Tomato Pie Recipe

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A favorite in the American South, tomato pie is a thrifty and delicious casserole style dish wrapped up in a buttery pie crust. My Southern American style tomato pie recipe is creamy and cheesy without the dreaded soggy bottom. Make the most of your harvest and make this yummy dish that tastes like an Italian pizza dressed up as a pie.

overhead shot of a slice of southern tomato pie on a white plate with a silver fork garnished with chopped parsley

Why This Recipe Works 

If you’ve ever had a simple Margherita Pizza, you know how delicious softened chunky tomatoes are when combined with cheese and carbs. Here I offer an enthusiastic shout-out to the Americans who opted to use pie crust over pizza dough to make this tasty creation.

I don’t know about you, but any excuse to use a batch of my Homemade Pie Crust is a reason for celebration. While pies are often seen as a vehicle for dessert fillings, this delicious tomato pie recipe will challenge your pre-existing assumptions. The flaky, buttery crust offers a wonderful textural contrast with the cheesy tomato filling.

My recipe is not the conventional Southern method for making classic tomato pie. I sauté the tomatoes and add them as a filling rather than using fresh, uncooked tomatoes. If you’re more inclined to use your oven rather than the stovetop, you can also opt to roast the tomatoes instead.

Not only will either option help to evaporate away some of the excess moisture from the fruit, it will also enhance the sweetness and umami quality of tomatoes. While it takes a small bit of extra effort, this added step ensures a beautifully cooked, golden brown crust that is far from soggy.

The rest of the pie is made in the traditional American manner. Cheese and mayonnaise combine with the succulent tomatoes, fresh basil and punchy scallions for a delectable dinner that is both bright and unctuous, celebrating everything I love most about summer’s favorite bounty.

45 degree angle shot of slice of tomato pie on a white salad plate on a white marble table
Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Tomato Pie

Making Tomato Filling

1. Rinse and chop 6 medium-large tomatoes (500 grams) in 1 to 1.5 inch cubes. Set aside.

fresh tomatoes that have been cubed on a wooden cutting board

2. In a skillet or frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Keep the heat to low or medium-low and add ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic and ¼ cup sliced scallion whites. Sauté for a minute.

scallion whites and garlic sautéing in a skillet with oil

3. Add the chopped tomatoes, ½ teaspoon sugar, ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper and ½ teaspoon salt, adjusting the seasonings to your taste.

fresh tomato cubes, salt and pepper added to skillet

4. Mix very well.

tomatoes, salt, pepper, scallion whites and garlic all stirred together to sauté

5. Increase the heat to high or medium-high and begin to sauté the tomatoes. Initially, the tomatoes will release a lot of juice, but continue to sauté and the liquid will slowly evaporate. 

tomato mixture in the early cooking stages with juices bubbling

6. Sauté until the juices are mostly evaporated. You’ll know the sauce is ready when you move a spoon from the center of the pan and can see a clear bottom without any juices.

tomato pie filling mixture that is ready - you can see the bottom of the pan is clear, with no juices

7. For some added flavor, I like to add ½ teaspoon red chili flakes, ½ teaspoon dried oregano and 1 teaspoon red wine. Both red chili flakes and red wine are optional, but they offer a ton of flavor. In place of red chili flakes you can sub ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper.

TIP: Are you worried about alcohol? Don’t be! The heat will evaporate all of the alcohol from the wine as you cook the filling, leaving you with nothing but flavor.

red pepper flakes, dried oregano and red wine added to tomato mixture

8. Stir and deglaze, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.

TIP: If you opt not to use wine, you can deglaze with just a teaspoon of water instead. It will not offer the same flavor or acidity as the wine, but will do the trick of removing any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

tomato mixture after deglazing pan

9. Lastly, add ¼ cup chopped scallion greens and 3 tablespoons chopped basil. Mix well and switch off the heat. Let this tomato filling cool. If you do not have fresh basil, then substitute 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried basil instead.

tomato pie mixture after adding fresh basil and scallion greens

Making Mayo Filling

10. In a mixing bowl, add ½ cup Mayonnaise (Eggless), ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese.

mayonnaise, cheddar and mozzarella added to a yellow mixing bowl

11. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

mayo and cheese mixture for southern tomato pie

Par Baking Pie Crust

12. Take 450 grams pie dough or one 9 inch unbaked pastry shell. Here I have used my homemade All Butter Pie Crust. Roll the pie crust to an even 0.5 to 1 mm thickness. Place the rolled crust on a 9 or 10 inch pie pan.

pie crust that has been rolled out and laid into a pie dish prior to trimming

13. Trim the edges, then shape and flute to your liking. Puncture the crust with a fork on the sides and the top – this will allow steam to escape during the baking and result in a smooth even baked crust. Cover with a kitchen towel or cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 190 degrees (375 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes. 

pie crust that has been pierced with a fork prior to blind baking

14. Par bake the pie for 10 to 15 minutes. You do not need to bake it completely. This is sometimes referred to as “blind baking,” and ensures that the crust will cook completely once the filling is added and later baked.

