Fried Green Tomatoes


Discover the Southern delicacy that’s crispy, tangy, and utterly irresistible – Fried Green Tomatoes. Originating from the American South, this iconic dish features firm, unripe tomatoes coated in a crunchy cornmeal or flour crust and fried to golden perfection. Whether served as an appetizer, side dish, or even as a main course, fried green tomatoes offer a delightful blend of flavors and textures that will tantalize your taste buds. In this article, we’ll delve into the art of making fried green tomatoes, from selecting the perfect tomatoes to achieving that crispy exterior and juicy interior.

Why Fried Green Tomatoes? Fried green tomatoes are a beloved classic in Southern cuisine, celebrated for their unique taste and versatility. The tartness of the green tomatoes pairs perfectly with the crispy coating, creating a mouthwatering contrast of flavors and textures. Whether you’re a fan of Southern comfort food or simply looking to try something new, fried green tomatoes are sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire.


  • Green tomatoes
  • Cornmeal or all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Eggs
  • Milk or buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Optional: Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, paprika for extra flavor


  1. Selecting the Tomatoes:
    • Choose firm, unripe green tomatoes that are free from blemishes or soft spots. The tomatoes should be fully green, with no hints of yellow or red.
  2. Preparing the Coating:
    • In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs and milk or buttermilk to create an egg wash. In another dish, mix cornmeal or all-purpose flour with salt, pepper, and any additional seasonings you desire.
  3. Slicing the Tomatoes:
    • Slice the green tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices. Discard the stem ends and any tough cores.
  4. Coating the Tomatoes:
    • Dip each tomato slice into the egg wash, allowing any excess to drip off. Then, dredge the tomato slices in the seasoned cornmeal or flour mixture, ensuring they are evenly coated on all sides.
  5. Frying the Tomatoes:
    • Heat vegetable oil in a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Carefully place the coated tomato slices in the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  6. Frying Until Golden Brown:
    • Fry the tomato slices for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Use a spatula to carefully flip the tomatoes halfway through cooking.
  7. Draining and Serving:
    • Once fried, transfer the tomato slices to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. Serve the fried green tomatoes hot and crispy, with your favorite dipping sauce or accompaniments.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Suggestions:

  1. Serve Hot and Crispy: Fried green tomatoes are best served hot and crispy, straight from the frying pan. Enjoy them as an appetizer, side dish, or even as a unique topping for burgers or salads.
  2. Pair with Dipping Sauces: Accompany fried green tomatoes with a variety of dipping sauces for added flavor. Classic options include ranch dressing, remoulade sauce, or spicy aioli. You can also try a tangy barbecue sauce or a homemade comeback sauce for a Southern twist.
  3. Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Before serving, garnish the fried green tomatoes with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, or basil for a pop of color and added freshness.
  4. Serve with Side Dishes: Create a complete meal by serving fried green tomatoes alongside Southern favorites like coleslaw, hush puppies, or creamy macaroni and cheese. The crispy texture of the tomatoes pairs well with creamy or crunchy side dishes.

Storage Instructions:

  1. Refrigeration: If you have leftover fried green tomatoes, allow them to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container or wrapping them tightly in foil. Refrigerate within two hours of cooking and consume within 2-3 days.
  2. Reheating: To reheat leftover fried green tomatoes, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and place the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. Alternatively, you can reheat them in a skillet over medium heat until warmed.
  3. Avoid Freezing: Fried green tomatoes are best enjoyed fresh and are not recommended for freezing. The crispy coating may become soggy when thawed and reheated, resulting in a less satisfying texture.
  4. Maintain Crispiness: To help maintain the crispiness of leftover fried green tomatoes, store them in a single layer on a paper towel-lined plate or tray. Avoid stacking them on top of each other, as this can cause them to become soggy.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your fried green tomatoes remain delicious and crispy, whether you’re serving them right away or saving some for later enjoyment.

Variations of Fried Green Tomatoes:

  1. Spicy Cajun Fried Green Tomatoes:
    • Add Cajun seasoning or a combination of paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder to the cornmeal or flour mixture for a spicy kick. Serve with a side of creamy remoulade sauce for dipping.
  2. Panko-Crusted Fried Green Tomatoes:
    • Use panko breadcrumbs instead of cornmeal or flour for an extra crispy coating. Mix in grated Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning for added flavor. Serve with marinara sauce or a balsamic glaze for dipping.
  3. Herb-Roasted Fried Green Tomatoes:
    • Before coating the tomato slices, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with a mixture of chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and parsley. The herbs will infuse the tomatoes with aromatic flavor as they roast in the oven.
  4. Bacon-Wrapped Fried Green Tomatoes:
    • Wrap each green tomato slice with a strip of bacon before dredging in the egg wash and coating with cornmeal or flour. Fry until the bacon is crispy and the tomatoes are golden brown. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey for a sweet and savory combination.
  5. Caprese-style Fried Green Tomatoes:
    • Top each fried green tomato slice with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, a basil leaf, and a halved cherry tomato. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and garnish with freshly cracked black pepper before serving.


  1. What are fried green tomatoes?
    • Fried green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes that are coated in a seasoned cornmeal or flour mixture and fried until crispy and golden brown.
  2. Why are green tomatoes used for frying?
    • Green tomatoes are firm and tart, making them ideal for frying. Their acidity and firm texture hold up well to the frying process, resulting in a crispy exterior and juicy interior.
  3. Where can I find green tomatoes?
    • Green tomatoes are typically available at farmers’ markets or specialty grocery stores, especially during the late summer and early fall months. You can also use unripe tomatoes from your own garden if they haven’t yet ripened.
  4. How do I know when a tomato is green enough to fry?
    • Look for tomatoes that are fully green with no hints of yellow or red coloration. The tomatoes should feel firm to the touch and have a smooth skin.
  5. What kind of oil should I use for frying green tomatoes?
    • Vegetable oil or peanut oil are commonly used for frying green tomatoes due to their high smoke points and neutral flavors. You can also use canola oil or corn oil if preferred.
  6. Can I make fried green tomatoes ahead of time?
    • While fried green tomatoes are best enjoyed fresh and hot, you can prepare the coating and slice the tomatoes ahead of time. Store the coated tomatoes in the refrigerator until ready to fry, then proceed with frying just before serving for the best results.
  7. Are fried green tomatoes gluten-free?
    • Fried green tomatoes can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free cornmeal or flour for the coating. Ensure that all other ingredients used in the recipe are also gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination.
  8. What can I serve with fried green tomatoes?
    • Fried green tomatoes are delicious on their own or served with a variety of dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, remoulade, or spicy aioli. They also pair well with Southern classics like pimento cheese or fried okra.
  9. Can I freeze leftover fried green tomatoes?
    • While fried green tomatoes are best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze leftovers for future enjoyment. Allow them to cool completely, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag and store for up to 2 months. Reheat in the oven until crispy.
  10. What’s the difference between fried green tomatoes and ripe fried tomatoes?
    • Fried green tomatoes are made with unripe, firm green tomatoes, while ripe fried tomatoes are made with ripe, red tomatoes. The flavor and texture of the tomatoes differ, with green tomatoes offering a tangy, slightly acidic taste and firmer texture compared to ripe tomatoes.


Whether enjoyed as a tasty appetizer, side dish, or even a unique topping for sandwiches or salads, fried green tomatoes are a Southern delicacy that’s sure to please. With their crispy exterior, tangy flavor, and juicy interior, these golden delights are a true culinary delight. Try making your own batch of fried green tomatoes at home and experience the irresistible taste of this Southern classic.

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