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How to Make Homemade Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Fire Roasted Tomatoes will infuse delicious, sweet smokey flavor into anything they are added to.  Fire roasting caramelizes the sugars and intensifies the tomatoes’ natural sweetness, making them the perfect way to elevate any dish.

A glass bowl with roasted tomatoes next to a spoon and a stripped cloth.

Whether you are making sauce, soup or adding them to roasted vegetables, you will be amazed at how much more complex the flavor is when you use fire roasted tomatoes rather than regular tomatoes.

WHAT ARE FIRE ROASTED TOMATOES?

Fire roasted tomatoes are tomatoes that have been roasted over an open flame or in high heat.  The most common ways to make them is either on a grill (a gas grill or a charcoal grill) or in the oven.  The tomatoes are roasted until they start to char, which gives them a smokey flavor that you just don’t get from any other cooking method.  

Roasted tomatoes in a glass bowl with a sprig of basil.

WHY YOU SHOULD MAKE THEM

Once you see how easy it is to make fire roasted tomatoes you will want to use them in all your favorite recipes!

  • This is a super easy recipe, and it requires only a few ingredients.
  • It is the perfect way to use up an overabundance of tomatoes from your garden or the market.
  • Sure, you can buy fire-roasted tomatoes at the grocery store, but this homemade version is so much better!
  • There are no artificial preservatives making this a healthier option.
  • You won’t believe how many uses there are to these delicious beauties! 

THE BEST TOMATOES TO USE 

Any tomato can be fire roasted, but Plum tomatoes are my favorite. They are the meatiest and have the least moisture, making them perfect for making pasta sauce and tomato paste.  Types of plum tomatoes that you might be familiar with are Roma and San Marzano.  Roma tomatoes are the most common fresh plum tomato that you will find in the local grocery store.   

Other varieties that you might like to try roasting are Tomatoes on the vine, Cherry tomatoes and Heirloom.  Any of these varieties would be a delicious alternative to plum tomatoes.  They are all higher in water content so they will soften quicker than Plum tomatoes.  You might find that because they cook faster, they may not take on as much of that delicious, charred flavor from a longer roasting process.   

A pile of plum tomatoes, garlic, cloves and a bowl of salt and pepper with labels over each ingredient.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE FIRE ROASTED TOMATOES

This recipe requires only a few simple ingredients.

  • Plum tomatoes at the peak of ripeness or any other type of tomato that you like.  If you are using a variety that has more water content, then you may want to remove some of the liquid and seeds so that they will roast rather than steam and soften too quickly.  
  • Kosher salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Chopped Garlic
  • Olive oil
two photos of tomatoes on a baking rack, in the first they are raw and in the second they are roasted.

HOW TO FIRE ROAST TOMATOES

  1. Wash and dry the whole tomatoes.  Then cut them in half lengthwise. 
  2. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet that has been fitted with a metal rack.  Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and then sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and chopped garlic. 

OVEN METHOD

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450°F.  Roast the tomatoes for 45-50 minutes in the oven or until the tomatoes begin to char and soften. 

GRILL METHOD

  1. Prepare the grill to cook at high heat. Combine the tomatoes, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic in a bowl and toss to coat them evenly. Place a grill basket or tray on the grill and arrange the tomatoes cut side up.  Cook on high heat for 10-12 minutes.

COOKING TIPS 

  • For the best results use fresh tomatoes at peak of ripeness.  Roasting enhances the tomatoes’ natural sweetness and imparts a delightful smoky flavor. 
  • If you are using the oven method, I recommend pouring a little water in the baking sheet to keep the drippings from burning and creating excessive smoke.
  • If you are grilling the tomatoes, it is best to oil the grill basket so that the tomatoes don’t stick.  

VARIATIONS

This simple recipe can easily be adjusted in all kinds of creative ways.

  • Add a little zing with a touch of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
  • Sprinkle in some of your favorite fresh herbs or Italian seasoning. 
  • Spice things up a bit by adding red pepper flakes.
Roasted tomatoes in a glass jar with oil being poured into it.

STORAGE 

It is best to store the tomatoes in a mason jar or another type of glass container.  It is recommend that you use glass because it will not react with the acids in the tomatoes.  

