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Fried Green Tomatoes – Frozen – but with the crispness and taste of fresh off the vine

I was talking via email to a friend that I met on a forum I frequent. In the course of our conversation about putting food up for the winter she mentioned that she was going to ‘bread’ some green tomato slices (for fried green tomatoes) to put in the freezer.

She went on to say that she did it last year and made fried green tomatoes in January. What she said next is what really impressed me: “—they turned out really well, not a bit soggy”.

For those of you who love fried green tomatoes and would love to have them in your freezer for a mid-winter taste of summer, here’s how my friend Lucie achieves fried green tomatoes in the winter that taste like fresh fried green tomatoes right off the vine.

  • Mix one or two eggs with a splash of milk in a shallow bowl.
  • Place some cracker meal or bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.
Traditionally, southern style fried green tomatoes are made with finely ground white corn meal. Yellow is ok. If you prefer bread crumbs or cracker crumbs that’s fine as well.
Any spice can be used or omitted. It’s all a matter of taste. Cajun spice, salt and pepper, cayenne, or whatever you like.
  • Wash and thinly slice some green tomatoes.
I would suggest cutting the slices as thin as 1/8 inch and no thicker than 1/4 inch.

Lucie prepares to coat the green tomatoes.

  • Dip each slice into the egg mixture and then into the cracker meal (or cornmeal or bread crumbs).
  • Place the coated slice on a plate to dry. Continue with other slices and place on plate not touching each other.
  • After all slices are coated, place entire plate in freezer so that the slices freeze separately.

Coated tomato slices ready for the freezer.

  • After about an hour you can pack the slices into Zip Loc bags, label content, date and return to the freezer.

Here’s how to keep your fried green tomatoes crisp and great tasting when you cook them this winter:

  • Heat a shallow layer of vegetable oil on medium high (or 375 degrees) in a frying pan.
It is very important for the oil to be this hot when you first put the slices in the oil so that they will be crisp and brown on the outside. Too high a heat on the other hand, will cause the outside to darken too much.
  • Add frozen slices to pan. (Not thawing before cooking is one of the secrets to keeping your fried green tomato slices crisp and delicious.)
  • Fry until golden brown. Turn and fry other side until it is also golden brown.
    Drain fried green tomato slices on paper towels and serve warm with sauce of your choice.

Fried slice draining on paper towel before serving.

If you love fried green tomatoes, what could be better than having the opportunity to enjoy them in the middle of the winter as Lucie and her husband do —- especially when they taste crisp and like they just came off the vine.


About Lucie

Lucie and her husband live in Lancaster County, Pa.

They have a large organic garden, 5 bee hives and a small orchard containing pear, cherry, asian pear apple and chestnut trees. They also have a small flock of chickens for fresh eggs.

My thanks to Lucie for her kindness and willingness to share her secrets about fried green tomatoes.


All contents including photographs are copyrighted by  All Rights Reserved.

31 comments to Fried Green Tomatoes – Frozen – but with the crispness and taste of fresh off the vine

  • Beppy

    How wonderful. I will definitely try this. I have missed you. Hope you are well.

  • Theresa

    Hi Beppy,
    I think Lucie really found the secret to keeping these fried green tomatoes crisp and tasty! Let me know when you try it.
    I’ve missed you as well. Between harvest and getting ready for an exhibit in October — it’s been hectic.
    Thanks for taking time to comment.

  • Anniegi

    This looks really good! However, would using bacon grease work? Obviously that wouldn’t be good for anyone looking to eat healthy or vegetarians but for me nothing beats the taste of fried green tomatoes cooked in bacon grease.

  • Theresa

    To each his own, Anniegi.


  • Donna Cay Williams

    This Southern girl thanks you! I will do this, this morning! I can’t wait to taste my yummy green tomatoes this winter and I’ll think of my Yankee internet friends as I eat! Blessings from Georgia!!

  • Theresa

    Hope you enjoy them Donna!

  • Tiffany

    Can Lucie have me over for fried green tomatoes? I was trying to find a local place that serves them and stumbled upon this. I lived in KY and I do sure miss these!

  • Theresa

    Tiffany, I’m sure Lucie will smile when she see’s your comment.
    The best thing would be to get some homegrown tomatoes and make your own. 🙂
    Good luck with it!

  • JUDY

    going to try this tonight followed all your instructions regarding freezing, Can not wait

  • Theresa

    Glad to hear it Judy. Let me know how you do. Enjoy!

  • Shari King

    Thank you Lucie. My husband LOVES fried green tomatoes!!(an understatement). He just paid $16.00 for a plastic grocery bag full! and I don’t have time to cook all he bought as we both work, but I tried freezing some once before and didn’t know exactly how. They were awful. Frying frozen, thanks again.

  • Dixie L.

    Fried Green Tomatoes! All year long! Greatest news in a long time and no politicians involved.
    You do such a great job with your site, and being a gardener as well as a cook, I find your instructions with illustrations the best! Thank you! I have fried green tomatoes year round for several years, but had lost my ‘formula’ for doing it right. You rose to the top of my list when I found your friend Lucie’s simple and exactly right receipt! Thank you!
    Now tell me why my Passion Flowers didn’t cover their vines with blossoms this year in my New Jersey garden please.

  • Theresa

    Glad you enjoyed the recipe Dixie!
    Can’t help you with the Passion Flowers. Never have grown any.

