Tomato Pie

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Nothing says summer like red, ripe tomatoes fresh from the garden. Nothing makes me give thanks for summer like a fresh tomato pie! 

I don’t have a big garden at my house, but not for lack of trying. You see, I have very fat, happy, and mischievous squirrels, rabbits, and various other critters. They gobble cucumbers, disconnect baby cantaloupes from the vine, pick my pecan trees clean, and even dig up and relocate plants from time to time as the mood strikes them.

I am fully capable of using a bb gun along with various other measures to rid myself of these critters but truth be told, we just enjoy them so much and get far more giggles than stress over their antics so I leave them be. Besides, we do have a truce of sorts – they let me grow tomatoes. As long as I can do that, I get to keep my Southern citizenship and make yummy things for you like this tomato pie.

Speaking of critters in our little Bountiful woods, last week we even had a hawk come watch us eat lunch. Dangdest thing! I’m pretty sure he was attracted by all of those fat, happy, and mischievous squirrels, rabbits, and various other critters…

I think the rabbits and squirrels tipped each other off this time though, and we were spared a scene from “Predators of the Fat and Happy” . Clearly, the hawk came, placed his order, and got tired of waiting. He left after an hour or so but he is still hanging around. Eventually one of our poor Henry’s will bite the dust (if you’ve been with us a while you know that all of our squirrels are named Henry).

Oh…pie. Tomato pie. Got ya, I’m on it! 

You’ll need: 3 or 4 tomatoes, cheddar cheese, mayo, fresh basil leaves, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, and pepper.

You’re also gonna need a regular pie crust, already baked.

And just so you know, this is my official protest against basalmic vinegar being spelled balsamic. I’m just certain my way of spelling it and saying it is right somewhere in this world…


Wash and slice your tomatoes.

There is an important decision to make at this point. Do you want your tomato pie juicy or not? I like mine juicy, so I’m going right on ahead from here.

If you want yours to be less juicy, take these tomatoes and sprinkle a little bit of salt on them, then put them in a colander over the sink and allow to drain for about ten minutes. They’ll still be somewhat juicy but not nearly as much. This will make your tomato pie slices come out prettier. I suggest doing this if you are serving it to company. If you are serving it to family, just skip this step because they know you can cook and they’d rather have a big old slice of juicy tomato pie!


Arrange 1/2 of those gorgeous tomato slices in your baked pie crust.

Sprinkle 1/2 of your salt and pepper over them, then tear up some basil leaves and sprinkle those over them, too.

Now take one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and drizzle that over them.

Like so. 

Top with half of your cheese.

Repeat with the rest of your tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil leaves and… 


Now spread the mayonnaise over the top of it all.

If you don’t like mayonnaise, don’t worry. You’re in good company. Not once in my entire life have I ever said “OOOH yum, mayonnaise!”. So if you don’t like mayonnaise, whenever you see me using it you should know that you aren’t going to end up with a mayonnaise taste when you’re done. So it’s safe mayo not-likers (because calling us mayo haters is just too harsh). Go ahead and spread that mayo because this stuff is gonna be good! 

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until it is lightly browned like this. Serve warm or cold.

This some good eaten’!

Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie


  • 3 medium sized tomatoes
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves (if you don't have fresh, use 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 +1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup mayo
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pie crust, baked but not browned


  1. Cut tomatoes into slices.
  2. Place in colander and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon table salt. Allow to drain for ten minutes (can skip this step if you like).
  3. Arrange 1/2 of tomato slices in baked pie crust. Top with 1/2 of kosher salt, 1/2 of pepper, 1/2 of basil, 1/2 of vinegar, and 1/2 of cheese.
  4. Repeat.
  5. Spread mayo over top of pie. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
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“Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”

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  1. Anne says

    I have a counter full of beautiful red tomatoes (from a friend’s garden), cheese in the fridge, and a frozen pie crust in the freezer. That’s what is so great about your recipes, I almost always have the stuff! I am also making your sticky chicken and creamed corn (made with frozen corn) to go with it. I end up on your website almost every morning to help me with making my supper plans.
    I am not a novice…I’ve been married for 42 years and am sort of “famous” among my family and friends for being a great cook. I just love the way that you find joy in cooking old fashioned, family loving recipes.

  2. Vikki says

    Never heard of tomato pie but it sure sounds good! Not a big mayo fan either. The only time I use it is for tartar sauce. Otherwise we’re Miracle Whip fans all the way. Can Miracle Whip be used instead of mayo of this pie?

  3. Brittani In Texas says

    Oh my goodness!!!
    When I first saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a try. Although I must admit that when I started putting it together, I began to second guess if I was going to be able to get my kids and family to try it. Maybe it was the delicious aroma or the way the golden, bubbly cheese topping made their tummy’s growl, but regardless, it was a huge hit!!! I will definintely put this at the top of the list for when company stops by or I need a dish for a pot luck. Once again, another home run Christy, Thanks!!!!

