16 Unique Ways To Serve Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes in various ways
Fried green tomatoes in various ways - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

Fried green tomatoes are something to look forward to at the beginning of every summer -- when tomatoes first start to grow plump on their vines but remain firm and green. These tomatoes hold up well to battering and frying when picked, and the semi-tart flavor is a tasty complement to the light crunch of the breading. If you've never made them yourself, you can give them a try with an easy fried green tomato recipe.

Often associated with the South -- where they're loved and appreciated -- fried green tomatoes actually became a Southern staple thanks to Jewish immigrants. Of course, this versatile dish has caught on all over the country, as well, appearing on countless restaurant menus with a variety of creative twists.

Now, as a born-and-raised Southern Appalachian resident, I've seen, prepared, and consumed many a fried green tomato in my lifetime. In other words, I'm well-versed in the various ways the food can be dipped, topped, and even integrated into other dishes. On that note, here are some inventive ways to use fried green tomatoes (besides just eating them hot from the skillet).

Read more: 13 Simple Tricks To Pick The Best Fresh Fruit Every Time

Dip Fried Green Tomatoes In A Zesty Remoulade

Fried green tomatoes with remoulade
Fried green tomatoes with remoulade - Taxman Bargersville / Facebook

Plenty of people enjoy fried green tomatoes with little else but a few generous shakes of salt and pepper, and that's a perfectly fine way to enjoy them. Yet even a perfectly crisp tater tot becomes greater with a dip in a ketchup pool (and what is a buffalo wing without blue cheese?). If you're looking to achieve something near nirvana with fried green tomatoes, then, try pairing them with a remoulade sauce for indulgent dunking.

A zesty sauce popular in New Orleans cuisine, remoulade is often served with crab cakes, fried shrimp, or po' boy sandwiches. Notice that each of these dishes are fried or have fried components that cry out for something cool and creamy. Fried green tomatoes are no different, and you'll find that remoulade enhances them just as well.

If you'd like something other than remoulade, buttermilk ranch and green goddess dressings also make nice dips (or drizzles) for fried green tomatoes. They're also easy to find in bottled versions, saving you the trouble of making a homemade sauce on busy nights.

Use Them In A BLT

Fried green tomato BLT
Fried green tomato BLT - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Most people would likely agree that a BLT tastes best during the summer when the tomatoes are perfectly ripe -- at least, that's the traditional way of thinking. By substituting fried green tomatoes into a BLT, you can enjoy a top-notch sandwich earlier in the season. After all, the mellow tang of a fried green tomato creates a perfect trifecta with the salty bacon and creamy mayo.

This swap creates a heartier sandwich that's more filling on its own. Stick with traditional toast, or stuff it all in a pita. You can also get fancy and opt for a deconstructed, breadless version as a summer appetizer. Place fried green tomatoes on a lettuce bed, crumble bacon on top, and add a dollop of a mayo-based dressing. Vegetarians can nix the bacon, as well, because fried green tomatoes are the star here. You can even add a few slices of ripe tomato for double the tomato goodness -- and if you dare add tomato jam, who's going to stop you?

Sprinkle With Goat Cheese Or Something Similar

Fried green tomatoes and goat cheese
Fried green tomatoes and goat cheese - Otokimus/Getty Images

Just as fried green tomatoes partner well with creamy dressings, they can also benefit from sharing the plate with soft, creamy cheeses. The smooth texture and earthy taste of goat cheese makes it a favorite in fried green tomato dishes. It can be sprinkled over the top to make an elegant appetizer or sandwiched between two crispy rounds for snacking.

Now, if goat cheese isn't the GOAT for you, try topping them with a salty feta, some blue cheese crumbles, or spread on a layer of one of the popular Boursin cheese flavors. Additionally, if you feel it's too hot to cook at home in the summer, you can likely find something similar in the wild. Dishes with goat cheese and fried green tomatoes can be found on the menu at a number of restaurants. This includes the Local Goat in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (which serves fried cornmeal-battered tomatoes with goat cheese and a savory bacon jam), as well as the Sunny Point Cafe in Asheville, Tennessee, which adds a roasted red pepper aioli to the pairing.

