Southern Tomato Pie
Use fresh summer tomatoes to make this Southern tomato pie. The mayonnaise and cheese mixture makes each bite absolutely delicious. Serve this dish as a side to a summer meal or make it the main attraction!
You might be asking yourself, “What is tomato pie?” Well, it’s a summer staple in southern cuisine. On top of a par-baked pie crust sits a flavorful mayonnaise cheese mixture and layers of roasted tomatoes. You can serve this pie warm or at room temperature. It’s one of my favorite savory recipes for summer!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make. The tomatoes are roasted ahead of time and the cheese mixture is mixed together in one bowl. Then all you have to do is layer and bake!
- Great use of seasonal ingredients. Summer is the best time of year to use tomatoes and herbs in your meals!
- Savory and flavorful. The combination of cheese, herbs, garlic and onion tastes delicious against the buttery, flaky crust.
- Beautiful presentation. The array of colorful tomatoes and sprinkle of fresh herbs makes this dish eye-catching!
- Tomatoes: I prefer heirloom tomatoes for their rustic appearance, but beefsteak, roma or compari will also work (just make sure they are fresh!)
- Cheese: Use a combination of a semi-hard cheese and a soft cheese. I prefer white cheddar and Monterey jack.
- Mayonnaise: This ingredient is what makes this a Southern pie. Use full-fat for the most flavor!
- Egg: To help bind the ingredients, mix in one egg to the cheese mixture.
- Pie crust: Either use store-bought or make your own pie crust.
- Herbs: Add fresh herbs to create a depth of flavor. In a pinch, dried herbs may be used (half the quantity).
Refer to recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.
Try different cheese. Mozzarella, gouda, manchego or asiago cheeses are good substitutions in this recipe. I suggest one mild and one sharp cheese.
Add more vegetables. Cooked mushrooms, caramelized onions or chopped bell pepper are good additions!
Use a variety of tomatoes. Whatever garden fresh tomatoes you have on hand will work! You can also do a mix for varying layers of flavor like I do in my tomato galette.
Add some meat. Some cooked crumbled sausage, bacon bits or pancetta would taste delicious in this pie! Stir it directly into the cheese mixture or sprinkle it on as its own layer in the center.
How to Make Southern Tomato Pie
- Parbake the crust. Roll out the pie dough and place it in a 9-inch pie plate. Freeze for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Take the pie plate out of the freezer and place parchment paper and pie weights on top. Bake the crust for 15 minutes, remove the weights and bake for 5 minutes longer. Cool completely.
- Cut tomatoes into ½-inch-thick slices. Place about 7 or 8 slices on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.
- Roast remaining tomatoes. Arrange remaining tomatoes on a wire rack set on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bake at 400 F for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely.
- Make cheese mixture. Stir together cheese, mayonnaise, onion, garlic, basil, chives, Dijon and egg until combined. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Assemble: Spread one third of the cheese mixture on cooled crust. Arrange roasted tomatoes over it.
- Repeat the layers again, then top with remaining cheese mixture and reserved fresh tomato slices.
- Bake at 400° F for 40 to 45 minutes. Let stand 1 hour before serving with fresh basil and chives.
Par-bake the crust. Since the filling is on the more liquid-y side, it helps to partially bake the crust. This guarantees a flaky and sturdy crust to hold the filling. Make sure you have pie weights (or dry beans) for this step.
Use fresh ingredients for the most flavor. Garden tomatoes or fresh tomatoes from the farmers market are best. Use fresh herbs as well. Also, shred the cheese yourself. It melts more evenly than pre-shredded cheese.
Roast the tomatoes ahead of time. This helps the tomatoes dry out and removes excess water. If you skip this step, the pie will be watery and without structure.
Let the pie cool before slicing. Again, a crucial step for a tomato pie with structure. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes so it has time to set. If you slice when it’s still hot, it will be quite messy.
It’s best when eaten the day it is baked. However, it may be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yes, you can reheat the pie in the microwave on 50% power level or in the oven at 350° F for 10 minutes (or until heated through).
Most likely the filling was too liquid-y. Try to get rid of all the liquid in the tomatoes by roasting them. Also, remember to partially bake your pie crust so it is firm before adding the filling.
This dish can be served for brunch, lunch or dinner. Serve it as the main meal or a side. It goes well with grilled chicken, a fresh summer salad or cooked vegetables, such as asparagus, zucchini or artichokes.
Looking for more savory recipes? Try these next!
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Get the Recipe: Southern Tomato Pie
- One pie crust
- 3 pounds assorted medium to large heirloom tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 ½ cups (6 ounces) a mix of grated extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (2 teaspoons)
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh chives
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 large egg
- Black pepper, to taste
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Minced fresh chives for garnish
- Roll out pie crust and place it in a 9-inch pie dish. Fold the edges in and crimp them. Place the dough-lined pie plate in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Ten minutes before taking the pie plate out of the refrigerator, preheat your oven to 400° F.
- Remove pie plate from the freezer and line it with parchment paper. Place pie weights on top of it. Bake pie crust for 15 minutes or until edges of crust are starting to turn golden. Remove pie crust from the oven and carefully take out the pie weights. Then return the crust to the oven to bake for 5 minutes longer or until light golden. Set aside and cool completely. Keep the oven on 400° F.
Tomato and Cheese Filling
- Prepare tomato slices. Cut tomatoes into ½-inch-thick slices. Place about 7 or 8 slices (enough to cover top of pie) on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cover with additional paper towels, and reserve.
- Roast remaining tomatoes. Arrange remaining tomatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased wire rack set on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bake in preheated oven until wilted and slightly dried out, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Make cheese mixture. Stir together cheese, mayonnaise, onion, garlic, basil, chives, Dijon, and egg until combined. Sprinkle with pepper and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Gently spread a third of cheese mixture onto cooled crust; layer with half of the roasted tomato slices in slightly overlapping pattern. Spread another third of cheese mixture on top of tomato slices. Repeat with remaining roasted tomato slices and cheese mixture.
- Take the reserved sliced fresh tomatoes and pat them dry. Arrange them on top, pressing filling gently into crust. Shield edges of pie with aluminum foil.
- Bake at 400°F until filling is set, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle with basil and chives.