Easy Tomato Pie
This savoury tomato pie is filled with juicy and delicious garden fresh tomatoes, and fresh herbs in a very creamy filling with cheese and bacon all encased in a flaky buttery pie crust. It’s perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner with any of your favourite summer sides or grilled things - or it’s perfect with a side salad for a light and delicious meal.
There are many different delicious versions of tomato pie, but this one is my favourite. This recipe, though it has a few additional steps, is also easy. Many of the steps can be made a day ahead and stored in the fridge, saving you a little time. Many recipes don’t suggest roasting the tomatoes that go in the filling. I highly recommend this step because it adds flavor, as well as pull additional extra moisture from the tomatoes. If you opt out of doing this make sure to salt, drain and pat dry the tomatoes to ensure a creamy filling not a waterlogged one and a flaky crust - no soggy bottom.
Tomato Pie Key Ingredients:
- TOMATOES: the star of this delicious dish is the tomato and the best ones to use are the firmest ones you can find. Give the tomato a slight squeeze when shopping to test firmness. Beefsteak and Roma tomatoes are often the best options. I like using heirloom ones for a prettier looking pie but really and truly you can use any variety of tomatoes - just make sure they are ripe but very firm - soft tomatoes will have more moisture and you dont want added moisture in this tomato pie recipe
- SALT: this key ingredient isn’t just for adding flavor, but for removing excess moisture from the tomatoes. Using salt to do this helps to keep the pie from becoming soggy - the number one complaint about a tomato pie
- BACON: adding the bacon to this recipe is purely optional, but it adds such a rich savory flavor. It cooks with the shallot and garlic for the ultimate flavours
- GARLIC & SHALLOTS: the garlic and shallot flavors mellow as they cook in the bacon grease and add an extra delicious flavor to the tomato pie.
- CHEDDAR CHEESE: I always use white cheddar cheese for this recipe as the combination of cheddar and tomato are just perfect together. You can use other hard cheeses or even yellow cheddar, but I recommend grating them yourself instead of buying shredded for optimal texture.
- MAYONNAISE: the mayonnaise base of this recipe adds a delicious creamy flavor that helps to bind the other ingredients together. The unique mayonnaise taste blends perfectly with the cheese and tomatoes. I like a real mayo not the sweet kind but use whatever you prefer
- FRESH HERBS: this tomato pie is filled with fresh ingredients so chopping some fresh basil will only add to the overall freshness. It’s perfect with the tomatoes and cheese - feel free to use whatever fresh herbs you might have in hand like parsley dill, tarragon etc - I also like to add some chopped chives or scallions for more flavour.
- DIJON MUSTARD: adding a small amount of dijon mustard adds a hint of tanginess that balances the other flavors.
- EGGS: i always use 1 egg plus 1 yolk which is needed to bind all the pie ingredients together so they firm up in the cooking process and hold together once fully cooked. The extra yolk adds extra richness to this filling
- PIE CRUST: You can use any type of pie crust for this recipe, but my preference is my simple all butter pie Crust, which is perfect for savory pies. I have included the recipe below but feel free to use store bought in a pinch.
How to Make This Southern Style Tomato Pie
- MAKE PIE DOUGH: my easy all butter pie crust recipe is simple and works really well with this savoury pie. Feel free to use store-bought pie dough or pie crust as well. (This step can easily be made a day in advance)
- PREPARE TOMATOES: some sliced tomatoes get salted and drained as the others roast for optimal flavour and texture - roasting them is optional but recommended - either way they must be drained and patted dry. (This roasting step can easily be made a day in advance)
- COOK BACON: cook the bacon with the shallots and garlic - cook together for optimal flavour. (This step can easily be made a day in advance)
- PREPARE FILLING: In a medium-sized bowl mix the cheese, mayonnaise, fresh herbs, dijon mustard, and egg until smooth. Fold in the bacon and garlic.
- ASSEMBLE PIE: sprinkle base of pie with corn meal and Parmesan cheese then layer cheese filling with tomatoes. Place the remaining salted tomatoes on top and gently press them into the pie layers.
- BAKE: Bake at higher temp for 20 minutes then reduce temperature and continue baking until filling is set. Allow to cool before slicing and serving.
Do I Have to Blind Bake the Pie Crust?
I never blind bake the crust for this recipe and I will tell you why - basically I never need to for three reasons.
