Grandpa's Favorite Tomato Recipes For Any Summer Meal

Even the most stubborn of grandfathers can't resist these tomato season treats.

southern blt stacked on top of each other
Photo: Monica Farber/Southern Living

When it comes to what he eats, Grandpa is a creature of habit. He’s loyal to his tried and true favorite dishes and probably wary to stray from what he knows he likes. From classic Southern meals to recipes full of nostalgia, what can we say? Grandpa just likes things the way he likes them. 

When summer rolls around and tomatoes are at their peak, it’s open season for so many of Grandpa’s favorite meals. You can bet that he’s been waiting all year for a slice of good ole’ tomato pie, and he’ll never say no to a classic tomato sandwich—made exactly the way he likes, of course. For Grandpa, tomato season means the freshest, juiciest versions of some of his favorite recipes, from fried green tomatoes, to tomato gravy, tomato salads, and we can't forget succotash. Surprise Grandpa with one of these go-to tomato recipes to make his day.

01 of 20

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches

Kentucky Hot Brown Sandwiches
Southern Living

This is one sandwich that Grandpa will be thrilled to chow down on. It's a messy meal that will definitely require more than one napkin, but Grandpa wouldn't have it any other way.

02 of 20

Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern Living Fried Green Tomatoes on a board ready to serve

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Christina Dailey

In the summertime, Grandpa can finally get his fix of fried green tomatoes. They're delicious as can be on a BLT or all on their own. Bonus points if you serve them with a yummy dipping sauce or a drizzle of something spicy.

03 of 20

Heirloom Tomato-Cracker Salad

Heirloom Tomato-Cracker Salad
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Whip up this tomato salad with fresh pickings from the garden or farmers' market. Mismatched tomatoes, mayo, and crushed saltines don't add up to the most glamorous meal, but it's definitely one of Grandpa's favorites.

04 of 20

Best-Ever Succotash

Southern Living Best Ever Succotash in the pan ready to serve

Jen Causey; Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Grandpa loves a barbecue, and you can bet you'll be seeing this delectable side at every single one this summer. He'll be so happy to load up his plate with a heaping serving of succotash and something fresh off the grill.

05 of 20

Southern Tomato Sandwich

tomato sandwich halves stacked on top of one another
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

We're willing to bet that Grandpa is a stickler for how he likes his tomato sandwiches made. Not just any old sandwich will do. If he's anything like Rick Bragg, he'll insist on thick slices of tomato, mayo, salt, and pepper on white bread. When it comes to tomato sandwiches, it's Grandpa's way or the highway.

06 of 20

Crusty Broiled Tomatoes

Crusty Broiled Tomatoes
Southern Living

For supper, Grandpa likes a hot meal even on the toastiest of summer days. Throw together this outstandingly easy tomato recipe in under 20 minutes with just a few ingredients you probably already have in the pantry.

07 of 20

Classic Okra And Tomatoes

Classic Okra and Tomatoes in bowls overhead

Monica Farber/Southern Living

It doesn't get more classic than okra and potatoes. This pairing marries together perfectly—almost as perfect as Grandma and Grandpa.

08 of 20

Bacon-and-Tomato Breakfast Casserole

Bacon-and-Tomato Breakfast Casserole

During tomato season, you're sure to find tomatoes on Grandpa's plate from breakfast to dinner. This bacon-heavy breakfast casserole uses the season's brightest produce to start the day on a high note.

09 of 20

Tomato Gravy

Tomato Gravy
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Biscuits and gravy are one of grandpa's favorite foods. This tomato gravy might just give classic sausage gravy a run for its money.

10 of 20

Old-Fashioned Tomato Pie

old-fashioned tomato pie on a teal cloth
Iain Bagwell

No one should dare stand between a Southern grandfather and his tomato pie. Juicy tomatoes and a delicious combination of fresh herbs guarantee that there's no greater crime.

11 of 20

Smoky Pole Beans And Tomatoes

Smoky Pole Beans and Tomatoes
Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

If Grandpa likes his meals to consist of a meat and at least two vegetables, then this side dish will knock his tube socks off. The season's best tomatoes will steal the spotlight away from the main meat when paired with pole beans and bacon.

12 of 20

Tomato 'N' Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust

Ground Beef Recipes: Tomato ’n’ Beef Casserole With Polenta Crust
Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas

This tomato casserole promises to be one of Grandpa's favorites, and thanks to its easy preparation, it'll be a top-runner of yours, too. A one-dish casserole starring ground beef, fresh produce, and lots of cheese is something every member of the family can get behind.

13 of 20

Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise

Mini Tomato Sandwiches With Bacon Mayonnaise
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Grandpa could easily throw back a dozen of these miniature tomato sandwiches. And oh boy, would he enjoy each and every bacon-y one.

14 of 20

Heirloom Tomato Pie

Southern Living Heirloom Tomato Pie finished in the pan and ready to serve

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

This open-faced tomato pie shows off all the goods and is sure to have Grandpa's mouth watering. You'll know that it's time to pick up ingredients for this recipe when the heirloom tomatoes are ripe on the vine.

15 of 20

Fusilli Pasta With Spinach, Tomato, And Bacon

Cheesy Sheet Pan Pasta
Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Tina Bell Stamos

If Grandpa loves digging into a homemade lasagna or baked ziti, then this summer pasta is sure to skyrocket to the top of his list after just one bite. It's got everything you could ask for in a pasta dish: fresh ingredients, lots of cheese, bacon, and some lemon zest to brighten it all up.

16 of 20

Cheesy Tomato-And-Sausage Strata

Cheesy Tomato-and-Sausage Strata
Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

Wake Grandpa up with a Cheesy Tomato-And-Sausage Strata, and he'll be over the moon all day long. Who wouldn't be pleased with this scrumptious egg dish filled with seasonal tomatoes, hickory, smoked sausage, and hearty bread?

17 of 20

Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes

Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes
Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Chicken Salad-Stuffed Tomatoes are a simple pleasure that will surely satisfy on a summer night. Make the most of in-season heirloom tomatoes by filling them with easy-peasy summer chicken salad made with a store-bought rotisserie chicken.

18 of 20

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Tomatoes


During the summer, Grandpa likes his pickled peaches and he likes his pickled tomatoes. This way, you can preserve his favorite produce long past when they're in season.

19 of 20

Roasted Tomato Macaroni And Cheese

Roasted Tomato Macaroni and Cheese
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Mary Clayton Carl; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Topping one of Grandpa's favorite comfort foods with the freshest of tomatoes is a brilliant idea he's sure to love. This is one recipe that will definitely be added to the summer dinnertime rotation, and might just make you the favorite at the potluck.

20 of 20

Classic Southern BLT

southern blt stacked on top of each other
Monica Farber/Southern Living

If Grandpa insists on a BLT for lunch every single day during the summer—with extra crispy bacon and extra mayo, please–he's not alone. What can we say? Grandpa has good taste.

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