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Ultimate Summer Tomato Pie Recipe
This vintage savory southern pie gets a makeover!
I recently mentioned to a friend that I was reworking an old vintage Tomato Pie Recipe and couldn’t wait for him to try it. He asked, “Isn’t Tomato Pie just a pizza?”
Well, okay… you got me there. It could be kind-of like a deep-dish pizza. He might be right but don’t tell him I said that 😆.
How is tomato pie different from pizza?
Our Tomato Pie recipe is loaded with tomatoes (but no tomato sauce), gooey cheese, bacon, scallions and fresh herbs. However this pie filling has another ingredient that sets it apart from pizza; a great big dollop of mayonnaise.
I know, who would have thought mayonnaise would be a great pie filling. But it is!
Mayonnaise is really just eggs, oil and something acidic like lemon juice or vinegar. It’s a terrific binder in many recipes like tartar sauce, potato salad, deviled eggs, coleslaw and macaroni salad.
Also, this Tomato Pie is made with an everyday pie crust instead of a yeasted crust like a typical pizza,
So no, this southern Tomato Pie recipe doesn’t taste like pizza, but it’s certainly in the pizza family of ingredients!
- One (9-inch) pie dough round, homemade or store-bought. We use our pie crust recipe which can be made in a food processor. Bonus!
- Cornmeal for spreading over the pie crust or bread crumbs can be used in a pinch
- Big ripe fresh heirloom tomatoes or beefsteak
- Kosher salt for sprinkling over the sliced tomatoes
- Fresh grated sharp cheddar cheese and Parmesan
- Prepared mayonnaise like Duke or Hellman’s brands
- One large egg, lightly beaten to bind everything together
- Cornstarch to help prevent the mayonnaise from curdling
- Fresh basil leaves for the filling and as a garnish
- Scallions (green onions) whites and greens sliced thin
- Crisp cooked crumbled bacon
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Fresh chopped parsley for garnish if desired
- 9-inch fluted tart pan with 2-inch deep sides and a removable bottom for easy serving
- or a 9-inch deep dish pie plate
How to make a Tomato Pie
1. Prepare the pie crust
Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll the dough out to a 13-inch round. Ease the dough into the tart pan or pie plate and press into the bottom and sides.
Sprinkle cornmeal over the bottom and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer while preparing the filling.
2. Prepare the filling
Slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick rounds and remove the seeds. Place the tomatoes on a paper towel lined baking sheet(s) in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and let stand for 30 minutes.
Adjust the oven rack to the bottom one-third position and preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet or baking stone lined with parchment paper in the oven to preheat.
TIP: When ready to bake place the pie directly on the hot stone. This simple step will help prevent a soggy bottom crust.
IMPORTANT: If using a glass pie pan, skip the preheated stone.
In a small bowl stir together the cheeses, mayonnaise, egg, cornstarch, basil, scallions and bacon.
3. Assemble the pie
Gently press the tomato slices with clean dry paper towels to remove any excess juice. Arrange one-third of the least pretty slices over the bottom of the crust.
Dollop and gently spread half the cheese mixture over the tomatoes.
Layer half the remaining sliced tomatoes over the mayo mixture. Dollop and spread all remaining mayonnaise mixture over the tomatoes.
Sprinkle fresh ground black pepper over the pie then top with all remaining tomato slices.
4. Bake and cool
Bake the pie directly on the preheated stone for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the center is just set, about 40 to 45 minutes more.
Cool on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm garnished with fresh basil leaves and plenty of fresh ground black pepper.
Why this recipe works
We all love a great big, juicy tomato but in this recipe juicy tomatoes can ruin the pie making it watery and soggy on the bottom. To eliminate this issue the tomatoes are thin sliced then salted to draw out the moisture.
Press paper towels directly on the tomatoes to eliminate as much moisture as possible. This simple step is a game changer and works amazingly well.
Finally the filling ingredients are folded together and dolloped over the prepared crust between layers of thin sliced tomatoes.
The pie is quick set in a very hot oven (450 degrees F) for 10 minutes. The oven temperature is reduced to 325 degrees F for the remaining 40 minutes. This temperature change along with a little cornstarch helps prevent the mayonnaise from curdling in the filling.
Make it your own!
