Ten of our top tomato recipes to help you celebrate your garden's abundance

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen
This breakfast strata is perfect for when you have company for breakfast.

It's August, which means top tomato season is here. We're avid gardeners at Southern Kitchen, and we love a good heirloom tomato. Even still, we can only eat so many Caprese salads. When the fruit is really cranking on the vine, here are some creative and delicious ways to use up all of that blessed summer abundance. 

Classic tomato pie

 If you like tomato and mayo sandwiches in the summer, then you’ll love this savory pie. It’s based on the same ingredients with the addition of cheese and fresh basil. Choose the most fragrant, fresh-picked tomatoes you can find, and be sure to drain the slices well on paper towels. If you make your own pie crust, try stirring in a teaspoon of dried basil with the flour. Get the recipe

Southern Caprese breakfast strata

 This make-ahead dish is easy to put together and comes packed with tons of savory flavor. Southern-style biscuits come nestled in with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and, of course, tomatoes. This recipe comes courtesy of Orchids + Sweet Tea. Get the recipe 

Tomato Gravy

Classic, creamy tomato gravy

 This gravy, adapted from “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock, is delectable over fried chicken, pork chops or rice. Ladled over biscuits, it's almost a meal in itself. You can make this recipe vegetarian by substituting butter for the bacon fat. Get the recipe

Roasted okra and tomatoes

Cherry tomato flavor deepens with a good roast in this recipe. This method also brings the true flavor of okra to life, another vegetable that's abundant during Southern summers. This was originally published as part of the Anne Byrn story "Taste of a Place: Modern ways to cook Southern veggies." Get the recipe

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Fried green tomatoes with cashew relish

Flying Biscuit’s founder Delia Champion was happy to provide this delicious recipe for fried green tomatoes, perfect for when nothing's ripe on the vine but you still want that Southern-fried flavor. Get the recipe

Tomato-seafood stew

Chef Kevin Mitchell included this recipe in his 2021 book “Taste the State,” written with historian David Shields. This catfish stew comes together in a red, tomato-based sauce made with fresh tomatoes, okra, corn, and crab. Get the recipe

Velma Marie's Oyster Soup is a Cajun recipe in "Mosquito Supper Club." (Courtesy of Artisan Books)

Velma Marie’s Oyster Soup

 Melissa M. Martin wrote the cookbook “Mosquito Supper Club” to document Chauvin, Louisiana, the Cajun village where she grew up. The James Beard Award-winning book is full of lyrically written recipes like this one, a classic oyster soup studded with salt pork, briny oysters, sweet tomatoes, and alliums. Get the recipe

Shrimp and grits with fresh tomatoes

 Sauteed shrimp and smoked andouille sausage pair perfectly with fresh marinara sauce, which uses up three whole pounds of tomatoes. Cheesy grits help round out the dish. This classic Southern meal is hearty enough for dinner but works great for brunch too. Get the recipe

Classic tomato-cucumber salad

Show off the best of summer’s produce with this salad. We like to use a mix of tomatoes — one large red, one large yellow and a pint of cherries — as well as a variety of cucumbers and plenty of fresh herbs. Get the recipe

Sunny vegan succotash brings color to your table

Vegan sunny Southern succotash

This recipe was originally developed as a Thanksgiving side, but we think it would be even more at home on your summer Sunday supper table, what with its fresh peppers, sweet corn, and, yes, garden-fresh tomatoes. Get the recipe

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com