Fire Roasted Tomatoes

5 from 16 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!)

5 from 16 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 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes


Optional Flavor Adds

    Italian Style

    Mexican Style

    If Canning

    • White Vinegar OR Bottled Lemon Juice (See Note 2)
    • Citric Acid for Canning


    • 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.


    • Allow tomatoes to cool. Optionally remove skin and chop if preferred.
    • Clean the jars and lids with hot soapy water. Fill a large stockpot with enough water to cover your jars by 1-2 inches. Place your rack on the bottom of the pot and transfer to stovetop. Turn heat to medium and place your jars in the pot to keep them hot until ready to fill.
    • Carefully remove jars from hot water, shaking off excess water. Add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice or 1/2 teaspoon of citric acid to each empty quart jar. For pint jars, use one tablespoon bottled lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid.
    • Pour roasted tomatoes into hot jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Press tomatoes down to fill tightly. Remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims of jars with a paper towel dampened with white vinegar to remove any spill residue. Place a lid on the jar and screw a ring on until finger-tight. 
    • Using the jar tongs, put the jars in the canner and keep them covered with at least 1 inch of water, keeping the water boiling. Process the jars in boiling water for 45 minutes, adjusting for altitudes (see below).
    • Remove the jars with the jar lifter and set the jars on a towel or  cooling rack to cool. After coming to room temperature, make sure they are sealed by checking the center indentation is there (or you heard it pop while cooling), or there is a high-pitched ringing sound when the lid is tapped with a metal spoon.
    • Store unopened jars in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year or keep opened jars in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.



    1. Cherry and Teardrop tomatoes work well, too.
    2. You can use bottled lemon juice instead of vinegar for this recipe if canning in the same amount. Fresh lemon or fresh lime juice is not pH standardized and, therefore cannot be used in this recipe, but bottled lemon is safe. 
    3. This recipe is enough to puree and be able to substitute a 28 ounce can for any recipe.
    Boiling-water bath: pints – 40 minutes; quarts – 45 minutes.
    Dial-gauge pressure canner: pints or quarts – 15 minutes at 11 PSI or 20 minutes at 6 PSI.
    Weight-gauge pressure canner: pints or quarts – 15 minutes at 15 PSI or 20 minutes at 10 PSI.
    Processing Altitude Times
    The processing times are for high acid foods based on canning at sea level to 1000 feet. When processing at higher altitudes, adjust the processing time according to the below times.
    Altitude in Feet >> Increase Processing Time
    1,001-3,000 ft above sea level = 5 min
    3,001 – 6,000 ft above sea level = 10 min
    6,001 – 8,000 ft above sea level = 15 min
    8,001 – 10,000 ft above sea level = 20 min


    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. You are correct and I only mention topping off the roasted tomatoes if NOT canning and refrigerating. If canning, as noted in the instructions, there is no mention of topping with oil.