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Russian Grandma’s Pickled Tomatoes

Try these Russian pickled tomatoes: healthy, delicious and super easy to make. A flavorful and refreshing appetizer or snack made in only 30 minutes that will keep for months on the shelf. 
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Russian
Keyword canning tomatoes, pickled tomatoes, preserving tomatoes, Russian pickled tomatoes, russian tomatoes, tomato pickle recipe
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 31kcal
Cost $5


  • half gallon glass mason jar
  • canning jar lifter tongs
  • medium pot
  • large stock pot



Sterilize the jars

  • In a large pot, sterilize jars and lids in boiling water for 15 minutes (see alternative sterilizing options in the notes below). Remove them from water with cooking tongs.

Fill the jars

  • Put tomatoes, garlic, bay leaves, parsley, dill, scallions and oak leaves (tarragon, summer savoury, cherry, blackcurrant and horseradish leaves if using) in jars. Try to surround the tomatoes with leaves evenly, as you won't be able to move them later. Fill jars with boiling water.

Make the brine

  • Pour the water from jars into a medium pot or saucepan. This step allows you to determine the exact amount of water you need to fill in the jars. Add black peppercorns, salt and sugar and let boil for 5 minutes. Add vinegar (if using).

Pour and close

  • Pour the brine back in the jars. If tomatoes are not completely covered, add more boiling water but make sure there is a bit of space in the jar before you put the lid onto prevent leaking. Firmly close the lids. Turn the jars upside down for two to three days.


  • Pickled tomatoes are ready within one or two weeks, depending on the size. Store them at a room temperature or lower before opening. Using this recipe, an unopened jar will last about a year on the shelf, if you add vinegar to it. Once you open the jar, store it in the fridge for about six weeks.


Top Tips 

  • Canning tomatoes is a great way to preserve your tomato harvest to enjoy it later during the winter holiday season.
  • Garden fresh tomatoes with give the best result (choose Roma or cherry tomatoes).
  • These Russian pickled tomatoes are a delight snack, or even an appetizer along with a side of Russian Dill Pickles. Serve them along with a heavy meal instead of a salad, as an addition to a cheese board or simply alongside a bowl of soup.
  • Sterilize your jars using one of the following methods: Put your jars and lids in boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove them from water with cooking tongs. Alternatively, wash jars and lids in a dishwasher on high temperature. The third method is to put them upside down in the cold oven, then heat it to 260 F (130 C) and keep them there for 20 minutes.
  • This recipe makes two 1.5 l or half gallon glass jars of tomatoes (or equivalent) which is roughly 10 servings (2-3 tomatoes per serving).
  • Make sure there is a bit of space in the jar before you put the lid on to prevent leaking.
  • An open jar of pickled tomatoes will last up to six weeks in the fridge.

Recipe Variations

  • Feel free to experiment with the herbs (pickling is an art not a science!) Use any combination of the herbs from the list above that are available to you.
  • Add vinegar to the brine if you want to prolong the shelf life. An unopened jar will last about a year on the shelf, if you add vinegar to it. Without the vinegar they will store for about six months on the shelf. To prolong the shelf life even more, use water bath canning (see instructions above).
  • The jars you use can be any size. Just make sure the tomatoes are fully packed and completely covered with brine.


Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1749IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg