Fried Green Tomato Wraps

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Through the end of May and into June, garden production can be slim as the transition to summer produce begins. Many of the cooler-weather spring vegetables have thrown their hands up and bolted, while the summer produce still needs a few hotter days. However, luckily for us, the tomato plant is a giver, even early in the season.  And even better, the fried green tomato is truly a treat.

Close-up photo of fried green tomato in a wrap with lettuce, slices of onions and a chipotle sauce drizzle on top.

The Spring Green Tomato

Green tomato dishes tend to be associated more with fall cooking when the tomatoes are in a ripening race with the first frost. However, green tomatoes are also a delightful late-spring boon. They're one of the first pieces of summer produce, beckoning the warmer days ahead. 

The flavor is more tart than the peak, ripe summer tomato. And yet, the tart green flavor of these early tomatoes can work in so many ways. Think using the green tomato as a pickle or fermented in a brine, made into a chutney, thinly sliced for a salad, and, of course, the classic fried version. 

A Fried Green Tomato

Before we get further into this sandwich, I have a heads-up. When you think of fried green tomatoes, you most likely associate them with delicate slices of green tomatoes battered in cornmeal. A true Southern classic! 

Yet, thanks to food historians, we know this 'classic' dish is more of a recent classic, thanks to a movie released in the early nineties. While I thoroughly love this version of green tomatoes, I also have no shame in switching up the frying technique.

My preference? Take a chicken-fried approach to the green tomatoes! Wedges of green tomatoes are double-battered in buttermilk and a flour mix, which, when fried, creates a crispy crust all around (and can hold up in a sandwich)!

Frying for success

You may be thinking, "Gee, this sandwich sounds SO good, but there's no way I'm frying it." I get it! It's a bit messier, there's hot oil involved, and you've possibly had not-so-crispy outcomes in the past. 

Think small

One of the first hurdles to overcome when frying at home is the sheer amount of oil you need to use. I recommend starting small. I keep a small, 2-3 qt. dutch oven for this exact purpose. The Dutch oven keeps the oil heat even, which is helpful when working in batches. Working in smaller pots and batches can make you more conservative with the oil you need.

Just remember: never crowd your pan! Crowding will lead to uneven heating, colder temperatures, and soggy, sad green tomatoes. 


Which leads to the next point! Make sure your oil is hot but not too hot. A good rule of thumb is that most foods like to cook between 325˚F to 375˚F. There is a balance between crisping the outside and cooking the inside. Too low oil temperatures result in sogginess inside and out of the fried food. Too hot and you have a burnt outside with a cold inside.

Green tomatoes don't need to cook a lot on the inside, so I like to keep the oil at around 350˚F so the outside browns and crisps while the green tomato is warm, but not mushy, on the inside. When working in batches, be sure to let the oil come back up to temperature between batches. 

When in doubt, leave it. 

Finally, once the spacing and temperature are down, all that's left to do is wait and let the oil do its job. You may want to pull the items the second you see the golden color develop. Don't do it!

The green tomatoes should have a deep golden color. 

They will continue to cook once removed from the oil, but the key is to ensure the color and crispness are already there. If you pull the green tomatoes too early and the promised crispy coating is but a dream, it's okay! Put the tomatoes back in the pot and keep frying, 

A photo of fried green tomato in a wrap with lettuce, slices of onions and a chipotle sauce drizzle on top.

A wrap and beyond

Once you get the texture of the fried green tomato, there are a few good serving options. 

The Wrap

As with this recipe, wrap them! Use a tortilla, pita, or naan, and tuck these little golden nuggets in with some lettuce, a solid sauce, and protein if you're feeling it. Because of the moisture content in fried green tomatoes, they are best eaten right away, so no packing them away. However, it's well worth the work!

Of course, you can always swap the wrap for bread and make yourself one deliciously messy sandwich. If you go this route, I recommend either using a thinner wedge of tomato or the more traditional, sliced green tomato. 


Drop all the bread and toss the fried green tomatoes with the lettuce and sauce to make a salad. It works, trust me. 


Finally, and how I often eat them as a solid little happy hour snack. Use the sauce as a dip and pair it with your favorite beer or sun tea.

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Fried Green Tomato Wraps with Chipotle Sauce

A filling and messy wrap featuring fried green tomatoes, perfect for the early days of summer or the last days of fall. The tart green tomatoes fry up beautifully, making for a crunchy wrap or sandwich filling.
Chipotle Sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • ½ cup (120 g) sour cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons (15-20 g) mayonnaise
Fried Green Tomatoes
  • Avocado or sunflower oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 pound (226 g) green tomatoes (roughly 4 small-ish or 2 medium ones)
  • 1 cup (244 g) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose or soft wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
The Wraps
  • 4 pieces of naan (warmed)
  • ½ head of butter lettuce (torn into pieces)
  • ¼ small red onion (minced)
  1. To make the chipotle sauce: Place the minced garlic, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl. Let rest for 5 minutes. Add in the chipotles. Using a fork, mash until the chipotle is more of a paste. Stir in the adobo sauce, sour cream, and 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Let rest while making the fried green tomatoes.
  2. To make the green tomatoes: Preheat a small Dutch oven with at least 2" of neutral oil until the oil reaches 350˚F.
  3. Cut the green tomatoes into ½" to ¾" sized wedges. Grab two low, wide bowls. Place the buttermilk in the first bowl and whisk the flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, kosher salt, and onion powder in the second. Have a large plate covered with a wire rack nearby.
  4. Place the green tomatoes in the buttermilk in batches of 4-5 wedges. Toss to coat, then transfer to the flour mixture, letting any excess buttermilk drip off before transferring. Toss the green tomatoes in the flour mixture until well coated.
  5. Repeat the process with the buttermilk and flour mixture, then place the coated green tomatoes on the wire rack. Repeat with the remaining tomato wedges. I like to use a fork to transfer, as using fingers or more aggressive utensils can leave bald spots on the tomatoes.
  6. Start with your first round of breaded green tomatoes when the oil is hot. Add them to the pot using a slotted spoon or spider strainer. Add just enough without overcrowding the pot. Let fry until a deep golden brown, anywhere from 3 to 6 minutes, depending on how much your oil temperature dropped, the size of your tomatoes, and how many tomatoes are currently frying.
  7. Once the tomato wedges are crisp and a deep golden color, transfer them to the wire rack. Repeat the process with the remaining tomatoes until all are cooked and crispy.
  8. To assemble the sandwiches: Place the naan on four separate plates. Spread a couple tablespoons of the sauce on each piece of naan then layer with lettuce and the fried tomatoes. Drizzle a little more sauce on top as desired, and finish with the minced red onion before serving.
Sauce: The sauce is highly adjustable for personal preference. Want more chipotles? Add them. Are you a fan of a heavy creamy mayo flavor rather than a tangy sour cream? Play with the ratios.
Buttermilk: I don't always have buttermilk on hand, but I nearly always have plain yogurt. If this happens to be you as well, thin the yogurt down to buttermilk consistency, using either water or milk, and use it in place of the buttermilk.
Chipotles: I never use a whole can of chipotles at a time and often forget about them in the refrigerator. If you love canned chipotles as much as I do, I recommend keeping a small ice cube tray on hand and freezing single portions to thaw as needed.
Mayo: I typically use Kewpie mayo for sauces like this but use whatever you have on hand!

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Welcome to my little internet nook. On this site you'll find over a thousand vegetarian recipes, pantry knowledge, and more. I'm ever obsessed with food from gardening, cooking, and preserving. I hope you'll find endless inspiration on these pages and visit often. 

Virtual hugs, Erin (aka: e.l.l.a.)

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