- The pie bakes at high temperature for the first part of the baking time which allows the crust to get a head start and get nice and golden.
- This recipe calls for really removing all excess liquid from the tomatoes and roasting some of them too - so you end up with a tomato pie full of tomato flavour not their juices.
- I like to dust the bottom of my pie crust with some cornmeal and some Parmesan cheese (cheese is optional) and this really helps provide a barrier between the crust and filling preventing the pie from getting soggy and allowing it to bake up beautifully golden and flaky instead. So that means no pie weights, or beans or need to prick the base of the crust or anything like that for this version of tomato pie.
That being said if you prefer to blind bake your crust or par bake it first here is how to do it:
- Blind baking the pie crust is optional:
- Place the pie crust into a pie dish and bake at 400ºF for 14 to 15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
- Remove and allow to cool while you prep filling.
- Then bake pie at reduced temperature listed in recipe until filling is set - it may take longer than the 30 minutes though and be sure to watch the pie edges in case you need to use a pie guard on them so they don’t burn.
Tips for Making the Best Tomato Pie Every Time:
- If you’re in a pinch or just prefer a frozen crust, or store bought pie dough, buy a 2-pack and use them both for a thicker crust. I find the singles give you a very thin crust that doesn’t hold up well with a rich filling.
- To further reduce the moisture roast the tomatoes that go in the pie filling. It’s an extra step but so worth it.
- Laying the sliced tomatoes that go on the top layer of the pie on a paper towel-line baking sheet and salting them helps to remove access water. I like to prep the tomatoes first and like to give them at least 20 minutes of draining
- Allow the pie to sit for about 20-60 minutes after cooking before slicing it. This will allow it to firm up slightly or set so the pie is easier to slice
Popular Tomato Pie Q & A’s:
Where does tomato pie originate?
This tomato pie originates in the Southern states and there are many versions out there. It’s savoury and delicious and not to be confused with a pizza - it’s not that kind of pie
Can I use a frozen pie crust?
Of course! Make sure to let the frozen pie crust thaw slightly before placing it in the pie dish. I personally like to buy a two-pack of frozen crusts/dough and double them up by using both.
Do I have to roast the tomatoes?
It is not necessary to roast part of the tomatoes before placing them in the pie but I still recommend it for extra flavour. What I do insist on though is salting them to remove excess liquid. To do so place the sliced tomatoes on a towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. This keeps the pie from being runny.
Can I use pre - shredded cheese?
You can, however, shredded cheese tends to not melt together as perfectly as freshly grated cheese will So I prefer to use and recommend shredding or grating your own cheddar cheese.
Why is my tomato pie runny?
Fresh summer tomatoes emit or release a lot of water when cooked. It’s best to get as much of that liquid out as possible before adding them to your pie shell. After you slice the tomatoes, remove as many of the watery seeds from the tomatoes as you can. Usually all it takes is dabbing them out with paper towel. Then, add salt and let them sit before cooking. This step will help the tomatoes release even more liquid. Try to let them sit for about 30 minutes to drain, then pat them dry. I like to roast the tomatoes I plan on using in the pie and this helps dry the sliced tomatoes but it also adds sooooo much delicious flavour. These extra steps might seem annoying but trust me - you will be glad you took the time to carry them out. One last step we like to take to prevent a runny pie (I do the same with my fruit pies too but with flour) is adding a little bit of cornmeal in the bottom of the crust to catch all of the juices that may make the crust soggy. I sprinkled in some Parmesan to the bottom too for the same reason but also for some extra cheese flavour - it’s optional though.
Tomato Pie Storage, Freezing & Make Ahead
The best option for storing this summer tomato pie is to keep it in the pie dish. Cover it with a plastic wrap or liner or something airtight and store it in the refrigerator. You can also slice it up and place it into an air-tight container and keep it in the refrigerator.
In the Refrigerator: It will last about 4-5 days.
To Reheat: You can reheat your tomato pie in the microwave or even in the oven at 325 ° for 5-10 minutes. We also don’t even mind eating a slice of it cold!