  4. jenjen says

    Two things: 1) Peel tomatoes….difficult to cut nice/perfect slices of the cooked pie with skin on tomatoes; 2) seed the tomatoes! I salted and drained water (loads) off the tomatoes for 20 minutes and STILL watery after cooking.
    SO, this is a keeper if you use Roma tomatoes that are peeled and seeded. If you don’t have time to peel; then, cut into smallish pieces after slicing. “Balsamic Glaze” from “Trader Giottos” is thicker that regular “B” vinegar and will not add additional wateriness to pie.

  5. Tupper says

    I made this last night for dinner. Hubby really liked it–he ate 2 slices. Our daughter who was visiting even ate a slice. This is an easy recipe and versatile–thinking about using it for a bunch. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Shelley says

    I made this over the weekend with a gluten-free homemade pie crust and mozzarella cheese (instead of cheddar) – pretty good! My husband is a skeptical diner when HE’S not the chef – and he liked it, too! He even shot down a few suggestions I made… though I’ll probably still do them, haha. I will decrease the mayo on top next time. It was too much for me and really limited how much of the pie I could eat. I also may increase the balsamic vinegar a smidge as I couldn’t detect it. I did not skin or seed my beautifully plump farmer’s market tomatoes and the pie wasn’t watery at all. It was great! Can’t wait to make it again!

  7. Vicki says

    I make a very similar recipe but it has a potato crust. You can use hash browns or simply grate a potato or two, mix it with a little oil or buter, spread in the bottom and up the sides of your dish and bake it for about 20 minutes first before adding the other ingredients to finish the dish.

  8. Melba says

    Oh, this will be a summer recipe for years to come! By the way, I have a pair of hawks nesting in a tree in my yard. They sit on the backyard fence and watch my garden. Are they looking for the fat rabbits who ate my beans and peas to the ground??

  9. Becki C says

    I have this in the oven right now. I think next time I make it, I will mix the mayo and cheese together in a bowl before I spread the final topping. Kinda hard to keep the cheese even when spreading the mayo. Also I think I might try making some mini tomato pies in a muffin pan, using same recipe with chopped tomatoes. Would be great for a party

  10. Mary says

    Each time I see a new recipe of yours I just have to try it! Was a bit skeptical about this but knew my hubby and son-in-law would like it! Using the wonderful easy pie crust recipe, I made it exactly as you was absolutely wonderful and myself and my daughter both tried it and liked it! I never even cut the skin off the tomatoes and it was great! This was most definitely a “grand slam” like every other recipe I have can they possibly just keep getting better each time..BUT they do! Have not tried 1 recipe that wasn’t great! Keep on posting!

  11. southernlites says

    I just made this and can’t wait to cut into it! A little confused though, the recipe says ‘a baked pie crust’ but shows an unbaked one. I knew though that if I used a baked one all I would have would be black crust, so common sense prevailed and I used a store bought unbaked one. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes you give us!

  12. southernlites says

    Oh my goodness…….finally got a little piece of heaven. This is fa-bu-lous!! It will even be good cold I think but don’t think theres much chance it will last that long.

  13. Patti says

    This is so good and easy to make. I’ve make over three so far and they are always good. I sweat the tomatoes so there’s not to much juice in the pie,thanks for that tip. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  14. Bill Castine says

    What to do with all those tomatoes from my garden? Thanks for a good idea. Don’t know why I never heard of tomato pie until I saw this recipe, but I made it today for lunch. My wife and I ate half of it! And most of the rest tonight. This is definitely a keeper!

  15. Jodi Lkk says

    For the first time I made the tomato pie last night (in fact I made two of them for my family)….they loved it!!! I did make a few impovisations (i guess that is the rebel in me. I usually do that with recipes, perhaps I have a problem with following directions LOL)….I added feta cheese to the layers along with the cheddar cheese and I added panko crumbs to the top which gave it a little crunch. Will definitely make this again. (Was thinking bacon would taste yummy in there too) :D

    • SLY says

      Nice write-up and column (animal watcher/lover here), did a search after hearing a quotation from Supreme Court Justice Scalia regarding what’s made in Chicago as not being pizza but Tomato Pie. Since reading the comments, I’m thinking of trying it with crispty bacon added in layers and put it in corn bread rather than the crust, though that sounds delicious also.

  16. bettie C. says

    Thank You Christy the word at my house when something is Good is.. it was OUTSTANDING! and that was the word today.
    I used Provolone cheese with some cheddar on top alone with the provolone and it truly was Very good. I think I will mix the cheddar and mayo together next time [ which will be next week end when a daughter come home. i told her what i was fixing and she ask please mom wait till next week end but the tomatoes Needed useing .. Thanks agian!! bc

    • says

      Hey Mona! Sorry it didn’t work out for you! I’m often a gloppy over salted mess myself, but my tomato pie hasn’t ever been so I guess I’m blessed. :) there are some helpful tips and tricks for avoiding this in the post above.

  17. Glena Ferguson says

    OK, for all y’all that had problems with it being too juicy, I’ve figured it out! I made this today and I drained my tomatoes about half hour because they were real juicy. I patted them dry so no dripping juice. Yet, my pie was REALLY juicy, a lot messy and soggy crust.

