How to Ripen Green Tomatoes Indoors

Last year at the end of the growing season I had an abundance of green tomatoes that were just out of time to ripen on the vine. I started looking through all my options on recipes using green tomatoes. There are many out there! tomato relish, pickled green tomatoes, green enchilada sauce, sreen salsa verde, etc.
but the truth is I just didn't feel like making any of them! Not wanting to waste the tomatoes either, I decided to ripen them indoors.

This method is super easy. You will however lose a few that go bad before ripening, but in this batch I'm showing you today I think I threw out 5 or 6 little ones total. The remaining all ripened just fine indoors.

The basic idea is to pick them, lay them flat in a warm but out of the way place (not so out of the way that you forget about them, though!) and let the warm indoors turn into a sort of "hot house" to help them ripen.
You'll always have a few that just won't ripen (the 5-6 that I lost), but the remaining bunch will ripen at different lengths of time. I believe the last of mine ripened at about the 3 week mark, but your time will vary some.

1) Pick them: here's mine fresh off the vine:

2) Lay them flat on a cookie sheet, or box lid in a warm out of the way place (ok mine are on my kitchen table, so not really out of the way!)

3) Every few days check on them, rotate them a little. Toss the ones going mushy or black.
4) As they ripen, wash them and use them!

Here's a look at my tray of tomatoes every few days or so. I just kept removing the ripe ones, turning the remaining ones, and remove them as they turned ripe.

Final Product: Canned Spaghetti Sauce

Crockpot Garden Tomato Sauce

Big batch of summer tomatoes and no time to make a slow simmered marinara sauce? Let your Crock Pot do the work for you!
Toward the end of summer, I am about pooped out from making and canning all things tomato related: Salsa's, sauces, and more.
So when time is short, and so is my energy, I literally dump my garden bounty into the slow cooker and whip up a batch of tomato sauce with little effort.

This is more of a method than an exact recipe. I really wing it with some basics and what I have on hand. But I'll give you a recipe to work with .

Jan's Tip: This batch I was using all the tomatoes I had left at the end of summer: Big juicy slicers, as well as my paste (plum or Roma) tomatoes,so the water content varies at times depending on the type of tomato you toss in there. And to answer a question you are going to ask: No, I don't peel them at all! I just leave them in, and blend them right into the sauce, but you can filter the skins out also at the end of the recipe.

To figure out how many tomatoes to use in the recipe here are a few guidelines to help you out:
1 lb. = 3 medium round tomatoes, or 8 small plum/roma tomatoes, or 2 cups chopped diced tomatoes.

Crock Pot Tomato Sauce

6 lb's fresh tomatoes stems removed and cored. (chopped or whole: I don't always bother to chop mine, just cut the core/stem out)
Chopped Vegetables: (choose what you like /have on hand)

  • 1-green pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 carrots and celery

2 cloves minced garlic
1 Tablespoon salt
Place all ingredients  in crock pot
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours.
Remove lid, and cook on high an additional 8 hours uncovered until vegetables are soft, most of the water from the tomatoes has cooked/evaporated away and the remaining juices are mostly concentrated tomato juice rather than water.

 Here is where you have some options depending on your preference for smooth vs. chunky sauce, and whether you want to filter out the skins or just blend them into smithereens and keep them in.:

  1. You can run batches of your cooked tomatoes through a blender,foodprocessor or immersion blend right in the crockpot. 
  2. You can run it through a food mill to remove as much skins and seeds as possible. 
  3. Use a food masher and just mashed it into a super chunky sauce to go in batches of chili's and soups.

Pin It button on image hover