Southern Tomato Pie

Food historians debate over the origins of the Southern tomato pie. Through some research, I discovered that it is an old Southern dish most popular in South Carolina and served when tomatoes are at their peak in summer.

Southern Tomato pie may sound a bit strange. In fact, when I mentioned to my husband what I was making for this recipe, I got the same reaction I’d get from my children when they were little and not too keen on what was for dinner: a crinkled-up nose and an ew! Thankfully, my husband is much better than they were at trying new things. After enjoying two helpings, he apologized and added, “You need to make that again!”

As the saying goes, don’t knock it until you try it. And what is not to like? Fresh, ripe tomatoes layered with cheese, onions, bacon and a bit of creamy mayonnaise as a binder, all baked in a flaky pie crust. The filling is the perfect blend of savory and cheesy to complement the sweet summer tomatoes. This dish is hearty enough to be served for a main course for breakfast, lunch or dinner. But it also makes for a fun side. Try serving Tomato Pie in place of potatoes to pair with your fave grilled meat—such as our Moorish Pork Kabobs or Sticky Balsamic Chicken recipes, both from the 2019 archives.

Servings: 6

1 nine-inch pie crust

3 large, ripe tomatoes

3 slices bacon

½ cup chopped sweet onion

¾ cups Hellmann’s mayonnaise

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

½ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

¼ teaspoon dried Italian herbs


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Press the pie crust into the 9-inch pie plate and crimp the edges. Gently prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork to prevent it from bubbling up as its pre-bakes.
  2. Place the pie crust into the oven and bake it for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly baked. Remove it from the oven and set it aside until you are ready to fill.
  3. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Slice the tomatoes into ½-inch slices and place them onto the lined baking sheet. This will help the tomato slices dry out a bit.
  4. While the tomatoes are drying, heat a large skillet over medium high and fry the bacon slices until they are crispy. Remove the bacon onto a plate lined with paper towels to cool. Once cooled, crumble and set aside.
  5. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings out of the skillet. Place the skillet back onto the stove.
  6. Add in the chopped onions and sauté 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are soft. Remove the skillet and allow the onions to cool.
  7. Fold the crumbled bacon, mayonnaise, cheddar, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, pepper and dried herbs into the sautéed onions.
  8. Place a layer of tomatoes into the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust and spread half of the mayo and cheese mixture over the top. Place the remaining tomato slices to create another layer followed by the remaining mayonnaise mixture. Spread the mayonnaise mixture out evenly.
  9. Place the pie back in the 350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.

This article was originally published in the June 2022 issue of 225 magazine.