Fried green tomatoes are a Southern classic with firm green tomatoes coated in a crispy cornmeal crust and fried until golden brown, the perfect appetizer.
Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
Looking to make Fried Green Tomatoes? This is the recipe you need. They're made with firm, unripened green tomatoes that are dredged in a mixture of cornmeal and flour, then fried until golden and wonderfully crispy.
Unripe tomatoes offer a tangy and slightly tart flavor, with a touch of sweetness that is boosted from cooking, making them extra delicious.
This dish is popular all across America, typically served as an appetizer, though it rocketed to popularity when the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" was released in 1991, based on the novel "Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe."
The film solidified the dish in southern cuisine, and you'll certainly find classic southern fried green tomatoes on menus there, though they're easily enjoyed wherever you go.
We absolutely love them.
Let's talk about how to make fried green tomatoes, shall we?
Fried Green Tomatoes Ingredients
The full ingredients list with measurements is listed in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
- Green Tomatoes. Use firm, unripened green tomatoes, not tomatillos. I'm using a variety from my garden.
- Buttermilk. You can use regular milk if needed, but buttermilk offers a touch more acidity for flavor. It's also slightly thicker, so helps the breading stick to the tomatoes, and also contributes to crispiness.
- Large Egg.
- Corn Meal.
- All-Purpose Flour.
- Seasonings. I am using my homemade Cajun seasoning blend, but you can use your favorite spices, like paprika, cayenne, garlic, and onion.
- Vegetable Oil. For frying. I use either a simple vegetable oil blend, canola oil, or peanut oil.
How to Make Fried Green Tomatoes - the Recipe Method
Prep the Green Tomatoes. Slice the green tomatoes into ¼ to ½ inch slices, to your preference. Lightly salt and set aside.
This helps to drain some of the water from the tomatoes, which helps keep them firmer. You don't want to drain them too much.
Set Up Your Dredging Station. Set up a dredging station with 3 bowls. Add the cornstarch to the first bowl.
In the second bowl, add the buttermilk and beat the egg into it until smooth.
In the third bowl, combine the yellow cornmeal, flour, Cajun seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the Fry Oil. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan or deep skillet over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F. You should have about 1 inch of oil. Do not boil the oil. It is ready when the oil sizzles with a tiny drop of flour added.
Dredge and Fry the Green Tomatoes. Working in batches, dip each tomato slice into the cornstarch, then the buttermilk and egg mixture, then into the seasoned flour-cornmeal mixture.
Fry the coated green tomatoes in a single layer for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
Remove and allow to cool and drain on a wire rack or on paper towels. Lightly salt them before they cool.
Boom! Done! Your fried green tomatoes are ready to serve. Easy enough to make, aren't they? They look so good! I'm ready to eat them all right now. Pass me the remoulade!
Serving Fried Green Tomatoes
Fried green tomatoes are a wonderful appetizer or side dish and often served with a dipping sauce, like Remoulade Sauce or creamy Comeback Sauce. They're also commonly topped with Pimento Cheese in the lowcountry, where we enjoy them quite often on our visits.
Don't forget your favorite hot sauce! We like to spice things up a little.
You can also be used in sandwiches, as an extra topping for burgers, or added to salads.
Recipe Tips & Notes
- Unripe tomatoes are ideal for making fried green tomatoes, as they are firmer and hold up to the frying process much better than ripe tomatoes, which can fall apart.
- Serve your fried green tomatoes hot, just after they're ready, and don't forget to lightly salt them just out of the fryer. The salt will stick much better when they're hot, and they taste so much better this way.
Storage & Leftovers
Fried green tomatoes will last up to 5 days in the refrigerator in a sealed container, though they are best served right away. You can heat them back up in the oven or toaster oven, though they can become a bit soft.
I do not recommend freezing them.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy this recipe for fried green tomatoes. Let me know if you make it. I'd love to hear how it turned out for you, and if you decided to spice it up!
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
- 3 large unripe green tomatoes firm tomatoes
- ½ cup cornstarch or use all-purpose flour
- 1 cup buttermilk or you can use regular milk
- 1 large egg
- 2/3 cup cornmeal
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasonings or use your favorite blend
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup vegetable oil (or more as needed) for frying – I prefer peanut oil
- Slice the green tomatoes into ¼ to ½ inch slices, to your preference. Lightly salt and set aside.
- Set up a dredging station with 3 bowls. Add the cornstarch to the first bowl.
- In the second bowl, add the buttermilk and beat the egg into it until smooth.
- In the third bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, Cajun seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan or deep skillet over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F. You should have about 1 inch of oil. Do not boil the oil. It is ready when the oil sizzles with a tiny drop of flour added.
- Working in batches, dip each tomato slice into the cornstarch, then the buttermilk mixture, then into the seasoned flour-cornmeal mixture.
- Fry the coated green tomatoes in a single layer for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Remove and allow to cool and drain on a wire rack or on paper towels. Lightly salt them before they cool.
- Serve! I love them with a nice remoulade or with pimiento cheese.