Tomato Pie is brimming with fresh, flavor-packed summer tomatoes, basil, mouthwatering cheeses, with a crisp garlic breadcrumb topping. Even tomato-haters love it!
This recipe is an all-time summer favorite recipe; bar none.
As soon as fresh garden tomatoes and tomatoes at Farmer’s Markets pop up this recipe needs to be on the dinner table.
The flavor combination is indescribably good. The fresh ripe tomatoes, layer of cheese, garlic and crunchy breadcrumb topping are out of this world. It’s a definite ‘must make’ during tomato season.
I’ve made this tomato pie for many over the years, and it has caused even ‘tomato haters’ to swoon. Seriously.
What is Tomato Pie?
It’s a savory pie with a traditional pie crust filled with a mix of fresh tomatoes for filling.
The tomatoes are tossed with fresh basil, breadcrumbs, two types of cheese and garlic.
When baked the tomato pie recipe retains a nice texture of fresh tomatoes and the flavor is irresistible.
This recipe proves that it only takes a few wholesome ingredients combined in the right way to have a fantastic dish.
Not the Same as Southern Tomato Pie!
If you search for tomato pie recipes online you’ll find a popular southern version that includes mayonnaise, cheddar cheese and sometimes sour cream.
That savory southern tomato pie makes a more dense pie of a different sort.
Unlike the southern recipes, this recipe calls for only a handful of wholesome ingredients.
And using less fatty types of cheese keeps the pie fresh and not soggy.
Recipe Ingredients + Notes
Recipes don’t need to be complicated or have loads of ingredients to be fantastic.
This recipe is a great example. The ingredients combine for a mouthwatering result you’ll love!
Pie Crust. Use a prepared pie crust or recipe for an 8-inch to 9-inch pie crust. We love this flaky crust. Regular or gluten-free crust both work.
Using a store bought crust in the pie dish saves time from making a homemade crust.
Kosher Salt. This type of salt has better flavor and is less salty tasting.
Black Pepper. Freshly ground if possible.
Garlic cloves. Peeled, minced or pressed.
Basil Leaves. Use Fresh basil leaves is shredded or cut into thin slices (see photos). Fresh herbs make all the difference in the flavor.
Tomatoes. Three types of tomatoes are used: regular, yellow cherry tomatoes and red cherry tomatoes. Pick tomatoes that are fully ripe firm tomatoes.
Use a range of ripe tomatoes to achieve the fullest possible flavor, mixing succulent heirlooms with new hybrids.
NOTE: Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes don’t have as much liquid as juicy tomatoes. Any type of tomatoes can be used.
Breadcrumbs. Use fine breadcrumbs. Regular or gluten-free breadcrumbs work.
Mozzarella cheese. Freshly grated. Don’t use store bought grated cheese. It does not melt the same when baked!
Pecorino or Asiago cheese. Freshly grated!
What Does Tomato Pie Taste Like?
When it’s cooking, the house fills with the buttery smell of pie crust and cooking garlic. Is there any better smell in a kitchen?
Once cooked it has a wonderful texture. The tomatoes are firm yet cooked.
It has a wonderful crunch from the breadcrumb topping.
The flavor of Pecorino cheese, garlic, and the buttery taste of the crust make this irresistible.
Though it’s best served right after cooking, it does stand up the next day.
It does not get watery or sloppy in the crust as one might expect.
How to Make Tomato Pie – Step by Step
For detailed printable instructions please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
STEP 1. Preparation.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Pre-bake or blind bake the pie crust and set aside.
Get more information about blind baking here (how to do it, about pie weights, . dried beans, pie pans, pie plates, etc.)
STEP 2. Make the tomato pie.
In a large bowl combine the fresh tomato slices, halved yellow cherry tomatoes and halved red cherry tomatoes.
In a separate small mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, minced garlic and fresh basil. Add to the ripe tomatoes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl combine the grated mozzarella cheese, pecorino (or asiago) cheese; toss with breadcrumbs.
Sprinkle some of the breadcrumb cheese mixture in the bottom of the crust, followed by a layer of tomatoes.
Repeat the layering, ending with a sprinkling of the breadcrumb mixture on top of the pie.
STEP 2. Bake the pie.
