Fried Green Tomatoes

Recipe and photo updated July 8, 2011

Ever since that wonderful movie with Jessica Tandy I’ve wondered about fried green tomatoes. People really eat green tomatoes? I recall being served fried tomatoes for breakfast while visiting London, but they weren’t green. Curious as usual, we found some big green tomatoes at the farmer’s market last weekend and just had to try them. The verdict at this house? Yum! What a great way to make use of end-of-the-season tomatoes.

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish.

If you can find it, use fine white cornmeal, which is the primary cornmeal used in the South. Buttermilk adds flavor and tang, but is not strictly necessary.



  • 3 medium, firm green tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil or other vegetable oil


1 Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: the flour and Cajun seasoning (if using), buttermilk and egg, and bread crumbs and cornmeal.

2 Heat the peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Beat the egg and the buttermilk together. Dip tomato slices in the flour-seasoning mix, then buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-bread crumb mix. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain. These are fantastic with a little Tabasco sauce or remoulade.

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Homemade remoulade sauce - recipe here on Simply Recipes
Fried Green Tomatoes with Buttermilk-Lime Dressing - from Ezra Pound Cake
Fried Green Tomatoes with Chipotle Sour Cream - from Andrea's Recipes
Fried Green Tomatoes - from The Kitchn

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Showing 4 of 84 Comments

  • kat

    Oh my – as an Atlanta resident, I must say that Fried Green Maters are alive and well. Make a homemade ranch sauce for dipping and serve with a dinner of hot wings and celery, and you’re good for the night.

    If you like the maters, try your hand at fried okra. It is indeed an acquired taste, but it is truly scrumptious.

  • leslie

    I just dredge them in flour with a little salt and pepper and lightly fry them – the batter method doesn’t work for me because i like them sliced really thinly, and a light coat of flour keeps the tomato taste from being compromised. we’ve been eating them this way since I was a tot, it was quite the occasion at our house, we’d crowd around mom at the electric skillet and take turns eating the slices as they finished cooking – they rarely, if ever, made it to the table.

  • Lisa Joan

    I had never heard of fried green tomatoes until I saw the movie. Then I read the book. While olive oil is much more “coronarily correct” these days than bacon grease, here’s Sipsey’s recipe straight from the book. And dang it, some days a body’s just gotta ingest SOME form of pig, whether it be the grease, the bacon, some ham … until it makes you “squeal” with pleasure (ouch, sorry about that).

    Servings: 4
    3 tbs Bacon grease
    4 Tomatoes: green, firm, sliced
    2 Eggs, beaten
    Heat your bacon grease in a heavy frying pan. Dip tomatoes in eggs, then in bread crumbs. Slowly fry them in the bacon grease until golden brown on both sides. Put your tomatoes on a plate.
    For each tablespoon of grease left in the pan, stir in one tablespoon of flour and blend well; then stir in one cup warm milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add salt and pepper till you like it.
    Pour over the tomatoes and serve hot.
    The best there is.”
    — Sipsey Peavey
    Whistle Stop Café
    Whistle Stop, Alabama
    [From the book “Fried Green Tomatoes” by Fannie Flagg]

    P.S. Elise, your site is a delight (and yep, I meant that to rhyme). I finally got to try the “Five Fires Beef” — and oh, Dancing Fire Goddess, was it sensational!

    Cheers and fine flavors be ever thine,
    Lisa Joan

  • Shelby Connors

    Great recipe. I would reccomend mixing the flour and corn meal.

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