been so busy with school I haven’t been keeping up on my blog friends!

    Not supposed to be jellyish at all. The liquid is a bit thick, but not like a jelly. It looks really good! Looks like you did a good job of it, even with forgetting to drain it. Did you find it salty because of that? Had some this weekend with my Thanksgiving turkey-so yummy!

    5 stars

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