Typical image-guided diffuse optical tomographic image reconstruction procedures involve reduction of the number of optical parameters to be reconstructed equal to the number of distinct regions identified in the structural information provided by the traditional imaging modality. This makes the image reconstruction problem less ill-posed compared to traditional underdetermined cases. Still, the methods that are deployed in this case are same as those used for traditional diffuse optical image reconstruction, which involves a regularization term as well as computation of the Jacobian. A gradient-free Nelder–Mead simplex method is proposed here to perform the image reconstruction procedure and is shown to provide solutions that closely match ones obtained using established methods, even in highly noisy data. The proposed method also has the distinct advantage of being more efficient owing to being regularization free, involving only repeated forward calculations.