TIP: If you are worried about the crust puffing up or having air-pockets, then line and flatten with a heavy duty aluminum foil or parchment on the bottom and sides of crust. Place pie weights or dry beans (like kidney beans) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

empty pie shell in a clear pie dish in the oven to par bake

Assembling the Tomato Pie

15. Remove and let the crust cool to room temperature. Then top the par baked crust with ⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese.

par baked pie crust layered with cheddar cheese

16. Add the prepared tomato filling and spread it evenly.

tomato filling added to pie crust on top of cheddar

17. Next top with ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. 

mozzarella atop tomato mixture in pie shell

18. Using a spoon, dollop the mayo filling all over. Gently spread the filling out to the edges using a small silicone spatula, an offset spatula, or even the back of a spoon.

mayo and cheese filling spread out over top of southern tomato pie prior to baking

19. Lastly, sprinkle ¼ cup grated vegetarian parmesan and 2 to 3 pinches of white or black pepper. 

grated vegetarian parmesan sprinkled atop mayo-cheese mixture on unbaked tomato pie

Baking Southern Tomato Pie

20. Bake at 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges and sides of the crust are golden. 

TIP: For a crisp bottom, keep the pan close to the bottom heating element. I’d recommend moving your oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.

assembled southern tomato pie in a clear glass pie dish in the oven before baking

21. Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Don’t rush this step! Like Lasagna, this tomato pie needs time to rest so the filling can reabsorb any juices and you can get nice, clean and even pieces.

completed tomato pie in clear glass pie dish

22. Serve hot and garnish with something green. I personally love chopped parsley, basil, scallion greens, cilantro or chives. Enjoy!

overhead shot of whole tomato pie garnished with parsley and with one slice cut and slightly askew on a white plate
Tips

Tips + FAQs

What is the difference between tomato pie and quiche?

While both quiche and Southern tomato pie are made of savory fillings baked into a pie crust, there are no eggs in a tomato pie recipe. And for those of you who know “tomato pie” as a pizza, my version may also be referred to as “Southern tomato pie,” referencing the American South where the dish originated.

Can I make Southern tomato pie ahead of time?

Absolutely. Tomato pie will last in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, I recommend using the oven though – a microwave will render your crust soggy and rubbery.

What are the best tomatoes to use for this savory pie recipe?

American Southerners created this dish as a way to use up a late bumper harvest of tomatoes. While the tomatoes used are fresh, they may not be quite as delicious and succulent as tomatoes that you would want to eat raw. Any variety should work well in this recipe, but I do recommend getting tomatoes on the vine or homegrown tomatoes whenever possible for the best flavor. Roma and plum tomatoes also work well. 

Tomatoes aren’t in season, but this pie looks amazing. Any chance I can use canned tomatoes instead?

You certainly can. For the best flavor, I’d recommend opting for whole Italian tomatoes and their sauce. You will need to chop them, but the flavor is almost inevitably better than in canned diced tomatoes.

What kind of cheese should I use in a southern tomato pie recipe?

My southern style tomato pie recipe calls for cheddar cheese, mozzarella and vegetarian parmesan. You can use either mild or sharp cheddar, and opt for either white or yellow varieties. For the mozzarella, be sure to buy pressed, aged cheese. The fresh variety simply has too much water for the pie and will result in a soggy bottom. As a vegetarian, it is important to me that I cook with a vegetarian parmesan. Most parmesan cheese is made with animal rennet, so opt for a version that is made without.

