Recipes » Main Dish Recipes » Fried Red Tomatoes with Bacon Gravy

Fried Red Tomatoes with Bacon Gravy

· · · ·
Fried Red Tomatoes with Bacon Gravy - cornmeal battered ripe tomatoes are pan-fried and topped with homemade gravy and crispy, diced bacon.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Fried red tomatoes on English muffins with gravy and crispy bacon on top.

Ever tried fried red tomatoes? No? Well, I have a great old-style recipe in store for you!. My fried red tomatoes with bacon gravy recipe is a delicious way to feature winter tomatoes as the star of the meal. These cornmeal battered ripe tomatoes are pan-fried and topped with homemade gravy and crispy, diced bacon. Serve them on top of an English muffin, a bagel, or toasted bread.

If you’re a tomato lover, you’ll enjoy this way of serving tomatoes during the winter months when all you can find are the ones that seem hard as rocks with very little taste. Those tomatoes are just what you want for this!

Fried red tomatoes on English muffins with gravy and crispy bacon on top.

We’re going to dredge them in cornmeal and fry them in bacon fat. And although they aren’t great for eating plain, something about that magical combination of cornmeal and bacon really brings out the flavor in this comfort food classic. Of course, it could just be the bacon :-)

Why You’ll Want to Make This Recipe

  • Ready in under 30 minutes
  • Easily sourced ingredients
  • Great for breakfast, lunch/brunch, or dinner
  • Kids love the novelty of fried tomatoes

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Thickly cut bacon (My preferred brand of bacon is Smithfield. It has just the right smoky taste you expect from a premium bacon.)
  • Cornmeal (I use finely ground white cornmeal for almost everything. Use whatever type and brand you prefer.)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Very firm ripe tomatoes (See the Expert Tips below for more information on how to select tomatoes for this recipe.)
  • Half and half (or milk, or cream)
  • English muffins (Bagels or toast work just as well)
  • Fresh parsley (optional)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Fried Red Tomatoes with Bacon Gravy

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Fry the Bacon

Photo collage showing (left) bacon cooking in a skillet and (right) cooked, crispy bacon draining on paper towels.

The first step is to fry up some bacon. I usually cook my bacon in the oven, but for this recipe, you need to do it on the stovetop in a skillet.

Cut the bacon crosswise into about ¼-inch pieces. Put all the bacon in a skillet and cook it over medium heat, stirring often, until the bacon is brown and has rendered most of its fat.

Don’t rush the bacon cooking. Keep it over medium heat at the highest. Otherwise, you’ll end up with scorched bacon and burned fat. Not good.

When the bacon is nice and crispy and brown, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and put it on a paper towel-lined plate to drain while you continue with the recipe. Reserve the bacon fat in the skillet.

Prepare and Fry the Tomatoes

While the bacon is cooking, get the tomatoes ready. Remember that you want quite firm tomatoes for this recipe. If they’re soft, they’ll fall apart in the cooking.

Photo collage showing the slicing and dredging of the tomatoes.

Take thin slices off the ends of the tomatoes and then cut them into about 1/2-inch thick slices. In a shallow pan, mix the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper. Dredge the tomato slices in the cornmeal mixture, turning them so that both sides are coated well.

Tomatoes frying in bacon fat.

Fry the tomatoes in the reserved bacon fat over medium heat, turning once, until golden brown. Use a spatula and turn the tomato slices gently. It only takes about 2-3 minutes of cooking per side. Keep the slices warm in a low oven until all are cooked.

Make the Gravy

Half and half being poured into a skillet to finish the gravy.

When all the tomato slices are finished, pour out all but about three tablespoons of the bacon fat. Place the pan back over medium heat and add the Half and Half and salt, stirring to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal mixture to thicken the gravy. Stir until the gravy is thick and bubbly.

To serve – place two halves of a toasted English muffin on a plate. Top with fried tomato slices, gravy, and bacon.

Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley if desired. I thought it just needed a little something green on the plate :-)

Fried red tomatoes on English muffins with gravy and crispy bacon on top.
Pin This Recipe for Later

Expert Tips

  • Slicing tomatoes: Use a very sharp, thin knife (or a serrated knife) to cut the tomatoes. A dull knife will tend to tear the skin making it more difficult to cut cleanly through the tomato.
  • Gravy: Making gravy is easy! In this recipe, the bacon fat adds a delicious flavor to the gravy that pairs well with the cornmeal coating on the tomatoes. It will take a few minutes for the gravy to thicken. Be patient and don’t be tempted to turn the heat up higher to rush the process.
  • Breading: Dredging is the easiest and simplest way of breading (no eggs involved and no dipping into different dishes). To help the coating adhere to the tomato slices, you may need to dry them lightly with a paper towel. 

