stack of fried green tomatoes with unripened tomatoes on a white plate with a fork

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes are seasoned to perfection, then deep fried. They’re crunchy on the outside and savory on the inside which makes them a real southern treat!

stack of fried green tomatoes with unripened tomatoes on a white plate with a fork

What Does a Fried Green Tomato Taste Like?

A fried green tomato tastes exactly like what you might think…an unripened tomato which has been breaded and fried (preferably in a cast iron skillet).

While it sounds strange, the method used is similar to how southerners fry other vegetables like okra, squash and zucchini.

Green tomatoes taste more sour than sweet, but soften and change flavor once they’re fried. They become milder, but still a little tart, which balances nicely with their crunchy coating.

fried green tomatoes in a circular pattern with ranch dip in the middle

Can You Fry Red Tomatoes?

Believe me, I’ve tried to fry red tomatoes, and they turned out to be a mushy disaster. Red tomatoes that have matured and ripened are not good for frying because they’re too soft to stand up to hot grease.

Choose any type of tomato that is firm and unripened, but not so hard that it feels like a brick. I usually choose green tomatoes that have streaks of yellow and pink, which means they’ve softened just a bit. However, you can use bright green tomatoes and they’ll turn out just fine.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s firm to the touch.

green tomatoes sliced in rounds on a sheet pan

How to Prepare the Batter

The secret to making Southern Fried Green Tomatoes is in the batter. If you don’t season the batter properly, the tomatoes will taste bland.

My favorite batter recipe consists of flour, corn meal, seasoned pepper, garlic powder, ground red pepper, and salt. Sometimes I throw in a few dried herbs like thyme and oregano. But, the southern way is usually the most popular.

stack of fried green tomatoes on a white plate with green tomatoes on the side

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • green tomatoes
  • buttermilk
  • egg
  • cornmeal
  • all-purpose flour
  • garlic powder
  • seasoned pepper
  • salt
  • ground red pepper
  • vegetable oil
a dredging station of flour, buttermilk and flour in white bowls

Step by Step Instructions

Get ready to dredge those tomatoes by preparing your work station!

First, you’ll need to slice the tomatoes in 1/4 inch round slices. Place them on paper towels and sprinkle with salt so the excess water will drain away.

Whisk buttermilk and egg together in a bowl. Prepare dry batter mix by combining cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, pepper, salt and ground red pepper in a bowl. Mix well.

Scoop out 1/4 of dry batter into another bowl. Now, you’re ready to start dredging. Place a slice of tomato into dry batter bowl, then dip in buttermilk bowl, then dip in dry batter bowl again.

cast iron skillet filled with grease and a small batch of fried green tomatoes with tongs

Place tomato on a large sheet pan, then repeat the process until all tomatoes are dredged.

Pour oil in a cast iron skillet until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Heat to medium high. Place tomatoes in hot oil in skillet in small batches. Only add a few at a time so they can be turned easily.

Fry tomatoes for about 3 minutes on one side, then flip over and fry on the other side until golden brown. Transfer tomatoes to a paper plate that has been lined with paper towels or a rack to drain. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt.

How to Prevent Soggy Fried Tomatoes

The best way to prevent sogginess is to heat the oil to medium high in a cast iron skillet before adding the tomatoes. You’ll know the oil is ready when you drop a little flour in the skillet and it sizzles.

Keep the oil shallow. You don’t want to drown the tomatoes in oil or they’ll cook too fast and cause a heap of trouble. They’re also harder to turn if they’re drenched in oil.

fried green tomatoes drizzled with balsamic glaze, raspberry jam and goat cheese on a green floral plate

Serving Suggestions

In my neck of the woods, restaurants like to get creative with their fried green tomatoes. My favorite serving suggestion is to drizzle a little raspberry jam, balsamic glaze, and goat cheese over the tomatoes just before serving. Now, that’s fancy…and scrumptious!

Some folks like their tomatoes plain, and others love to dip them in ranch dressing. You can also make a remoulade with mayonnaise, mustard and pickles. Or, if you really want to be a southerner, make a sandwich out of fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese and bacon!

Did I say we love our fried green tomatoes down here?

More Tomato Recipes to Love

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stack of fried green tomatoes with unripened tomatoes on a white plate with a fork

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes


  • Author: Debi ~ QuicheMyGrits
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes are seasoned to perfection, then deep fried. They’re crunchy on the outside and savory on the inside, which makes them a real southern treat!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 firm green tomatoes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. seasoned pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground red pepper
  • vegetable oil, or another high heat oil of your choice

Instructions

  1. Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch round slices.
  2. Place tomatoes on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit 10 minutes so excess water will drain away.
  3. Whisk buttermilk and egg together in a bowl.
  4. Prepare dry batter mix by combining cornmeal, flour, garlic powder, pepper, salt and ground red pepper in a large bowl. Mix well.
  5. Scoop out 1/4 of dry batter mix and place in a smaller bowl.
  6. Dredge a slice of tomato into the smaller dry batter bowl, then dip into buttermilk bowl, then dredge in the larger dry batter bowl.
  7. Place tomato on a large sheet pan, then repeat the process until all tomatoes are dredged.
  8. Pour oil in a cast iron skillet until it is about 1/4 inch thick. Heat to medium high.
  9. Place tomatoes in hot oil in skillet. Only put a few in at a time so they can be turned easily.
  10. Fry tomatoes for about 3 minutes on one side, then flip over and fry on the other side until golden brown.
  11. Transfer tomatoes to a paper plate that has been lined with paper towels or a rack to drain.
  12. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt.

Notes

Serve fried green tomatoes plain, or add toppings and sauces to make them your own.

Make sure oil is shallow in the skillet and hot enough to cook tomatoes to a golden brown hue.

If the oil isn’t hot enough, the tomatoes may turn out soggy. If it’s too hot, they may burn. Heat oil to a temperature of 375 degrees for best results. 

  • Category: Appetizers, Sides
  • Method: Cast Iron Skillet
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: fried green tomatoes, southern fried green tomatoes, green tomatoes, unripened tomatoes, appetizers, sides

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6 Comments

  1. Be still my heart! I NEED to make these right now!

  2. Carol Tyndall

    These are beautiful! They taste so good, too-one of my favorites.

  3. yum

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