Fried Red Tomatoes


If you thought fried green tomatoes were as good as it gets, just wait until you try these crispy, golden fried red tomato slices! A delicious twist on the classic Southern comfort food that lets ripe, juicy tomato flavor take center stage.

While the green variety certainly has its charms, there’s just something incredibly satisfying about biting through a crunchy, cornmeal-dusted exterior to reach bright, fresh tomato perfection on the inside. Those vibrant red slices provide such a delightful pop of acidity against the rich, savory fried coating.

The traditional method of dredging the tomato slices in buttermilk, then a cornmeal-flour mixture seasoned with parmesan, salt and pepper creates the most irresistible texture. As the tomatoes sizzle away in hot oil or the air fryer, that coating crisps up into a delectable, flavorful crust while the inner tomato softens into tender, jammy goodness.

Every bite is a showstopper combo of juicy, tangy tomato bursting through a crispy, savory shell. It’s pure Southern comfort food bliss, but refreshed and made even more vibrant with those ripe red tomatoes at the forefront.

While already pretty stellar on their own, these fried red tomatoes are the ideal canvas for exploring fun flavor variations. A sprinkle of cajun seasoning or Italian herb blend in the dredge adds an instant flavor punch. Or try swapping out the parmesan for another salty, savory cheese like romano or asiago for a nuttier dimension.

For an extra crispy, craggy exterior, double dredge the tomatoes in the buttermilk-flour mixtures before frying. Or get saucy and serve them up with fresh basil pesto, garlic aioli, tomato jam or even a zingy comeback sauce for dipping and drizzling.

While they’ll always be a welcome appearance at backyard cookouts, fish fries and barbecue spreads, fried red tomatoes are way too tasty to relegate just to summer. I love piling them onto BLTs, burgers or even breakfast sandwiches for an anytime crispy, tart tomato hit.

No matter how you serve them up, these fried red tomato slices are guaranteed to be met with smiles and appreciative moans. That crisp cornmeal crust giving way to juicy, naturally sweet-tart tomato lusciousness inside is just absolute summertime perfection. The ultimate warm weather, vegetable-forward indulgence that lets those seasonal peak tomatoes take the lead.

So do yourself a favor and whip up a batch of these southern-fried red tomato beauties while those ripe, juicy specimens are still in season! Or honestly, fry them up anytime the craving for pure tomato comfort strikes. These crispy, vibrant slices are the tasty twist you never knew you needed on an old-fashioned favorite.

Fried Red Tomatoes


  • 5 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced into 1/4-1/2 inch rounds
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups grated parmesan
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (for frying) or olive oil spray (for air frying)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil for serving (optional)


  1. Place tomato slices on paper towel-lined racks and sprinkle with garlic powder. Let drain for 20 minutes, patting dry if needed.
  2. In one bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. In another bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, parmesan, salt and pepper.
  3. Working in batches, dredge tomato slices in the buttermilk mixture, then the cornmeal mixture to fully coat.
  4. For frying: Heat 1/2 inch oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Fry tomatoes for 2-4 minutes per side until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  5. For air frying: Arrange breaded tomatoes in a single layer in the air fryer basket, spray with olive oil. Air fry at 400°F for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  6. Let cool slightly and serve the fried red tomatoes warm, garnished with fresh basil if desired.

Make the most of those juicy summer tomatoes with this downright craveable Southern twist! Crispy fried perfection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *