Grilled Green Tomatoes

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Grilled green tomatoes make a fantastic summer side dish. Imagine the tangy taste of underripe tomatoes meeting the smoky grill and a creamy goat cheese spread. While fried green tomatoes steal the spotlight, grilling them offers a lighter, healthier twist that’s just as mouthwatering. Pair them with classic Southern dishes like fried okra, Nashville hot chicken, and shoofly pie for a genuine taste of the American South.

Green tomatoes aren’t just eye-catching; they’re also firm and slightly tart, perfect for grilling. Look for tomatoes that are green because they’re not fully ripe yet, not like the Green Zebra variety that’s green when ripe. The beauty of green tomatoes is that they’re available for many months, from May in the South to late fall in the North.

For the whipped goat cheese spread, opt for a soft, chèvre-style cheese. Just 2 tablespoons of heavy cream lighten the cheese while preserving its creamy richness for the tomatoes.

Grilled Green Tomatoes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 4


  • 4 medium green tomatoes about 2 pounds total, sliced ½ inch thick
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt divided
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided, plus more for grill and drizzling
  • 4 ounces goat cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Zest of 1 lemon about 2 teaspoons
  • ½ teaspoon agave or honey
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • Flaky sea salt optional


  • Step 1: Season both sides of the tomatoes with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and set aside.
  • Step 2: In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, cream, lemon zest, agave, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Spread this mixture on a platter or plate.
  • Step 3: Preheat a gas grill to high; clean and oil the grates. Grill the tomatoes until nicely charred but still firm, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Step 4: Arrange the grilled tomatoes over the goat cheese mixture. Drizzle with oil, then sprinkle with basil, sea salt if desired, and additional red pepper flakes. Enjoy the delightful flavors!

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