Classic Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

Classic Fried Green Tomatoes

The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
328 Calories
21g Fat
30g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 328
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 26%
Saturated Fat 8g 39%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 141mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 4g 13%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 29mg 144%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 382mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you were to make a list of iconic southern dishes, fried green tomatoes would certainly be one of them, and probably near the top. Southerners have been frying their green tomatoes for ages, but the dish gained national popularity in the late 1980s when Fannie Flagg's novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe was published and later made into a movie.

This is a basic recipe for classic southern fried green tomatoes, made simply with a lightly seasoned cornmeal coating. They are great served as a side dish or snack, or add them to a special breakfast or brunch menu. Use your trusty iron skillet to fry the tomatoes and serve them with an easy dip or dressing.

There are varieties of fully ripe green tomatoes on the market, but when making fried green tomatoes, choose firm, unripe tomatoes; ripe tomatoes would become mushy. Green tomatoes are popular in the South, and you can usually find them in southern supermarkets throughout the summer season. If you do not live in the South and do not grow your own tomatoes, check with your local farmer's markets.


Click Play to See This Classic Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe Come Together


  • 4 medium unripe green tomatoes

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Vegetable shortening, or part bacon drippings or oil, for frying

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup cornmeal

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Fried Green Tomatoes ingredients

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  2. Cut the tomatoes into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices. Lightly sprinkle the slices with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

    Slice the tomatoes into slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  3. Let the tomatoes stand for 10 to 15 minutes and then pat them dry with paper towels.

    pat the tomatoes dry with a paper towel

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  4. Heat about 1/2 inch of shortening, bacon drippings, or oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 

    skillet with oil

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  5. Beat the eggs in a wide, shallow bowl. In another bowl, add the cornmeal. Dip the tomato slices in the eggs and then in the cornmeal to coat thoroughly.

    bowl with beaten eggs and a bowl with cornmeal

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  6. When the oil is hot—about 360 F—add several of the coated tomato slices, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry them in the hot fat for about 3 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Gently turn the slices and fry the other side until browned.

    frying cornmeal coated tomatoes in the skillet

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  7. Remove the fried tomato slices to paper towels to drain and then transfer to a cooling rack. Keep them warm in a low oven as you fry subsequent batches.

    Classic Fried Green Tomatoes on paper towels and a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  8. Serve the fried green tomatoes with Louisiana remoulade sauce, ranch dressing, or spicy chipotle mayonnaise.


    Make a quick ranch dip to serve with the tomatoes: Combine 1/4 cup of buttermilk (well-shaken) with 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. If desired, add a few teaspoons of fresh chopped parsley or chives.

    Other Ways to Use Green Tomatoes

    Besides fried green tomatoes, those end-of-the-season green tomatoes can be used in many other recipes. Some great possibilities include hot dog relish and green tomato pickles; even ketchup can be made with green tomatoes. They can also be used to make green tomato pie, moist green tomato cake, or fried corn and green tomato fritters.