Serve Fried Green Tomatoes On A Hot Biscuit

Fried green tomato biscuit
Fried green tomato biscuit - Biscuit Belly / Facebook

You don't have to wait until the afternoon to enjoy a fried green tomato. In fact, you can make up a batch first thing in the morning and enjoy it on a hot, buttery biscuit. This duo is delicious as is, but you can jazz them up for a heartier breakfast sandwich, as well. Try adding a fried green tomato to an egg or sausage biscuit with a dab of a savory jam (like onion, bacon, or tomato), and wrap it up for a breakfast on the go.

A fried green tomato can also be a welcome vegetarian substitute for Canadian bacon, sausage, or other meat components on breakfast sandwiches. You might want to make a batch to have on hand if you're serving brunch to guests with varied dietary needs. Additionally, some people like hot sauce with their brunch dishes, so keep Tabasco, sriracha, or your favorite fiery concoction nearby.

Top With A Crab Cake

Crab cake-topped fried green tomatoes
Crab cake-topped fried green tomatoes - Gulf Stream Bar & Grille / Facebook

If you thought fried green tomatoes couldn't get more indulgent, then you haven't tried them with a crab cake on top. It's a genius combination, really, considering that they share so many qualities. Both are made from fresh ingredients, fried until golden brown, and have tons of bright, mellow flavors. They also go well with similar toppings, so you can pour on plenty of remoulade to enhance them at the same time (though lemon dill, Dijon, and tartar sauces are all good options, too).

A crab cake makes fried green tomatoes more substantial, so you can make a meal of them -- particularly with heartier toppings. In that sense, you can always swap in a chunky tomato jam or a fresh mango salsa. If you'd like to go in the other direction and have something lighter, you can top your fried green tomatoes with a dollop of crab salad instead of a crab cake, or even just fresh crab on its own.

Upgrade A Pimiento Cheese Sandwich

Fried green tomato pimento cheese
Fried green tomato pimento cheese - Maggie Scara / Facebook

As popular as fried green tomatoes are in the South, they've got some competition from pimiento cheese. Pimiento cheese is so revered that it's often referred to as the caviar of the South. It's only natural, then, that the two should come together in the form of a sandwich. The light crunch of the tomato coating is a welcome addition to the pimiento cheese sandwich, which is traditionally served on soft, white bread (though no one will get mad if you choose to toast it).

Of course, true connoisseurs of fried green tomatoes know that you can also use them as the bread, sandwiching pimiento cheese between two tomatoes. You can do this while the tomatoes are still hot from the skillet, too, so the cheese will warm and melt slightly when you press them together. Additionally, if you're ever in Charleston, South Carolina, try the fried green tomatoes at Ms. Rose's Fine Food & Cocktails. The dish is slathered in pimiento cheese and topped off with a pickled tomato relish.

Garnish Your Burger With A Fried Green Tomato

Fried green tomato on burger
Fried green tomato on burger - Shante R. Roddy / Facebook

There's no denying the tomato slice is a classic burger topping. It's often served by default with numerous burgers, after all, along with lettuce, onion, and pickles. Yet there's no rule that says the tomato on a burger has to be fresh or red. With that in mind, next time you're grilling burgers, try it with a fried green tomato instead. The juicy tang is a nice contrast to the savory meat, and the coating adds a satisfying crunch. Some like to add pimiento cheese, as well, which we already know pairs deliciously with green tomatoes.

If you're not a meat eater, you can treat a large and thick fried green tomato as a veggie burger. They're a clever choice for a cookout that you might not have considered, as you can just slide one onto a bun and top with your favorite condiments. You can also serve fried green tomato burgers with any side you like. Of course, if you prefer to stick with the burger theme, try Cajun fries, sweet southern BBQ chips, or a classic Southern-style potato salad.

Create A Southern Eggs Benedict

Southern eggs benedict on plate
Southern eggs benedict on plate - The Palace Restaurant & Bar / Facebook

These days, there seem to be a billion twists on the classic eggs Benedict, with restaurants trying to outdo each other with increasingly inventive creations. Southern restaurants have joined the act with regional twists on the breakfast dish, and many have chosen to incorporate fried green tomatoes into the dish: either stacked into the ingredients, or in place of an English muffin.

