Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes — Fried Green Tomatoes are a classic Southern dish known for their crispy, tangy taste.

They’re traditionally deep-fried, but air frying has become a fantastic alternative with the popularity of healthier cooking methods. Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes offer the same delicious taste and crunchy texture but with less oil and fewer calories.

Fried Green Tomatoes
Save This Recipe Form

Want to save this recipe?

Enter your email below & I will send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get more great recipes from me on occasion!

The process involves slicing green tomatoes, coating them in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and then air frying them to crispy perfection. The result is a lighter yet equally satisfying version of the Southern favorite. Serve these as an appetizer or side dish, paired with a dipping sauce like ranch or remoulade, and you have a crowd-pleaser perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re a fan of Southern cuisine or just looking for a new way to enjoy tomatoes, Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes are a must-try!

What Are Fried Green Tomatoes?

Fried Green Tomatoes are a traditional Southern American dish known as a perfect Southern delicacy, known for their unique flavor and texture. Here’s a breakdown of what they are:

  • Green Tomatoes: Unlike the ripe red tomatoes commonly used in salads and sauces, this dish uses unripe, green tomatoes. These have a firmer texture and a tangier, less sweet flavor than their ripe counterparts.
  • Breading and Seasoning: The green tomato slices are coated in a breading mixture, typically flour, cornmeal, and breadcrumbs. Seasonings like salt, pepper, and sometimes paprika or garlic powder are added to the breading for extra flavor.
  • Frying: Traditionally, the breaded tomato slices are deep-fried in oil. This cooking method gives them a crispy outer layer while keeping the inside moist and tender. The frying also mellows the tartness of the green tomatoes, resulting in a balanced, savory flavor.
  • Serving: Fried Green Tomatoes are often served as a side dish or appetizer. They can be enjoyed independently, garnished with herbs like parsley, or accompanied by dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, remoulade, or a spicy aioli.
  • Cultural Significance: This dish holds a special place in Southern cuisine and has also been popularized in other regions. It gained additional fame from the novel and film “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe,” which showcased the dish and Southern culture. They are known for being a true Southern comfort food!

Fried Green Tomatoes are appreciated for their delightful contrast of textures and flavors — the crispy, golden exterior gives way to the firm, tangy flesh of the green tomato, creating a unique culinary experience.

Why You Will Love This Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

  • Healthier Option: Air frying uses significantly less oil than traditional deep frying, making these fried green tomatoes a healthier choice. You get the same crispy texture without the extra fat and calories.
  • Ease and Convenience: Air fryers are known for their convenience and ease of use. This recipe is straightforward, making it accessible even for those not experienced in the kitchen. Plus, the air fryer’s quick cooking time allows you to enjoy this dish without waiting.
  • Crispy Texture: Despite using less oil, air frying achieves a wonderfully crispy exterior on the tomatoes. This method ensures that the breading becomes golden and crunchy, providing a satisfying contrast to the tender tomato inside.
  • Flavorful and Tangy: Green tomatoes have a unique, tangy flavor beautifully complemented by the breading and seasonings in this recipe. The air fryer also helps evenly cook the tomatoes, enhancing their natural flavor.
  • Versatility: These Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes can be served in various ways – as a snack with your favorite dipping sauce, as a side dish for a Southern-inspired meal, or even as a topping for salads and burgers.
  • Less Mess: Traditional frying can be messy, with oil splatters and a lot of cleanup. Air frying is much cleaner, keeping your kitchen tidy and reducing cleanup time.
  • Customizable: The recipe is easily customizable to suit your taste preferences. You can adjust the seasonings in the breading or experiment with different dipping sauces to create a variety of flavors.

This Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes recipe is a healthier take on a Southern classic and a testament to modern cooking convenience, offering a delicious blend of taste, texture, and versatility with minimal effort.

Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

Embarking on the delicious journey of making Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes, you’ll need a simple yet effective combination of ingredients. These components work together harmoniously to create a crispy dish on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with flavor. From the tanginess of the green tomatoes to the crispy breadcrumb and cornmeal coating, each ingredient adds its unique touch to this healthier twist on a Southern classic.

