Holy Moly. This pie is delicious and DECADENT. In true southern style, it’s certainly not for the faint of heart (meaning, if you’re looking for a heart-healthy dish, this is decidedly not it). I usually cook much lighter, healthier fare, but I’m on vacation so I figured why the heck not. As always: everything in moderation :-)
And despite the fact that it’s topped with a delicious concoction of spicy mayonnaise and mozzarella that melts into every delicious bite of the pie (if you’ve never had tomato pie before and you think this is weird, it works. Trust me.), it’s made from scratch, and it has good for you spinach and tomatoes, and it’s vegetarian…so it can’t be that bad for you, right? And if you have a small slice (or make mini tomato pies) with a side salad, you’ll be in good shape. Promise.
Now. Onto this deliciousness.
Tomato pie is very, very easy to make, especially if you have a pre-made crust. If you want to make your own, I used this recipe for traditional pie crust, but you can use a whole wheat, vegan, or gluten-free recipe if you want! Any crust will do.
The filling for this pie is a mixture of spinach, onions, and tomatoes, with a little salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to spice things up a bit. The most important part of making the filling: you want there to be as little liquid as possible to it (so it doesn’t make the pie soggy).
Here’s what I did.
First, chop up the tomatoes and place in a colander sprinkled with a bit of salt, and allow to sit in your sink while you prepare the other ingredients. The salt will help draw the liquid out of the tomatoes.
While the tomatoes are a-sittin’, saute the onion in a skillet, add the spinach, and allow to wilt. Once the spinach wilts, some of the water from it will have distributed itself in the skillet; keep sauteing until most of the liquid has evaporated, and season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.
Give the tomatoes a little pat with a clean paper towel, add them to the spinach, and viola! Your filling.
Just place the filling in a blind-baked crust (half-bake the crust with pie weights or beans for about 15 minutes, or until just beginning to brown and solidify) and top with a mixture of mayo, hot sauce, salt + pepper, and mozzarella cheese. Bake, and you’re done!
Here’s the best part about tomato pie: it can be served hot, room temperature, OR cold! It’s a great dish to make for a party or for a brunch, since you can make it ahead of time, or at least make the different parts of it ahead of time. I made this particular tomato pie at my friend Liz’s house (blogger from A Mothership Down), and I pre-baked the crust, pre-cooked the filling, and pre-mixed the mayo topping. All I had to do when I got there was assemble and bake! Super easy.
You may even say it was easy as…. PIE! Har har har har.
I guarantee this recipe is better than my jokes :-) Enjoy!
Southern Tomato Spinach Pie
- Preheat your oven and press pie dough in dish. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Press the pie dough into a pie dish. Crimp the edges if you want to.
- Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and set aside to drain. Place sliced tomatoes on a wire rack nestled into a rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt (if you don't have a wire rack, you can use a large colander). Set aside.
- Blind bake the crust. Blind bake the pie crust at 350 degrees for approximately 15 minutes, or until just starting to brown using pie weights or beans (see notes).
- Thaw and drain frozen spinach. While the pie crust blind bakes, thaw the frozen spinach and squeeze out as much water as possible. I like to place it frozen in a sturdy colander, run hot water over it until it's thawed, then use a wooden spoon to squeeze as much water out as possible.
- Mix mayo, mozzarella, spinach, and hot sauce. In a large bowl, mix together the mayonnaise (1/2 cup), shredded mozzarella (16 oz.), spinach, and hot sauce, if using (1 tablespoon).
- Pat tomatoes as dry as possible with a paper towel. I recommend patting both sides dry and pressing fairly firmly down on them. You may need to squeeze the water out of the paper towel a few times - the goal is to remove as much water as possible (without smushing them too much so they keep their shape).
- Assemble the pie. Set 5 tomato slices aside. Layer half of the remaining tomatoes on the bottom of pie. Spread half the spinach mixture on top of that. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes and spinach mixture. Place the five reserved tomato slices on top.
- Bake the tomato pie at 350 degrees F. for 35-40 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.
- Allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting the pie into 8 slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- This tomato pie can be made in advance and served at room temperature or cold. You can also assemble to pie up to 24 hours in advance, store in the refrigerator, and bake for an extra 5-10 minutes.
- If the crust is browning too much, you can use strips of aluminum foil to cover it loosely until the pie is finished baking.
- Type of tomatoes to use: I recommend using beefsteak or Roma tomatoes, since they have less liquid than other varieties.
- Ingredient substitutions: halved cherry tomatoes may be used instead of large; fresh spinach may be used instead of frozen if steamed or sautéed beforehand and as much liquid as possible removed; shredded cheddar or crumbled feta may be used instead of mozzarella; plant-based mayonnaise and cheese may be used for a vegan-friendly tomato pie; crushed red pepper or cayenne may be used instead of hot sauce.
- The provided nutrition information does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.