Now, for an extra Southern twist, you can use fluffy biscuits as the base, as well. But if the fried green tomatoes (and biscuits) still aren't enough for your eggs Benedict, add a generous smear of pimiento cheese, bacon jam, or tomato jam. You can incorporate country sausage, andouille sausage, thick-cut bacon, or even a crab cake, too. Some folks like to go the extra mile and top the whole thing off with a Cajun shrimp sauce, but you can also complete the meal with a hot serving of cheese grits.

Combine With Fried Okra For A Snack Basket

Crispy fried okra
Crispy fried okra - Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

There's a lot of crossover between folks who like fried green tomatoes and those who like fried okra, and both seem to fall into the "either you love them or you hate them" category. If you happen to love both fried dishes, why not make both at the same time? Once you've got your coating ingredients ready, it's a cinch to fry up a mixed batch.

Fried green cherry tomatoes are the perfect size for a snack basket, or you can cut up larger green tomatoes into nugget-sized chunks. You can fry the okra whole for a visual contrast or cut it into bite-sized pieces, as well. You might want to ensure there's a size difference between the okra and green tomato pieces, though, so guests know what they're getting. Then again, for those who like both, the surprise can be part of the fun. The only thing to worry about is what to dip them in. Remoulade? Sriracha aioli? Ranch? The choice is yours.

Add Them To A Salad

Fried green tomato salad
Fried green tomato salad - Tarrer Inn / Facebook

A lot of dishes that incorporate fat are on the heavy side, as is the case with fried green tomatoes. Let's face it: The "fried" part means they aren't exactly a health food (though you can always lighten up the breading and go easy on the oil, if you choose). A perfect way to enjoy fried green tomatoes without the heavy ingredients that often accompany them, though, is to have them on a salad.

Every salad can benefit from a crunchy topping, and fried green tomatoes pair nicely with fresh greens as a result. Try some on a salad with a sweet onion dressing or a bacon vinaigrette, which makes for an easy dish to serve at a book club meeting or teacher luncheon. If you're a soup-and-salad kind of eater, pair a fried green tomato salad with a colorful fresh corn chowder, creamy crab bisque, or a savory jambalaya.

Swap Out The Poultry In A Chicken Parmesan

Fried green tomato parmesan
Fried green tomato parmesan - Imphotomm/Getty Images

It's no shocker that fried green tomatoes work well with red, ripe tomatoes (they're both tomatoes, after all). That's why so many fried green tomato dishes make use of tomato jam as an accompaniment. But zesty green tomatoes pair just as well with a rich tomato sauce, and the resulting combination is akin to a veggie-forward chicken Parmesan (minus the chicken).

Actually, a fried green tomato Parmesan dish is quite similar -- especially in texture -- to eggplant Parmesan, so it's likely a welcome surprise for vegetarians. For added interest, consider alternating slices of fried green tomato with eggplant. If you're making fried green tomatoes especially for this dish, you can incorporate Parmesan cheese right into the breading, but you don't have to, as you can always sprinkle it on top. Italian breadcrumbs would make a nice switch from the traditional cornmeal, and you can serve over pasta or just with sauce. One last tip: Leftover fried green tomato Parmesan makes a super sandwich.

Turn Fried Green Tomatoes Into A Casserole

Green tomato casserole
Green tomato casserole - Gabriel Kreuther / Facebook

This dish is different from the others, as it doesn't require breading and frying each tomato slice. It's a great cheat when you want to make fried green tomatoes for a crowd, or you have more green tomatoes than time to cook. This casserole is essentially one big fried green tomato with the breading on the top. It's a dish that's just right for those who really love the taste of green tomatoes, as there's a lot of tomato per serving.

To make the dish, layer sliced green tomatoes in a baking dish with your desired seasonings (salt and pepper or Cajun seasonings are typical). Some like to add cooked bacon or thinly sliced onions, while others prefer to add a layer of cheese. Top the fried green tomato casserole with crumbled saltines or Ritz crackers and butter, or your favorite crunchy casserole topping. Bake until the top is golden, like the outside of a fried green tomato.

