Ever wondered how do you make fried green tomatoes? This fried green tomatoes recipe is one of my favorite homemade southern recipes (and we include a secret fried green tomato sauce!). These make a great summer side dish when cooking from a garden and a fun snack for kids.
How Do You Make Fried Green Tomatoes?
Both of my parents are Southern, so I grew up eating this fried green tomatoes recipe as far back as I can remember. (It will rival fried green tomatoes recipe Paula Deen, so bring it!)
(By the way, we’re talking fried green tomatoes food and not the fried green tomatoes movie, which may be why you landed here!)
This old fashioned fried green tomatoes recipe may seem gross if you’ve never had them, but it’s not like what you’re thinking a ripe tomato tastes like!
(They’re not fried red tomatoes!)
Fried green tomatoes are firmer and more acidic than regular, ripe, red tomatoes. But, it’s that texture and taste that holds up really well when you fry them up.
And, fried green tomatoes are a really great finger food for kids to eat as a snack or part of a meal! (And a great hidden vegetables for kids trick.)
Before we get to how to cook fried green tomatoes recipe, let’s answer some common questions about making fried tomatoes…
Are fried green tomatoes just unripe tomatoes?
There are some tomatoes that stay green(er), but the tomatoes used for fried green tomatoes are just unripe red tomatoes. The green is what happens right before the tomatoes start to ripen and turn red. (Sometimes you’ll start to see a hint of a red tint.)
To pick green tomatoes to fry, you want to get them when they’re green, but fully grown (not just when they’re starting to grow), firm, and right before they start to turn to ripe.
They will be larger and firmer to touch if you lightly squeeze on them.
Can you eat uncooked green tomatoes?
(Can fried green tomatoes make you sick? Green tomatoes actually taste bitter and shouldn’t be eaten without cooking them. Also, some people have an allergic reaction to the alkaloids (solanine) in green tomatoes and also may have digestive issues triggered by uncooked green tomatoes. The alkaloids are toxic, but it would take a very large amount to make a person sick (who doesn’t already have an allergy to it).
DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PETS TO EAT GREEN TOMATOES OR TOMATO LEAVES. They can be toxic to them.
What do fried green tomatoes taste like?
Fried green tomatoes taste a lot like a breaded squash or fried zucchini. They are crunchy on the outside from the breading and softer on the inside. You can learn how to make fried tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, or even a side for dinner!
What do you eat with fried green tomatoes?
Fried green tomatoes make a great side dish for just about any main meal. Also you can eat fried green tomatoes as a snack alone (they are yummy) or with a dip or sauce (like a remoulade sauce). You can even eat them on top of sandwiches, including grilled cheese and hamburgers!
We’ve included our favorite fried tomatoes with sauce recipe at the end of the post, so don’t miss it!
Are fried green tomatoes healthy?
Fried green tomatoes are, well, fried. So, they may not be as healthy as some other non-breaded, non-fried vegetables. However, you can make a healthier version of the breading and even try making fried green tomatoes in the oven or fried green tomatoes air fryer recipe (this is on our list to try, so I’ll update the post once I do!).
Where to buy green tomatoes?
If you don’t grow your own tomatoes, then you’ll need somewhere to buy green tomatoes. They are most abundant and easy to find in the summer. However, don’t wait too long or they’ll turn into ripe, red tomatoes later in the summer and you won’t be able to find them!
Are green tomatoes seasonal?
Green tomatoes are seasonal, found mostly in the summer and early fall. However, you may now be able to find them year-round due to greenhouse growing and importing. Not all grocery stores carry green tomatoes (or, they only carry them for a short period). Farmers’ markets and roadside farm stands are great places to check for green tomatoes for cooking during the summer season.
What type of tomato is best for fried green tomatoes?
When choosing the best tomato for fried green tomatoes, you want to choose a medium size green tomato (most any variety) that is firm when you lightly squeeze it. You do not want tomatoes that are too small to slice and fry.
Can you make fried green tomatoes without cornmeal?
If you want to make fried green tomatoes batter without cornmeal, you can just use flour or you can also make a fried green tomatoes recipe panko. The texture will be very different depending on the kind of breading you use.
