Classic Southern Tomato Pie

A recipe for the best classic Southern tomato pie perfect for summer.

There is a handful of things that reminds me specifically of summer- fresh cut grass, the smell of the beach, and big ol’ juicy tomatoes. For as long as I can remember, my dad has grown a vegetable garden every summer, and it has always produced way more than we could ever eat. Since our little family lives only 30 minutes from my parents, my green-thumbed father (somehow I didn’t inherit that gene) brings a bag full of these babies almost every time he visits. So that’s a whole lotta ‘maters!
As much as I love a great BLT, there are only so many I can eat in a day, and it hardly puts a dent in our supply. Before we can eat them, half of them go bad. So what to do with that huge pile of juicy beauties? Make a drool-worthy Classic Southern Tomato Pie!
If you have never had this dish, I know what you’re thinking. Pie? Tomatoes? Weird combo. But trust me. Try it before you knock it. You’ll be hooked.
4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
10 fresh chopped basil leaves (about 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 9-inch deep dish pie shell
2 cups grated cheese of your choice (I used mozzarella and cheddar)
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp salt (for drawing out tomato juice)
1 clove garlic, chopped
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Once oven is preheated, bake pie shell for 10 minutes. After crust is finished, reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
2. While crust is baking, lay tomato slices in a layer on the bottom of a collander in the sink and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Let tomatoes drain for 10-15 minutes. Transfer to flat paper towels and pat off any excess moisture (this prevents the pie from being watery).
3. Lay half of the tomato slices in the bottom of the pie shell. In a small bowl, mix together green onions, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of mixture over tomatoes in pie crust. Layer in second half of tomato slices and top with the rest of the onion/basil mixture.
4. In a separate bowl, combine cheese and mayonnaise. Spread mixture on top of the pie.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly brown. Cut into slices and serve warm.
And forever crave ‘mater pie!

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    1. Well, I looked in my grandmother’s much loved cookbook and it was not listed, however, I did find a green tomato mincemeat recipe. I remember she cut the green tomatoes into wedges like one cuts apples and made it just like an apple pie between two crusts. So if you used an apple pie recipe, I’m sure it would come out the same. It’s also an acquired taste. I liked it.

      Here’s the Green Tomato Mincemeat for Pies. This recipe is from Household Searchlight cookbook published in 1939. Grandma traded a chicken for it.

      1 peck green tomatoes
      1 quart slices apples, fresh or dried
      1 pound seedless raisins
      1 pound suet, chopped
      cinnamon, nutmeg, & cloves
      2 1/2 pounds brown sugar
      3 lemons
      Wash tomatoes. Cut in small pieces. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand overnight. Drain. Add sufficient water to prevent sticking. Cook 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Add lemon juice, grated rind 1 lemon, and white of 1 lemon cut in small pieces. Add apples, suet, raisins, and sugar. Add spices to taste and a few grains of salt. Simmer slowly, stirring frequently, until tomatoes and apples are tender and flavors are blended. Pack in freshly sterilized jars. Seal.

      To make pie: Fill pastry-lined pie pans with mince-meat. Cover with top crust. Bake in hot oven (425 F.) about 25 minutes.

    2. Oh my goodness! Thank you! I hate you had to go through so much trouble! What a neat story about that cookbook though. Grandma recipes are always the best. 🙂 I’m definitely intrugued to try this one. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    3. It was no trouble. Grandma’s cookbook has a place of honor in my kitchen. You can tell by looking at it that it was much used and loved. Since I haven’t personally made this recipe, I’d like to know what you think of it. And also try the green tomato pie idea. You have a great weekend also! 🙂

      1. Yes I sure like an authentic Italian pizza alright! I am from New England, and from a area in the Ma/R.I. line, where there are allot of Portuguese and Italian people! I am always open to “good food”, regardless of the source! Trying this with some garden tomatoes tonight, and with bacon sounds even better! Thanks so much!

        1. OK….I made the pie!!! IT WAS TO DIE FOR! I tweaked it a bit, and used caramelized onion, roasted the tomatoes, and dolloped some cream cheese with the shredded cheese! BETTER than pizza, any day! I just got some fresh garden tomatoes at prayer meeting tonight, and will make another pie or 2! Maybe this time with some bacon!! I am HOOKED! Thank you southern sister!!