    It tasted DELICIOUS though. So I thought on it a while and then it came to me! I bet this recipe was done with the pre-shredded cheese. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with corn starch to keep it from sticking to itself. That corn starch would surely take up some juice like if you put it in a fruit pie. I shredded my own cheese so it didn’t have a bit of corn starch in it.

    I bet those that had their tomato pie turn out too juicy shredded their own cheese too! So next time I’d sprinkle a little corn starch with my cheese or buy pre-shredded cheese.

    My hubby thought it was delicious too!

  18. Tina says

    Made this for company last night. Everyone adored it. I didn’t have balsamic, but I did have balsamic glaze; worked just as well. Used tomatoes from my garden. Four people ate the whole thing, and the recipe was shared! Thanks!!

  19. Becki C says

    I just wanted to let you know that I made your tomato pie for the 2nd time this weekend. My husband doesn’t usually express much opinion on my cooking beyond “It’s good, it needs salt,” etc. This weekend he said, “That tomato pie might be my favorite thing you’ve ever made. When are you going to make another one?” Girlfriend, that’s high praise in my house!

    Hugs from just up the road in TN,

  20. Tammy says

    I have been asking people for years if they have heard of tomato pie, everyone says no!! My great grandma used to make this for us and I could never get enough (she had a special way of making us eat our veggies). Thank you, thank you for this recipe!

    (And thank you Grandma!!)

  21. Belinda says

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tomato pie. After enjoying the tomato pie at Green River BBQ in Saluda, NC, I make it as they do – without a crust. It is delicious even without the crust and there’s no problem with a soggy crust. I cut back on the salt because more can be added when served if preferred.

  22. Nancy says

    Just discovered your website tonight ~ I’m having a ball looking for new recipes! So, I started thinking about tomato pie and what would make it even better…and, when the native tomatoes are ready here in another month or so, I’ll add some cooked crumbled bacon on top of each layer of tomatoes. Doesn’t that sound sinful?

  23. Carol says

    Made the tomato pie this weekend and hubby loved it. (I didn’t tell him there was mayo in it.)
    He loved it! Asked if I could make a couple and freeze them! LOL
    I plan to add capers the next time I make it.
    Very yummy! THANK YOU

  24. Christopher says

    I’ve never had a tomato pie let alone made one. This just looked too good to pass up. I’m daring. We’ve got tomatoes exploding on the vine because of all the rain we’ve had here in the SC midlands.
    I made this for some friends who came up from Charleston, to visit for a couple of days. The only thing I did differently was that I gave the crust an egg wash and blind baked it for about 8 minutes at 375. I figured that would cut down on the soggy factor; and it worked. I gave the tomatoes a good sprinkling of Kosher salt and let them drain for about a half hour, then rinsed and patted them dry; and then assembled the pie. As a back-up, if the pie thing didn’t work out, I made fried green tomatoes and a curry aioli and a horseradish aioli dipping sauces. Suffice it to say, there isn’t anything left of anything. Thanks for the inspiration. God bless.

  25. Linda J. says

    I made three of these (yep…all on the same day) using your “mix-in-the-pan” crust from your first cookbook. I added some crumbled bacon on the last layer. All three pies were gone by bedtime. Of course, I had to show off and send some to each of my three sisters. (They were terribly impressed with my skills. I finally confessed and gave you all the credit. lol) Wonderful, delicious stuff!

  26. Sharon Carson says

    Hi Christy! I made the tomato pie recipe in your Southern Plate Suppers magazine that came out recently, and I have to tell ya it was wonderful. I made it as part of a meal I brought to my sister-in-law and her family – they lost power when some trees fell on their house and yard during a storm. I have to admit, as tacky as it sounds, I actually asked for a slice of the tomato pie I baked them for supper! It just looked soooo good and smelled so wonderful, that I couldn’t resist! How embarrassing! But, in my defense, my husband and two daughters will not touch tomatoes, so if I made a whole pie for myself, I’m afraid some would go to waste. I guess in the future I’ll have to break the recipe down into an individual serving so I can have my own pie and maintain my dignity, lol!

  27. Mary Culbertson says

    This is only the 2nd tomato pie I’ve ever made…one of my best friends has been experimenting with them for a few years ….I LOVED this one, as did my dinner companion…I used a mixture of many different cheeses and sliced the tomatoes very thin…yummy! Thank you!

  28. Eva says

    I just love this pie, made it a couple years ago for the first time, and sooooo good! Have you ever done green tomato pie? Its very tasty and more like a lemon pie in ways, tart and delicious. I have friends who have a market garden and he didn’t believe I could make tomato pies so he got one of each and said they were the best he’d ever had for a veggie pie! I must get some tomatoes on Saturday to make some pies.

  29. Nancy says

    It was great seeing you yesterday on QVC…unfortunately I didn’t have the $$ to order the book at the time, but I will be getting it in the next couple of weeks. But I digress…

    Just wanted to mention how much I love this pie, and that I used chipotle mayonnaise for a little extra kick ~ delicious!

  30. Austin Wilder says

    I made two pies one like how you made it and another one with bacon( because I have to have some kind of meat at dinner and bacon makes everything better) I think it tastes like a blt only problem was a little watery


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