Bake the pie for 20-30 minutes and serve warm immediately. NOTE: it can be baked on a light colored cookie sheet for easier handling if desired.
The end result is amazing!
Best eaten right after it is cooked, either hot or cooled to room temperature.
Why This Pie Is Never Soggy
In the years I’ve been making this recipe it has never had a soggy bottom crust. I believe there are some specific reasons why:
- Pre-baking the crust allows the crust to be crisper before adding the tomatoes
- Sprinkling some of the breadcrumbs and cheese on the crust before adding the tomatoes may absorb excess liquid
- The tomatoes are spooned into the crust with a slotted spoon which drains some liquids before the tomato pie is constructed
- The tomatoes are either slices (medium tomatoes) or halved (cherry tomatoes) which releases less juice than chopped tomatoes
Allow to cool. Tightly seal any leftover pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
Reheat chilled savory pie in a low temperature oven or the microwave. Best enjoyed warm or at room temperature.
Can Tomato Pie be Frozen?
We don’t recommend freezing. It is best freshly made.
Generally freezing dairy products can create unpredictable results when thawing.
Our advice? Eat your fill during the summer and you too will be waiting to make it again next summer!
The Origin of this Recipe
I discovered this dish about ten years ago in one of my favorite cookbooks. Fresh From The Garden Cookbook by Ann Lovejoy.
Ann hails from the Pacific Northwest which is the equivalent of foodie Nirvana in my opinion.
Every aspect of the foodscape is available locally there. Wonderful local produce, seafood, meats and fantastic growing opportunities in one’s garden.
Ann showcases all of this in her delicious cookbook.
More Summer Recipes You’ll Want to Make
- Fast and Easy Coleslaw Recipe
- Raspberry Pandowdy: A Lazy Summer Day Dessert
- Favorite Summer Cocktails and Homemade Infusions
- How to Make Raspberry Vinaigrette with fresh berries
- Grilled Caprese Pizza
- Grilled Kabob Recipes: 20 Must Make Recipes for Summer
Fresh Savory Tomato Pie
- Prepared Pie Crust recipe for an 8 inch to 9 inch pie crust (or purchased pie crust)*
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper , freshly ground
- 2 cloves Garlic , minced or pressed
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded fresh Basil Leaves
- 4 medium ripe Tomatoes , cored, cut in half and sliced
- 1 cup Yellow Cherry Tomatoes , cut in half**
- 1 cup Red Cherry Tomatoes , cut in half**
- 1 cup fine Bread Crumbs (I used Ian’s Gluten-Free Panko Crumbs)***
- ½ cup coarsely grated fresh Mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup coarsely grated Pecorino or Asiago cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line an 8 inch or 9 inch pie pan with pie crust OR take the lazy-girl route like me and use a purchased pie crust (see below). If you are gluten free, adapt the crust type to your needs.
- Prick the crust all over with a fork and bake until lightly browned (8-12 minutes; check frequently after 8 minutes so it does not brown too much). Remove the crust and set aside. Leave the oven on.
- While the pie crust is cooking, place all the tomatoes in a medium sized mixing bowl.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, garlic and basil. Sprinkle over tomatoes, gently stir to incorporate with the tomatoes and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In another medium mixing bowl, combine the cheeses and bread crumbs. Toss to fully combine.
- Sprinkle a light layer of the bread crumb-cheese mixture in the bottom of the prepared pie crust. Using a slotted spoon, add a layer of the tomatoes on top of the bread crumbs and cheese. Continue layering in this way, ending with a sprinkling of the bread crumbs and cheese.
- Bake until warmed through, about 20 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
*I often use Whole Foods Gluten-Free Pie Crust found in the frozen section. Let it thaw before using.
**Use any combination of colored Cherry Tomatoes you love. The color adds a great dimension to the recipe as well as varied flavors.
***Another option is to make Homemade Breadcrumbs which I often do:
- Toast some slices of bread either in a toaster or under a broiler.
- Process them through a blender or food processor into crumbs.
- If they are still moist, spread them out on a baking sheet under a broiler for 30 seconds (keep an eye on them so they don’t burn).
- Extras can be stored in the freezer in a sealed plastic bag or freezer-proof container.
Originally published August 25, 2011