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This green tomato mincemeat recipe is (surprisingly) the most delicious way to make mincemeat. Use this recipe to save your unripe tomatoes in your garden before they freeze!
We love mincemeat in our family.
Even better, we've discovered that our very favorite mincemeat recipe is made with the green tomatoes that would otherwise be wasted when the first frost arrives. This green tomato mincemeat is surprisingly, incredibly, delectably delicious.
Our boys spread it on toast like jam, any mincemeat tarts disappear in about two seconds flat, and any jar of it in the fridge somehow mysteriously disappears over the course of just a day or two.
So make a batch of this green tomato mincemeat now and enjoy it deeply at Christmas! It's so utterly satisfying to enjoy the fruits of the harvest in the middle of winter.
Side note: If you don't have time to make the full mincemeat recipe right now, you can prep and freeze just the green tomato portion now and make the mincemeat later. It works just fine – in fact, most years that's exactly how I do it, simply because when the frost hits and there are bushels of tomatoes to be harvested immediately, it's not exactly the ideal time to spend time making mincemeat too….
Other preserving recipes to enjoy in winter
Want other recipes to enjoy the harvest in the middle of winter?
- This Fig Newton Butter is sublime, if you tend to like Fig Newton bars.
- Try our recipe for Borscht: Enjoying Summer in the Dead of Winter.
Other delicious Christmas recipes
You might also enjoy my wandering deep dive into A Victorian Christmas: Using Seasonal and Preserved Foods at Christmas.
Oh, and if you like mincemeat AND Christmas puddings, our Cranberry Christmas Pudding cooks in no time flat because of the beauty of cooking the Christmas pud in the Instant Pot. (You can use the method with any other pudding as well.)
Either way, happy preserving!
Green Tomato Mincemeat
- 1 ½ – 2 lbs green, unripe tomatoes, finely chopped and undrained (enough to yield 4 cups when finely diced)
- apple juice, see instructions, as quantity will vary
- 1 ½ – 2 apples, unpeeled, cored and finely chopped (enough to yield 4 cups when cored and finely diced)
- 1 lb raisins, (approximately 4 cups)
- ½ lb dried plums, prunes, or dates, finely chopped
- 2 cups date sugar, date syrup, or brown sugar
- ¼ cup fancy molasses or any molasses that is unsulphured, NOT blackstrap
- ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
Make the mincemeat
- Chop the tomatoes and apples. Finely chop (or coarsely grind) the tomatoes and apples, placing each in a separate bowl and setting aside.
- Calculate the amount of apple juice. Measure out 4 cups of the ground tomatoes and place in a colander to drain, also measuring how much liquid is drained off. Return tomato pieces to the bowl and add an equal amount of apple juice as was drained. (If doubling or tripling the recipe, remember to measure out the doubled or tripled amount of tomatoes.)
- Bring the mincemeat to a boil. Place all remaining ingredients except for the coconut oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and cover. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until individual pieces begin to break down, 20-30 minutes.
- Simmer the mincemeat. Remove cover and continue to simmer on low, stirring frequently, until thick and the mixture has reduced by about one-third, 1-2 hours. Alternatively, for the best flavor, keep the mixture covered and simmer over low heat for 5-6 hours, stirring frequently.
- Stir in coconut oil. Add coconut oil and stir well.
- Store or use the mincemeat. Freeze, can, or use the mincemeat immediately.
How to freeze, can, or use the mincemeat
- To freeze the mincemeat: Let the mixture cool to room temperature, then spoon into pint-sized airtight freezer containers (or whatever portions you'll want later) and label well. Store in a deep freezer for up to 1 year or in a standard freezer for up to 3 months.
- To can the mincemeat: Pack the hot mincemeat mixture into hot canning jars with 1/4-inch headspace and process in a boiling hot water bath. Process for 25 minutes for pint-sized jars or 20 minutes for 8-oz jars.
- To use immediately: For pies and tarts, have pie crusts or tart shells at the ready, then fill as desired and bake as directed in your tart or pie recipe. For use on toast, ice cream, and other uses, cool the mincemeat to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator. Use or freeze within 5 days.