A Savory Southern Tomato Pie is a classic summer recipe! Pair it with a side salad for a light entrée, or serve it as a side dish with burgers or bbq chicken at your next cookout. The combination of sweet tomatoes, Vidalia onions, melted cheese, and fresh herbs in a flaky, buttery, pastry crust is the perfect way to enjoy the season’s best produce!
What Is Southern Tomato Pie?
Not to be confused with the classic thin-crusted pizza also known as tomato pie, Southern tomato pie is like a savory, crumb-topped pie that feels more like a scrappy casserole made from basic pantry staples and an overabundance of tomatoes. There are no added eggs to bind it, so it doesn’t come close to quiche, but the mayo and cheese help hold everything together. It’s the sort of retro-classic dish that you’d find in Junior League cookbooks rather than in historical reference cookbooks. The resulting pie is rich in buttery-crispness from the crust and crumb mixture, while remaining juicy, tangy, and deeply savory from the tomatoes, bacon, and cheddar cheese.
What Type of Tomatoes Are Best?
You can use roma tomatoes which don’t contain as much liquid or tomatoes from your own garden, grocery store or farmer’s market. Beefsteak tomatoes are a great choice since they are large in size and hold their shape after baking.
Heirloom tomatoes are beautiful and make a lovely presentation since they come in all types of shapes and sizes. Look for popular styles such as Cherokee Purple or Brandywine which will add a deep rich hue to your pie.
Vine-ripened tomatoes straight from the garden are also a favorite because they are sweet and less acidic. High quality tomatoes, no matter what type you choose, will taste best and create a perfect flavor profile.
Ingredients for Southern Tomato Pie
This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for a southern tomato pie. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are provided in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.
- Deep-dish pie crust: you’ll need a baked crust for this recipe. You can use a store-bought refrigerated pie crustthat you bake according to the instructions on the box (shown here), a frozen deep-dish pie crust that you bake according to the package directions, or your favorite homemade pie crust. There’s really no need to pull out the food processor or scratch-make a crust by hand with butter and flour, though. The store-bought shortcuts work just fine!
- Fresh tomatoes: choose the sweetest, ripest, most flavorful summer tomatoes that you can get your hands on! Good options include standard beefsteak tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, roma tomatoes, or plum tomatoes.
Vidalia onion: the sweet Vidalia is a classic ingredient; however, you can substitute with any variety of sweet onion.
Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese: for plenty of rich, cheesy, egg, gooey flavor.
- Mayonnaise: choose a high-quality, full-fat mayo for the best flavor and texture. We prefer Duke’s brand.
- Egg: gives the creamy mayo layer structure.
- Fresh basil: for bright flavor, this fresh herb pairs well with the tomatoes.
- Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs: add flavor to the pie and help to absorb some of the excess liquid that the tomatoes release, preventing the crust from getting soggy.
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper: to enhance the other flavors in the dish.
Steps for the Best Southern Tomato Pie
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Fit pie crust inside a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into the bottom and up the sides of the plate. Fold crust edges under; crimp as desired. Place a piece of parchment paper over crust in pie plate, leaving a 3-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Carefully remove parchment paper and pie weights. Continue baking until crust is light golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack; cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
- Meanwhile, slice tomatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices; arrange tomato slices in a single layer on paper towels. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon of the salt; let stand for 20 minutes. Pat tomato slices dry with paper towels.
- Whisk together mayonnaise and cream cheese until combined and smooth. Fold in 1 1/4 cups Cheddar cheese, egg, flour, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt until combined.
Spread half of the Cheddar mixture in the pie crust. Layer with 1/3 of the tomato slices in slightly overlapping circles. Repeat procedure with remaining Cheddar mixture and another third of tomato slices. Top with remaining tomato slices in slightly overlapping circles. Sprinkle with Parmesan and remaining 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese.
- Bake pie in the preheated oven until filling is set and lightly browned on top, 30 to 35 minutes, tenting crust with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning, if needed. Let stand for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with thinly sliced basil before serving.
Tips for the Best Southern Tomato Pie Recipe
Pick the ripest, sweetest, most flavorful summer tomatoes for this dish. Don’t even bother to make it during the winter when good tomatoes are hard to come by! Standard beefsteak tomatoes, roma tomatoes, plum tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes are all good options.
- Drain the tomatoes well before assembling the pie, in order to remove as much of the excess juices as possible.
- Use a high-quality, full-fat mayo (such as Duke’s brand) for the best flavor and texture.
- Garnish the pie with additional chopped fresh herbs, such as fresh basil leaves or parsley, or with sliced green onions.
- Cover the edges of the crust with thin strips of aluminum foil if they start to get too dark before the pie is done baking.
Putting out a Tomato Pie hold on at least 15 minutes before cutting into the pie. The further time you can give it before you cut it, the better the pieces will be. Make sure you use a sharp cutter so you can cut through all the tomatoes and their skins. Serve at room temperature, rather on a cool veranda with a swing and a glass of gamesome wine.
What is wrong with my Southern Tomato Pie ?
Still, your pie might be more watery than normal, If you did not let the tomatoes drain on paper apkins or a line rack. There will always be a little bit of water in tomatoes’ redundant authorities, but it should not be too important.
Is tomato pie a pizza?
Southern Tomato Pie isn’t the same thing as pizza pie, which comes from Sicily. This is a southern form meant to use juicy tomatoes from the yard. It tastes more like a quiche than a pizza. But in Italy, there’s a dish called” Torta di Pomodori” that’s analogous and has some of the same constituents.
Can I use commodity differently in place of the mayonnaise?
Mayonnaise is an important part of this form because it makes the dish taste more. It also holds everything together because it has eggs in it, so it’s stylish to use real mayonnaise and not salad dressing.