Let’s get to how to cook fried tomatoes!
Best Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe with Secret Fried Green Tomatoes Sauce
(Don’t miss the fried green tomatoes dip after this recipe! KEEP SCROLLING!)
A fried green tomatoes recipe is much like any other fried vegetable recipe. You first create a breading that you dredge the green tomatoes in. Then, you place the coated green tomatoes in a pan of hot oil and fry until lightly browned and crispy on both sides.
- 4 Green tomatoes, (large)
- 2 Eggs, (large)
- 1 Cup All-purpose flour
- 1 Cup Yellow cornmeal
- Vegetable oil or olive oil for frying
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Slice tomatoes into about 1/4-inch thick slices. (Leaving it too thick will take longer to cook and the breading may burn.) Set aside.
- In a small, shallow bowl, beat eggs. Set aside.
- In two separate bowls, place flour and cornmeal. Season both lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Place a tomato slice into the flour, turning so both sides are covered. Then, place the flour covered tomato into the eggs. Once covered with egg, press the tomato into the cornmeal, turning and repeating on the other side so that both sides of the egg are covered. Transfer to the baking sheet or platter until ready to cook.
- Continue dipping each tomato slice into the flour-egg-cornmeal bowls until each tomato slice is covered. Store them on the baking sheet or platter until ready to cook.
- Heat about 1/4-1/2 cup of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry tomatoes in single layer batches, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels in a single layer. Cool slightly before eating. Salt and pepper to taste.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 174Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 68mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is estimated. Changes to the recipe and use of different brands may cause changes to the nutritional information to vary slightly from the ones provided here.
Why are my fried green tomatoes soggy?
Uh-oh. So you made this awesome fried green tomatoes recipe and they ended up soggy. Soggy fried green tomatoes often either come from not letting your oil get hot enough or stacking them on top of each other when they are hot. After frying the tomatoes, place them on a paper towel to drain in a single layer and allow them to cool slightly before serving.
(Do not place other fried tomatoes on top of each other.)
Also, fried green tomatoes tend to get soggy the longer they sit. So, the next day, they may not be as crisp as the first day.
Sauce for Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
Not long ago, I decided to make a fried green tomatoes sauce.
(Because . . . why not?)
Growing up, we didn’t eat fried green tomatoes with sauce, and, in all honesty, fried green tomatoes are just fine without the sauce.
However, if you want to elevate this recipe a little (especially for a dinner party or something like that), definitely try the sauce.
(Or, just make it for yourself when no one else is home so you don’t have to share!)
It’s so simple and you can easily adjust the spiciness level of it.
FUN FACT FOR KIDS: Capsaicin is the active component in chili peppers that makes them feel hot in your mouth and pungency is the real term for what we call “hot” or “spicy.”
Easy Fried Green Tomatoes Sauce Recipe
In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of mayonnaise and 2-3 drops (or more if you like spicy!) of Sriracha hot chili sauce.
Serve as a side dipping sauce or drizzle on top of the fried green tomatoes.
If your kids like a little spicy, they’ll love this dipping sauce.
(My kid eats super hot stuff, so she adds even more of the Sriracha to her sauce!)
The mayonnaise really cuts back on the heat, so you can add just a little hot sauce to the mayo and not really worry about it being too hot for the kiddos.
Cooking and Reading: Fried Green Tomatoes paired with I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato Children’s Book
This fried green tomatoes recipe pairs perfectly with the book I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato by author Lauren Child featuring characters Charlie and Lola.
From the book:
Lola is a fussy eater. A VERY fussy eater. She won’t eat her carrots (until big brother Charlie reveals that they are really orange twiglets from Jupiter). She won’t eat her mashed potatoes (until Charlie explains they are cloud fluff from the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji). There are many, many things Lola absolutely will not eat, including—and especially—tomatoes. Or will she? Join two endearing siblings for a smorgasbord of fun in Lauren Child’s witty story about the triumph of imagination over proclivity.
If you have a picky eater and want to get them to try different things (like a fried green tomatoes recipe!), then this children’s book is perfect!
Listed Book Age Range:4-8 years