You’ll love this Fried Green Tomatoes recipe that’s golden and crispy on the outside yet juicy and tender on the inside. These tomatoes can be served up as a comforting appetizer, or snack, or swapped in a classic BLT sandwich. A cozy staple of the South.

fried green tomatoes with tartar sauce on plate with green linen underneath

Whenever I think of nostalgic recipes, fried green tomatoes most certainly make the cut. We’d enjoy them on sandwiches or just simply as-is with ample dipping sauces on the side. There’s a novel and a movie that came about years ago involving FGT, but I’ll keep it all the way real and admit that I’ve never read or seen either, ha. If you’re a fan of them or have never tried, welcome.

Fried Green Tomatoes, Y’all! 🙌🏾

This delight is well-known for being a delicious appetizer or snack to enjoy in a variety of ways. From sandwiches to burgers to pairing with grits or expertly topped with fresh seafood, this staple hits like the best of them. In a nutshell, they’re crispy and tantalizing on the outside yet juicy and tender on the inside, fried green tomatoes are a classic dish of Southern food culture.

More recipes: braised short ribs, my creamy lemon herb butter ravioli, caribbean faves like brown stew chicken, this jamaican curry chicken, spiced sorrel tea (hibiscus tea), and oxtail stew, as well as biscuits and gravy– yum.

fried green tomatoes on sandwich with bacon and lettuce

Diving Deeper- a bit more info:

Fried green tomatoes were born out of a frugality mindset, a deep desire to not be wasteful. It is said that the idea first came about in the Northern and Midwestern regions by way of harvesting unripened crops from imminent frosts (in cold-prone places). Now don’t get it wrong, fried green tomatoes are as cemented in Southern food culture as sweet tea and pimento cheese are. And their core reputation was very much bolstered by southern cuisine.

When dining in South Carolina, this delicacy is an everyday thing (and often some of the best you’ll ever have!). This particular region’s chefs and cooks develop them in creative, memorable ways that make them their own 🙏🏾.

sliced green tomatoes on checkered wood cutting board with knife

What Are Green Tomatoes?

Great question! Friends, green tomatoes are actually just the unripe versions of ordinary tomatoes. Sometimes green tomatoes are intentionally harvested/picked before they have a chance to ripen, but more often, they’re the tomatoes that didn’t ripen at the end of a growing season.

Green tomatoes have a more tart/tangy and acidic taste than ripe red tomatoes and a dense, firmer texture. Their firm, crisp, and crunchy texture is almost reminiscent of that of a green apple, too. Since their texture is different from ordinary, juicy tomatoes, they’re clutch for frying and other purposes (like making chutney, pickles/relish, salsa, and other preserves).

What You’ll Need For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • Green tomatoes: The star of the show here, peeps! Green tomatoes are usually found in your local grocery store near the red tomatoes. Do not try this recipe with regular ripe tomatoes or any other tomato variety as their texture is too juicy and they’ll sadly disintegrate when cooking, oof.
  • Self-rising flour: I love using this type of flour for my fried green tomatoes because it provides a slight, raised lift since it has baking powder in it. I highly recommend it, but you can definitely use all-purpose flour here if you’d like!
  • Cornmeal: You simply do not have a batch of southern fried green tomatoes if yours doesn’t include cornmeal, ha. This is one of the key ingredients, that cornmeal contributes to flavor and texture, it’s chef’s kiss all around.
  • Cajun seasoning: One of my favorite seasoning blends! This type of seasoning is a blend that contains salt, red pepper, black pepper, garlic, and more. Brands like, Slap Ya Mama or Tony Chachere’s, stay in my kitchen pantry.
  • Eggs: For the batter, for fluffiness, and a solid dredge base.
  • Buttermilk: Adds a flavorful tang and southernmost deliciousness.
  • Hot sauce: This is a flavor-enhancing ingredient. Many southern recipes (especially fried ones) include hot sauce for a pop of heat and well-rounded flavor. Louisiana-style hot sauce is my fave, but use your favorite one!
  • Oil: Like how are we going to make fried green tomatoes without oil, y’all?! 😜 Use any high smoke-point oil like peanut, vegetable, or corn oil.

How To Make Fried Green Tomatoes:

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Prep the tomatoes: Cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices. Then pat the tomato slices dry with a paper towel.
  2. Set up the dredging station: You’ll need 2 dredging vessels- Add the flour, cornmeal, and cajun seasoning into one dish and whisk well to thoroughly combine. In the second dish, combine the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce- to preference. Whisk the wet ingredients well to thoroughly combine.
  3. Dredge the tomatoes: Working in batches, add the tomato slices into the egg mixture, coating well, then dip into the flour/cornmeal mixture- firmly pressing the tomatoes into the flour/cornmeal to ensure it adheres well – then shake off any excess.
  4. Rest the tomatoes: Let the tomatoes sit while you heat the oil.
  5. Fry the tomatoes: Pour the oil into a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, working in batches, add the tomato slices into the oil and deep-fry until the slices are golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  6. Serve these fried green tomatoes immediately as-is with your favorite dipping sauce or devour in sandwich/burger form, as desired. Enjoy!
fried green tomatoes cooling on baking sheet fitted with a wire rack

