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If you’ve never tried Fried Green Tomatoes, you’re in for a real treat! This southern delicacy is not your ordinary fried food — the firm yet tender meat of slightly tart green tomatoes fried golden brown in a crispy cornmeal and panko coating is a flavor experience like no other! Then when you dip them in my Creole Mustard Dipping Sauce, you are instantly transported by this southern recipe. 

fried green tomatoes stacked on a plate with a bowl of mustard dipping sauce to the side and a garnish of raw green tomatoes..

Being a fan of fried green tomatoes is almost always a dead giveaway that you were born and raised in the south. Or, at least, you’ve spent plenty of time there. Otherwise, you’d have to have a grandmother or other relative with southern roots who introduced this tasty creation to you.

A Southern Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe doesn’t sound like the most appealing dish to some people. But you’d be surprised at how savory, crisp, and flavorful these are! See for yourself!

green tomatoes on a vine.

And if you fall in love with this classic southern dish, check out more of my crispy veggie recipes like Crunchy Oven-Fried Okra, Air Fried Onion Rings, and Air Fryer Asparagus Fries — YUM!

Although it isn’t summer yet, warmer regions are beginning to harvest their first tomatoes of the year! So, it’s the perfect time to keep an eye out for unripe green tomatoes for frying!

If you’re not a fan of green tomatoes, there are many other ways to use them! Make a green tomato salsa, green tomato jam, or even a mock apple pie!

ingredients for breading fried green tomatoes on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Southern Fried Green Tomatoes with Remoulade Sauce

  • Green tomatoes | Of course, you’ll need a couple of firm medium green tomatoes. Using ripe red tomatoes makes a significant difference. So, for the most authentic experience, pick out the bright green unripe tomatoes from the grocery store or your home garden.
  • Salt and Pepper | These tomatoes only need a simple kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper seasoning to complete the flavors. If you want to spice things up, add cajun seasoning, too!
  • Flour | Use all-purpose flour for the base of the coating.
  • Egg | One large egg will help the breading stick to the tomato slices.
  • Milk | Mix milk into the whisked eggs for an extra golden outside. You can also use buttermilk for a tangy taste.
  • Cornmeal | Cornmeal gives the fried green tomatoes a southern touch and slight crunch.
  • Breadcrumbs| I like to use crispy panko breadcrumbs, but ordinary breadcrumbs also work.
  • Canola oil | You’ll need some oil for frying. I used canola oil, but you may swap it for vegetable oil, peanut oil, or olive oil if preferred.

Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • Sour cream and mayonnaise | These two ingredients build the sauce’s creamy and slightly tangy base, similar to ranch dressing.
  • Dijon mustard | Bring a burst of flavor with some dijon mustard. If necessary, substitute the dijon with typical yellow mustard.
  • Stone-ground mustard | Stone-ground mustard completes the dipping sauce with a mild flavor and texture from the mustard seeds.

Equipment needed

  • Cast-Iron Skillet: I like to use a large cast-iron skillet. It retains the perfect heat.
  • Shallow Dishes

How to make the Best Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

Fried green tomatoes will transport you right back to your favorite southern recipes. Plus, they are so easy to make that even beginners have no trouble!

stirring together ingredients for mustard dipping sauce for fried green tomatoes.

Step 1|  Prepare the Mustard Dipping Sauce

Mix the sauce ingredients before jumping into the fried tomato recipe. That way, it has time to sit, further developing the rich, creamy, and tart flavor.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dip; sour cream, mayonnaise, and both mustards. Stir until the sauce is creamy and smooth. Pop it into the refrigerator so when you’re ready to serve, it’s nice and chilled.

salted green tomato slices on a paper towel lined baking sheet.

STEP 2 | Slice and season the tomatoes

Start by washing your fresh green tomatoes, then cut them into slices around a quarter inch thick. Next, place each one on a paper towel-lined plate to remove extra moisture and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

dredging station for fried green tomatoes.

STEP 3 | Prepare for breading

Now, let’s set up to dip the tomatoes in breading to make that delicious crisp outside! To do this, take out three shallow bowls. Be sure they are not deep bowls — when you use a shallow dish, the dipping is far more manageable.

In the first bowl, add the all-purpose flour mixture. Next, carefully crack an egg and whisk it with the milk in the second bowl.

In the third bowl, toss the cornmeal and breadcrumbs together until they are fully incorporated.

STEP 4 | Get the frying pan hot and ready

Then, set out a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add enough oil to reach a depth of ¼ inch so that a single layer of green tomato slices is almost entirely covered.

dredging green tomato slices in flour, egg, and panko breadcrumb mixture for frying.

STEP 5 | Bread the tomato slices

While the oil is heating up, get to dipping! First, dredge tomato slices in the flour, shake off the excess, and then dip them into the egg mixture of the second bowl.

Finally, coat both sides with the cornmeal mixture, again shaking off the excess. Now you are ready for the frying process.

tips

  • If necessary, store leftover fried green tomatoes in the refrigerator for a couple of days and keep them in an airtight container, so they remain fresh. I do not recommend freezing fried green tomatoes.
  • If you want the fried tomatoes to be super crispy, make the coating as light as possible.
  • Even if you’re not concerned about the excess oil, set the slices on paper towels or a wire rack to drain. Not only does this remove the unnecessary oil, but it helps the pieces cool without becoming soggy.
fried green tomatoes draining on a wire rack.