  • Shari


    I got a BUNCH of green tomatoes from my CSA at the end of the growing season and all I did was wash, slice, & freeze them on cookie sheets, then I put the frozen slices in ziplock bags. Do you think that I can bread them frozen and try frying them or should I thaw them first? Or have I ruined them by freezing them unbreaded?

  • Theresa

    Hi Shari – you’re not going to know for sure until you try something.
    Since you already have your tomatoes frozen, try dipping the frozen slices in egg and the dry mixture and cook.
    See what happens. It seems to me this might be your best bet to salvage what you have.
    If you let them thaw out they’re gonna be mushy – but again – you could try it.
    Let me know what happens. And good luck with it!

  • vicki senn

    Hey, with this recipe when you add salt they don’t get salty the longer they stay in freezer. So proud I found this. I hope it works. I love fried green tomatoes.

  • Rochelle

    I learned a very handy tip when coating anything in bread crumbs, corn meal or panko. Toss whatever you’re going to fry in flour first, THEN the egg bath, THEN the final breading of choice. It helps the coating to stick without having those unsightly ‘bald areas’ 🙂 Im glad I read this post about freezing green tomatoes because Ive been wondering if it can be done. Im sooooo gonna do it! Thanks and take care

  • Deniese Swiger

    Hi, I love the idea about the freezing of fried green tomatoes. I’m going to try it. My question is can you possibly use the same method for zucchini?? With 3 growing teens I am looking for any way I can to help feed them in the winter as well as the summer from the garden. If you have any ideas about cantaloupe or watermelon I’d love to hear them.

  • Theresa

    Deniese, I would certainly try the same method for zucchini and see what happens. If you put up one package, freeze, and then remove from the freezer and test the next day, it’ll save a lot of work. No sense in putting up a lot if you don’t like the results.

    No ideas about cantaloupe or watermelon. I like them fresh only, but if you have a dehydrator, why not try a few pieces and see how they turn out.

    Good luck with feeding those 3 growing teens! Feeding them from the garden will be a definite plus for their health.

  • Dixie Anderson

    Your original message satisfied my year-round craving for Fried Green Tomatoes (capitalized because they are Capital!) I found that I could some half-procedures too, and they might answer some of the questions in the comments.
    I halved flour and cornmeal for the dredge and it worked very well.
    I use half bacon grease and half cooking oil for the frying and the flavor is wonderful.
    Your method and mine worked beautifully and Fried Green Tomatoes were on the menu for a full winter and more. Dixl>

  • Theresa

    Thanks Dixie!

  • Barb

    My tomatoe plants grew very large this year with tons of green tomatoes that have stayed green. It’s getting down into the 40’s at night and I’m afraid I’ll lose them. So, I’m going to try freezing them. I don’t know why they didn’t ripen, do you?

  • Theresa

    I addressed your question in a previous post entitled Tomatoes Not Ripening on the Vine? Barb.
    Also, you may want to read Tomatoes, Are They More Delicious When Vine Ripened?
    Another of interest may be How to Keep Tomatoes Through December for eating Fresh.

  • Flo Jean


  • Gina

    Last year I tried freezing green tomatoes sliced in quarters because I like to coat and fry them that way sometimes opposed to the traditional way. But when I got them out and fried them, they had a bad taste to them…not like a rotten flavor, entirely, but something close to that. The tomatoes were fresh, and the freezer in perfect working condition. So, I just assumed it is not a good idea to freeze them. Does anyone have any idea what would cause this?

  • Betty Dotson

    Our future daughter-in-law lives in Lancaster, County Pa. Please ask Lucie for me if I can come see her garden/hives/orchard/chicken house the next time we are in Pa. I’m very interested in starting a hive and we’ve already planted plums, peaches and pears.
    It probably will be 2 years before I get to Pa again because she goes to college with our son here in Va and we see her a lot here. The wedding is 2 years away.

    We’re having fried green tomatoes for dinner. Our daughter’s boyfriend is cooking them now!


  • Jane E O'Brien

    Thank you so much for sharing. I am in Maryland and one of my 2 tomato plants is a ‘seeing is believing’ huge bush! I’ve harvested over 7 dozen so far, have 4+ dozen large green and 60+ flowers and babies on it! They’ll never make through November, so I’m going to start freezing them green!
    Thank you for the info. I’ll season some, too.

  • Theresa

    Jane, before you freeze all of those tomatoes green, you might want to review these two posts:

  • Illa Knudsen

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe for freezing Fried Green Tomatoes. We had a fantastic crop of tomatoes this year so will definitely try your recipe. Can I use the very small tomatoes for this recipe, or do they have to be a medium to big size?

    Thank you.

    Illa Knudsen

  • Dixie L. Anderson

    I took the time to read many of your ‘comment/replies’ and have to add just a little more.
    Yes! I mix some of bacon fat in the oil that I will fry the tomatoes in.
    NOW: When the tomatoes are done and ready to eat, Put a tablespoon of bacon fat (or a little more) and a tablespoon of cooking oil in a frying pan. Add 2 tablespoonfuls of flour to make a paste, and then add 1 and 1/2 cup of milk, stirring to make a white sauce. Add 3 tablespoonfuls of tomato ketchup, mix well, and if more bacon flavor is needed, chop a couple pieces of cooked bacon and toss into the gravy. Serve this over the fried green tomatoes.
    It’s a little bit of pink heaven!

  • I am thrilled to read this. It is November 11 2016 and I have at least 75 green tomatoes on vines from two plants. We can’t eat them fast enough and I do share them with friends. I am trying this at the first signs of frost. I am in central Alabama I can’t wait to try this.

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