Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

These Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes are tender and tangy with a delicious golden crust, just like traditional Southern fried green tomatoes. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce for the perfect summer snack and party appetizer.

fried green tomatoes in a pan with a fork

Fried green tomatoes don’t have to be a nutritional nightmare. With these step-by-step instructions, you’ll make a mouthwatering batch of fried green tomatoes in your air fryer or Ninja Foodi without any oil, yet they come out just as crisp and juicy as green tomatoes fried in heavy oil.

Green tomatoes are under-ripened, so the taste and texture are nothing like a ripe red tomato. Instead, they have a tart, acidic taste and less and a firm, fresh, and crisp bite.

The idea to fry green tomatoes was brought to the US by Jewish immigrants in the 19th century. Oddly enough, it was mainly prepared in the Northeast and Midwest until the 1970s. Modern recipes, however, are deeply rooted in Southern cooking.

Towards the end of the summer and early fall, grocery stores and farmers’ markets are usually booming with green tomatoes, but depending on your location, you may be able to find them year-round.

👉 Why Make Fried Green Tomatoes In The Air Fryer?

  • There’s no oil, so the clean-up is much easier, and the dish is healthier.
  • The constantly circumventing hot air makes extra crispy green tomatoes.
  • Cook up seasonal produce! This is the best way to cook an abundance of green tomatoes.
  • Perfect appetizer for late summer gatherings.

🍅 What You’ll Need

  • Green tomatoes – Pick green tomatoes when they are done growing in size and on the brink of turning red. They should be shiny, pale green in color, and be very firm to the touch.
  • Sea salt – Salting your green tomatoes before breading draws the tomato juices to the surface of each slice, which you then blot away to keep the tomatoes from getting soggy.
  • All-purpose flour – This is the first layer of the breading. It gives the egg something to cling to. To make gluten-free, use rice flour.
  • Eggs – The second layer. Eggs give the breading a gorgeous golden color and moisture for the cornmeal and breadcrumbs to stick to.
  • Cornmeal & breadcrumbs – The final layer of the crispy breading! To make it gluten-free, you can use plain gluten-free breadcrumbs and make sure your cornmeal is gluten-free (it usually is).

Green tomatoes vs. heirloom tomatoes: Certain varieties of heirloom tomatoes are green. However, they have an entirely different taste and texture. Make sure you’re using an under-ripened variety of red tomatoes.

🥣 How To Make Fried Green Tomatoes In Air Fryer

1️⃣ Prep green tomatoes for breading. After washing your green tomatoes, use a sharp knife to cut off the stem and slice into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Then, line up the pieces on a baking sheet and sprinkle both sides with sea salt. Let sit for 10 minutes. Then, pat dry on both sides.

2️⃣ Set up the breading station. Meanwhile, assemble your breading station. In one bowl, add the flour. In another bowl, beat the egg -and in the last bowl, add the breadcrumbs & cornmeal.

3️⃣ Bread green tomatoes. Working with one tomato slice at a time, dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in the egg wash, coating both sides and shaking off any excess. Lastly, press into the cornmeal and breadcrumb mixture, covering both sides and the edges.

4️⃣ Air fry green tomatoes. Place the breaded green tomatoes in a 400F preheated air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving space in between, and set the timer for 15 minutes. Flip each slice at the 10-minute mark, then cook for the remaining time. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce, and enjoy!

💭 Recipe Tips

  • Buy firm green tomatoes, but not too firm. They should have a little give when you squeeze.
  • You can cut the tomatoes into thinner 1/4″ thick slices and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  • The precise time and temperature will depend on your air fryer’s functionality, but 400F for 15 minutes is a good start.
  • It’s important that you position the breaded tomatoes in one layer at the bottom of the air fryer basket, leaving room in between. If the tomatoes are crowded, they’ll begin to steam and become soggy. Work in batches if you need to.

🍽️ Serving & Variations

As for serving, it’s all about the dipping sauces. Creamy sauces like remoulades and aiolis pair well. Try serving your air-fried green tomatoes with habanero ranch, Cajun ranch, or a sweet fruit chutney.

Ingredient variations

  • To make fried green tomatoes with no cornmeal, double up on the breadcrumbs.
  • Try with Italian seasoned bread crumbs, or mix dry spices and seasonings into plain breadcrumbs. Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and seasoning salt are good options.
  • Instead of eggs, feel free to coat the tomatoes in buttermilk.
  • Gluten-free fried green tomatoes – To make these gluten-free, use rice flour instead of all-purpose flour and gluten-free bread crumbs. Cornmeal is naturally gluten-free but always double-check the label.
  • Keto fried green tomatoes – To cut out most of the carbs, you can replace the all-purpose flour and breadcrumbs with crushed pork rinds.

🧊 Storing & Freezing

Storing: The tomatoes are best served hot, straight from your air fryer. Keep extras in an airtight container without overlapping the slices in the fridge for up to 2 days. They can also be reheated in the air fryer at 400F for 4-5 minutes.

Freezing: Let cool, then line up the crispy green tomatoes on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until they are frozen solid. Then, keep frozen in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 3 months. To reheat from frozen, cook in the air fryer at 400F for 8-9 10inutes, flipping halfway through.

FAQ

How long do you cook fried green tomatoes in an air fryer?

After preheating your air fryer to 400F, cook the tomatoes for 10 minutes, flip, then cook for 5 more minutes. Keep in mind that the precise time and temperature will vary. If your tomato slices are thinner, cook them a few minutes less.

Why do you fry green tomatoes?

Since they’re under-ripened, green tomatoes are firmer and contain less water, so they can hold up when cooked. On the other hand, ripe tomatoes are much more delicate and will fall apart and become soggy when fried.

What do fried green tomatoes taste like?

When prepared correctly, fried green tomatoes are coated into a delicious crispy breading, and the tomatoes themselves are tart, tangy, and tender.

🧅 More Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes

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fried green tomatoes in a pan with a fork

Air Fryer Fried Green Tomatoes

With these easy-to-follow instructions, you'll make a batch of crispy and delicious fried green tomatoes in your air fryer without any oil!
1.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings (2-3 slices per person)
Calories: 180kcal

Equipment

  • 1 air fryer or NInja Foodi
  • 1 sharp knife
  • 3 shallow mixing bowls
  • Tongs

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green tomatoes about 3-4 FIRM green tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs plain

Instructions

  • Wash the green tomatoes to remove any dirt or impurities. Then, use a sharp knife to cut off the stem and slice the tomato into 1/2-inch thick rounds.
  • Place the tomato slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle both sides with sea salt. Let the tomatoes sit for 10 minutes, to draw out the natural moisture. Then, pat dry on both sides with a paper towel.
  • While the salted tomatoes sit, set up the breading station. In the first bowl, add the flour. In the second bowl, beat the egg -and in the third bowl, add the breadcrumbs & cornmeal. Stir to combine. Then, preheat the air fryer to 400° for 3-5 minutes while breading the tomatoes.
  • Working with one tomato slice at a time, first dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in the egg wash, coating both sides and shaking off any excess. Lastly. press the tomato slice in the cornmeal and breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides and the edges. Repeat with the remaining tomato slices.
  • Place the breaded green tomatoes in the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving space in between, and set the timer for 15 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, flip each piece, then cook for the remaining 5 minutes (or until the breading is crisp and golden brown).
  • Remove from the air fryer and serve hot with your favorite remoulade or dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 882mg | Potassium: 400mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1050IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg

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