Easy Southern Basil Tomato Pie is the perfect vegetarian entree! Garden-fresh produce and cheeses combined in a savory pie for brunch, lunch or dinner. This recipe is one you’ll definitely want to turn the oven on for this summer!
If you have a summer garden, you are likely blessed (or soon will be depending on where you live) with an abundance of tomatoes this time of year. I would love to have a garden, but we don’t seem to have the right layout/sun exposure needed to accomplish a healthy plot.
We do grow our own herbs in pots on our deck. Why buy those tiny grocery store packages when you can easily grow your own to last so much longer?
Basil, thyme, mint, rosemary and parsley are some of our favorites to grow in pots. These moisture meters prevent me from killing them!
We recently helped a neighbor water their garden while they were away and got to reap the benefits of their garden fresh tomatoes. I immediately knew that I would use some for an Easy Southern Basil Tomato Pie. You haven’t lived until you have tried a slice of fresh tomato pie!
Despite my Southern upbringing, I did not grow up eating tomato pie. I first tried it at a Supper Club in my young adult years. I cannot remember the exact time or location, but I do remember the first bite.
Creamy, savory, and rich! Actually, too rich for me now!
Lighter Tomato Pie
This recipe is lighter than other tomato pies, while retaining all of the flavor. Tomatoes are the star of this dish, so we want to actually taste their fresh flavor. This lighter recipe calls for less cheese and mayonnaise to allow the tomatoes to shine!
Easy Southern Basil Tomato Pie is definitely a treat to share with friends. If you make this for others, I guarantee that they will be impressed! Did I mention it was easy?!
Easy Southern Basil Tomato Pie Ingredients
Pie Crust – I buy mine straight from the bakery at Whole Foods if I’m not making a homemade crust. Frozen pie crust flavors and textures can vary quite a bit, so the brand will inevitably affect the overall taste of the dish. Choose what you like!
Tomatoes- If you are using homegrown tomatoes, lucky you! If you are buying tomatoes, go for Beefsteak or another low-moisture slicing tomato.
Onion – I prefer a sweet Vidalia onion in this recipe, but any white or yellow onion you have on hand will work.
Basil- Definitely go fresh! If you don’t have a basil plant, you can buy living basil at the grocery store, then plant in a small pot to enjoy all summer.
Cheese – I have had a lot of different pie renditions over the years. I prefer a mixture of grated sharp Cheddar, low-moisture mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano for the best flavor combination.
Mayo – Duke’s is my go-to for anything involving tomatoes and mayonnaise.
Easy Southern Basil Tomato Pie Preparation
First, place sliced tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle salt on top of each slice. Place the colander in the sink or over the top of a bowl.
This step removes excess moisture from the tomatoes. No one wants to serve or eat soggy pie crust, right?
Drain the tomatoes for 30 minutes. You can periodically press moisture from the tomatoes using the back of a spoon or spatula.
Tip: Choose to drain the tomatoes over a bowl and save the juice for another recipe. It’s a great ingredient for a pasta, soup or Bloody Mary recipe!
Next, thinly slice the onion and set aside. Grate the Cheddar cheese into a bowl using a box grater.
Tip: I recommend freshly grated cheese with the exception of mozzarella for this recipe. Fresh mozzarella has a lot of moisture and we’re trying to keep extra moisture out of the pie.
Add pre-grated mozzarella to the bowl of grated Cheddar cheese.
Preheat oven to 350°. Pre-bake the crust at 350° for approximately ten minutes.
Tip: Always pre-bake pie crusts for recipes with wet ingredients. Here is a good article that explains why and when to pre-bake crusts.
While the crust pre-bakes, mix the mayonnaise with the grated cheeses. Next, chiffonade approximately ten basil leaves.
Tip: Chiffonade is a technique to finely cut basil . Stack the leaves on top of each other, roll tightly, thinly slice into small strips, and separate.
Remove the crust from the oven and grate Parmigiano-Reggiano directly all over the bottom of the crust. This is a great dry cheese that provides a nice flavor to the crust while also serving as an additional moisture barrier. Next, later the onions and basil on top of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Drop spoonfuls of the cheese mixture over the onion/basil layer and spread evenly with a spatula.
Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top of the cheese layer.
Bake the pie at 350° for approximately 30-40 minutes or until golden.
Remove the pie from the oven and cool for about 15 minutes. The cooling step allows the pie to set and slice easily.
This will be the most difficult step of the recipe….the waiting. It’s so tempting to dig in once you pull the pie out of the oven!
Once the pie has cooled, use a pie server to slice and serve. Sprinkle additional basil to taste on each slice. This pie is great paired with a simple salad or vegetable. It would be great with my Shaved Summer Squash Salad!
Adaptations for Kids
Toddlers: My little niece loves tomato pie! Make sure it is thoroughly cooled and cut into bite-size pieces for ease.
Preschool/School Age Children: I’ll be honest that my own children do not care for tomato pie, but I cannot figure out why! It could be the onion, so experiment with leaving it out if your own kids are not fans.
Kids might think it is fun to have their own individual pie. You can buy miniature pie pans and divide the filling among the miniature pies. I haven’t tried this yet, so I cannot provide specific cook times. Of course, you’ll either need to make your own pie crust to cut or buy a store-bought crust that you can roll out to create smaller pies.
What do you think of this recipe? Please let me know if you try this Easy Southern Basil Tomato Pie by rating the recipe and letting me know how it turned out in the comments below. Also, please tag @restandrelish on Instagram if you share or try this recipe. Don’t forget to pin to Pinterest if you plan to try this savory pie later.
Easy Southern Basil Tomato Pie is the perfect vegetarian entree! Garden-fresh produce and cheese combined in a savory pie for brunch, lunch or dinner.
- 1 pie shell
- 1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 cup reduced fat Mozzarella cheese grated
- 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise preferably Duke's
- 15 fresh basil leaves chiffonade
- 1/3 cup Vidalia onion thinly sliced
- 4 medium tomatoes sliced and drained
- 1/8 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese grated
- 1 1/2 t. Kosher salt
Slice tomatoes and liberally sprinkle salt on top of each slice. Place tomatoes in a colander to drain for 30 minutes. Periodically press moisture from the tomatoes using the back of a spoon or spatula.
Slice onion thinly and set aside.
Grate Cheddar cheese into a bowl. Add pre-grated mozzarella to the bowl.
Preheat oven to 350°. Pre-bake pie crust at 350° for ten minutes.
While the crust pre-bakes, mix mayonnaise with cheeses and chiffonade ten basil leaves.
Grate Parmigiano-Reggiano over the bottom of the pre-baked crust.
Layer the onions and basil on top of the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Drop spoonfuls of the cheese mixture over the onion/basil layer and spread evenly with a spatula. Arrange the tomatoes in an overlapping pattern on top of the onion and basil layer.
Bake the pie at 350° for approximately 30-40 minutes.
Cool pie for approximately 15 minutes on a wire rack. Slice and serve!
All nutritional values are approximate and vary based on selected ingredients/serving sizes.
Remember to weigh down the pie crust with something heavy (e.g., pie weights or dry beans) to prevent shrinkage and puffing in the center of the crust. Line crust with parchment paper first!
Chiffonade is a technique to finely cut basil. Stack the leaves on top of each other, roll tightly, thinly slice into small strips, and separate.
Watch pie closely toward end of baking time as individual oven temperatures vary.