Fire Roasted Tomatoes

5 from 15 votes

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Fire roasted tomatoes add smoky flavor to anything you make with them. Make this easy recipe; it’s the perfect replacement for canned tomatoes!

roasting Romas on wire rack

Anything you like to make with canned tomatoes can be made using fire roasted tomatoes as a substitute.

Even if your recipe calls for diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes, all you’ll need to do is make this recipe and then dice or crush the tomatoes according to your need. It’s beyond simple and doesn’t take more than a few minutes to prep them for the oven.

The depth of flavor of grill or oven roasted tomatoes is one that really cannot be compared to anything else. They have bits of char on them that add texture as well as flavor.

close up of ripe plum tomatoes sliced in half on a baking sheet

Benefits of Making Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Aside from fresher flavor, there are some great reasons for roasting tomatoes yourself. Here are a couple of 5-star ratings from KIC readers, with their comments on why they love this recipe:

“I have an abundance of fresh summer tomatoes and I have been looking for a way to use them up. I am so making these soon! I will eat them as a snack or use them on pasta.” ~ Jacques

“Many people don’t know that when you buy canned tomatoes, you are ingesting metal from the can. Acids in tomatoes cause the aluminum to leech. I LOVE that I don’t have to worry about that anymore!” ~ Don

broiled tomato halves on wire roasting rack over a sheet pan

Video: Fire Roasting Tomatoes

To see this recipe in action, watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Cooking methods: Grill or Oven

You can cook the fire roasted tomatoes on a grill or, if you don’t have a grill, roast them in an oven.

Using a grill is the quickest way to make them; they roast to perfection on a grill in about 10 minutes.

If you need to use an oven, it will take about 40 minutes for them to roast. I typically add water to the pan to avoid any excessive smoke.

mason jar with blistered plum tomatoes

Flavor Variations

When you shop for cans of fire roasted tomatoes, you’ll notice that they are usually available as Italian or Mexican-style. All that entails is adding seasonings to the tomatoes before roasting.

Those two flavors are the most common, so if you want to recreate them at home, here are the seasonings you’ll need.

Italian-Style Fire Roasted Tomatoes

  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • garlic cloves

Mexican-Style Fire Roasted Tomatoes

You can use any type of seasoning blend that you want, but to prevent the herbs and spices from burning, you’ll want to watch them closely. Another tip is to place the seasonings onto a grill pan or sheet pan and then place the tomatoes on top of them. This will help to protect them from the heat and flames.

Storage and Shelf Life

After roasting the tomatoes, allow them to cool completely. If you won’t be serving them right away, place them into a mason jar or other type of glass container with a lid. Then, cover them with olive oil and store in the refrigerator.

Keep in mind that homemade fire roasted tomatoes have no preservatives. So, for the best flavor, use them up within a week or two or transfer them to a freezer-safe, airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Uses for Fire Roasted Tomatoes

These tomatoes are beyond fantastic in just about anything you can imagine. Here are just a few of the endless possibilities:

  • pasta sauce – Use roasted tomatoes in place of regular canned tomatoes when you make spaghetti sauce.
  • chili or soup – They’re especially delicious in Mexican or Tex Mex cuisine, like chile con carne.
  • breakfast – place them in an omelet or on top of huevos rancheros.
  • sandwiches – add them to a patty melt or grilled cheese sandwich
  • garnishes and recipe add-ins – One of my favorite ways to enjoy them is stirred into a serving of smoked mac and cheese!
  • Salsa- Of course, my favorite way to use them is for roasted tomato salsa

Or, if you simply can’t wait to use them in a recipe, enjoy them straight off of the grill on a bed of baby spinach. The warm tomatoes will wilt the spinach slightly, creating the PERFECT salad!

homemade fire roasted tomatoes in a serving bowl with spoon

This post, originally published on Kevin is Cooking July 20, 2020, was last updated with new content on Aug 19, 2021.

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bowl of homemade fire roasted tomatoes

Fire Roasted Tomatoes (Homemade!) + Video

5 from 15 votes
Homemade fire roasted tomatoes add smoky flavor and are better than canned! Make this easy recipe as a substitute for canned tomatoes!
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins


  • 2 lbs Roma tomatoes sliced lengthwise (See Note 1)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Optional Flavor Adds

    Italian Style

    • 20 fresh rosemary sprigs
    • 20 garlic cloves

    Mexican Style


    • Preheat oven to 450°F or set grill to High (450°F).
    • Rinse and slice each tomato lengthwise. Place on wire rack in rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. I typically add some water to the pan to avoid any smoking or do it on the grill.
    • Oven Method: Roast for 40-45 minutes or until tomatoes are charred. Remove from oven and let cool.
    • Grill Method: Oil grill basket, grill pan or use wire rack in rimmed baking pan and spread tomatoes cut side up. Grill until charred, turning to get both sides (5 to 10 minutes total depending on size).
    • Store room temp roasted tomatoes in jar with olive oil to cover tomatoes and seal. Keep refrigerated.

    Optional Flavor Adds

    • Italian Style: arrange rosemary and garlic cloves on wire rack in rimmed baking pan. Lay the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook per method choice above.
    • Mexican Style: sprinkle tomatoes with oregano and chili powder. Cook per method choice above.



    1. Cherry and Teardrop tomatoes work well, too.
    2. If needed to avoid any smoking from the oil add some water to the pan.
    3. This recipe is enough to puree and be able to substitute a 28 ounce can for any recipe.


    Calories: 52kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 151mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course: Vegetable
    Cuisine: Southwest
    Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
    titled image (and shown): Fire Roasted Tomatoes


    Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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      1. Hi Annabelle. Because I don’t do water bath canning myself, I asked a friend of mine who does it often and I know you can trust her expertise. This is her response to your question. “You can water bath roasted tomatoes but not with oil and since they are borderline acidic you have to add lemon juice. It’s always best to follow a tested safe canning recipe such as this one:

        1. Thanks Kevin. I may use the California Chile seasoning in the Tamale Pie (Casserole) we make which is very much like your great recipe!

    1. 5 stars
      Many people don’t know that when you buy canned tomatoes, you are ingesting metal from the can. Acids in tomatoes cause the aluminum in the cans to leech. I LOVE that I don’t have to worry about that anymore! Great recipe, thanks!

    2. 5 stars
      I find I use these in everything. Super easy and so delicious. Thanks for this one Kevin, another hit!

    3. Did this recipe with Roma tomatoes green bell peppers and a few chipollini onions and used elephant garlic salt pepper and some fresh basil , roasted everything on the grill put everything in my food processor made a great bruschetta . Top notch