I haven’t had much luck growing tomatoes in our small Denver garden, but I still try to find some good green tomatoes this time of year to make classic fried green tomatoes!
This is my complete walkthrough on how to nail fried green tomatoes so you can get the most out of your late tomato harvest before it freezes. If done correctly, these crispy fried green tomatoes have a crunchy breaded crust and a tender and slightly tart interior that goes well dipped in ranch dressing.
Looking for a main dish for your tomatoes? Check out this Heirloom Tomato Tart!
- Need another fall, fried appetizer? Try my fried squash blossoms!
Where to find green tomatoes
The easiest way to find green tomatoes is to grow them. If you have a few tomato plans it will be a given to have lots of green tomatoes during the end of the season and you just have to grab them around the first freeze of fall.
On previous years, when I’ve tried to go tomatoes in our small Denver garden, I’ve gotten as much as 10 pounds of green tomatoes off of two tomato plants.
If you don’t grow tomatoes, you can still usually find green tomatoes at most farmers markets during the fall. After all, every single tomato plant will have some green tomatoes on it and most farmers would rather sell them to you than toss them!
When it comes to grocery stores, you might have to ask to see if they have any. Some stores won’t stock them because it’s not a super-popular produce item.
Preparing green tomatoes for frying
I keep my fried green tomatoes really simple. The only slight change up I make is I like a mix of cornmeal and breadcrumbs for the breading. This gives the tomatoes a nice coating with some crunch, but not overly crunchy.
This time around I used blue cornmeal, but any will work.
Slice off the stems of the tomatoes and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. Then dust them in flour mixed with spices. Then in an egg wash mixture.
Finally, they get some of the breadcrumbs and cornmeal topping. These are about perfect. The breading shouldn’t be super thick on them.
Cooking fried tomatoes
It’s now to fry up these beautifully breaded green tomatoes! You don’t need (and shouldn’t use) a deep fryer for these. They fry fine in about two cups of vegetable oil or peanut oil and you can just flip them halfway through. They cook really quickly.
I like to use a sturdy skillet like a cast iron skillet to fry mine which retains the heat really nicely.
When they come out of the fry, let them drain on some paper towels or on a wire rack and season them immediately with a pinch of salt. Resist the urge to bite into one right away because it’s like molten tomato in there.
These are so good though. I could eat my weight in them!
How to serve fried green tomatoes
To be honest, these classic fried green tomatoes are good on their own, but I like to serve them with some ranch dressing also.
Classicly, fried green tomatoes might be served with a remoulade sauce which is essentially fancy mayonnaise. I like this version from Pinch and Swirl if you want to try to make your own or you could use my garlicky donkey sauce as an alternative.
To kick these green tomatoes up a notch, you could use them in my green tomato wraps, which are pretty out of this world and really only possible to make this time of year.
Are Fried Green Tomatoes gluten-free?
This version that I made is not gluten-free because I like to add breadcrumbs to the breading. You could use gluten-free breadcrumbs though OR use all cornmeal and dust the tomatoes in cornstarch and end up with a gluten-free version. They will end up having a much thinner breading, but it will be very crispy.
How to reheat leftover tomatoes
These fried green tomatoes are best right out of the fry pan, but if you happen to have a few leftovers, all is good.
Reheat leftover tomatoes not in the microwave but in a 350˚F oven for 10 minutes until warmed through. Also, an air fryer would work perfectly for reheating these and they would only need a few minutes at 350˚F.
Leave a comment if you love fried green tomatoes. Especially leave a comment if you are lucky enough to have a bucket of them like I did!
Classic Fried Green Tomatoes
- 4 large green tomatoes, about 2 pounds
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups oil, for frying
- Ranch, for serving
- Slice stems off green tomatoes and cut into about 1/4-inch slices.
- In different bowls, stir together flour with all the spices, whisk together eggs and milk, and stir together breadcrumbs and cornmeal.
- Working with a few tomato slices at a time, dust in the flour, then move to the egg, and finally coat in the breadcrumb and cornmeal mixture.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot (a small amount of breadcrumbs dropped in should sizzle immediately).
- Fry breaded green tomatoes for about 3 minutes per side until they are golden brown and crispy.
- Remove tomatoes and let drain on a few paper towels. Season immediately with a little extra kosher salt. Repeat with all tomato slices.
- Serve fried green tomatoes with ranch dressing.