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Green Tomato Sauce

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Easy green tomato sauce for pasta, a surprisingly delicious green tomato recipe perfect for the end of the season.

spaghetti with green tomato sauce and basil in a white bowl

This green tomato sauce for pasta is a great green tomato recipe to have in your repertoire if you happen to grow tomatoes in your garden.

There were only three tomato plants in my garden this year, yet at the end of the season, I was able to pick more green tomatoes off the plants than I did ripe ones all summer… So, I could almost say I am growing tomatoes for the green tomatoes ready to be picked in autumn.

But it is not that bad, actually, green tomatoes are incredibly good. You can buy ripe tomatoes at any given time, but as you cannot buy the green ones better to enjoy those you have as much as possible. And if you have even more green tomatoes than I did this year, how about canning them whole or as some green tomato salsa? Or grill them!

pasta nests with sauce and chili flakes on top

What do you need to make this sauce?

Green tomatoes:

  • Of any size you happen to have, I had a mixture of regular large and tiny and some cherry tomatoes.
  • If a few in between are slightly red, you can use those as well.
  • I used everything I was able to pick for this recipe, almost 1 kg/ 2.2 lbs.
  • This makes enough sauce for two generous portions (each serving 4 people), so I only served about half of it with pasta and freeze the rest.

Other ingredients:

  • lots of garlic
  • basil
  • olive oil
  • Parmesan
  • vegetable stock
  • sugar
  • milk
  • red chili flakes
plate with spaghetti and sauce served with chili and basil

How to make green tomato sauce?

  • Wash and roughly chop the tomatoes.
  • Blend in a food processor, not too fine, they should not become a puree. If you have a lot of tomatoes, process them in several batches.
green tomatoes whole and roughly blended in a bowl
  • Chop the garlic and cook it gently in the olive oil, for only about 30 seconds. Stir continuously, the garlic should not become dark. (1)
  • Add the green tomatoes and a little vegetable stock. Water and some vegetable stock paste or powder are fine.
  • Add sugar, salt, red chili flakes, and the roughly chopped or torn basil leaves. Stir well.
  • Add milk, it will make the sauce less acidic, milder. (2)
  • Simmer on low heat, covered, for about 20-25 minutes, stirring often.
  • I find that the green tomato sauce tends to set on the bottom of the pan much quicker than regular tomato sauce, so make sure that you are stirring every few minutes or so.
  • If the sauce becomes too thick during the cooking time, add a splash more water or milk. (3)
  • Finish the sauce by stirring in the grated Parmesan, grated garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to taste. (4)
cooking garlic in a pan, adding green tomatoes, milk and parmesan

How to serve?

Serve with pasta, spaghetti or any other pasta shapes. Reserve about 1/3 of the pasta’s cooking water to thin the sauce, if necessary.

The sauce can be served immediately or it can be reheated.

close up rolled spaghetti sprinkled with parmesan and chili flakes

How to keep?

The green tomato sauce for pasta keeps well in the fridge for about 2 days.

If you have a lot of green tomatoes and make a large batch, freeze the sauce in air tight containers, it will keep for at least 3 months.

More pasta with garden vegetables:

Aubergine Spaghetti

Goat Cheese Spaghetti with Zucchini

Creamy Vegetable Pasta

Green Onion Pasta

Pasta Sauce with Eggplants

bowl of spaghetti served with green tomato sauce
bowl of spaghetti served with green tomato sauce

Green Tomato Sauce

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Easy green tomato sauce for pasta, a surprisingly delicious green tomato recipe perfect for the end of the season.


  • 450 g/ 1 lb green tomatoes (Note 1)
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 50 ml/ 1.7 fl.oz/ ¼ cup vegetable broth (Note 2)
  • 50 ml/ 1.7 fl.oz/ ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes, more to taste
  • good pinch of fine sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 5 basil leaves
  • To finish the sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • red chili flakes, to taste
  • 2-3 basil leaves
  • fine sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 450 g/ 1 lb spaghetti


  1. Clean the green tomatoes, chop them roughly and place them in a food processor. Blend roughly, it should not become a puree. If you are making more sauce, blend the tomatoes in batches.
  2. Chop the garlic. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan. Add the garlic and stir continuously for 30 seconds, it should not darken.
  3. Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, milk, sugar, chili, torn basil leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Stir and simmer on low heat, covered, for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Stir often, as the sauce tends to stick at the bottom of the pan. Add a splash of extra water or milk if it thickens too much.
  4. Finish the sauce by adding the grated Parmesan, grated garlic clove, olive oil, chili flakes, basil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Cook the pasta according to the packet's instructions. Drain and reserve about 1/3 cup of the cooking water.
  6. Add about ¼ – 1/3 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water to the sauce if it is too thick. Mix with pasta and serve immediately.


  1. If you have more green tomatoes you can scale the recipe and freeze the leftover sauce. I've made a double batch with all the tomatoes I had in the garden.
  2. Made from a stock cube is absolutely fine.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4 of the dish
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 526Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 237mgCarbohydrates: 93gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 17g

Nutritional information is not always accurate.


Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Well this is a wonderful idea. I have a big bag of green tomatoes in the a paper sack in the pantry. Many of them still haven't started turning so it would be fun to give this sauce a try. Thanks for sharing Adina!

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