I had never heard of a tomato pie recipe until I moved to the South. I mean I have eaten a lot of things with tomatoes before but surely never a pie. It is, however, a very popular and common summer treat in the South, so I figured I would have to try it to see what the fuss was all about.
Southern Classic Tomato Pie Recipe
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Whether you need to use up some extra tomatoes from your garden, or you have found some great deals at the local farmers market, this tomato pie recipe is ideal. This isn’t a sweet treat like a fruit pie. This is a wonderful savory vegetarian dish that is budget-friendly and comforting. It makes a great vegetarian main course or side dish for your weekend BBQ. It is best when you use fresh vine ripened tomatoes.
Since the combination of tomato, basil, and cheese already appeals to my Italian side, I was intrigued for sure. After trying this tomato pie recipe, I realize it truly is a hidden gem in Southern cooking. I promise you will fall in love with this just like I did!
To get those nice even slices, I use a tomato slicer. It keeps me from taking a chance of slicing a finger open, and it makes sure all of the tomato slices are similar in size. This helps them cook evenly, and makes assembling the pie a bit easier to manage.
I cheated and used a frozen pie crust and adapted the recipe slightly for our tastes and ingredients available. Basil may not be exactly what classic southern cooks would use, but I feel like it compliments the tomato pie recipe. Since I was not using plum tomatoes I sliced large garden tomatoes in 1/2 inch slices and laid them on some paper towel to absorb some of the juices. I did it for about 15 minutes but think the longer the better especially if you have juicy tomatoes. I imagine plum tomatoes would not be as juicy.
Layer your tomatoes into the semi-cooked pie crust. This is going to be layered like you would a lasagna. So you can likely do at least 2 layers, if not 3.
Alternate tomato slices with herbs and cheese ending with cheese.
Top with Mayonnaise. Yes ,you read that correctly. I told you this was a southern recipe. Mayonnaise really does compliment the flavors and makes this tomato pie recipe creamy and delicious.
Bake it to perfection. If you want the cheese a bit more browned, you can use the broiler for just a few minutes right before removing from the oven.
My kids weren’t exactly sure what I was making for dinner, but they all ate their entire slice, and my daughter went in for seconds. That’s another great bonus to this tomato pie recipe! Getting kids to try something different is always a plus in my book!
Take advantage of summer’s fresh produce and serve a tomato pie, even if you are not a southerner!
- 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated rolled pie crust
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded four-cheese Italian blend
- 4 large plum tomatoes (or about 11/4 pound tomatoes ), cut into 1/2-inch thick slices or slice other tomatoes and let sit on paper towel for 30 mins.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup light mayo
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
- Press pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan; prick bottom and sides with fork.
- Bake crust in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Place tomatoes in a single layer of a colander; sprinkle with salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes to release moisture. Blot excess moisture with a paper towel. Arrange 1 layer of tomato slices around the bottom of the cooled pie crust, overlapping the slices. Sprinkle half the garlic and half the basil onto tomato layer. Sprinkle half the Cheddar cheese and half the mozzarella cheese over basil layer. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, garlic, basil, Cheddar cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Spread mayonnaise over the top mozzarella cheese layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- slice and serve at room temp