Once the tomatoes have cooled, transfer them with their juices to a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  They can then be refrigerated for up to two weeks.  As an alternative you can will fill a mason jar with the tomatoes, pour olive oil in the jar until they are covered and seal it with a lid before refrigerating them. 

The tomatoes can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

USES FOR FIRE ROASTED TOMATOES

Fire roasted tomatoes can be used in place of regular canned tomatoes in any recipe:

  • A great way to use them is on pizza or to make pizza sauce.
  • They will bring a different twist to your tomato soups and pasta dishes.
  • Use them to make Amatriciana sauce in place of the canned tomatoes.
  • They add great flavor to any soup such as my Chicken Tortellini Soup.
  • Serve them with baked ricotta as an appetizer.
  • Top focaccia with them.
  • They add amazing flavor to Turkey Chili
  • Chop them up and make bruschetta.
  • They are the perfect addition to an antipasto platter and,
  • They are  a delicious way to dress up roasted vegetables.
A bowl of roasted tomatoes with fresh basil leaves in a glass bowl.

FAQ’s

What’s the difference between fire roasted tomatoes and regular tomatoes?

You can find fire roasted tomatoes in the canned food aisle right next to the regular tomatoes, but they are distinctly different.  Fire roasted tomatoes are roasted over an open flame so that they caramelize and become charred.  The process concentrates the natural sugars in the tomatoes and adds a smokiness that you don’t get in the regular canned tomatoes.

Does “Fire-roasted” mean that the tomatoes are spicy?

No, fire roasted tomatoes are not spicy, although it sounds like they might be.  They are actually sweeter than regular canned tomatoes with a bit of a smoky taste.  You can of course add red pepper flakes or spices to make them hot if you like.  

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this recipe for Fire Roasted Tomatoes or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

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A glass bowl of roasted tomatoes with fresh basil leaves.

Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Fire roasted tomatoes are simply seasoned and roasted. The high heat roasting on the grill or in the oven intensifies the natural sweetness of the tomatoes and infuses them with a deliciously charred smoky flavor. Use them in place of regular canned tomatoes to add a unique depth and complexity to your dishes.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Sauce, condiment, Side Dish, topping
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 54 kcal

Equipment

  • Rimmed baking sheet with wire rack or
  • Grill basket or tray

Ingredients
  

  • 2-3 lbs Plum Tomatoes such as Roma or San Marzano
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • tsp Kosher Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper ground
  • 5-6 cloves Garlic chopped

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 450℉ or grill to high.
  • Slice tomatoes in half lengthwise. Arrange them on the baking rack or grill basket cut side up. Drizzle the olive oil on them, then sprinkle them with salt, pepper and the chopped garlic.
  • Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes or on the grill for 10-12 minutes. The tomatoes should be tender and starting to char.
  • The tomatoes can be used immediately or cooled to room temperature before storing.

Notes

COOKING TIPS 

  • For the best results use fresh tomatoes at peak of ripeness.  Roasting enhances the tomatoes’ natural sweetness and imparts a delightful smoky flavor. 
  • If you are using the oven method, I recommend pouring a little water in the baking sheet to keep the drippings from burning and creating excessive smoke.
  • If you are grilling the tomatoes, it is best to oil the grill basket so that the tomatoes don’t stick.  

VARIATIONS

This simple recipe can easily be adjusted in all kinds of creative ways.
  • Add a little zing with a touch of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
  • Sprinkle in some of your fresh herbs or Italian seasoning. 
  • Spice things up a bit by adding red pepper flakes.

STORAGE 

It is best to store the tomatoes in a mason jar or any type of glass container.  The glass jar will keep the acids in the tomatoes from reacting with the container.  Once the tomatoes have cooled, transfer them with their juices to a jar with a tight-fitting lid.  They can then be refrigerated for up to two weeks.    I also like to fill a mason jar with the tomatoes, pour olive oil in the jar until they are covered and seal it with a lid before refrigerating them. 
The tomatoes can also be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 8servingsCalories: 54kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 442mgPotassium: 278mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 945IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Roasted, grilled, tomatoes, seasoning, easy,
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Another recipe from Enza that is just perfect. She only uses the most simple and fresh ingredients. The process is not difficult and the result is memorable. Thank you for sharing your expertise of authentic Italian cooking, Enza!

  2. 5 stars
    This flavor of these tomatoes is to die for. And they couldn’t be easier. I highly recommend these!

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