Top view of three small white bowls with the ingredients: eggs, cornmeal, and panko breadcrumbs with three green tomatoes next to them on a wooden chopping board.

Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.

  • Large Green Tomatoes: Choose firm, unripe tomatoes. They provide a tangy flavor and maintain their shape well during cooking.
  • Flour: All-purpose flour works best for creating the initial coating. It helps the egg mixture adhere to the tomato slices.
  • Eggs: Beaten eggs act as a binder for the breadcrumbs, ensuring a good crust on the tomatoes.
  • Breadcrumbs: You can use either plain or seasoned breadcrumbs. They create the crispy exterior that is characteristic of fried green tomatoes.
  • Cornmeal: Adds a pleasant crunch and a hint of sweetness to the breading, complementing the tanginess of the tomatoes.
  • Salt and Pepper: These basic seasonings enhance the natural flavors of the tomatoes and the breading.
  • Optional Seasonings (like Paprika or Garlic Powder): These add depth and complexity to the flavor profile. Paprika offers a mild heat and smokiness, while garlic powder brings a savory note.
  • Cooking Spray: A light cooking oil spray or olive oil spray helps achieve a golden and crispy finish in the air fryer without deep frying.

Each ingredient is crucial in creating the perfect balance of flavors and textures in Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes.

How To Make Fried Green Tomatoes In Air Fry

Making Fried Green Tomatoes in an air fryer is a healthier alternative to traditional frying. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Preparation

Top view of three small white bowls with the ingredients: eggs, green tomato slices and a cornmeal/panko breadcrumb mixture.
  • Wash and slice the green tomatoes into approximately 1/2-inch thick slices. This thickness ensures they cook evenly and maintain their structure.
  • Set up a dredging station with three shallow bowls. In the first shallow bowl, place all-purpose flour. In the second, beat a couple of eggs. In the third, combine breadcrumbs, cornmeal, and your choice of seasonings (like salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder).

Step 2: Dredging

A white bowl filled with panko breadcrumbs and cornmeal with a green tomato slice submerged in it.
  • Dip each tomato slice into the flour, ensuring it’s lightly coated on all sides.
  • Next, dip it into the beaten eggs, allowing any excess to drip off.
  • Finally, coat it in the breadcrumb-cornmeal mixture, pressing gently to adhere.

Step 3: Air Frying:

Top view of square Air Fryer basket with six uncooked breaded green tomatoes in it.
  • Preheat your air fryer to around 400 degrees F (190°C). This temperature is ideal for achieving a crispy exterior without burning.
  • Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
  • Place the breaded tomato slices in a single layer in the basket, ensuring they don’t touch for even cooking. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches.
  • Lightly spray the tops of the tomatoes with cooking spray. This helps achieve a golden color.
  • Air fry for about 4-6 minutes, flip the slices, and cook for another 4-6 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Step 4: Serving

  • Once cooked, remove the fried green tomatoes from the air fryer, place them on a wire rack, and let them sit for a few minutes. This resting period helps the coating to set.
  • Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce, like a creamy ranch, marinara sauce, or spicy remoulade.

Remember, air fryers can vary in cooking times and temperatures, so you may need to adjust slightly based on your specific model. Enjoy your healthier, crispy, and delicious Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes!

