Southern Tomato Pie

As the scorching sun of summer beats down, there’s nothing quite like indulging in a delicious slice of Southern Tomato Pie. This iconic Southern dish is a celebration of the vibrant, ripe tomatoes that grace our gardens during the sweltering months. With a savory, flaky crust, juicy tomato slices, and a creamy filling, it’s a delightful marriage of fresh flavors and comforting textures. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the art of making the perfect Southern Tomato Pie, exploring not only the recipe itself but also variations, tips, and a heartfelt conclusion.


For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For the Filling:

  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Topping:

  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Fresh basil leaves for garnish


Preparing the Crust

  1. Start by making the crust. In a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Pulse a few times to mix.
  2. Add the cold, cubed butter to the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Slowly drizzle in the ice water while pulsing the food processor. Stop when the dough begins to clump together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape it into a disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  6. Roll out the chilled dough into a 12-inch circle and fit it into a pie pan. Trim the excess dough and crimp the edges.
  7. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment, then bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Assembling the Pie

  1. Slice the tomatoes and lay them on paper towels to drain excess moisture. This step is crucial to prevent a soggy pie.
  2. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, and chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread half of the cheese mixture over the bottom of the pre-baked crust.
  4. Arrange a layer of tomato slices on top of the cheese mixture.
  5. Repeat the layers, finishing with a final layer of tomatoes on top.

Topping and Baking

  1. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the tomatoes.
  2. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden and the filling is bubbly.
  3. Let the pie cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.


The beauty of Southern Tomato Pie lies in its versatility. While the classic recipe is a masterpiece on its own, you can always put your spin on it:

1. Bacon Lovers’ Dream: Add crispy bacon bits to the cheese mixture for an indulgent, smoky flavor.

2. Herb Garden Special: Experiment with different herbs like oregano, thyme, or dill to infuse unique aromatic notes into your pie.

3. Crust Variations: Substitute the traditional crust with a flaky puff pastry or a cornbread base for a distinct twist.

4. Pesto Pizzazz: Drizzle pesto sauce over the tomato slices for an extra burst of flavor.

5. Go Vegan: For a dairy-free version, use vegan mayonnaise and cheese substitutes.


Creating the perfect Southern Tomato Pie may take practice, so here are some tips to help you along your journey:

  • Use ripe, in-season tomatoes for the best flavor and texture.
  • Don’t rush the crust-making process. A flaky, buttery crust is key to the success of this dish.
  • Pre-baking the crust helps prevent a soggy bottom. Make sure it’s thoroughly baked before adding the filling.
  • Pat the tomato slices dry to remove excess moisture, and season them with salt to enhance their flavor.
  • Experiment with different cheese blends to suit your taste.

In the heart of summer, when tomatoes are at their peak, Southern Tomato Pie is the embodiment of comfort and freshness. With its layers of flavors and textures, this dish has the power to transport you to a Southern kitchen on a warm afternoon. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or venture into creative variations, every bite of this pie is a celebration of the season.

So, next time you find yourself with a basket of ripe tomatoes, consider creating this Southern masterpiece. Let the aroma of the freshly baked pie fill your kitchen, and savor every bite. As you enjoy the tangy tomatoes, creamy filling, and buttery crust, you’ll understand why Southern Tomato Pie is more than just a dish; it’s a slice of Southern hospitality and a taste of summertime bliss.

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