Recipe Of The Day: Tomato Pie

Tomatoes are everywhere right now. You can find them available by the flat at farmers markets, piled high on grocery store shelves and ripe on the vine in your very own garden. The star summer produce pops up in bright reds, rich greens, yellows and oranges. But as summer fades to fall, the pressure to use up your tomatoes before they lose their seasonality is on. After making tomato soup, ratatouille and bruschetta, toss your tomatoes into a pie with cheese and basil and see how they shine. 

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This recipe calls for six large tomatoes. The variety you use doesn't matter as much as their texture. Because tomatoes retain a lot of moisture, the firmer the fruit is, the better. If you leave the store with a batch of soft tomatoes, your pie will most likely come out soggy. 

Beyond using firm tomatoes, there's a few extra steps you can take to ensure your pie is baked to perfection. Thinly slice the tomatoes then pat them down with a paper towel and spinkle with salt. Let the sliced tomatoes sit for a few minutes before using them in your pie. This will help get out any excess moisture.

Secondly, blind bake your crust. If you're not familiar with blind baking, it's a technique that requires you to bake the crust without the filling in it. Once the pie shell is a light brown color, remove it from the oven and let it cool. Now you can add the filling by layering a Southern-inspired homemade pimento cheese, tomatoes, basil and crushed crackers. 

Top the entire pie off with a pimento cheese topping and one more layer of sliced tomatoes. You'll be left with a golden brown, cheesy, savory tomoto pie that's great to serve as an appetizer or vegetarian main dish. If you have more of the fruit leftover, try more of our best recipes that use fresh tomatoes.  

Tomato Pie With Pimento Cheese Topping

This recipe is by Robin Mather and was originally published in The Chicago Tribune.


  • 6 large tomatoes, cored, sliced vertically in 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pastry for one 9-inch deep-dish pie, homemade or purchased
  • 2 cups grated American or mild cheddar cheese, divided use
  • 3/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 3/4 cups sliced green onion
  • 1 jar (4 ounces) pimientos, drained, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce, such as Tabasco, Frank's or Cholula
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups grated American or mild cheddar cheese, divided use
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 sleeve buttery crackers, such as Ritz, crumbled (25 crackers, about 1 cup crumbled), or 3/4 cup panko crumbs


Step 1: Heat the oven to 425F. Arrange 6 large sliced tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle 2 teaspoons olive oil over the tomatoes; scatter 1/2 teaspooon salt over the slices. Roast the tomatoes, on the middle shelf, until dry, 1 hour, 20 minutes. Slice one to test it; it should be dry all the way through.

Step 2: Prepare the pie shell for blind-baking. Fit the pastry into the pie dish, fluting the edges to stand up. Prick the bottom and sides of the pastry with a fork in many places. Lay a sheet of parchment paper over the pie; pour about 2 cups dry beans, rice or pie weights into it, pushing the weights around so all parts of the bottom are covered. Place the pie shell on the oven's top shelf; bake until lightly brown, 15 to 20 minutes, or according to package directions.

Step 3: Make the topping. Combine 1 cup shredded cheese, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 3/4 cup sliced green onion, 1 jar pimientos, 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 teaspoons hot sauce and black pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.

Step 4: Remove the tomatoes and the pie shell from the oven; set aside to cool, 5 to 10 minutes. Begin to fill the pie: Scatter 1 cup cheese over the bottom of the pie shell; make a layer of tomatoes. Strew about half the torn basil leaves over the tomatoes. Scatter half the crumbled crackers over the basil leaves.

Step 5: Repeat with another layer of cheese, tomatoes, basil and cracker crumbs, ending with another layer of sliced tomatoes. Spread the topping over the tomatoes; scatter black pepper over the topping.

Step 6: Bake until the crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 45 minutes. If the crust begins to brown too quickly, shield with foil crimped around the edges. Remove pie from oven; allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.