Fried Green Tomatoes with Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella


Here in the Southern region of the U.S. is a very well-known, beloved classic recipe:  Fried Green Tomatoes!

This dish is so famously known that even Hollywood produced a movie called “Fried Green Tomatoes At The Whistle Stop Cafe”.  But did you know that similar recipes are prepared in other parts of the world wherever tomatoes grow?

Absolutely!  In fact there is even an Italian version that makes some substantial changes:  using Italian herb-seasoned bread crumbs instead of flour and/or cornmeal, the addition of freshly grated parmesan cheese and minced garlic instead of cayenne pepper, and the use of light olive oil for frying instead of vegetable/canola oil.

For the entree version that I’ve prepared, I ladle a yummy home-made marinara sauce over the fried green tomatoes, sprinkle them with oozy-gooey Italian cheese, and then bake everything.  Think Eggplant Parmiggiano, but using fried green tomatoes instead of eggplant!

The recipes for Southern fried green tomatoes are numerous to say the least.  Some cooks use the double-dipping method of egg and/or milk mixture first and then dry breading next.  Others use the one dip procedure using a moist batter method of egg and/or milk mixture blended together with the dry ingredients of flour or cornmeal (similar to the batter fused for fried fish and/or onion rings).  I happen to like both methods, but for this recipe, I use the double-dip process.

Look at this huge tomato  . . . it’s a “Big Boy” variety that truly is as a big as a beefsteak right now!

You can use whatever tomato variety that you like or that is available, as long as they are not ripe.  Little “Sweet 100” cherry tomatoes are devoured as finger food/appetizers that can be dipped into a great marinara sauce.  For side dishes, it is best to use mid-sized tomatoes that are about 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches thick.  And for entrees, you can use huge “Beefsteak” tomatoes.  Just know that whatever type of tomato you use, it has to truly be ‘green’ and unripe!  At this stage in their growth, tomatoes are more firm which lends them to holding up better in the battering and frying process.  Any point later in their ripeness will produce a mushy, soft, and often broken-up fried tomato . . . and you don’t want that to happen!

Here are my little green, unripe ‘Sweet 100’ cherry tomatoes.  They are just beginning to turn to ripe, red tomatoes which we like to pick straight off the vine and PLOP into our mouths for the warmest and sweetest summer treat.  We even catch our dogs picking and eating them!  Now that proves how good these are!

Fried Green Tomatoes with Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella
  • 3 to 4 medium-sized unripe green tomatoes (2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches wide)
  • 2 Jumbo Eggs
  • ½ cup whole Buttermilk
  • 1 cup Italian herb-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • 2 - 3 cups light Olive Oil (whatever it takes to have 2" of oil in the pan)
  • Freshly ground Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper
  • Marinara Sauce (preferably homemade)
  • Freshly grated Mozzarella cheese (or blend your favorite Italian cheeses: Pecorina-Romano, Fontina, Provolone, etc.)
  1. From the garden (or local Farmers' Market) select your green tomatoes.
  2. Wash them with clean water and cut off the green stem tops.
  3. Slice into ⅓" thick pieces (we like ours thicker than the traditional ¼" thickness).
  4. Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and pepper.
  5. In a shallow, wide bowl beat together eggs and buttermilk.
  6. In another shallow, wide bowl mix the Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.
  7. In a large, heavy frying pan (I use cast iron) heat 2 inches of the olive oil on medium high.
  8. Begin dipping the tomatoes into the egg mixture first and then into the breading mixture (using a fork keeps your hands clean! )
  9. Place tomatoes as they are breaded onto another clean plate to take to the stove for frying in the pan.
  10. Gently slide tomatoes into the hot oil.
  11. Fry each side until golden brown.
  12. Salt and pepper to taste and serve at this point or proceed to the next level as an entree!
  13. Place in a baking dish and pour fresh, home-made Italian Marinara Sauce (recipe another day).
  14. Sprinkle freshly grated Mozzarella cheese (or a blend of Italian cheeses of your choice) on top.
  15. Sprinkle another tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on top.
  16. In a 350 degree oven, bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

Pick the unripe green tomatoes of your choice.  These are the perfect 2-1/2 to 3-1/2″ size!

Slice the tomatoes into ⅓ to 1/2″ slices.

Just look at these brilliantly colored green beauties!  Incredible color from Mother Nature in the garden!

I use the double-dipping method for this Italian version of fried green tomatoes:

Egg and buttermilk for the (wet) batter mixture and the seasoned breadcrumbs, garlic, and parmesan for the (dry) breading mixture.

Dip sliced tomatoes into the wet batter (using a fork keeps your hands clean).

Then dip the battered tomato slices into the breading dry mixture.  With the fork, pat the breading more firmly onto the tomatoes.

Place the tomatoes into the hot olive oil and cook for less than one minute or they will be too brown.  This little guy looks just perfect in color!

Place several layers of the fried green tomatoes in a baking pan as shown above.

Ladle or pour marinara sauce to your desired amount all over the top of the tomatoes.

Generously sprinkle finely shredded mozzarella cheese over the sauce.

Sprinkle 1 – 2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese all over the mozzarella.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  This is the result of 30 minutes of baking time.  All golden and smelling so divine!

Here’s a peek at those green tomatoes inside!

Oh my goodness, I wish I could share this with you through your computer screen.

I’m ready to take a bite into this goodness and my husband is screaming for it too!