Feel free to switch out the cheddar with Monterey Jack, shredded mozzarella cheese or a little Gruyere in place of the Parmesan.
If you don’t have beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes are also good. They’re much smaller so you’ll need more than four, but they hold up well and are not very seedy.
For a little extra tang add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard or a splash of vinegar with the mayonnaise mixture.
Finally, add a pinch of garlic powder if desired. However you adapt this recipe, I’m sure it will be great!
Old-fashioned southern Tomato Pie
I still remember the first time I tried tomato pie while visiting with my husband’s Aunt Christine in her century-old log cabin in the woods of eastern Georgia.
Aunt Teeny chopped up some tomatoes and put them in a colander to drain. Next she took a pie crust from the freezer and added the chopped, drained tomatoes, cooked bacon, a hefty helping of mayonnaise and tons of shredded cheese. That’s it!
While our version is slightly more fussy than the old-fashioned tomato pie recipes, it’s incredibly delicious and so pretty too!
The addition of scallions, Parmesan and basil really sends this savory summer pie to the next level.
Making this recipe ahead
We don’t recommend assembling until ready to bake as the moisture in the tomatoes may cause the crust to be soggy. You can however make most of the components ahead and layer just before baking.
The crust can be rolled out and refrigerated up to one day ahead. Once chilled, cover the crust in plastic wrap to prevent drying out.
The filling mixture can also be made a day ahead. Cover and refrigerated until needed. That just leaves the task of slicing and salting the tomatoes.
While our Tomato Pie can be served slightly warm, it’s best eaten at room temperature, just like a good quiche.
Storing and reheating leftover Tomato Pie Recipe
Store any leftover pie in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Rewarm individual slices in the microwave on 50% power for a minute or two to take the chill off.
You can also wrap the remaining pie in aluminum foil and warm in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
We don’t recommend freezing this baked pie as the tomatoes may not hold up well.
Thanks for PINNING!
Tomato Pie Recipe
- 9-inch fluted tart pan with 2-inch sides and removable bottom or a 9-inch deep dish pie plate.
- 1 9-inch pie dough round homemade or store-bought
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal
- 2 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes about 4 large
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups fresh grated cheddar cheese (170g or 6oz)
- ¾ cup mayonnaise (168g)
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese (24g or ¾ oz)
- ¼ cup basil leaves thinly sliced plus extra for garnish
- 4 scallions sliced thin
- 6 slices cooked bacon chopped
- fresh ground black pepper
Prepare pie crust
- Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 13-inch round. Gently ease the dough into the tart pan and press into the bottom and sides. Trim the excess dough around the edges. For a deep dish pie plate fold the extra dough under and crimp around the edges. Sprinkle cornmeal over the crust and refrigerate for 30 minutes or more will preparing the filling.
Prepare the filling
- Slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices and remove the seeds. Place the tomatoes in a single layer on paper towel lined baking sheet(s). Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and let stand for 30 minutes.
- Adjust the oven rack to the bottom third position and heat to 450°F. Place a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet or baking stone in the oven to preheat. The pie will be placed directly on the hot stone to help prevent a soggy bottom crust. IMPORTANT: If using a glass pie plate, skip this step.
- In a small bowl stir together the cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, egg, cornstarch, Parmesan, basil, scallions and bacon until well combined. Set aside.
Assemble the pie
- Gently press the tomato slices with clean paper towels until very dry. Arrange one-third of the (less pretty) sliced tomatoes over the bottom of the crust. Dollop and gently spread half the mayonnaise mixture over the tomatoes. Layer half the remaining sliced tomatoes over the mayo mixture then dollop and spread all remaining mayonnaise mixture over the tomatoes. Sprinkle fresh ground black pepper over the pie and top with all remaining tomato slices overlapping the edges.
- Bake the pie on the preheated baking stone for 10 minutes at 450°F then lower the oven temperature to 325°F. Continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the center is set, about 40 minutes more for a total of 50 minutes. Tent with foil if needed for the last 20 to 25 minutes to avoid over-browning.
- Cool on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm garnished with fresh basil leaves
Tomato Pie Recipe
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy this savory pie. If you have tomatoes and basil in your garden, then this recipe’s for you!
Serve this delicious Tomato Pie for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner along with some fresh fruit or a light green salad. Enjoy!