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Fire Roasted Tomatoes – Oven or Grill

Fire Roasted Tomatoes add richness and a touch of sweetness to any recipe they are added. This post shares how to fire roast tomatoes easily at home, either on the grill or in the oven.

You can swap out these fire-roasted tomatoes for any tomato product. This creamy Tomato Soup is one of my favorite soups as is. But every now and again, I enjoy swapping out the plain old tomatoes with fire-roasted for a little change. Roasting the tomatoes deepens the flavor of the tomato and makes them much richer tasting. It also intensifies their natural sweetness.

Consider swapping your regular canned tomatoes for tomatoes fire roasted! If your recipe calls for tomato sauce, simply puree your roast tomatoes. If you need diced tomatoes, then chop them after you’ve roasted them.

One of our favorite ways to enjoy fire-roasted tomatoes is by topping our bowls of brothy beans. The richness of the tomatoes is the perfect balance with the creaminess of the beans. Sooo delicious!

Brothy Beans with Roasted Tomatoes
Brothy Beans Recipe with Roasted Tomatoes

Fire-roasted tomatoes can be prepared on the grill or in the oven. Both methods to fire roast tomatoes are incredibly easy, but roasting in the oven takes longer.

Why Roast Tomatoes?

Fresh tomatoes are typically 95% water. When we roast them, the water evaporates, leaving just the flesh, which intensifies the flavor.

Roasting tomatoes is also a great way to reduce food waste! If you think you won’t eat a bunch of fresh tomatoes before they go off, then pop them in the oven to roast them. They are then easily stored in the freezer.

And, you know those tomatoes that you typically get at the grocery store, which seem a tad flavorless and maybe even (gasp) mealy? Roasting them really transforms mediocre tomatoes into something pretty damned delicious!

BUT…there’s just no way to make fire-roasted tomatoes look pretty! They weren’t meant to be in front of a camera; their purpose is to make your tastebuds happy!

How to Fire Roast Tomatoes On The Grill

It really could not be easier! Tomatoes are cut in half, stuffed with raw garlic (optional but highly recommended), drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then put on the grill, which does all the work.

Tomatoes roasting on a grill.

Grilling the tomatoes over high heat gives them a bit of char, which is the trademark of fire-roasted tomatoes. We turn them halfway during grilling to ensure that both sides get the char. Fire-roasting tomatoes on the grill results in a tomato with a smokier flavor compared to roasting in the oven.

If you want fire-roasted diced tomatoes, I’d opt for the grill and remove them while they are still firm enough to chop.

Preparing Fire Roasted Tomatoes In The Oven

Hands down, this is my preferred method to fire roast tomatoes. The longer time in the oven seems to melt the tomatoes to a rich, almost candy version of a tomato that the grill (in my humble opinion) can’t touch.

Roasted Tomatoes on a sheet of aluminum foil.

The preparation is the same: slice the tomatoes in half, stuff them with garlic slivers, and drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The garlic cooks by stuffing it inside the tomato but doesn’t burn in the oven’s high heat. The tomatoes definitely get a bit of a char on the top, but not so much on their bottoms.

I personally like my tomatoes almost melted, which I get after 45 minutes in a 450° oven. If you’d prefer a little more ‘structure’ to your tomatoes, pull them out after 30ish minutes.

What Tomatoes Are Best For Roasting?

Like anything, quality in, quality out. Opting for the most flavorful tomato will produce the most flavorful fire-roasted tomato.

  • Roma tomatoes – Roma’s are known for their big, bold flavor. They are more prized for the meaty flesh for cooking sauces and pastes. If you have some bland-ish Romas, I’d use the slow roast oven method to intensify their flavor even more.
  • Campari – It is a trade-off. Campari’s are much more flavorful but also less meaty, with higher water content. In my mind, they essentially melt…which isn’t a bad thing. It just depends on what you want them for. Fire-roasted camparis would be difficult to dice!
  • Beefsteak—Beefsteaks seem to be right in the middle. They have more flavor than Romas but are not as watery as Campari.
  • Grape and Cherry Tomatoes – Great for roasting, but I don’t bother slicing them. Just drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast.
A bowl of Campari tomatoes.

How Will You Use Your Fire-Roasted Tomatoes?

The question should be, what can’t you use these little delicacies for? I probably wouldn’t want them in my chocolate chip cookies, but other than that, fire-roasted tomatoes add a delightful smoky flavor to a wide range of dishes. Here are a few creative ways to incorporate them into your culinary repertoire:

Brothy Beans with Roasted Tomatoes
  • Top your salad with these healthy tomato candies.
  • Top a bowl of your favorite beans! We absolutely love them atop our favorite Brothy Beans.
  • Whip up a flavorful pasta sauce: Crush fire-roasted tomatoes and simmer them with garlic, onions, herbs, and a splash of red wine. Toss the sauce with your favorite pasta for a robust and satisfying meal.
  • Create a vibrant salsa: Combine fire-roasted tomatoes with diced onions, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Serve it with tortilla chips or use it as a topping for tacos, burritos, or grilled meats.
  • Enhance your soups and stews: Add fire-roasted tomatoes to vegetable, chicken, or beef broth for an extra layer of smoky depth. They pair particularly well with chili, lentil soups, and hearty stews.
  • Spread toasted baguette slices with a mixture of fire-roasted tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil to make a mouthwatering bruschetta. It’s a perfect appetizer or light snack bursting with savory flavors.
  • Elevate your sandwich! Try this grilled cheese sandwich: Layer fire-roasted tomatoes between slices of your favorite cheese and bread, then grill until the cheese is melted and gooey. The tomatoes add a tangy and smoky twist to this classic comfort food.
  • Amp up your breakfast: Incorporate fire-roasted tomatoes into your morning omelets or frittatas. The smoky flavor pairs well with eggs, cheese, and various vegetables.
  • Create a flavorful marinade: Blend fire-roasted tomatoes with herbs, spices, and a splash of vinegar or citrus juice to make a versatile marinade for chicken, seafood, or tofu. Let the ingredients mingle for a while before grilling or roasting.

