Hear me out. I AM a Vidalia Onion Person. I always have been. And I can remember my dad talking about them and using them for his recipes, especially his homemade burgers. I loved how sweet they were to the taste, and how when my dad chopped them, it didn’t make me cry or make my eyes sting. I knew they were something special, and something different, and I vowed to find ways to use them to the best of my abilities. That’s how I came to make Tomato & Vidalia Onion Pie.
We had a neighborhood potluck years ago and one of the neighbors I didn’t know brought a fresh, unbaked tomato pie to put in our oven. I remember how the kitchen changed as the pie cooked. It smelled like late summer! It was a wonderful party and I thought the only thing missing in her pie was Vidalia onions. She had used leeks or scallions and it didn’t have the same effect. It needed a new sweet crunch. So I made it myself for another occasion. And I couldn’t believe how good it was! It went well with what I brought – a warmed loaf from our favorite bread delivery service!
The best tomato pie recipe will have a sweetness and a crunch, although it’s a savory dish. Summer tomatoes are juicy and sweet, although my recipe involves drying them as much as possible so they don’t overpower the pie. Luckily, Vidalia onions hold their own. They are planted by hand and each winter, growers plant over 80,000 Vidalia onion seedlings per acre!
- 1 pie crust - from scratch or store-bought
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced thin
- 1 large Vidalia Onion, sliced thin
- 1-2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 cup grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 2. Slice tomatoes and lay them on a cutting board with paper towel
- 3. Sprinkle them with salt, cover them with more paper towel, and allow them to dry for 15 minutes
- 4. Combine the mayonnaise and two cheeses in a bowl and set aside
- 5. Layer your tomato and Vidalia Onion slices in the pie crust, alternating layers
- 6. Sprinkle the mix with pepper and drizzle olive oil over the vegetables
- 7. Sprinkle on chopped basil and then spread cheese/mayo mix on top
- 8. Add extra basil on top
- 9. Bake pie for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown
- 10. Enjoy!
If you are using a pre-made pie shell, you can follow instructions for pre-baking on the packaging. If they don’t say it, pre-bake it for about 9-10 minutes until it’s lightly browned before filling with the fixings here. If you prefer to use a homemade crust, you freeze it first and then press aluminum foil into the crust to keep the sides from falling down. Fill it with pie weights, like dry beans or rice. You can pre-bake it for 15 minutes, remove the foil, use a fork to make small holes in the bottom for venting, and then bake for ten more minutes. A reader wrote that you can also pre-bake the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes (in a regular oven in a pan with edges) at 350 degrees. And you can also cook the onions in a bit of olive oil to soften them up.
Another reader wrote to par-bake the crust but also “par-bake” the tomatoes. Slice them and bake them in the counter-top oven or regular oven on a pan with edges. Bake for 15-20 min. at 350 degrees or so. This does not have to be exact – just watch them and when they look a bit “dried” you can take them out. They won’t be in neat slices as it softens them a good bit, but they won’t make your crust soggy. You can also cook the onions in a bit of olive oil to soften them up and then layer them.
Looks awesome, right? The Vidalia onion originated in 1930 and 100 registered South Georgia growers produce the crop each year! That means these seasonal treats have been cultivated for more than 80 years by grower artisans. It’s the world’s first sweet onion! I think the world was ready for it because the distinctive taste is derived from the weather, water and soil uniquely found within 20 South Georgia counties. That’s somewhat crazy. They couldn’t grow up here with our weather!
That’s because they get their sweet flavor through a combination of mild winters, low sulfur soil, and a seed variety that has gone through rigorous testing. It definitely makes you appreciate each bite of a Vidalia onion. So hard earned and unique.
These sweet onions are revered by some of the world’s best chefs and home cooks. It’s all about that sweet, distinctive flavor. And they have limited availability so you have to get them while you can! Vidalia onions are hand planted, harvested, and cured each season, and the sweet and juicy bulbs are only available between April and August. So that’s NOW!
You can use Vidalia onions on salads, sides, dressings, dips, and even with desserts! Purchase them in your local grocery store after April 20th! (now) And visit vidaliaonion.org to find out much more about these amazing, seasonal gems.
I’ve never had tomato pie – and I don’t know why, because I love tomatoes and this looks DELICIOUS!
Oh gosh do I LOVE Vidalia Onions! Yummy recipe 🙂
Janine Huldie says
Omg, we are so twins! Seriously I always usually get Vidalia Onions as I am a big fan of the sweeter taste to them. And now definitely going to try your pie recipe with them here, too 🙂
Emily Jones says
If you rebake you’re pie shell until golden brown then add ingredients to cook the bottom doesn’t get soggy. Also, wrap tin foile around the top of the shell to prevent over baking the edges.
That sounds so good I want to make one right now!
Mmm, that looks delicious 🙂
Dr. J says
Wow! That pie looks great! I love sweet onions! Have some most every day. My dad’s favorite vegetable is the onion. I once read an article that assured me that an onion a day is better than an apple a day for keeping the doctor away 🙂
I am usually not a savory pie kind of gal, but this looks so yum! I live for some sweet onions. So good, especially with steak when you cook it down but not all the way. YUM. Can you tell I’m hungry?