FAQs

What kind of tomatoes are best for this recipe?

For this recipe, you’ll need a very firm red tomato that is just barely past the green stage. That’s why winter tomatoes work best. I can’t emphasize enough that the primary consideration here is texture. Make absolutely certain that the tomatoes you choose are very firm, with little to no “give” when gently squeezed.

Can I use green tomatoes?

Absolutely. This recipe is perfect for green tomatoes. Just remember that green tomatoes have a more tart, astringent flavor and that will carry over in the finished recipe.

Can I store the leftovers?

Any fried food is best served fresh and warm. You can keep the leftovers for a few days in the refrigerator, but the coating will be very soft (mushy even) when reheated.

🧾 More Recipes You’ll Like

Have you tried this recipe? I’d really appreciate you giving it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card or in the comments section.
AND REMEMBER TO SIGN UP FOR MY FACEBOOK GROUP.
If you’d like to hang out with me and lots of other online Southern Comfort Food lovers, make sure to join my FREE PRIVATE Facebook group.

Fried red tomatoes on English muffins with gravy and crispy bacon on top.

Fried Red Tomatoes with Bacon Gravy

Fried Red Tomatoes with Bacon Gravy – cornmeal battered ripe tomatoes are pan-fried and topped with homemade gravy and crispy, diced bacon.
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It Save Text It
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Southern, Vintage
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 579kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 4 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 large very firm ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup half and half
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 English muffins split and toasted
  • Fresh parsley optional

Instructions

  • Cut the bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Fry in a skillet over medium heat until bacon is crisp and has rendered its fat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Reserve the bacon fat in the skillet.
  • Slice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices. Combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper in a shallow pan. Dredge the tomatoes slices in the cornmeal mixture.
  • Fry the tomatoes in the reserved bacon fat over medium heat, turning once, until golden brown. Takes about 2-3 minutes per side. Keep the slices warm in a low oven until all are cooked.
  • Pour out all but about three tablespoons of the bacon fat. Place the pan back over medium heat and add cream and salt, stirring to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cornmeal mixture to thicken the gravy. Stir until the gravy is thick and bubbly.
  • To serve – place two halves of a toasted English muffin on a plate. Top with fried tomato slices, gravy, and bacon. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Notes

FAQs
  • What kind of tomatoes are best for this recipe?  You’ll need a very firm red tomato that is just barely past the green stage. That’s why winter tomatoes work best. I can’t emphasize enough that the primary consideration here is texture. Make absolutely certain that the tomatoes you choose are very firm, with little to no “give” when gently squeezed.
  • Can I use green tomatoes? Yes, just remember that green tomatoes have a more tart, astringent flavor and that will carry over in the finished recipe.
  • Can I store the leftovers? Any fried food is best served fresh and warm. You can keep the leftovers for a few days in the refrigerator, but the coating will be very soft (mushy even) when reheated.
Tips for Success:
  • Slicing tomatoes: Use a very sharp, thin knife (or a serrated knife) to cut the tomatoes. A dull knife will tend to tear the skin making it more difficult to cut cleanly through the tomato.
  • Gravy: Making gravy is easy! In this recipe, the bacon fat adds a delicious flavor to the gravy that pairs well with the cornmeal coating on the tomatoes. It will take a few minutes for the gravy to thicken. Be patient and don’t be tempted to turn the heat up higher to rush the process.
  • Breading: Dredging is the easiest and simplest way of breading (no eggs involved and no dipping into different dishes). To help the coating adhere to the tomato slices, you may need to dry them lightly with a paper towel. 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 579kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 1989mg | Potassium: 660mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1253IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

Share on Facebook Pin Recipe
Tried this recipe? Pin it for Later!Follow @LanasCookingBlog or tag #LanasCooking!

— This post was originally published on March 1, 2013.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. I saw this recipe on Pinterest and I know my Dad will love it! I’ll be cooking it for him next week when I go to visit! Thank you!

  2. I love that you share classic recipes, it is really fun to learn about them! I love the idea of fried tomatoes with a creamy gravy, that sounds fabulous together:-) Hugs, Terra

  3. These sound wonderful Lana! My appreciation for fried tomatoes didn’t start until I was an adult, now I love them :)

  4. My husband and I were just talking about what a fried red tomato would be like! Thanks for posting this, sounds like our next lunch!

    1. I love both fried red and green tomatoes, Tyla. Just be sure you get really firm red ones. If they’re too ripe they’ll turn to mush in the frying pan.