Remember, fire-roasted tomatoes can be used in numerous ways to add a unique twist to your favorite recipes. Get creative and let their smoky essence inspire your culinary adventures!

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How To Store Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

It is a rare day that I don’t have a stash of these little tomato treats in my freezer. I freeze them in 1/2 cup portions using these PrepWorks Freezer Pods and then store them in an airtight container in my freezer. I use them frequently, so they don’t stay around too long. Like anything, the flavor will degrade over time, so I’d use them up within several months, though I recently found some that were six months old and were fine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to peel the tomatoes before or after roasting?

Peeling is optional. If preferred, the skin can be easily removed after roasting, but I’ve never seen a reason to peel the skin from the tomatoes.

Can you add other flavors to the tomatoes while roasting?

Yes, feel free to add herbs like basil or oregano or spices such as chili flakes or smoked paprika for extra flavor. If you add fresh herbs, tuck them in the tomato pulp to prevent them from burning.

How do fire-roasted tomatoes differ from sun-dried tomatoes?

Fire-roasted tomatoes are cooked at high heat to char and soften them, while sun-dried tomatoes are dehydrated and have a chewier texture and more concentrated flavor.

Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Oven or Grill

lynn
Fire Roasted Tomatoes add richness and a touch of sweetness to any recipe they are added to. You can easily prepare them at home, either on the grill or in the oven.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes
Course Vegetable + Salad Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 28 ounces
Calories 143 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 lbs tomatoes washed (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons approximate olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4-5 large cloves of garlic optional

Instructions
 

  • Slice tomatoes in half through the stem end.
    Roma Tomatoes cut through the stem end.

If Grilling Your Tomatoes

  • Heat your grill to high (400° – 500°F or 204° – 260℃)
  • Grease a grill pan or a grill basket with olive oil, canola, or avocado oil.
  • (Optional) Slice garlic into slivers. You want 1-2 slivers for each tomato half.. Stuff 1-2 slices of garlic into the pulp of each tomato half. Use a knife to cut the flesh of the tomato to insert the garlic if you need to.
    Slivered Garlic
  • insert a sliver of garlic into tomato half before roasting.
  • Sprinkle the cut side of the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
  • Lay your tomatoes, cut side down, on the grill pan or grill basket.
  • Place the grill pan on the grill and shut the lid.
  • Grill for 8-10 minutes until the cut side is lightly charred.
  • Gently turn over. I find a metal spatula is best for this.
  • Let grill for another 8- 10 minutes until the skin side is also charred.
  • If you plan to dice your fire-roasted tomatoes, remove them while the flesh is firm enough to cut.
  • Use within 4-5 days or freeze. I freeze mine in these half-cup freezer pods and then store the frozen tomatoes in a reusable ziplock or glass container, but any airtight container would work. The longer they are in the freezer, the more their taste will degrade. But I have used them after six months, and they were fine.

If Oven Roasting Your Tomatoes

  • Preheat your oven to 450°F (204° – 260℃)
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  • Lay your tomatoes, cut side up, on your lined baking sheet.
  • (Optional) Slice garlic into slivers. You want 1-2 slivers for each tomato half.. Stuff 1-2 slices of garlic into the pulp of each tomato half. Use a knife to cut the flesh of the tomato to insert the garlic if needed. (See images above)
  • Sprinkle the cut side of the tomatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Place in preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes (for more firm roasted tomatoes) or 45 minutes (for almost melted roasted tomatoes)
  • Remove them from the baking sheet while they are still warm, or they will stick.
  • Use within 4-5 days or freeze. I freeze mine in these half-cup freezer pods and then store the frozen tomatoes in a reusable ziplock or glass container, but any airtight container would work. The longer they are in the freezer, the more their taste will degrade. But I have used them after six months, and they were fine.

Notes

Like anything, quality in and quality out. Opting for the most flavorful tomato will produce the most flavorful fire-roasted tomato.
  • Roma tomatoes – Roma's are known for their big, bold flavor. They are more prized for the meaty flesh for cooking sauces and pastes. If you have some bland-ish Romas, I'd use the slow roast oven method to intensify their flavor even more.
  • Campari – It is a trade-off. Campari's are much more flavorful but also less meaty, with higher water content. In my mind, they essentially melt…which isn't a bad thing. It just depends on what you want them for. Fire-roasted camparis would be difficult to dice!
  • Beefsteak – Beefsteaks seem to be right in the middle. More flavor than Romas but not as watery as Campari.
  • Grape and Cherry Tomatoes – Great for roasting, but I don't bother slicing them. Just drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast.
Two lbs Roma tomatoes or Campari Tomatoes result in approximately twenty-eight ounces of roasted tomatoes

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 164mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6g
Keyword roasted, tomatoes
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Fire Roasted tomatoes in a clear jar.
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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made these in the oven and they worked perfectly. Tossed some with pasta for an easy dinner & frozen the rest for later.

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