Fried Green Tomatoes

Recipe Variations

Experimenting with variations in your Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes recipe can add exciting twists to this classic dish. Here are some creative ideas to try:

  • Cheesy Crust: Mix grated Parmesan cheese into the breadcrumb mixture for a cheesy, umami-rich crust. This adds a savory depth to the tomatoes.
  • Spicy Kick: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, incorporate cayenne pepper or chili flakes into the breading. Alternatively, you could use a spicy seasoning blend.
  • Diabetic and Low-Carb Option: Use crushed pork rinds.
  • Gluten-Free Option: Use gluten-free flour and gluten-free breadcrumbs, gluten-free panko bread crumbs, or crushed gluten-free cereal to accommodate dietary needs without compromising taste or texture.
  • Herb-Infused Breading: Add dried herbs like Italian seasoning, oregano, or thyme to the breadcrumb mixture for an aromatic touch.
  • Cornflake Crunch: For extra crunch, replace some or all of the breadcrumbs with crushed cornflakes. This variation offers a unique texture and a slightly different flavor profile.
  • Panko Twist: Swap traditional breadcrumbs for panko breadcrumbs for a lighter, airier crunch. Panko provides a delightful contrast to the soft tomato interior.
  • Southern Style: Mix in a bit of buttermilk powder to your egg wash, and add a pinch of Old Bay seasoning to your breading for a Southern-inspired flavor.
  • Vegan Version: For a vegan-friendly recipe, use plant-based milk mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar instead of eggs for the wash and vegan breadcrumbs.
  • BBQ Flavor: Add a BBQ seasoning mix to your breadcrumb coating for a smoky, tangy twist.
  • Lemon-Pepper Zest: Incorporate lemon zest and cracked black pepper into your breading for a zesty, peppery kick.

These variations allow you to customize the recipe to suit different palates and occasions, making your Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes not just a dish but an exciting culinary adventure!

Close up of a hand holding an air fryer fried breaded green tomato, with more fried green tomatoes in the background on greaseproof paper on a chopping board.

Pro Tips

Creating the perfect batch of Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes involves some pro tips to elevate your dish to the next level. Here they are:

  • Choose the Right Tomatoes: Select firm, unripe green tomatoes. Ripe tomatoes can become too soft and mushy when cooked.
  • Uniform Slices: Cut the tomatoes into a uniform thickness, about 1/2 inch, for even cooking. Uneven slices can lead to some pieces being overcooked or undercooked.
  • Seasoning the Flour: Add seasonings like salt, pepper, and garlic powder to the flour for an extra flavor boost. This ensures every layer contributes to the overall taste.
  • Let the Coating Set: After dredging the tomatoes, let them rest for about 5-10 minutes before air frying. This helps the coating adhere better and prevents it from falling off during cooking.
  • Preheat the Air Fryer: Always preheat your air fryer for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes. This ensures a crispier exterior.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: Cook the tomatoes in a single layer without overlapping. Overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and a less crispy texture.
  • Flip Carefully: Halfway through cooking, gently flip the tomatoes to ensure even browning on both sides.
  • Spray Lightly with Oil: A light oil spray on the breaded tomatoes before air frying can help achieve a more golden and crispy exterior.
  • Use Parchment Rounds: To prevent sticking and for easier cleanup, you can use parchment rounds with holes cut in them, specifically designed for air fryers.
  • Rest Before Serving: After air frying, the cooked tomatoes rest for a few minutes. This allows the exterior to set and become crispier.
  • Keep an Eye on the Cook Time: Cooking times can vary depending on the air fryer model, so keep an eye on the tomatoes, especially the first time you make them.

These tips will help you create a batch of crispy air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes on the outside, tender on the inside, and packed with flavor.

Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

Where To Buy Green Tomatoes

Finding green tomatoes can sometimes be a bit of a hunt, but here are some places where you can typically buy them:

  • Farmers’ Markets: Farmers’ markets are among the best places to find green tomatoes, especially during the growing season. Local farmers often have a variety of tomato types, including green ones.
  • Local Produce Stores: Specialty produce stores or local grocery stores often stock green tomatoes. It’s always a good idea to call ahead and check their availability.
  • Supermarkets: Larger supermarkets may carry green tomatoes, particularly in areas where they are a popular ingredient. Look for them in the produce section alongside ripe tomatoes. Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s usually carries them when they are in season. 
  • Garden Centers or Nurseries: If you have a green thumb, consider buying green tomato plants from a garden center or nursery. Growing your own tomatoes can be a rewarding experience, and you can pick them while they’re still green.
  • Online Grocery Stores: Some online grocery services and specialty food stores offer green tomatoes for delivery, which can be a convenient option if they are hard to find in your area.
  • Ethnic Markets: In some areas, ethnic markets, especially those catering to Southern or Latin American cuisines, may stock green tomatoes due to their usage in various ethnic dishes.
  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Programs: Joining a CSA program can be another way to get fresh green tomatoes. These programs offer a share of a local farm’s produce, which sometimes includes green tomatoes.
  • U-Pick Farms: Some farms allow you to pick your own produce. This can be a fun way to get fresh green tomatoes straight from the vine.

