Fried Red Tomatoes

Fried Red Tomatoes are a delightful twist on the Southern classic, Fried Green Tomatoes. Perfect for when your garden tomatoes start ripening faster than you can pick them, this dish brings a touch of sweetness and a splendidly tender texture, making them just as comforting and satisfying. Maybe it’s a family gathering, a Sunday meal, or perhaps you’re simply looking for a new way to savor the bounty of your backyard harvest. Fried Red Tomatoes offer that ripe, juicy flavor with a crispy exterior that everyone, even the pickiest little eaters, can appreciate.

This dish pairs wonderfully with a heaping scoop of creamy mashed potatoes or alongside a grilled cheese sandwich for a cozy lunch. For a lighter side, try a simple garden salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette to counterbalance the richness of the tomatoes. And don’t forget, Fried Red Tomatoes make a fantastic topping or side for your morning eggs or omelet – it’s a sure way to start the day with a smile.


– 4 large ripe red tomatoes, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 2 large eggs, beaten
– 1 cup cornmeal
– 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
– 2 teaspoons salt, more for seasoning
– 1 teaspoon black pepper, more for seasoning
– 1/4 teaspoon paprika (optional for a hint of spice)
– Vegetable oil, for frying


1. Place the flour, beaten eggs, and a mix of cornmeal and panko breadcrumbs into three separate shallow bowls. Stir salt, pepper, and paprika into the cornmeal and breadcrumb mixture for even seasoning.

2. Dip tomato slices first into the flour, ensuring both sides are lightly coated. Shake off any excess.

3. Submerge the floured tomato into the beaten eggs, letting any excess drip off.

4. Lastly, press each slice into the cornmeal and breadcrumb combination, coating both sides well for a crisp exterior.

5. Fill a large skillet with vegetable oil, about 1/2-inch deep, and heat over medium flame until hot but not smoking.

6. Carefully place tomato slices in the skillet without overcrowding, and fry until golden brown — roughly 2-3 minutes on each side.

7. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a wire rack or plate lined with paper towels to drain. Season lightly with a bit more salt and pepper while they’re still warm.

8. Serve immediately while they’re at their crispiest best!

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