November 22, 2021

Green Tomato Chow Chow

Green Tomato Chow Chow

Looking for a great way to utilize all those tomatoes that are still on the vine in your garden with the cold weather of fall steadily approaching? Look no further than this green tomato chow chow recipe.

Similar to any of our standard quick-pickle recipes, this recipe is super quick and easy. To summarize, you simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Start Your Brine
  2. Cut Your Vegetables
  3. Put Ingredients Into Your Jar
  4. Pour The Brine Over The Vegetables
  5. Refrigerate

It really is as easy as that and pairs well with any dish from shrimp & grits, to a roasted chicken, or a charcuterie board.

What is Chow Chow?

Chow chow will vary greatly depending on who is making it and where they are from. It can range from roughly-cut pickled vegetables to a cooked down sauce-like relish. One thing that is consistent throughout is the fact that there is a medley of various vegetables.The name chow chow, is said to have come from the French-influenced state of Louisiana where they would often incorporate a form of cabbage, whether it was green cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts into their chow chow. In French, cabbage translates to “chou”, hence the name chow chow.

Chow chow is common throughout the country, especially in the South, because it is a universal term for something almost everyone who grew their own produce would do. Towards the end of a harvest season, all of the remaining vegetables in the garden would be processed and preserved. While pickles and jams are a great way to preserve your bounty, it is great to have diversity in your cellar during the winter months. Chow chow was a great way of accomplishing that. Often paired with strong spices such as mustard, paprika or turmeric, chow chow serves as a great option to use all your leftover garden vegetables.

Ingredients for Green Tomato Chow Chow

With flavors of mustard seed, basil, and onion, this pickled relish-like green tomato chow chow is refreshing and adds just the perfect amount of extra flavor. Here's your ingredient list:

  • The Brine: Our pickling brine consists of water, granulated sugar, kosher salt, and rice vinegar. I love the subtle depth and sweetness that the rice vinegar brings to the brine but you can certainly use another type of vinegar such as apple cider, white, or champagne vinegar if you would prefer.
  • The Vegetables: Chow chow is typically a mixture of a few different vegetables that are preserved/pickled together. For this recipe, we like to pair onions with the green tomatoes but you could use all sorts of vegetables instead such as peppers, squashes, or even root vegetables.
  • The Complementary Flavors: I love to use herbs and/or dried spices that pair with the vegetables in the chow chow. Basil pairs perfectly with tomatoes so that was an obvious pairing (plus we almost always plant a plant or two of basil near our tomato plants). We like to throw mustard seeds in there to give a nice zesty-spice to the chow chow. If you want to change it up a bit, by all means, add whichever herbs or spices you like.

Tips for Making Green Tomato Chow Chow

  1. Have enough pickling brine: Make sure that everything is covered with liquid when pickling because the brine is what flavors and preserves the vegetables so if the vegetables are not fully submerged, bacteria could grow over time and ruin your pickle.
  2. Add lots of vegetables in the jar: Make sure you pack the jars tightly with the vegetables because once you add the hot brine, the vegetables will shrink and you will have less vegetables than you expect remaining.

Green tomato chow chow makes for a great complement to a dish and is the perfect way to use those green tomatoes in your garden.

Cheers and eat well!

Green Tomato Chow Chow

With flavors of mustard seed, basil, and onion, this pickled relish-like green tomato chow chow is the perfect component to brighten any dish from shrimp & grits, to a roasted chicken, or a charcuterie board.















  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 ½ cups of rice vinegar
  • 1  cup of granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of kosher salt
  • 5 cups of diced green tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons of mustard seeds
  • 1 cup of basil
  • ½ cup of yellow onion (peeled & small diced)


  1. Add the water, rice vinegar, salt and sugar to a small sauce pot and heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally until everything is dissolved and the mixture comes to a gentle simmer. (Do not boil)
  2. In the meantime, peel and dice the yellow onion into a small dice. Also dice the green tomatoes into a small dice. Once they are both cut, put the onions and tomatoes into the vessel you plan on storing the pickles in. (Mason Jar)(Deli Container)
  3. Add the Mustard seeds and the basil into the vessel along with the onions and green tomatoes..
  4. When the liquid starts to simmer, pour the brine over the green tomatoes and onions until they are completely covered with liquid.
  5. Put a lid on the container and store in the fridge overnight until fully chilled.


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