Ingredient Substitutions, Tips + Tricks, & FAQs

As with others, you may have additional questions about this fried green tomatoes recipe. Like other BBR recipes, I always recommend sticking to the recipe as it is written in the recipe card, below. However, here’s some extra info:

  • Can I use an air fryer? I have not tested this recipe using an air fryer. Feel free to experiment at your own risk and let us know how it turned out.
  • Can I use gluten-free flour? Sure thing, let’s do it…use any gluten-free baking flour here as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).
  • Let them rest, woosah. After dredging, let the tomatoes rest while you heat up the oil. This allows for the tomatoes to soak up the dredging nicely.
  • Cast iron skillet: Huge fan of cast iron. A cast iron skillet conducts heat evenly and is such a staple piece of cookware for the home cook.
  • How much oil do I need? Just enough for the oil to come about 2″ up the skillet, allowing the tomatoes to float, we don’t want any splattering.
  • Frying at the right temp. A good ole deep-frying or infrared thermometer is a great culinary investment to ensure that you’re cooking at the optimal temperature. Also, when frying, in between batches, wait for the oil to come back up to the right temp as it does drop whenever food is added to the oil.
  • How do I get rid of oil? After frying, let the oil cool all the way back down to room temperature. Afterward, use a funnel to strain the oil back into the same container it came from (or another vessel that you plan to toss out). Then discard like normal. Boom.
southern fried green tomatoes with sauce on plate

Fried Green Tomatoes & ways to serve:

As pictured, my favorite way to enjoy this recipe is piled on top of crisp iceberg lettuce, bacon, and a smear of pimento cheese…BLT-style, yum 🤤…However, here’s some different options you have to serve up those fried green tomatoes:

  • classic BLT or any other sandwich form you desire
  • with omelettes or a breakfast sammie (a rich, savory brunch idea!)
  • on a burger with all the fixins
  • add to a salad for a nice crunch/texture you’ll love
  • use as a vessel and top with seafood (crab cakes or ceviche, mmm)
  • pair with soft cheeses and a drizzle of balsamic glaze, whew
  • serve with dipping sauces like a delish remoulade, tartar sauce, Mississippi’s comeback sauce, or top with pimento cheese (an iconic southern pairing)
  • & all other typical ways in which you’d eat a regular tomato! 😛
fried green tomatoes on top of bacon and lettuce sandwich

These Fried Green Tomatoes, well, you just can’t go wrong with ’em. They’re a cozy-comfy staple for good reason! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

More southern eats you’ll enjoy:

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fried green tomatoes with tartar sauce on plate with green linen underneath

Southern Fried Green Tomatoes

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  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Appetizers & Snacks
  • Method: Frying
  • Cuisine: Southern
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Description

You’ll love this Fried Green Tomatoes recipe that’s golden and crispy on the outside yet juicy and tender on the inside. These tomatoes can be served up as a comforting appetizer, snack, or swapped in a classic BLT sandwich. A cozy staple of the South.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 medium (unripened) green tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 cup self-rising flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning, plus more to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • hot sauce, to taste, I use Louisiana-style
  • peanut oil, for frying- (or any high smoke-point oil!)
  • flakey salt, for garnishing- optional

Instructions

  1. Prep the tomatoes: Cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices. I like to discard (or eat!) the top/bottom parts of the tomato since they aren’t as full in sections. Then pat the slices dry with a paper towel.
  2. Set up the dredging station: You’ll need 2 dredging vessels- aim for shallow dishes (such as a pie plate or low bowl). Add the flour, cornmeal, and cajun seasoning into one dish and whisk well to thoroughly combine. In the second dish, combine the eggs, buttermilk, and hot sauce- to preference. Whisk the wet ingredients well to thoroughly combine. Then set a baking sheet or large plate/platter aside.
  3. Dredge the tomatoes: Working in batches, add the tomato slices into the egg mixture, coating well on all surfaces, then dip into the flour/cornmeal mixture- firmly pressing the tomatoes into the flour/cornmeal to ensure it adheres well – then shake off any excess. Set the dredged tomato slices onto the prepared baking sheet/plate. Repeat the process with the remaining tomatoes.
  4. Rest the tomatoes: Let the tomatoes sit while you heat the oil.
  5. Fry the tomatoes: Pour the oil into a large cast iron skillet over medium heat, enough oil until it’s about 2″ deep up the side of the skillet. Note: For precision, you can use a thermometer to ensure the oil is at the optimal deep frying temperature of 350-375°F. Once the oil is hot, working in batches, add the tomato slices into the oil and deep-fry until the slices are golden brown with visible, delicious crispiness, about 3-4 minutes. Then use a slotted utensil to transfer the fried green tomatoes to a paper towel-lined, clean plate/platter and repeat the process with the remaining tomatoes- making sure the oil is heated back up to 350°F in between each batch of frying tomatoes.
  6. Serve: Sprinkle some flakey salt over the tomatoes, if desired. Then serve these fried green tomatoes immediately as-is with your favorite dipping sauce (we love a good remoulade, tartar, or comeback sauce with these!)- or devour in sandwich/burger form, as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. For best recipe success, please read the blog post & notes in its entirety with video tutorial before beginning.
  2. Gluten-free needs? Sure thing, let’s do it…use any gluten-free baking flour here as a 1:1 ratio (we love Bob’s Red Mill gf flour!).