Fried Green Tomatoes Dipping Sauce

If you’ve never had the pleasure of tasting Fried Green Tomatoes, then you’re truly missing out! These tangy unripened tomatoes are coated in a perfectly seasoned breading, dipped in buttermilk, and fried until they turn a beautiful golden brown and become irresistibly crispy. This classic Southern snack or side dish can easily be made at home with this fantastic recipe!

overhead fried green tomatoes on serving plate with remoulade sauce

Back in 1991, after watching the movie “Fried Green Tomatoes,” everyone seemed to rush to their local market in search of green tomatoes. Unless you grew up in the South, you probably never realized that unripened green tomatoes could be so enjoyable.

Classic Fried Green Tomatoes

When it comes to tomatoes, we usually think of the ruby-red, sweet varieties that we enjoy in salads, on sandwiches, or on top of burgers. However, don’t dismiss green tomatoes before they’ve had a chance to ripen. While tangy green tomatoes aren’t ideal for eating raw, their firmness and lower moisture content make them perfect for breading and frying.

Once coated in a flavorful batter and fried until crispy and warm, these tomatoes become an absolute delight to the taste buds. Luckily, they’re super easy to make at home and never fail to impress.

close up breaded fried tomato on white plate

Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

To make these delicious treats, you’ll need the following ingredients (scroll below for detailed measurements):

  • Green tomatoes: Make sure to choose firm, completely unripe green tomatoes (not tomatillos or heirloom tomatoes). Any red on the tomato indicates ripening, which can hinder the creation of a crispy crust and affect the texture when deep-frying.
  • Vegetable oil: This is our oil of choice for deep frying, although canola oil works well too.
  • Egg whites: Beaten egg whites give the breadcrumb mixture something to cling to and add a crispy texture.
  • Buttermilk: This adds flavor and tang to the tomatoes. Whole milk can be used as a substitute.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour provides a nice protective coating for the tomatoes.
  • Cornmeal: Some recipes use regular breadcrumbs, ground-up cracker crumbs, yellow cornmeal, or white cornmeal. We prefer white cornmeal for its finer texture and excellent blending properties with the flour.
  • Panko breadcrumbs: These breadcrumbs have a drier and flakier consistency compared to regular breadcrumbs. As a result, they absorb less oil and create a lighter and crunchier exterior.
  • Hot sauce: Adding a little hot sauce gives the breading some heat and extra flavor. It’s optional but highly recommended.
  • Seasonings: A blend of salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder creates a fantastic combination of flavors in the breading.
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Fried Green Tomatoes Sauce

While not mandatory, fried green tomatoes are usually served with a dipping sauce. Our personal favorite is the classic Louisiana-style Remoulade Sauce, which includes mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, lemon juice, pickle juice, garlic, paprika, parsley, Cajun seasoning, and hot sauce. It’s like mayonnaise on steroids and pairs perfectly with Southern fried food. Tzatziki sauce is another great option.

stack of 4 fried green tomatoes

Helpful Recipe Tips

Here are some tips to ensure your fried green tomatoes turn out perfectly:

  • Cut uniform slices: We recommend slicing the tomatoes to a thickness of 3/8 inch (approximately between 1/4 and 1/2 inch). Slices that are too thin won’t hold up, and slices that are too thick won’t become tender. Ensuring each slice is cut evenly helps them cook at the same rate.
  • Draw out excess moisture: To help the breading stick, it’s crucial to remove some of the juice from each tomato slice. Sprinkle them with salt and let them stand for 30 minutes, then gently pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Get the oil temperature right: Aim for an oil temperature of 350 degrees F. If the oil isn’t warm enough, the tomatoes will absorb too much of it and become greasy. On the other hand, if the oil is too hot, the tomatoes will burn. Use a thermometer to eliminate guesswork.
  • Fry in batches: Fry only a few tomato slices at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. This approach helps regulate the oil temperature and ensures that each slice fries up nice and crispy.
  • Use a cast iron skillet: Cast iron retains heat exceptionally well and is the ideal choice for frying.
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4 picture collage for how to make fried green tomatoes

How to Make Fried Green Tomatoes

Making fried green tomatoes is a breeze. Just follow these 6 easy steps (scroll below for detailed instructions):

  1. Slice and rest: Slice the tomatoes to a thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inch, sprinkle them with coarse salt, and let them rest for 30 minutes. Afterward, pat them dry.
  2. Set up your breading stations: Prepare one shallow bowl with flour and spices, another bowl with buttermilk, egg white, and hot sauce, and a final bowl with breadcrumbs and cornmeal.
  3. Dredge the tomato slices: Dip each tomato slice in the flour mixture (shake off the excess), followed by the buttermilk mixture, and finally the cornmeal mixture (press gently to ensure adherence).
  4. Place on a wire rack: Arrange the breaded tomato slices in a single layer on a wire rack. Let them sit while you heat up the oil.
  5. Fry: Heat your oil to 350 degrees F, then fry the tomato slices in batches, ensuring not to overcrowd the pan. Fry each side for 3-5 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
  6. Drain and serve: Transfer the fried tomatoes to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Serve immediately with remoulade sauce.

Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

While these tomatoes don’t convert well to oven baking, you can make them in an air fryer for a healthier alternative. To do so, follow all the preparation steps in the written recipe, then proceed with the following air frying instructions:

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F. Spray the basket with cooking spray.
  2. Working in batches, arrange the tomato slices in a single layer in the basket, making sure they don’t overlap or touch. Spray the tops with cooking spray.
  3. Cook for 7 minutes or until the crumbs are lightly golden brown and crisp.
  4. Gently flip the slices over, spray again, and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from the basket and serve with remoulade sauce.
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IMPORTANT NOTE #1: While air frying provides a delicious, healthier alternative to deep frying, the results may not be exactly the same as traditional fried green tomatoes. Manage your expectations accordingly.

IMPORTANT NOTE #2: The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your tomato slices and the model of the air fryer you use. The instructions provided are based on this recipe being tested in a Ninja air fryer. As all models operate differently, we highly recommend testing just 1 or 2 slices first and adjusting your settings as needed.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

Fried green tomatoes are best enjoyed immediately after frying, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll have any leftovers because they’re simply too good! However, if you do end up with extras, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To crisp them up again, reheat them in the oven or toaster oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees F. Avoid using the microwave, as it will make them chewy instead of crispy.


I hope you love this delicious and simple fried green tomatoes recipe! Be sure to give it a try and let me know how it turns out by leaving a review below. Also, don’t forget to follow Family Cuisine on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube for more mouthwatering recipes and culinary inspiration.

pin for fried green tomatoes recipe

Other Southern-Inspired Favorites

If you’re a fan of Southern cuisine, check out these other delicious recipes:

  • Jambalaya
  • Sweet Tea
  • Banana Pudding
  • Rice and Beans
  • Biscuits and Gravy

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