Can you freeze tomato pie? Yes you can. Because the tomatoes tend to retain a little more liquid when they’ve frozen the pie will have a tad more fluidity to it so the crust may not be as flaky as right out the oven. The mayonnaise helps to keep the base of the pie intact though. To freeze tomato pie let it cool completely and then flash freeze for 20 minutes. Place the cooked pie into the freezer, uncovered, to do this. Then remove it and double wrap it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. If frozen this pie will last up to 3 weeks in the freezer. Thaw in fridge overnight and reheat as noted above
- Pie Crust: can be made ahead and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and can keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can be frozen for up to 1 month - allow to thaw in the fridge overnight before rolling it out. I like to make the pie dough the night before I make the pie and then it’s ready to be rolled out when I prepare the filling.
- Tomatoes: The tomatoes can be pre roasted and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one day ahead - I like to pat them dry a little before adding them to crust to ensure juices have not accumulated. The fresh tomatoes I prefer to salt and drain while I’m prepping the pie dough the day of.
- Filling: The bacon shallots and onion can be cooked and stored in an airtight container up to 1-2 days ahead. They can be mixed in with the mayo and rest of the creamy filling ingredients and that whole mixture can be made and stored out to a day in advance stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
More Tomato Recipes You Will Love:
1 pie crust (recipe below)
- 2¾-3 lb. medium tomatoes (heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, fresh garden tomatoes)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- 6 slices Bacon chopped
- 2 Garlic Cloves peeled and minced, or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 shallot or small red onion, peeled and minced
- ½ cup real mayonnaise (or mayo of choice - I like using the olive oil one)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons hot sauce (optional)
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (approx 2¼ cups)
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (or mozzarella cheese)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or your fav blend of herbs parsley and dill are lovely too)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ tablespoon plain yellow cornmeal for dusting
- Fresh basil leaves or fresh herbs of choice (such as dill, parsley or chives), for garnish and serving
For pie crust
- 1¼ cups (160g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 112g) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
- 3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
Make pie crust:
- Place the flour, salt, and sugar into a food processor and pulse until well combined. Add half butter cubes and pulse 8 times. Then add the other half of the butter cubes and pulse 6 more times until mixture that resembles a coarse meal, with many butter pieces the size of peas.
- Add ice cold water and pulse several times until the mixture just barely begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it’s ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.
- Empty onto clean lightly floured surface and knead a few times for dough to form.
- Form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill In the refrigerate at least 1 hour. (At this point you can freeze the dough disk for a month until ready to use. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before proceeding.)
- Roll pie dough: into a 10-12 -inch circle on a lightly floured surface or parchment paper. Transfer the crust to a 9-inch pie pan (regular not deep dish). Trim the edges so the crust hangs over the pie pan by ½-inch.
- Tuck the edges of the crust under to be even with edge of the pie pan and shape edges the way you like either with rippled edges or press all around with the tines of a fork.
- Sprinkle with corn meal and grated Parmesan cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and place the crust in the refrigerator or freezer while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
- Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes crosswise into ¼-½ inch thick slices.
- Place about 7 or 8 slices enough to cover top of pie on a baking sheet lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cover with additional paper towels, and reserve. Using your fingers, press to squeeze out excess juice and release most of the tomato seeds. Let drain for 30 minutes, then pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange REMAINING tomatoes in a single layer on a lightly greased wire rack set on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the salt. Bake in preheated oven until wilted and slightly dried out or approximately 15-30 minutes. Allow to cool. (This step could easily be done ahead)
- Cook bacon in a skillet over medium-high until fat is beginning to render, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add chopped shallots, and cook until bacon is crisp and shallots are caramelized, 6 to 7 more minutes. Stir in garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon mixture to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Cool. (This step could easily be made ahead)
- While the tomatoes are draining, in a medium bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, egg, egg yolk, Dijon mustard and hot sauce (if using).
- Stir in the cheddar cheese, Dijon, scallions, basil and black pepper. Fold in bacon mixture.
Assemble & Bake:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Gently spread a third of cheese mixture onto cooled crust; layer with half of the roasted tomato slices in slightly overlapping pattern. Spread another third of cheese mixture on top of tomato slices. Repeat with remaining roasted tomato slices and cheese mixture. Top with reserved sliced fresh tomatoes, pressing filling gently into crust. Bake for 20 minutes At 425°F.
- Remove the pie from the oven and wrap just the edges of the crust with foil or use a pie guard. REDUCE the oven TEMPERATURE to 375˚F and bake until the cheese mixture is puffed and golden brown and the center is no longer wobbly, 30 minutes more. Let cool for 30 min - 1½ hours.
- Top with additional chopped fresh herbs, if desired, then slice and serve.