How many calories are in 3 Fried Green Tomatoes?

Fried green tomatoes are a popular Southern dish made by coating sliced green tomatoes in breadcrumbs or batter and frying them until crispy. They make for a delicious and indulgent side dish or appetizer. However, fried foods are often high in calories, so people watching their waistlines may wonder: how many calories are actually in fried green tomatoes?

The Calories in a Single Fried Green Tomato

The number of calories in a fried green tomato can vary considerably depending on the size of the tomato slice and how it is prepared. According to the USDA, one small fried green tomato (around 3 inches wide) contains approximately:

  • 100 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of protein

This is for a fried green tomato coated in cornmeal and fried in oil. Breading the tomatoes adds additional calories from the breadcrumbs.

Calculating Calories for 3 Fried Green Tomatoes

To determine the calories for 3 average-sized fried green tomatoes:

  • 1 fried green tomato = approx. 100 calories
  • 3 fried green tomatoes = 3 * 100 calories
  • Total calories for 3 fried green tomatoes = 300 calories

So for 3 medium-sized fried green tomatoes coated in cornmeal and fried in oil, the total calorie count comes to around 300 calories.

Factors That Affect Fried Green Tomato Calorie Count

There are a few factors that can alter the calorie content of fried green tomatoes:

  • Size of the tomato slices: Larger tomato slices will have more calories than smaller slices since there is more surface area to be fried.
  • Breading: Using breadcrumbs or batter to coat the tomatoes before frying adds extra calories. Plain cornmeal has fewer calories than panko breadcrumbs or batter.
  • Frying method: Deep frying adds more oil and calories vs pan frying in just a small amount of oil.
  • Oil used for frying: The type of oil used affects the calorie count too. For example, frying in olive oil adds a bit more calories than frying in canola oil.

Ways to Make Fried Green Tomatoes Healthier

Although fried green tomatoes are a hearty, indulgent food, there are some simple ways to lighten them up a bit:

  • Use smaller tomato slices to reduce the overall calorie count.
  • Skip the breading and just coat the tomatoes in cornmeal for a crunchy exterior with fewer carbs.
  • Pan fry in just 1-2 tbsp olive oil instead of deep frying which uses a lot more oil.
  • Use whole grain panko breadcrumbs instead of regular panko if using breadcrumbs.
  • Opt for Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk when making a batter coating.
  • Bake the tomatoes in the oven instead of frying to significantly reduce the amount of added fat and calories.

Serving Fried Green Tomatoes as a Side Dish

Enjoying fried green tomatoes in moderation is key. When served as a side dish rather than an appetizer, the portion size is often smaller.

A serving size of 3-4 small to medium fried green tomatoes can make a nice accompaniment to a main course like chicken, fish, or a salad. The total calorie count for a 3-4 piece side dish would be approximately:

  • 3 medium fried green tomatoes = 300 calories
  • 4 small fried green tomatoes = approx. 400 calories

When enjoyed in reasonable portions, fried green tomatoes can be part of an overall balanced diet.

Nutritional Benefits of Green Tomatoes

Despite the extra calories from frying, green tomatoes themselves are low calorie and pack some nutritional perks. Some of the health benefits of green tomatoes include:

  • High vitamin C: Green tomatoes contain 31% of the RDI of vitamin C per cup, which supports immune function.
  • Antioxidants: Green tomatoes have antioxidant compounds like carotenoids that can help neutralize oxidative stress.
  • Anti-inflammatory: The phytonutrient content in green tomatoes has anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Bone health: Good source of vitamin K which promotes healthy bones.

So while fried green tomatoes may not be the healthiest preparation, the green tomatoes themselves provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Full Nutrition Information for Fried Green Tomatoes

Here is the full nutritional breakdown for 3 medium fried green tomatoes (around 3 inches wide):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 300
Fat 18g
Carbohydrates 36g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 12mg
Vitamin K 9mcg
Potassium 270mg

As you can see, while fried green tomatoes are high in fat from the frying process, they still provide valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Moderation is key when indulging in this Southern favorite.

Healthy Fried Green Tomato Recipe Ideas

Here are some recipe ideas for lightened-up fried green tomatoes so you can still enjoy their signature crunch without all the extra calories and fat:

Baked Breaded Green Tomatoes

For a crunchy coating with fewer calories, coat sliced green tomatoes in whole wheat panko breadcrumbs and bake in the oven. Pair with a yogurt or tahini sauce on the side for dipping.

Air Fried Cornmeal Green Tomatoes

An air fryer creates a crisp fried texture with only a tablespoon of oil. Coat thick slices of green tomato in cornmeal and air fry until golden brown.

Pan Fried Green Tomatoes with Herbs

Pan frying uses less oil than deep frying. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and fry cornmeal coated green tomato slices for 2-3 minutes per side. Garnish with fresh herbs.


Fried green tomatoes can be a tasty but high-calorie treat. Three medium fried green tomatoes will provide about 300 calories and 18g of fat. You can reduce the calorie count by using smaller slices, opting for light breading, and baking or pan frying instead of deep frying. Enjoy this crispy Southern specialty in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

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