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Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are a classic Southern dish. Made with firm, unripe green tomatoes dipped in breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy.

Fried green tomatoes on white plate with light green towel underneath.

Crunchy, tangy and so delicious, fried green tomatoes make the best use of unripened tomatoes. At the end of growing season, tomatoes don’t always have enough time to ripen fully. By pulling them while they are still firm and green, you can turn them into a tasty lunch.

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Fried green tomatoes

FGT for shorthand, came to me in my 30’s. As a Northerner, I didn’t grow up with them. Like everyone, I’d seen the movie, but had never eaten a green tomato – fried or otherwise.

4 green tomatoes grouped together on a gray background.

And then. I had my first taste. I was hooked instantly. Tangy, just a bit acidic, crunchy and so good.

How to prepare green tomatoes for frying

Line a baking sheet (cookie sheet) with a double layer of paper towel. Place the slices of tomato on the paper towel, then put another double layer of paper towel on top of them.

Slices of green tomatoes on paper towel-lined baking sheet.

Let the tomatoes sit for 5 – 10 minutes while you prepare the breading station. Taking a bit of moisture off of the slices will help the breading stick when they are frying.

Breading procedure

First, combine flour with seasonings and put in a shallow bowl. I use these small stainless steel kitchen bowls when breading, they are the perfect size.

Then combine milk and egg in another bowl.

Standard breading procedure setup in bowls.

Finally, put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. This is a standard breading procedure for just about anything that is fried.

After they have been breaded, gently slide them into a hot cast iron skillet and let them shallow fry until golden and crispy on both sides.

Slices of tomatoes that have been breaded and fried on white plate.

A quick word on frying – always place items into hot oil AWAY from your body, not toward you. Same rules apply when flipping tomatoes in oil. Gently turn them over with a slotted spatula toward the back of the stove. If oil splashes, you are less likely to get burned.

How to serve fried green tomatoes

You can eat them just as they are, but here are a few suggestions if you don’t eat food right from the pan like I do.

  • Po’ boys – add a slice to your favorite po’boy.
  • Burger – put a slice or two on your favorite patty.
  • BLT – swap out the red tomatoes.
  • Cajun shrimp – the tangy tomatoes go really well with these shrimp.
Piece of crispy tomato on fork with two slices of tomatoes behind it on white plate.

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Yield: 6

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are a classic Southern dish. Made with firm, unripe green tomatoes dipped in breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 green tomatoes, cut into 1/4" rounds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, any kind you have on hand
  • oil for frying
  • Remoulade sauce for dipping

Instructions

  1. Place slices of green tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with a double layer of paper towel. Put another double layer of paper towel on top of them and lightly press to absorb a little moisture. Set aside.
  2. Combine flour, garlic powder, cayenne, paprika, salt and pepper in a shallow dish and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. In a separate dish, whisk egg and milk together.
  4. In a third dish (it will be worth the dirty dishes, I promise) add the breadcrumbs. (see note)
  5. Lightly season tomatoes on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge through flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  6. Then dip into egg mixture and coat with seasoned breadcrumbs. (see note)
  7. Heat a large skillet (I prefer cast iron) with enough oil to go about 1/4 inch up the side. Heat oil on medium high heat (350 degrees with a thermometer) and carefully slide tomatoes slices into the oil, dropping them in away from you, not toward you. If the oil splashes, it will not splatter you, but the back of the stove.
  8. Fry until golden and crispy, then flip over (see above!) and fry until crispy on the other side.
  9. Remove and place on a bed of paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve immediately.

Notes

* I add a couple of teaspoons of dried oregano or thyme into the breadcrumbs if I don't have seasoned breadcrumbs.

* I used a combination of panko and fine Italian breadcrumb. The panko is great for crunch, but the fine breadcrumbs stick to the tomatoes better than the larger panko.

** When frying anything breaded, I have found it very helpful to let it rest before immediately frying - Place breaded slices on a cooling rack and let it rest for about 10 minutes. This allows your coating to adhere to the tomatoes. You know how disappointing it is when your breading falls off in the pan or as soon as you cut into it? Let it rest beforehand and that will be a thing of the past.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

3 slices

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 372mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 11g

Nutrition information calculated by a third-party company as a courtesy. It is intended as a guideline only.

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Originally published 6/25/13, most recent update 7/7/21.

4 Comments

  1. Takes me back to a huge garden in our yard in Raleigh…when I had SO many tomatoes I couldn’t keep up with them so fried some became. I mostly get cherry tomatoes now but you actually having me craving this fried, crispy version!

    1. I’m so glad it brought you some nice memories! Isn’t that the thing with tomatoes? You go from none to more than you can handle! LOL…

  2. Made these for dinner last night. They turned out great & the family loved them! I followed the note that said to let them sit with the breading on for 10 min & that did keep the breading from coming off. Also served them with the remoulade, which was great. I’ve made a lot of your recipes, and they are always delicious.:)

    1. Thank you so much, Rebecca! I’m so happy that little tip helped you! Resting them is super helpful 🙂 And, thank you so much for the kind works, it really means the world to me and I appreciate it.

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