Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie! Fresh chopped tomatoes, basil and onions, topped with mixture of shredded cheese and mayonnaise, baked in a pie shell.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Here’s one of the best loved recipes on the site—tomato pie! Perfect at the peak of summer tomato season.

One of the great things about going on vacation is I get to hang out with my friends, and sometimes meet their friends, who sometimes have OMG-this-is-so-GOOD dishes that they bring over. This tomato pie recipe is a result of one of these encounters.

The first time I heard of it (“tomato pie”, hmm, oooookaaaay) my brain suffered a little cognitive dissonance (never heard those two words, tomato and pie, joined at the hip like that before). Seconds after taking a bite however, I was begging for the recipe.

Tomato Pie

It’s a savory pie, not sweet, filled with fresh garden tomatoes, sprinkled with basil, and held together with a mixture of mayonnaise and shredded cheese. The egg in the mayo acts as a binder to help hold the filling in place.

Many thanks to Diane Connolly (aka Lady Di) who graciously wrote it out on some post-it notes for me at the dinner table. It is the first thing I cooked when I got back home. Think pizza meets cheesy bread and they make-out in a pie crust.

The recipe lends itself to estimates. Handfuls of this, handfuls of that. I measured, but you could eyeball it and it would still work out. Feel free to change the cheeses around, play with the spices. I made a homemade pie crust, but for this recipe a good quality prepared crust would work fine.

Tomato Pie

You could also bulk it up a bit more with a cup or so of fresh corn, or some small diced eggplant that has been lightly browned on the stovetop first.

Tomato Pie Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

If you want to take this recipe up a notch, you can caramelize the onions while prepping the other ingredients. If you do that, double the amount of onion.

Ingredients

  • 1 9-inch pie shell (see pie crust recipe for homemade version)
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow or red onion (about 1/3 onion, diced)
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut in half horizontally, squeezed to remove excess juice, roughly chopped, to yield approximately 3 cups (700 ml) chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup sliced basil (about 8 large leaves)*
  • 2 cups (8 oz, 225 g) grated cheese (combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack, or Gruyere or Mozzarella)
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon (or more to taste) of Frank's Hot Sauce (or Tabasco)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

*To slice basil, chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other, roll them up like a cigar, starting at one end slice the "cigar" crosswise in thin slices.

Method

1 Pre-bake the crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

If you are using a store-bought pie shell, follow the directions on the package for pre-baking, or pre-bake it in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes (a little longer for a frozen pie shell), until lightly browned.

If you are using a homemade crust, freeze the crust first, then press a sheet of aluminum foil into the crust to keep the sides of the pie crust from falling down as it cooks. Fill the pie with pie weights such as dry beans or rice to help hold the foil in place.

Pre-bake the homemade crust for 15 minutes, then remove the foil, use the tines of a fork to poke a few small holes in the bottom of the crust (for venting), and bake for 10 more minutes.

2 Salt and drain the tomatoes: Lightly salt the chopped tomatoes and set them in a colander over a bowl to drain while you are pre-baking the crust.

Squeeze as much moisture as you can out of the chopped tomatoes, using either paper towels, a clean dish towel, or a potato ricer.

3 Layer pre-baked pie shell with onions, tomatoes, basil: Sprinkle a layer of chopped onion over the bottom of your pre-baked pie crust shell.

Spread the drained chopped tomatoes over the onions. Sprinkle the sliced basil over the tomatoes.

4 Make cheese mixture, spread over tomatoes: In a medium bowl, mix together the grated cheese, mayonnaise, Tabasco, a sprinkling of  freshly ground black pepper.

The mixture should be the consistency of a gooey snowball. Spread the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.

5 Bake: Place in oven and bake at 350°F (175°C) until browned and bubbly, anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes.

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Links:

Tomato pie with bacon and jalapeño from Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan

Tomato and corn pie from Smitten Kitchen

Tomato Pie

Showing 4 of 226 Comments

  • Steve Antkowiak

    Do you only do this step if you use a homemade pie crust?

    Pre-bake it for 15 minutes, then remove the foil, use the tines of a fork to poke a few small holes in the bottom of the crust (for venting), and bake for 10 more minutes.

  • Beth

    Can’t wait to try your Tomato Pie Recipe, Elise! Love your simple, but detailed instructions, and especially LOVE your user-friendly printable options. One suggestion, when I requested to have it printed, it automatically printed two pages,and the second one was always blank, since it all fit on the first page. Please correct that. Otherwise, I have already signed up for your site because you have made me a believer! Keep up the good work!

  • Linda Riddle

    Great recipe! Bought deep dish pie crusts, I added 1T cornstarch to tomatoes and a chopped jalapeno. Delicious!

  • Laverne

    I just read that if you “paint” your raw pie crust with egg white before filling, it will not get soggy. I’ll try it and let you know if it works because my tomatoes are very ripe!!

  • Carol

    This is one of the most enjoyable ways a person can use extra tomatoes! I made it last night, but used a frozen puff pastry crust recipe that I had come across and it saves the time of making your own crust. Although I prefer the homemade crust, the puff pastry worked beautifully and it is great to remember if you are pressed for time. I also put my own spin on using mayo and used cream cheese and sour cream- about I/2 cup of each with a tsp of garlic powder to hold it all together and just sliced the tomatoes. Oh my gosh, it is so good!

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