Imagine Southern fried green tomatoes in a bite-size, party appetizer. That perfectly describes this easy Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes recipe! Crunchy cornmeal and breadcrumb coating makes them perfect to dip in your favorite dipping sauce.
Are you like me and have lots of green cherry tomatoes or even just tiny regular tomatoes that aren't going to turn red at the end of growing season? Don't throw them away!
If you've ever wondered, "Can I fry green cherry tomatoes?", then, the answer is yes. Yes you can!
This recipe for Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes is the tasty solution to your problem.
I developed this easy recipe as a cross between my Perfect Every Time Fried Green Tomatoes and my Oven-Fried Okra (with Air Fryer Option).
It uses a combination of cornmeal and breadcrumbs for that perfect crunch factor but instead of a three-step dredging/coating method of each slice, I simplified it by tossing the little round tomatoes for each step. And I didn't use the whole egg, this time.
It's so fun to dip these Southern appetizers in your favorite dipping sauce.
In my humble opinion, the best sauce for fried green tomatoes is my shortcut Comeback Sauce recipe.
My favorite store-bought sauce is Sweet Baby Ray's Ray's Secret Sauce. It has a hint of horseradish in it.
Although we're really frying here, I have a few tricks to make prep and clean up easy.
- By using a 4 quart saucepan instead of a large pot or deep fryer, you only need about 2 cups of frying oil. This oil can also be used again to make my Southern Fried Yellow Squash and Parmesan Yellow Squash Fritters.
- The optional infrared digital thermometer makes it so easy to gauge the temperature of the oil since the oil is not deep enough for a typical candy/frying thermometer.
- Seasoned salt combines several ingredients: salt, paprika, turmeric, onion and garlic.
- You can freeze the coated, uncooked green tomatoes ahead of time, then fry right before serving. Scroll down to see How to Freeze.
- Easy clean up: When oil has cooled down, pour oil into a heavy-duty sealable bag to dispose of it (if you are not going to use it again). Use a paper towel to wipe the saucepan almost clean. Done. Simply wash the pan in sink or dishwasher.
This is certainly a Southern food that falls under the category of cheap and affordable appetizers if you have these green cherry tomatoes in your own garden!
Scroll down to printable recipe for ingredient quantities.
- Tomatoes- Very small, green tomatoes including cherry, grape, or tiny unripe slicing tomatoes about one inch in diameter work best. If larger than this, you can cut them in half. Here's my recipe for sliced Fried Green Tomatoes.
- Oil- I usually use vegetable oil or canola oil for frying. Other high smoke point oils are peanut oil, avocado oil and grape seed oil.
- Breadcrumbs- Fine dry breadcrumbs are sold typically on the same aisle as cornmeal and flour. I don't recommend homemade, soft breadcrumbs because they become gummy and do not coat the tomatoes well. Scroll down to Variations and Substitutions for other coating options.
- Seasoned salt- This can be any brand of seasoned salt. I used Lawry's seasoned salt.
How to make fried green cherry tomatoes
This recipe for green cherry tomatoes coated with cornmeal and breadcrumbs and fried in vegetable oil is super easy to make.
Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe with detailed instructions.
- Heat oil in 4 quart saucepan. (See printable recipe for details.)
- Meanwhile, wash the cherry or grape tomatoes and remove any stems. Cut any large cherry tomatoes in half.
- Measure flour in one bowl, beat egg white in another. Combine cornmeal, breadcrumbs and seasoned salt in another bowl.
- Toss green cherry tomatoes in the flour.
- Gently stir flour-coated tomatoes in lightly beaten egg white.
- Gently toss egg white-coated tomatoes in cornmeal mixture.
- Heat oil to 375 degrees F in a 4 quart saucepan.
Pro tip: If you don't have a thermometer of any kind to gauge the oil temperature, try sprinkling a few grains of cornmeal into the oil. If it immediately sizzles and "fries" the cornmeal, it is ready. If it sinks to the bottom with no movement, the oil is not ready.
The smaller pan allows the correct depth of oil with the least amount of oil used.