I love love love tomatoes, they are so refreshing, delicious and remind me of spring in Italy. I’m also a huge fan of vidalia onions, so this pie is totally for me. Loving the addition of basil 🙂 I hope you had a great week Tamara
I must make this. I just LOVE onions and tomatoes. This would be the perfect dinner for me.
Hi Tamara, this is a perfect summer pie. I can imagine it now served up with a green salad. Vidalia onions aren’ a type I’ve heard of here, but I’ll do my very best to find use the sweetest, crispest onions I can find!
Is the pie crust baked or unbaked?
Ack, I’m sorry I didn’t write that back then! If you are using a pre-made pie shell, you can follow instructions for pre-baking on the packaging. If they don’t say it, pre-bake it for about 9-10 minutes until it’s lightly browned before filling with the fixings here. If you prefer to use a homemade crust, you freeze it first and then press aluminum foil into the crust to keep the sides from falling down. Fill it with pie weights, like dry beans or rice. You can pre-bake it for 15 minutes, remove the foil, use a fork to make small holes in the bottom for venting, and then bake for ten more minutes.
Mary Lou says
The baking instructions are confusing. You say “Bake pie for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown” – but other instructions state: pre-made shell bake for about 9-10 minutes before filling. Do you then bake for an additional 40-45 minutes?
I’m so sorry – I wrote this out years ago but it really varies with pie crust – and with it being frozen or in the fridge pre-made, or frozen or in the fridge homemade. For a pre-baked one I personally baked it for 9-10 minutes, filled it, and then baked it for another 40 or so.
Mary Lou Graeber says
Thank you so much for answering so quickly! I’m going to make this – it looks delicious.
This was delicious! Followed directions as written, BUT went abit heavy handed on the Parm cheese. It didn’t take away from the flavor, but hubby said “maybe alittle too much”…. even with that said, the whole thing got devoured!
ha! I didn’t even know there could be too much Parmesan. I’m so happy you enjoyed this!
Jo Ann Kee says
2 large tomatoes would equal how many cups? I need a little more information, please. My idea of a large tomato may vary from yours. I’m looking forward to making this and I want to be successful. Thanks!
Made this today, and it was fantastic! I could have eaten half the pie (but I restrained myself). BTW, I used 1/2 c. cheddar and 1/2 c. mozzarella and seasoned salt.
Do you think I could just layer this in a dish without crust? I can’t have pie crust but I just have to try this. I think if I grease the dish well it may work. Just wanted your opinion. Thank you!
I’ve seen crustless tomato pie on Pinterest
Oh. This looks fantastic! I have fresh Jersey tomatoes my son just brought to us. (I feel about Jersey tomatoes like you feel about Vidalias!) can’t wait to make this. Thank you !
Making your pie today. I’m in Alabama. Using locally grown tomatoes and basil and Georgia Vidalia onions. Will be ready in 40 minutes
Loved this! Great flavor! BUT even rebaking the crust left it with a “soggy bottom”🙁
Made this for dinner tonight, and it had a wonderful taste, but was really soggy. I did pre bake the crust, and dried the tomatoes as suggested. The onions were al dente, but was afraid to leave any longer in the oven. Something a bit wrong with the methodology.
Would reg or deep dish pie shell be better?
Sue P. says
To prevent a soggy crust, I par-bake the crust as many have mentioned but I also “par-bake” the tomatoes. I slice them and bake them in the counter-top oven or regular oven on a pan with edges. Bake for 15-20 min. at 350 degrees or so. Don’t have to be exact, just watch them and when they look a bit “dried” you can take them out. They won’t be in neat slices as it softens them a good bit, but they won’t make your crust soggy. I also cook the onions in a bit of olive oil to soften them up then layer as you show in your recipe. This is the only way I’ve been able to keep from having a soggy crust.
Sue P. says
I forgot to add that you’ll need more tomatoes since they shrink. Maybe 4-5 medium tomatoes.
Delicious! Will try pre-baking crust and tomatoes next time. Flavor was outstanding even with a soggy bottom.
Barbara D says
I’m making this right now. Pre-baked frozen pie crust, tomatoes in the oven now so they won’t make pie bottom soggy, and am tossing and sauté the onions too. I’ll let you know how it comes out!
So let me just start by saying this is amazing! Fresh yet creamy and warm and filling.
I made a few substitutions based on what I did and did not have on hand. I replaced mayo with cream cheese and 1 egg, and put about a teaspoon of dried basil in that mix as I had no fresh basil. I will definitely be making this again!
This is good, but not my favorite. (My mother in law has a recipe I have made several times that is fantastic- takes longer and has more expensive cheeses though, so only for special occasions). I made this one per instructions, then tried again with some variation. One – use more onions (I used four) and caramelize them first. Two, use 3 to 4 smaller tomatoes instead of large ones. Makes for a more even pie. Finally, use a medley of herbs rather than just basil if you can. Thyme, oregano, basil, chives, etc.