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45 degree angle shot of slice of tomato pie on a white salad plate on a white marble table

Tomato Pie

5 from 3 votes
This American style Southern Tomato Pie is a creamy, cheesy, tomato-y dream all wrapped up in a butter pie crust. Yum!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Resting Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr

Cuisine American, World
Course: Main Course
Diet: Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 8 tomato pie wedges
Units

Ingredients

Tomato Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions – only the white parts or spring onion whites
  • 6 tomatoes (medium to large) or 500 grams, chopped in 1 to 1.5 inch cubes
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt or add as per taste
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes or ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper – optional
  • 1 teaspoon red wine – optional
  • ¼ cup chopped scallions – only the green parts or spring onion greens
  • 3 tablespoons chopped basil or 8 to 10 basil or 2 to 3 teaspoons dried basil

For Mayo Filling

  • ½ cup Eggless Mayonnaise
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

For Assembly

  • cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan- vegetarian
  • 2 to 3 pinches white pepper or black pepper

Other ingredient

  • 450 grams Pie Dough or one 9 inch unbaked pastry shell

Instructions

Make Tomato Filling

  • Rinse and chop tomatoes into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes. Set aside.
  • In a skillet or frying pan, heat olive oil. Keep the heat to low or medium-low and add finely chopped garlic and sliced scallion whites. Sauté for a minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, crushed black pepper and salt, adjusting the seasonings to your taste. Mix very well. 
  • Increase the heat to high or medium-high and begin to sauté the tomatoes. Initially, the tomatoes will release a lot of juice, but continue to sauté and the liquid will slowly evaporate. 
  • Sauté until the juices are mostly evaporated. You'll know the sauce is ready when you move a spoon from the center of the pan and can see a clear bottom without any juices.
  • Add red chili flakes, dried oregano and red wine. Both red chili flakes and red wine are optional, but they offer a ton of flavor.
  • Stir and deglaze, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. *You can substitute ¼ teaspoon of cayenne for the red chili flakes.
  • Lastly, add the chopped scallion greens and chopped basil. Mix well and switch off the heat. Let this tomato filling cool. *If you do not have fresh basil, then substitute 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried basil instead. 

Making Mayo Filling

  • In a mixing bowl, add ½ cup mayonnaise (eggless), ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Par Baking Pie Crust

  • Take 450 grams pie dough or one 9 inch unbaked pastry shell and roll the pie crust to an even 0.5 to 1 mm thickness. Place the rolled crust on a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. 
  • Trim the edges, then shape and flute to your liking. Puncture the crust with a fork on the sides and the top – this will allow steam to escape during the baking and result in a smooth even crust surface. 
  • Cover crust with a kitchen towel or cling film and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes 
  • Par bake the pie for 10 to 15 minutes. You do not need to bake it completely.

Assembling the Pie

  • Let the par baked crust cool to room temperature.
  • Then top with ⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese. 
  • Add the prepared tomato filling and spread it evenly. 
  • Next top with ⅓ cup shredded mozzarella cheese. 
  • Using a spoon, dollop the mayo filling all over. Gently spread the filling out to the edges using a small silicone spatula, an offset spatula, or even the back of a spoon.
  • Lastly, sprinkle ¼ cup grated vegetarian parmesan and 2 to 3 pinches of white or black pepper. 
  • Bake at 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30 to 35 minutes until the edges and sides of the crust are golden. 
  • Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with chopped parsley, basil, scallion greens, cilantro or chives.

Notes

Ingredient notes & swaps

  • Red Wine: If you are worried about including red wine, then don’t be. The heat will evaporate all of the alcohol from the wine as you cook the filling, leaving you with nothing but flavor. If you opt not to use wine, you can deglaze with just a teaspoon of water instead. It will not offer the same flavor or acidity as the wine, but will do the trick of removing any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Tomatoes: Fresh, ripe, red tomatoes are the best but I do recommend getting tomatoes on the vine or homegrown tomatoes whenever possible for the best flavor. Roma and plum tomatoes also work well. 
  • Canned Tomatoes: For the best flavor, I’d recommend opting for whole Italian tomatoes and their sauce. You will need to chop them, but the flavor is almost inevitably better than in canned diced tomatoes.
  • Cheese: This recipe calls for cheddar cheese, mozzarella and vegetarian parmesan. You can use either mild or sharp cheddar, and opt for either white or yellow varieties. For the mozzarella, be sure to buy pressed, aged cheese. The fresh variety simply has too much water for the pie and will result in a soggy bottom.

Recipe Notes

  • Crisp pie bottom: For a crisp bottom, keep the pan close to the bottom heating element. I’d recommend moving your oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.
  • Make ahead and storage: Baked tomato pie will last for up to a week in the refrigerator. To reheat, use an oven or toaster oven. Microwaving leftovers will yield a soggy and rubbery result.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Tomato Pie
Amount Per Serving (1 tomato pie wedge)
Calories 401 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 25mg8%
Sodium 693mg30%
Potassium 314mg9%
Carbohydrates 35g12%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 1129IU23%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 34µg32%
Calcium 209mg21%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 60µg15%
Iron 2mg11%
Magnesium 27mg7%
Phosphorus 186mg19%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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