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 my all-time summer favorite recipe; bar none.
I know you’ll love this recipe too!
I set my sights on it at summer’s start. Almost counting the days until garden tomatoes are perfect to make the tomato pie recipe.
Tomatoes seem to have a polarizing effect; you love them or you don’t, very little middle ground.
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?
Tomato Pie is 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 demonstrates that it only takes a few wholesome ingredients combined in the right way to have a fantastic dish.
This is 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 and cheddar cheese.
It makes a more dense pie of a different sort.
This tomato pie recipe has only a handful of wholesome ingredients.
And using less fatty types of cheese keeps the tomato pie fresh and not soggy.
Ingredients in Tomato Pie
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!
- Prepared Pie Crust recipe for an 8-inch to 9-inch pie crust
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Garlic cloves
- fresh Basil Leaves
- ripe Tomatoes
- Yellow Cherry Tomatoes
- Red Cherry Tomatoes
- fine Breadcrumbs (regular or gluten-free)
- grated fresh Mozzarella cheese
- grated Pecorino or Asiago cheese
The pie crust can be a favorite from-scratch homemade pie crust or a store purchased pie crust. Regular or gluten-free pie shells work!
What Does Tomato Pie Taste Like?
First, when the Tomato Pie is cooking, the house fills with the buttery smell of pie crust and cooking garlic. Is there any better smell in a kitchen?
When taking a bite, the tomatoes are firm yet cooked.
There is a wonderful crunch from the bread crumbs.
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.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Pre-bake the pie crust (also known as ‘blind baking’ (it will be lightly browned) and set aside.
- In a mixing 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 tomatoes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- In another bowl combine the grated mozzarella cheese, pecorino (or asiago) cheese; toss with breadcrumbs.
- Sprinkle some of the breadcrumb/cheese mixture in the pre-baked crust, followed by a layer of the tomatoes.
- Repeat the layering, ending with a sprinkling of the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake the pie for 20-30 minutes and serve warm immediately.
Get more information about blind baking here (how to do it, about pie weights, pie pans, pie plates, etc.)
TIME SAVING TIP
Use a prepared crust! All you’ll need to do is bake it, not make it!
Why This Pie Is Never Soggy
In the years I’ve been making this tomato pie recipe it has never been soggy. 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
Does Tomato Pie Need to be Refrigerated?
Tomato Pie is best eaten right after it is cooked, either hot or cooled to room temperature.
To Store Leftovers
Tightly seal any leftover pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
Reheat chilled tomato pie in a low temperature oven or the microwave.
Can Tomato Pie be Frozen?
I don’t recommend freezing the tomato pie. It is best freshly made.
I have never frozen a tomato pie myself.
Though it probably could be frozen I believe the tomatoes would lose their wonderful texture. The crunch of the breadcrumb mixture would also be lost.
Generally freezing dairy products can create unpredictable results when thawing.
My 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.
Admittedly it was the tiny size of the cookbook that first drew my attention. However after flipping through it, the seasonal recipes that I really loved.
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.
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
This savory Tomato Pie is easy to make and a wonderful way to enjoy fresh summer tomatoes. The flavors are irresistible.
The original recipes suggests using a range of ripe tomatoes to achieve the fullest possible flavor, mixing succulent heirlooms with new hybrids. I fully agree. A variety of cherry tomatoes also adds color and flavor.
Use your favorite pie crust recipe, gluten-free or regular, or substitute a prepared pie crust. The results will be equally delicious!
- 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.
Recipe adapted from Fresh from the Garden Cookbook.
*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