Here’s another superb and delicious recipe:  

Fried Green Tomatoes with Garlic, Bacon and Buttermilk Sauce!

Fried Green Tomatoes
Here’s a fresh, delicious and simple Marinara Sauce recipe for you too!

Garden Fresh Marinara Sauce

Marinara Sauce

Fried Green Tomatoes In Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese on FoodistaFried Green Tomatoes In Marinara Sauce and Mozzarella Cheese

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  1. says

    Hey Roz your fried tomatoes look super! And OMG your garden is fabulous. You know I never ate fried green tomatoes and always wanted to try them. Since I don’t have my own tomato plants I guess I’ll have to find someone who does. I haven’t seen them in the local grocery store either.

  2. says

    You must be reading my mind. I was thinking of green tomatoes today. I will be introducing them to my friends here in Canada. I learned how to make them when I was housesitting in Tennessee last year. Love them. This looks delicious.

  3. says

    Oh, Roz – This looks so wonderful! What a great different way to use all the tomatoes we have in the garden right now.

    Fried green tomatoes are a favorite of mine, but I’ve never tried them this way – I definately will this week! Thanks for sharing.

  4. says

    Oh my YUM! lol.Im not from the south but I always loved fried green tomatoes.We always had them in the summertime at home,but I myself have never made them.I cant seem to find green tomatoes.Unless we grow them ourselves but I havent for a long time.

    Im from a greek background and let me tell you my uncles were the best cooks and my granfather was a chef when he came here to the states.My mother is a great cook as well.Me I keep to the greek sweets at Christmas time,lol.So I know what your saying.Italin and greek food are the best

    Happy cooking!

  5. says

    Oh my! This looks heavenly. I just made fried green tomatoe BLT’s the other day and they were SO good but this is something different I’d like to try.

  6. says

    Oh, I’m drooling, Roz!! I adore fried green tomatoes…just that pic of the inside has me wishing I had some right now! Thanks so much for sharing your REAL food with us at Two for Tuesdays…looking forward to more =)

  7. says

    I love fried green tomatoes, but have never had them topped with marinara and mozzarella – genius! It looks fabulous, Roz!

  8. says

    Yes please!!! I am so drooling over here. I wish you could share that with me through the computer screen as well! If I can get my hands on some of those green tomatoes I’m making this. You must have died and gone to heaven on your first bite! Wow…Thanks SO MUCH for sharing!!

  9. says

    Oh wow, I’m so far away from having tomatoes. I only got my plants in the ground two weeks ago due to cold weather. But in a few months, I’m going to be making this dish, for certain!

  10. says

    WOW! Your tomatoes are Beautiful! And this recipe sounds truly mouth watering! Thanks so much for adding it to our Two for Tuesday blog hop! I hope you join us next week too!

  11. says

    Oh, yum. Where are you in the Carolinas? Close enough so I can come over the next time you make these? They look SO good. Nothing makes me happier than tomatoes, mozzarella and sauce. Oh, geez. Yum.

  12. says

    Ciao Bella! What an amazing site! I love fried green tomatoes but think of them as a decidedly southern treat. My husband < <>> does not like eggplant so this will be a great substitute for the nights I want parmesan but dont want meat! Thanks so much for participating in the Two for Tuesday Recipe Blog Hop and I hope to see you again next week! By the way, i clicked to follow you on twitter and it took me to the shabby blogs site and not to twitter. Keep it Real! Alex

  13. says

    Have I mentioned that I so love your blog??? Every time I visit you…I get hungry! But the presentation is just absolutely pleasing to the eye!!!

    PS. your twitter button isn’t working…it keeps taking me to “Shabby Blogs”

  14. says

    It’s blasphemy for me to pick green tomatoes this early in the summer…towards the end, when the temps dip and they won’t ripen, I make fried green tomatoes. I love them! I could never bond with eggplant parmesan, but you’ve inspired me! I’m anxiously waiting for our Sweet 100’s to turn red… they’re sweet as candy!

  15. says

    I too, am a HUGE fan of fried green tomatoes and since I also have a passion for trying new recipes, this is definitely on my “must make” list. Thank you for sharing, does this recipe happen to come from the Southern region of Italy, lol.

  16. says

    These look just super! I haven’t had fried green tomatoes in forever. Would never have thought of covering them in marinara, but it looks like it works!

  17. says

    Wow, that recipe looks sensational! I just posted about some green tomatoes that were on my parent’s tomato vine but I didn’t steal them because they were green-silly me!

    Best wishes,

  18. says

    WOW!! That sounds dElIcIouS!! I will have to try this recipe!! Hopped over from Never Growing Old!! Glad I found your link! Look forward to reading your blog!

  19. says

    Hi Roz,
    Gretchen Seefried here from Midchix. I just love your blog! Love it! How wonderful to create such wonderful food for your loved ones from your own garden! Lovely truly lovely! I have asked Mama Holli to link you up on Midchix in our cooking flock named, Mama Can Cook. She will link your blog up for all to see! Please stop by and check it out. Let me know if you approve of the post/link. Thank you for sharing your beautiful life, gardens and recipes! Ciao Bella!

  20. says

    Hi Roz, I love your blog. Your pictures are beautiful and numerous. Love this adaptation of fried green tomatoes. Thanks for stopping by my blog when I made fried green tomatoes. I like your recipe better!

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