Make A Po' Boy Sandwich

Fried green tomato po' boy
Fried green tomato po' boy - AK/Facebook

If you've ever had a New Orleans-style po' boy sandwich, you know that some of the best are piled high with fried shrimp, crab, or other seafood on crusty French bread. A good po' boy doesn't have to have seafood, though, or even sliced meats. So the next time you're craving one, try filling it with fried green tomatoes for a new twist on an old favorite.

You can keep it close to traditional by topping your po' boy with Old Bay aioli or plenty of remoulade; or pile on non-traditional toppings that you enjoy (and pair well with the green tomatoes), like tomato jam, bacon jam, or mango salsa. Fried green tomato po' boy sandwiches are a great crowd pleaser for those who like Louisiana-style Southern foods, and they're an ideal take-along for a picnic or tailgate party. Serve them whole or cut into smaller servings alongside extra remoulade in a condiment bottle, or with tangy coleslaw and Cajun-style chips.

Stack Up Fried Green Tomatoes

Stacked fried green tomatoes
Stacked fried green tomatoes - Eli's Table / Facebook

You may have seen the elegant seafood towers or Napoleon-style dishes that so many restaurants seem to have on the menu when dining out. These are popular for good reason, as they not only feature delicious ingredients, but have high visual appeal, as well (and we really do eat with our eyes, as the saying goes). In that sense, fried green tomatoes are ready-made for stacking into a variety of delectable combinations to make an impressive appetizer course or entree.

Try stacking your fried green tomato tower with layers of cheese, such as grilled halloumi, herby Boursin, or creamy goat cheese, or keep things Southern (and rich) with layers of pimiento cheese. A fried green tomato tower can take a cue from seafood towers with a topping of crab salad or succulent shrimp. Top the whole thing off with a red pepper sauce, remoulade, or a colorful charred corn salsa -- though it might look too pretty to eat.

Top Off A Bowl Of Grits

Fried green tomatoes on grits
Fried green tomatoes on grits - The Front Porch / Facebook

In the realm of Southern cuisine, there's not much that's more satisfying than a bowl of hot, buttery grits -- unless those grits are topped with fried green tomatoes. The crunchy tomatoes are a perfect textural foil for the heavenly creaminess of perfectly prepared grits (it just might be an improvement on shrimp and grits, too, which is saying a lot).

Frankly, grits bowls can be just as satisfying as the popular rice bowls. You can make your own Southern version of a power bowl with a base of hot grits and fried green tomatoes for crunch. Top with kale, collards, or turnip greens, and garnish with your choice of crumbled bacon, tomato jam, green onions, or whatever else strikes your fancy. It's a full meal in a bowl that's likely to keep you going all day long. You can take the whole thing up another notch by adding creamy goat cheese or pimiento cheese to the grits, too.

Smother Fried Green Tomatoes With Shrimp

Shrimp-topped green tomatoes
Shrimp-topped green tomatoes - 55 South / Facebook

There are plenty of rich ingredients that pair well with fried green tomatoes. But shrimp may trump all other options if you want a truly decadent dish. Sweet, succulent shrimp seem made by nature to contrast the tangy tomatoes -- and you don't need to do much to the shellfish to make it work.

You can fire up the grill and char shrimp (which is how Joey K's in New Orleans, Louisiana, serves shrimp with fried green tomatoes) or streamline the process with ready-to-eat shrimp from the store. You can also serve fried green tomatoes with a saucy dish. A creamy garlic shrimp, buttery scampi, or a spicy jambalaya can all be served over fried green tomatoes to make an entree worthy of the finest restaurants.

Additionally, if you have a go-to shrimp dish that you love to make, feel free to try it over a batch of fried green tomatoes. Or if you'd prefer to try a delectable dish while dining out, take a trip to Weidmann's in Meridian, Mississippi, which serves fried green tomatoes topped with shrimp, mushrooms, and a decadent tomato cream sauce.

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