Charred Jalapeños and Tomatoes

Hot coals impart a smoky flavor and mellow the jalapeños, while tomatoes soften to juicy sweetness. A wide, flat skewer is the key to preventing the tomatoes and jalapeños from rolling when rotating on the grill. See How to Make Kebabs on the Grill to see the Martirosyan family's detailed step by step instructions for making charred jalapeños and tomatoes and other kebabs. This recipe is for one skewer– just enough to provide a side of grilled vegetables as part of a larger meal - but it can easily be multiplied to make more.

Charred Jalapeños and Tomatoes
Photo: Photo by Julia Stotz / Food Styling by Caroline K. Hwang / Prop Styling by Samantha Margherita


  • 3 medium-size plum tomatoes (about 9 ounces)

  • 3 medium jalapeños (about 3 ounces)

  • 2 large metal skewers (1 inch wide x 23 1/2 inches long)


  1. Open bottom vent of a kettle grill completely. Light charcoal chimney starter heaping full of briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash, pour them onto bottom grate, and arrange evenly in a 10-inch-wide strip down middle of bottom grate. Do not place top grate on grill. Place 1 skewer across edge of grill, parallel to coal strip, resting on rim of the grill. This will be used as a rack to suspend the kebab.

  2. While charcoal chimney is heating, skewer the kebab. Thread tomatoes and jalapeños crosswise onto remaining skewer, starting about 3 1/2 inches down from pointed skewer tip. Set aside at room temperature until ready to grill.

  3. Arrange kebab, with pointed end of skewer resting on prepared rack and handle overhanging the edge of the grill, with vegetables perpendicular to the charcoal strip. Grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until well charred on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve immediately.


Select firm-ripe plum tomatoes.

To make this recipe on a Mangal Grill

Divide the hot coals in half. Push coals to each end of the mangal, spreading them in an even layer and leaving about 10 inches in the center of the charcoal bed empty. Cook kebab over the hot coals, rotating and repositioning the skewers as needed to prevent large flare-ups. Compared to a kettle grill, the coal bed in a mangal is much closer to the skewers, so shorten cook times by about 2 minutes. If kebab is browning too quickly, finish cooking over the center section.

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