Fried Green Tomatoes are a time-honored Summer tradition in the South. Unripened tomatoes are coated with a perfectly seasoned cornmeal breading and fried until crispy and golden. They're like slices of gold.
Crispy Southern Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
When farm stands begin to open and garden season is in full swing, these golden beauties will make they're glorious appearance on our table. It's like manna from heaven, in my eyes. If you aren't a gardener, I recommend that you find your local farmers market and make friends with the best tomato growers in your area. Green tomatoes tend to show up early in the season, and they can advise you best according to the growing season in the region in which you reside.
What's the Best Breading for Making Fried Green Tomatoes?
It can often be the personal preference of the cook. I've had the pleasure of trying many variations through the years. Some cook's coat them in finely ground cracker crumbs or dried breadcrumbs, and others in a batter much like you'd use to fry fish. Making classic Southern green tomatoes traditionally utilizes a cornmeal coating. For me the mix of using all purpose flour and cornmeal is the best of both worlds providing that crispy exterior we all love.
How to Make the BEST Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Fried Green Tomatoes: Two large firm green tomatoes, all purpose flour, self rising yellow cornmeal, seasoned salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, large eggs, buttermilk, hot sauce and vegetable oil, canola oil or peanut oil for frying. You could also add a dash of cayenne pepper to taste.
- Kitchen tools you'll need: A large cast iron skillet or similar heavy bottomed frying pan or pot for frying. You'll also need a sharp knife and cutting board, paper towels, measuring tools, plus a shallow dish or bowls to prepare the flour-cornmeal coating and egg mixture. A slotted spoon or stainless steel spider to remove from the oil and a paper towel lined baking sheet or wire rack for draining after frying.
- To make the crispiest fried green tomatoes it all begins with the preparing the tomato slices prior to cooking.
- Choose green, firm tomatoes when gently squeezed for the best result.
- Keep an eye on the oil temp and don't let it get too hot or the breading can burn.
- Why self rising cornmeal? The baking powder in the cornmeal mix only adds to the crispy texture of the coating. If you prefer to use plain yellow cornmeal, add ½ teaspoon baking powder or baking soda to adapt.
- Why paper towels? It's important to draw some of the juice from the tomato slices to help the breading adhere. That's why it's important that you aren't tempted to skip blotting the tomato slices prior to coating with the breading ingredients.
- All green tomatoes won't have the same flavor as each variety has it's own nuances. Choose a variety of tomato that you enjoy.
- Fried tomatoes can be served simply with a few dashes of hot sauce or your favorite dipping sauce. I often whip-up a batch of Southern Comeback Sauce or a remoulade sauce as a homemade dip for serving on the side.
- Fried Green Tomatoes are best made and eaten fresh. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat to crisp or on a sheet pan in a 375°F oven. You could also reheat them in an air fryer for a couple of minutes.
More Southern Side Dish Recipes to Make
We love our vegetables in the South and the options are endless. More side dish recipes you may also like to try:
- Another garden favorite is my recipe for crispy pan fried Squash Croquettes.
- This vintage recipe for Creamed Peas can be a side dish or turned into a meal ladled over toast.
- Sweet and buttery roasted Corn on the Cob.
- Firecracker Fried Okra.
- Sweet Honey Roasted Carrots are an impressive side dish to make.
- Southern Style Candied Yams are a must on your holiday table.
- You may also enjoy this recipe for Green Tomato Relish from A Family Feast.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Fried Green Tomatoes
- 2 large green tomatoes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour divided
- ¾ cup self-rising yellow cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- ½ tsp granulated garlic or garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon whole buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 4 tablespoon vegetable oil for frying use more as needed
- Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch thick slices. Arrange in a single layer on doubled paper towels. Gently press another paper towel on top. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- To prepare the dredging station: Place ½ cup flour on a plate. On a second plate, whisk together remaining ½ cup flour, cornmeal, salt, garlic, onion powder, paprika and pepper until blended.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and hot sauce.
- Dredge tomato slices first in plain flour, second into egg wash then into seasoned flour-cornmeal coating. Gently press breading onto tomato slices. Have nearby a pan to place breaded slices.
- In a deep 12 inch skillet heat 1 inch vegetable oil to 350-360°F. Fry in batches to avoid over crowding the pan. Fry for 4-5 minutes total, gently turning as needed until golden.
- Remove from oil using slotted spoon to a paper towel lined platter. Do not stack. Season with additional seasoned salt.
- Serve immediately with dipping sauce of choice. I recommend Comeback Sauce.
- Why self rising cornmeal? The baking powder in the cornmeal mix only adds to the crispy texture of the coating. If you prefer to use plain yellow cornmeal, add ½ teaspoon baking powder to adapt.