STEP 6 | Fry the breaded green tomatoes

Next, check if your skillet is ready to fry. You can do this by dropping a pinch of flour into the skillet. Did it sizzle? If so, the oil temperature is hot enough to fry your tangy green tomatoes. 

Finally, work in batches to cook the tomato slices. Allow them to fry in the oil for about 2 minutes on each side until the outside is nice and browned.

Then, set the fried tomato onto a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate so that the excess oil can drain.

Continue these steps until all your green tomatoes are golden and crisp! For best results, be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or the slices will cook unevenly and improperly. 

And all that’s left to do is serve up your homemade southern fried green tomatoes! Don’t forget the delicious dipping sauce!

fried green tomatoes stacked on a plate with a bowl of mustard dipping sauce to the side and green tomatoes in the corner of the table.

Frequently asked questions

Are green tomatoes unripe red tomatoes?

Yes! Some people believe there is a different type of tomato that grows green. But when you think about it, green tomatoes are firmer and have a sharper flavor, while ripened red tomatoes are soft and somewhat sweet. Put that way, it’s easier to understand how they are the same type of tomato, except green tomatoes are harvested much earlier than red ones.

Can you use ripe red tomatoes for fried tomatoes?

Sure. It is possible to fry red tomatoes, but the results will be pretty different from classic fried green tomatoes. If you want to experiment with red tomatoes, choose the ones that are not overly ripened. Firm tomatoes are the best in this recipe. The frying will only cause a mushy mess when the fruit is too soft.

How do you serve fried green tomatoes?

Some say you’re not really enjoying fried green tomatoes without a classic remoulade dipping sauce on the side. Personally, I’m a fan of this simple mustard sauce. 

Nevertheless, you should always serve fried green onions with some kind of creamy sauce, like honey mustard or sweet chili sauce mixed with sour cream and mayo. Enjoy your tomatoes as a snack, appetizer, side dish, or on top of a BLT sandwich! 

Serving suggestions

Serve up a southern meal featuring your freshly made fried green tomatoes as a side. A classic choice is crispy Fried Catfish with Sweet Corn Pudding or Broccoli and Cheese Casserole.

Or you can serve them with easy Air Fryer Chicken Thighs and Baked Potatoes dressed in all your favorite toppings!

two slices of fried green tomatoes on a plate with dipping sauce drizzled on top.

Behind the recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

When you think of “fried green tomatoes,” the first thing that comes to mind is likely southern food! It is a dish that the southern United States has adored for many years.

Living in a traditional southern family, you’ve probably seen these absolutely delicious fried tomato slices at almost every holiday feat and family gathering.

That said, it may surprise you that fried green tomatoes did not originate in the south — GASP! Before the 1970s, a southern family wouldn’t have even known about this future famous dish. 

Somewhere in the 19th century, Jewish immigrants brought the recipe. It began to appear in cookbooks of the wild midwest and northeastern states.

In fact, it didn’t become a southern staple until it was added to the menu at the Whistle Stop Cafe. And the recipe became even more popular among southern cooks once the book and movie, Fried Green Tomatoes, brought it some attention. Who would have guessed? 

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sliced of fried green tomatoes on a plate garnished with raw green tomato slices.

Fried Green Tomatoes with Mustard Dipping Sauce

This southern delicacy is made of tart green tomatoes fried golden brown and served with a delicious mustard dipping sauce — a real treat to transport you to southern recipe heaven!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Vegetables & Sides
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 139 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium firm green tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • canola oil for frying

Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon stone ground mustard

Instructions
 

  • Cut the tomatoes into¼ inch slices, place on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Prepare the breading station for the fried green tomatoes in 3 shallow bowls. In the first one, add the flour. In the second bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. In the third bowl, combine the cornmeal and breadcrumbs. 
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add enough oil to reach a depth of ¼ inch.
  • While the oil is heating, dredge the tomato slices in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip them in the egg mixture. Finally, coat both sides with the cornmeal mixture, shaking off the excess.
  • Drop a pinch of flour into the skillet. If it sizzles, the oil is hot enough to start frying. Working in batches, cook the tomato slices 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Drain on paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, and both mustards. Stir until the sauce is smooth, then serve with the warm fried green tomatoes. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Notes

    • If necessary, store leftover fried green tomatoes in the refrigerator for a couple of days and keep them in an airtight container, so they remain fresh. I do not recommend freezing fried green tomatoes.
    • If you want the fried tomatoes to be super crispy, make the coating as light as possible.
    • Even if you’re not concerned about the excess oil, set the slices on paper towels or a wire rack to drain. Not only does this remove the unnecessary oil, but it helps the pieces cool without becoming soggy.
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Nutrition

Calories: 139kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 3gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 253mgPotassium: 126mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 295IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword pan fried, Southern, tomato, vegatable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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