Like many Southern recipes, there are almost as many recipes for fried green tomatoes as there are Southern cooks. This simple and oh so delicious recipe for easy Southern Fried Green Tomatoes uses panko bread crumbs instead of cornmeal for a delightfully crispy crust.
Fried green tomatoes are a classic Southern delicacy that gained national attention when the iconic movie by the same name came out in 1991.
They can be eaten alone as a side dish, served as an appetizer, or added to burgers and other sandwiches instead of regular tomato slices, and are a crucial ingredient in my over-the-top Ultimate Southern-Style Burger!
What are green tomatoes:
In case you are wondering, the tomatoes used in this recipe are unripened regular red tomatoes. What they are not is the variety of tomato that stays green when ripe (Green Zebra), and they are not tomatillos, although they all look pretty similar.
Where to buy green tomatoes:
Because of their popularity, you can find these tomatoes at most farmers’ markets and grocery stores all year long, especially in the South. But, they are especially plentiful in the summer.
What’s in them:
You will need the following ingredients: unripe green tomatoes, kosher salt, ground black pepper, all-purpose flour, panko bread crumbs, peanut or canola oil, ground red pepper, eggs, milk, and garlic powder.
How to make fried green tomatoes:
1. Slice the tomatoes into ¼ inch slices. Discard the top and bottom or save them for another use.
2. Pat dry with a paper towel and season the slices on both sides with kosher salt and pepper.
3. Place the flour, ground red pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggs and milk to another shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Place the panko in a third shallow bowl.
4. Add oil to a large heavy-duty frying pan, cast-iron skillet, or dutch oven set over medium-high heat.
5. Dredge the tomatoes slices in the flour mixture.
6. Shake off any excess flour. Then dip them in the egg mixture and coat both sides.
7. Dredge the tomato slices in the panko bread crumbs. Be sure to coat both sides and shake off any excess evenly.
8. When the oil is shimmering, carefully add the coated tomato slices. Cook one to two minutes per side or until they are golden brown.
9. Remove from the pan using a slotted spatula and drain on a wire rack.
You will have enough coating ingredients and oil to cook additional tomato slices. If you want to double the recipe, simply use two tomatoes.
Plan to use your tomatoes within a few days of purchasing them; they will ripen quickly.
You can tell if your oil is hot enough by adding a small pinch of panko. If the oil is hot enough, it should start sizzling immediately. If not, let it heat a bit more before adding the tomatoes. If your oil is not hot enough, the tomatoes will be greasy.
I like to drain my tomatoes on a wire baking rack over a paper towel. If you don’t have a rack, you can drain them on a paper towel, but don’t leave them there too long, they can get soggy.
More Southern recipes:
If you like this recipe, you might also like my recipes for Southern-Style Crispy Onion Rings, Kay’s Southern Pimento Cheese Spread, Southern Pecan Praline Cake, Easy Classic Southern Tomato Pie, Southern Tomato Gravy, Easy Baked Fresh Tomato Casserole, Deep Fried Oysters, and Southern Potato Salad.
Here is a link to all of my Southern-style recipes, if you need more menu ideas.
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Easy Southern Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe
- 1 large green unripe tomato cut into ¼ inch thick slices
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup peanut or canola oil
- Season the tomatoes on both sides with kosher salt and pepper.
- Place the flour, ground red pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl and stir to combine. Add the eggs and milk to another shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Place the panko in a third shallow bowl.
- Add oil to a large frying pan set over medium-high heat.
- Dredge the tomatoes slices first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then the panko bread crumbs. Be sure to coat both sides evenly and shake off any excess.
- When the oil is shimmering, carefully add the coated tomato slices. Cook 1-2 minutes per side or until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
- Serve immediately.