Grilled Tomatoes

Quick and easy grilled tomatoes recipe for grilling over a gas or charcoal grill.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Mid July is about the time of year when tomatoes start coming full steam into season. I have 5 tomato plants in my garden that are now producing more tomatoes than we can think up ways of using them. (Gazpacho anyone?)

One quick and easy recipe that I played around with this week is to simply grill the tomatoes, cut side down, and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and sliced basil. It’s so good!

Grilled Tomatoes

When you are working with garden fresh tomatoes, sometimes doing less is more, because the produce is so good to begin with.

Do you have a garden that is full of tomatoes?

What are your ways of using up the bounty? Please let us know in the comments.

Grilled Tomatoes Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 2-4 as a side


  • 2 firm, ripe tomatoes (not overly ripe or they will fall apart when you grill them), cut in half around the middle
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt (or fleur de sel if you can get it)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 basil leaves, thinly sliced (roll them up like a cigar and then slice them to make nice thin slices)


1 Remove watery pulp and seeds from tomatoes:  Standing over a sink, use your fingers to gently dislodge and remove the watery pulp and seeds. (Although the seeds and pulp contain a lot of flavor, when you grill the tomatoes they are going to be lost anyway.)

2 Grill cut-side down: Preheat your grill on high heat for direct grilling. Use a grill basket or fine grill grate if you can, it will make it much easier to work with the tomatoes (or any other vegetables you grill).

Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Brush the cut side of the tomatoes with olive oil. Brush the grill grate or grill pan with olive oil.

Place the tomatoes, cut side down on the grill surface. Cover the grill and let cook for about 4 minutes. (Check after 2 minutes.)

Use a metal spatula to lift tomatoes off of the grill for serving.

3 Serve: Place on a serving dish, cut side up. Drizzle a little more olive oil on the tomatoes. Sprinkle with just a little more salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thinly sliced basil.

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Showing 4 of 54 Comments

  • bob

    I have been doing this for years, but what I do is I take the basil and ut in in a pestel and mortar.. then add the olive oil to it let is steep for a little bit then I se that oild to cook and finish with a fresh drizzle then add fresh basil!!

  • Keli

    My personal favorite sounds silly, but it’s so wonderful.

    Toast with thick slices of tomato and mayo on top.

    That’s it. Very simple, very, very good.

    I also put thin slices of tomato on an olive-oiled tortilla, top with a bit of mozzarella, some more olive oil, good salt and bake in 350 oven until the cheese gets bubbly. Then add some fresh basil if you’d like. It’s simple and wonderful!

  • Avi

    Gazpacho is a great way to use up fresh tomatoes. It’s so fresh and tastes like summer. Recently, I made a beet gazpacho using roasted beets and fresh tomatoes. The sweet, nutty flavor of the roasted beets mixed so well with the tomatoes’ acidity, and, in the finished bowl, the deep purple color looked so pronounced with a dollop of yogurt, some chunks of avocado, and baby-sized leaves of wild sorrel.

  • DebsD

    Will definitely try this one. Would be nice as a side to some grilled fish.

    Another tomato recipe – my super easy tomato salad (goes well with BBQ meats):

    – Chopped 4 or 5 tomatoes (or three generous handfuls of cherry tomatoes chopped in half)
    – 2 thinly sliced spring onions
    – Handful of black olives halved (optional)

    – Fresh chopped basil (or coriander)
    – Juice of half a lime (tip: warm lime/lemons in microwave before cutting for 15 seconds and you’ll get loads more juice)
    – teaspoon sugar
    – generous dash of balsamic vinegar (circa 2 tablespoons)
    – 1 clove garlic crushed
    – teaspoon of chilli/hot sauce (optional)

    Another way to use up tomatoes is home made soup, made a tomato, basil and bacon (sounds weird but it works!), that you can then freeze.

    Keep up the fab work!

  • Nicole

    I do something similar to what you do, but I grill them cut side up, season them first and melt some provolone on top.

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