Pro tip: I use this digital laser thermometer to gauge the temperature of the heat since the oil isn't deep enough for a deep fryer thermometer. It may not be perfectly accurate, but I have found it to be very good. Just point and click.
- Remove the piping hot fried tomatoes from the oil with a large slotted spoon or spider strainer. Drain on paper towels.
- Let cool a few minutes before eating because they are hot and juicy in the middle!
Serve this Southern finger food warm with your favorite dipping sauce. Or, simply enjoy their crispy, crunchy coating and slightly tangy tomato centers on a Southern appetizer board.
Substitutions & Variations
- Fried squash and okra - This same method can be used to fry yellow squash, zucchini, and okra.
- Breadcrumbs- You can substitute Panko breadcrumbs and Italian-seasoned fine dry breadcrumbs for the plain breadcrumbs.
- Cornstarch for flour- Cornstarch can be traded out for all-purpose flour. If self-rising flour is all you have, that will work, too.
- Seasoning- Turn up the heat and trade out seasoned salt for Cajun seasoning. Plain ol' salt and pepper can also but used.
Yes. Follow all the steps for my Easy Fried Green Cherry Tomato recipe up until ready to drop in hot oil to fry. Instead, preheat the air fryer to 400F, coat the rack with oil spray, and spoon in enough coated tomatoes for a single layer. Coat the tomatoes well with oil spray and cook for 10 minutes. Shake the basket or stir gently. Coat with oil spray again. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes or lightly browned and crispy.
What to serve with this Southern finger food
- My favorite shortcut, store-bought dipping sauce is Sweet Baby Ray's Ray's Secret Sauce. Ranch dressing is also a good choice.
- Serve them on a charcuterie board
- Serve them as a vegetable side dish just like slices of Fried Green Tomatoes
How to store
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered or in an air tight container.
How to freeze
You can freeze the uncooked, coated green cherry tomatoes by placing in a single layer in small baking sheet for 1 hour or until firm. Then, place in a freezer, sealable bag until ready to fry up to 3 months.
Freeze leftover fried tomatoes in sealable freezer bag up to 3 months.
How to reheat
To reheat fried cherry tomatoes in the air fryer or oven, preheat air fryer at 400F. Cook refrigerated tomatoes for 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
To reheat in the microwave, cook on HIGH for 30 seconds at a time until thoroughly heated.
What to serve with fried green tomatoes?
The best and easiest dipping sauce for fried green cherry tomatoes is my Comeback Sauce recipe. Only 5 ingredients and takes just 3 minutes to make.
Want more Southern appetizer recipes?
- Easy Instant Pot Boiled Peanuts
- Bacon-Wrapped Dove Jalapeno Poppers
- Shortcut Mini Chicken and Waffles
- Easy Buffalo Chicken Quesadillas
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If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to rate it 5 stars if you love it!
Fried Green Cherry Tomatoes
- Infrared digital thermometer (optional)
- 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cups small green cherry tomatoes (or green grape tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg white from a large egg
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup fine, dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt (I used Lawry's)
- Dipping sauce or Ranch dressing (Optional) (I used Sweet Baby Ray's "Ray's Secret Sauce")
- Heat oil in a 4 quart saucepan to 375F. The smaller pan allows the correct depth of oil with the least amount of oil used.
- Wash the tomatoes and remove any stems. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Place the flour in a bowl or shallow dish. Lightly beat the egg white in a medium-size bowl with a whisk or fork until foamy. Combine the cornmeal, breadcrumbs and seasoned salt in a bowl.
- Add the tomatoes to the flour and toss until well coated. With fingers or slotted spoon, add the flour-coated tomatoes to the bowl with egg white, shaking off any excess flour. Gently stir or fold the tomatoes into the egg white just until well coated.
- Add the cornmeal mixture to the egg white-coated tomatoes, stirring gently to coat the tomatoes. It's ok for them to sit a few minutes while the oil reaches 375F.
- Gently lower tomatoes into the hot oil, a few at a time, with a large slotted spoon or a spider strainer. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, in batches, or until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with dipping sauce, if you like.
Nutrition analysis on GritsAndGouda.com recipes are mostly calculated on an online nutrition calculator. I am not a dietitian and nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on products used.
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