Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions

Juicy tomatoes baked up in a cheesy Southern style pie

Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions ~ this classic tomato pie is gussied up with pretty heirloom tomatoes and crisp onion strings, who could argue with that?

Classic Southern comfort in the form of a ripe tomato pie topped with everybody's favorite --- fried onions!

Making Southern Heirloom Tomato Pie

Does your dad send you articles? My dad has been sending me articles ever since I left home. At this point the envelopes from him with the carefully folded newspaper clippings and scanned magazine articles are some of the only snail mail I get. Usually it’s fatherly advice stuff like ‘the 10 habits of financially secure people’ or a list of the safest cities in America…sometimes it’s cautionary stuff like how my cell phone might explode in my ear type of thing — he usually circles the title of those to make sure I get the point — but lately he’s gotten into sending me recipes, and I love it. I adapted this Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions from his latest.

Good old fashioned Southern Tomato Pie with fried onion topping!

This pie is based on the classic Southern dish where thickly sliced ripe tomatoes are set into a single pie crust, covered in a slurry of mayo and grated cheese, and then baked into a bubbling cauldron of pure comfort. The recipe my dad sent was topped with a can of fried onions…I took it a step further and made my own Vidalia onion strings. Not much extra trouble and well worth it.

Mixed heirloom tomatoes

I collected a mixed group of heirloom tomatoes for a colorful change from plain reds. Heirloom tomatoes star in so many of the summer recipes here on the blog ~

Draining heirloom tomatoes for tomato pie

Allowing time for the sliced tomatoes to drain is key — tomatoes contain a tremendous amount of moisture, and you’ll want to get rid of at least some of it before you add them or you’ll wind up with tomato soup instead of pie!

Juicy tomatoes baked up in a cheesy Southern style pie

I lined a 10-inch tart pan (the kind with the removable bottom) with a ready made pie crust for convenience. In first go the paper thin slices of raw Vidalia onion, (use that mandolin slicer!) and then the tomatoes on top.

Tomato Pie ready to bake

It all gets topped off with a cheesy mayo mixture. It doesn’t look like much in the raw state, but it’s really scrumptious after it has baked. Kind of like your favorite hot cheesy dip. The recipe calls for a good amount of fresh dill to be blended in with the topping and although I forgot to pick some up, I recommend you add it. I used assorted herbs instead.

Classic southern tomato pie topped with French fried onions
As you might expect, the delicate fried Vidalias add that extra special touch.

heirloom tomato pie


  • Drain drain drain! The more moisture you get out of tomatoes ahead of time, the less soggy your pie will be.
  • This is a delicious pie, but I don’t recommend it for a dinner party. It does not cut ‘cleanly’ and it is more of a family dinner type of thing.

Thanks for the inspiration Dad! Even though sending articles through the mail is definitely a dying art,  I do carry on the tradition virtually. I just sent my oldest a link to ’18 Unbearably Cute Baby Animals Yawning’…I’m sure she loved it 😉

Juicy tomatoes baked up in a cheesy Southern style pie
3.40 from 20 votes

Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions

Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions ~ this southern classic tomato pie is gussied up with pretty heirloom tomatoes and crisp onion strings, who could argue with that?
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Yield 12 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • I un-baked pie crust


  • 3-4 ripe heirloom tomatoes or regular red tomatoes cut into 1/4-1/2 inch slices
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion peeled and sliced very thinly, 1/8 inch
  • 1 tsp salt fro draining the tomatoes
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
  • salt and fresh cracked black pepper

onion topping

  • 1/2 Vidalia onion sliced in 1/8 inch slices use a mandolin slicer
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • Put the tomato slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes. Blot the surface well with paper towels afterwards.
  • For the fried onion strings, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt in a shallow bowl.
  • Heat several inches of vegetable oil in a pot to about 340F.
  • Cut the onion slices in half and then toss them in the flour mixture. Work in batches.
  • When the oil is hot, drop a handful of the onions in and fry until golden and crisp. This should take 2 minutes or so. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
  • Mix the mayo with the shredded cheese, and stir in the dill. Set aside.
  • Set the oven to 350 and line a 10 inch tart pan with a ready made crust. You can use a regular pie plate for this, too, but you may need to adjust the amount of tomatoes you put in. Prick the crust all over with a fork and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Cut the raw onion slices in half and scatter across the bottom of the crust. Layer the tomatoes over them. Season everything with black pepper and a touch of salt.
  • Spoon the cheese mixture over the tomatoes and spread to cover. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is starting to turn golden and bubbling.
  • Scatter the fried onions over the top of the pie and let cool for a bit before trying to slice. Serve warm.

Cook's notes

recipe adapted from Our State magazine
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.


Don’t forget to pin this Southern Heirloom Tomato Pie!

Southern Tomato Pie with Fried Onions pin


You Might Also Like


    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    July 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    Now this is the way to use up my garden tomatoes! And that fried onion topping is irresistible!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Just tried a recipe last night for tomato pie cooked by a guest on The Chew. She was from North Carolina and it was major simple to make but she used canned tomatoes, raw onions, cornbread stuffing,etc. It was good but your recipe looks very interesting. Will give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      July 24, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Hmmm, sounds interesting, but canned tomatoes? Not sure about that 😉

  • Reply
    July 24, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I’m a born and bred true southern gal from Tennessee. When we make this it always has to have BACON in it. But then we are pork-a-holics too. Too much sodium i know.

  • Reply
    Terry Covington
    July 24, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    Oh! A question. I loathe mayonnaise. Is there anything you think might substitute for it? Would vegan mayonnaise work? I’ve never tried it, but maybe it would taste “off” or separate too much?

    • Reply
      July 24, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Hmmm, don’t really know. I think anything that you could substitute in a baked cheese dip would probably work, and don’t forget that you don’t taste the mayo once it is baked up with all that cheese 😉

  • Reply
    Terry Covington
    July 24, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Too hilarious! Maybe our dads were related? My dad passed away a couple of years ago, but he sent me clippings starting in college. The same kinds of things your dad sends, but never recipes. It really made me smile to read about your dad, and remember mine. And the pie looks great!

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s+Recipes
    July 24, 2015 at 11:29 am

    This looks amazingly delicious! I love all the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    July 24, 2015 at 10:52 am

    This is so fun Sue. A love these old timely southern recipes but I also love that you have given it a brand new twist!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2015 at 11:26 am

      What is it about Southern food, they seem to have the comfort thing down to a science!

  • Reply
    July 24, 2015 at 10:34 am

    This looks amazing, the tomato plants in our garden haven’t done that well this year but I’ve been buying plenty at the farmer’s market to make up for it. I love the addition of the fried onions!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Tomatoes seem to take their time every summer, I’ve finally started seeing great ones recently.

  • Reply
    [email protected]+This+is+How+I+Cook
    July 24, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Your dad has good taste! This looks scrumptious and I will be making it when the in laws show up in the RV next month! My MIL is from the South and I think she will drool over this! Thanks, Sue!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Abbe!

  • Reply
    Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor
    July 24, 2015 at 9:29 am

    This tomato pie reminds me of something my grandmother used to make in the summer with fresh tomatoes from her garden. I have so many tomatoes in my garden right now and definitely need to attempt making a pie like this. It looks incredible!

    • Reply
      July 24, 2015 at 9:56 am

      I didn’t grow up with tomato pies, but discovered them a few summers ago, I bet your grandmother’s was amazing.

1 2

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!


Get my tips, tricks & recipes for easy

foolproof baking


logo png