Remember, the availability of green tomatoes can be seasonal and regional, so their availability might vary depending on where you live and the time of year.

Yes! That’s what I love about the Air Fryer: anything you already like, you can make in your air fryer instead – a healthier version if you normally fry it and done in less time.

Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes


Can I make Fried Green Tomatoes in the air fryer if they are not green? Yes, but the texture and taste will be different. Ripe tomatoes are softer and sweeter, so they may not hold up well during cooking.

How do I prevent the breading from falling off? First, dredge the tomato slices thoroughly in flour, dip them in egg, and then coat them well with the breadcrumb mixture. Letting them rest for a few minutes before air frying also helps the coating stick.

Can I use panko breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs? Absolutely! Panko breadcrumbs will give your fried green tomatoes a lighter, crispier texture.

Is it necessary to preheat the air fryer? Yes, preheating helps cook the tomatoes evenly and achieve a crispy texture.

Can I stack the tomato slices in the air fryer? It’s best not to stack them. Overlapping or stacking can lead to uneven cooking and a less crispy outcome. Cook in batches if necessary.

How do I know when the tomatoes are done cooking? They are done when the coating is golden brown and crispy, which usually takes about 8-12 minutes, depending on your air fryer.

Can I make these ahead of time and reheat them? While best served fresh, you can reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes to crisp them up again.

Are air fryer fried green tomatoes healthier than traditional fried ones? Air frying requires significantly less oil, making it a healthier alternative than a deep fryer.

Can I make this recipe gluten-free? You can use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs to make a gluten-free version.

What’s the best way to serve air fryer fried green tomatoes? They’re great as an appetizer with dipping sauces like ranch dressing, hot sauce, sour cream, and remoulade or as a side dish with your main meal.

How to store: Let the green tomatoes cool to room temperature, then place them in an airtight container. The air fryer green tomatoes will last 2-3 days in the refrigerator. 

Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

Best Dipping Sauces To Serve with Your Green Tomato Recipe

Fried Green Tomatoes

Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

3.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes — Fried green tomatoes are a southern staple. In the south, they typically come with breaded and fried in vegetable oil or bacon fat. But I have found that an air fryer is a great way to enjoy this dish! The best part? They don't require much work at all. Give these a try for your next Southern feast!


  • 2-3 large Green Tomatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal

Cooking Spray


    • Start by washing the green tomatoes.
    • Then cut the tomatoes into about 1/4 inch slices.
    • Season them with salt and pepper, the salt will help draw out some of the moisture.
    • Crack your egg into a small bowl, and use a fork to mix, until frothy. Mix the panko and cornmeal.Spray your air fryer basket with nooking spray or olive oil spray.
    • Dip the tomatoes into the egg.
    • Then Dip them into the cornmeal/panko mixture.
    • As you coat them, place them into your air fryer basket. Spray generous with olive oil.
    • Set your temperature to 400 degrees F, air frying setting, for 8 to 10 minutes, fliping halfway during the cooking process.
    • Plate, serve, and enjoy!


    • Air Fryer
    • Cooking Spray
    • Parchment Paper, optional


    Serving: 1ServingCalories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 10gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 159mgPotassium: 378mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 719IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 3mg

    Share this recipe

    We can’t wait to see what you’ve made! Mention @forktospoon or tag #forktospoon!

    Close up of Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes with Text box saying "Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes"