Fried Green Tomatoes

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This dish is a true celebration of summertime yumminess.

Green tomatoes have a tangy taste, but also a hint of sweetness. Find them during the summer months just before tomatoes are at their peak. We love serving them with our homemade ranch, which can be made several days in advance!

An oval white platter filled with fried green tomatoes with a small bowl of ranch dressing sitting next to them.

How To Make Fried Green Tomatoes

These gems are a snap to bring together.

Once you secure the green tomatoes, all you need is your standard dredging station and a skillet with hot oil.


Choosing the Best Tomato

When in season, many types of fresh tomatoes are available at markets, vegetable stands, and possibly even in your own garden!

You can find tomatoes that are green in color that are fully ripened.  Although extremely delicious, these aren’t the ones we want for this dish. 

EXPERT TIP: The best tomatoes for fried green tomatoes are regular vine-grown tomatoes that have not turned red yet. They are plentiful just before and while fresh tomatoes are available at markets, or in your own garden. They are somewhat small, and firm when you slice into them.

A person using a chef's knife to slice a green tomato on a cutting board with slices scattered around.

As mentioned, you’re going to bread the tomato slices with a standard cornmeal and breadcrumb mixture.

Grab 3 small/medium-sized baking pans or bowls, and fill the first one with flour, the second one with buttermilk, and the third one with cornmeal, breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.

EXPERT TIP: Once you place the tomatoes in the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture, use your fingers to help the mixture adhere. It’s okay if the tomato is not 100% covered in breading. These are intended to have a rustic look and feel to them.

A hand dredging a green tomato slice in a pan of flour, and then in a pan of buttermilk, and finally in a pan of seasoned cornmeal and breadcrumbs.

How To Cook Fried Green Tomatoes

Our preferred method for cooking these babies is to fry them quickly in oil. But you can certainly cook them in the oven or your air-fryer. Follow these simple steps for perfectly cooked fried green tomatoes:

Fry – Pour enough vegetable oil in a sturdy skillet, such as cast-iron so it’s about ½-inch to 1 inch in depth. Heat the oil over medium-high heat and use a candy thermometer (if possible) to get the oil to 350°F. Fry the breaded tomatoes in batches, 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
Bake – Preheat your oven to 375°F and place the breaded tomatoes on a baking sheet. Cook for 15 minutes, then carefully flip them, and then cook for another 15 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
Air-Fry – Preheat your air-fryer to 400°F. Lightly spray the basket and breaded tomatoes with oil. Working in batches, air-fry them for 5 minutes, open the basket and flip them, then fry another 3 minutes.

Three breaded green tomatoes that are being fried in a cast-iron skillet filled with hot oil.

Once fully cooked, the inside of the tomato becomes soft and so delicious.

The exterior is crispy and loaded with flavor.

EXPERT TIP: Reheating the fried tomatoes works perfectly in an air-fryer. Pop them in at 400°F for a couple of minutes. It heats them and crisps them right up again. But in our case, there are usually never leftovers. They are that good.

A hand holding up a fried green tomato that has been in half so the inside of the tomato is visible.

When And How To Serve

We love serving these as an appetizer for guests on a warm summer afternoon.

They are beautiful on a platter with a bowl of our easy homemade ranch dressing.

They’re also fabulous served with fried asparagus or zucchini fritters

We highly recommend serving them with some sort of dip. Did we mention homemade ranch? The best!

A hand dipping one half of a fried green tomato into a small white bowl of ranch dressing.

Ready to make the best summer dish this side of the Whistle Stop Café (Google it)? Go for it!

And when you do, be sure to take a picture of it, post it on Instagram, and tag @HowToFeedaLoon and hashtag #HowToFeedaLoon!

An oval white platter filled with fried green tomatoes with a small bowl of ranch dressing sitting next to them.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes are a celebration of all that's delicious in summer. Find green tomatoes at markets, vegetable stands, or even your own garden, before tomatoes are ripe and red. If you can't find them, ask someone at your local vegetable market to get some for you.
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to cook fried green tomatoes, how to make fried green tomatoes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 304kcal


  • Large, sturdy skillet (ie, cast-iron)


  • 3 medium green tomatoes sliced about 1/4" to 1/2", usually 3 slices each
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup cornmeal finely ground, heaping
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs heaping
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • Ranch dressing for dipping


  • Add enough of the oil to a large sturdy skillet (ie, cast-iron) to fill it to about 1/2-inch to 1-inch in depth. Heat over medium-high heat to 350F.
  • Meanwhile, set up a dredging station with three small to medium-sized baking pans or bowls. Place the flour in the first pan, buttermilk in the second, and mix in the third pan the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  • Place the sliced tomatoes first in the flour, flipping to coat and cover. Shake off excess and then lower into the buttermilk. Shake off excess and then add into the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture. Use your fingers to help the breading adhere to the tomato. It's okay if the tomato is not 100% coated with the breading.
  • Working in batches, carefully add the tomatoes to the hot oil. Cook them for about 2 minutes, and then use a fork and metal spatula or tongs to carefully flip the tomatoes over. Fry for another couple of minutes, or until they are golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining tomatoes.
  • Serve at once with homemade ranch dressing (or your favorite dipping sauce).



Be sure to select green tomatoes that are un-ripened vine tomatoes.  Don't use naturally green tomatoes, such as heirloom. 
You'll typically get about 3 slices per tomato yielding 9 fried tomatoes. The recipe can easily be doubled if serving a group. 
See instructions in the blog post for baking or air-frying the tomatoes.
The tomatoes reheat perfectly in an air-fryer for just a couple of minutes at 400 F.  Though they won't be nearly as crunchy, they're still delicious at room temperature. 
The homemade ranch can be made several days in advance and we think is the perfect accompaniment for the tomatoes. 


Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 757mg | Potassium: 407mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 920IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Take a Picture!Mention @HowToFeedALoon or tag #HowToFeedALoon!


  • Kris and Wes–Just made these for dinner–absolutely delicious! I’ve made fried green tomatoes several times, and this is the best recipe I’ve tried. Thank you!

    • Hi Mary!! That is so wonderful to hear! They really are quintessential summer deliciousness, right? Thank you so much for letting us know!! We appreciate that very much!! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • I just saw this recipe arrive into my Inbox, and I had to say something. My wife and I love green fried tomatoes. The first time I tried them was in August of 2001 at a couple’s house we went to visit in Ohio. Since childhood, I always ate green tomatoes in salads. We lived in NYC, and my mother told my uncle that if he went to New Jersey, to look for green tomatoes because they were difficult to find in NYC. This older couple new that I like eating green tomatoes. Since I was the guest of honor. Roberta made green fried tomatoes for us. After getting back home from the visit, Claire (my wife) tired making them with some tomatoes a friend of hers gave her from her garden. That was the last time we had green fried tomatoes. In the Fall of 2019, we moved down to North Carolina (Durham/Chapel Hill border). Now we can find green tomatoes everywhere; and I can even plant tomatoes in my gardens. There will be no shortage of green tomatoes now! When I saw the email, I told Claire that: “There is a recipe for green fried tomatoes from the guy of the Chicken Francese, and the Fried Mozzarella recipes.” (That is how she knows who you are.) “Get it!”, she said. So I did! Thank you for so many wonderful recipes. One quick question…is there a recipe for the sauce somewhere on your site?

    • Hi Clem! Just realized we didn’t respond to this wonderful comment! So so sorry about that! We LOVE that your wife knows who we are by our recipes! That’s awesome! Fried green tomatoes are not only delicious, but they bring back so many wonderful many memories for so many people. We really hope you both love this recipe as much as we do! Please let us know if you make them (or have made them) and what you think of them! I think you’re asking about the Homemade Ranch Dressing…click the link for the full recipe! Best, Kris & Wesley

      • 5 stars
        Hi Kris. That is quite alright! Thank you for the link to the Homemade Ranch Dressing!!!

  • I am not a big fan of these but my husband LOVES them so I will make them for him. However; I do love ranch dressing, so thank you for the addition of that recipe!

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