Making Homemade Sun dried tomatoes is easy and saves you TONS of money. The flavor is fantastic! Make yourself a wonderfully healthy snack food or condiment with healthy fats and the freshest, most flavorful ingredients!
Sun-dried tomatoes are tomatoes that have been dried out and have most of the water content removed. These delicious tomatoes are often stored in olive oil and herbs. Sun-dried tomatoes are a common ingredient in Italian dishes, pasta salads, and many other common meals. These yummy tomatoes can be eaten in a meal or as an appetizer.
These sun-dried tomatoes are easy to make. For this recipe we use a food dehydrator that makes this an easy process.
How long do Sun-Dried Tomatoes Keep?
Sun-dried tomatoes can keep for different lengths of time depending on the storage and preservation methods. Sun-dried tomatoes that are kept in a canned/sealed jar in oil are shelf stable. Once the seal has been broken, they can last 4-6 months if properly refrigerated.
Dehydrated tomatoes can last for 18 months in an airtight container. We dehydrate the tomatoes and keep them dry and airtight until needed. You can use this method and add the oil and herbs the night before you need the sun-dried tomatoes.
Can you use regular tomatoes for sun-dried tomatoes?
Sun-dried tomatoes can be made from any type of tomato. The most popular tomato to use is the Roma tomato. This is because they have very few seeds and plump flesh. Plum or pasta tomatoes are also a great candidate for sun-dried tomatoes. Whatever tomatoes you choose, just make sure you are using home grown pesticide free or completely organic tomatoes.
How long do Sun-dried tomatoes take in a Dehydrator?
Tomatoes take between 6-14 hours to completely dehydrate in a dehydrator. To dehydrate tomatoes, slice them into thin quarters. Add the tomatoes in a single layer to the dehydrator. The dehydrator should be set to 125 F. The tomatoes are finished when they are completely dried and starting to take on a leathery appearance and texture.
Should tomatoes be blanched before dehydrating?
Tomatoes should be blanched before dehydrating. Blanching can stop the enzyme production that breaks down food. Tomatoes can turn black during the dehydration process, blanch the tomatoes before dehydrating to avoid this. Blanching can make the tomatoes a little less flavorful. However, the blanching process will make the tomatoes last longer and avoid going black.
What I did, was use my VERY old Harvest Maid food dehydrator. It’s very easy to use and controls the heat. You can also oven dry or roast tomatoes if you wish. Although a food dryer is more energy efficient and I like the results better.
2018 UPDATE: STILL think this is one of the very best ways to use up extra garden tomatoes! So flavorful and delicious!
We are growing several varieties of tomatoes this year. None are the fleshy kind. Ours are slicers. I dried our Arbason, Volkovs and Rebelski varieties. They are eating varieties, not the best for saucing and drying. Next year we will add some Romas or Plum tomatoes.
Home drying Tomatoes:
Because I was working with juicy, seeded varieties; I sliced them thin (1/4 inch) and laid them out on my dehydrator trays. I dried them at 145 degrees for about 6 hours. Whatever variety of tomatoes you use will require you to figure out the results you want in your tomato and adjust the time and heat accordingly.
We ate them straight off the food dryer and enjoyed the chewy sweetness….I also loaded several gallon sized zip lock freezer bags during the tomato harvest and froze them. They were great all winter.
The way to truly LOVE these tomatoes dried is to make them into homemade sun dried tomatoes.
- Put the dried tomatoes into a container, like a pint mason jar, and pour the best quality olive oil you can find over them (I’m using sage infused olive oil from Drizzle.
- Add Italian spices, fresh herbs and garlic and a dash of Balsamic vinegar for a little bite. I used Drizzle Apple Cider Balsamic vinegar (Wowsa! That is good stuff!).
- Store in the fridge overnight for best flavor infusion before using.
All through the year I pull out a jars worth of my frozen dried tomatoes and whip up a batch of homemade Sun dried tomatoes from them. What an amazing flavor treat. Zip up a sandwich, sauce or dinner.
In the picture above, I dried the tomatoes about halfway dry and cut them thicker and long wise. Then I froze them in a freezer bag. Last night I took them out of the freezer, defrosted them, stirred in my seasonings and oil and then let them sit in the fridge overnight.
Today I needed homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes for my Mediterranean macaroni Salad. I didn’t want chewy, tough tomatoes for the salad. They needed to be soft and flavorful. YES! this recipe worked perfectly! So much more flavor punch from these homemade sun dried tomatoes! The salad is great!
Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes Recipe Notes:
Feel free to Go your own way and make a unique, gourmet condiment. I’m Playing with my food again. I love to do that. Drying tomatoes to different textures, gives you different results and opportunities. Want a chewy snack for a car trip, hike or lunch? Dry them chewy. Need a jarred condiment for a recipe that is soft and flavorful? Make a batch of the softer, less dried tomatoes and marinate them for a few days. They will hold for weeks in the fridge.
Fresh out of the dryer, home dried tomatoes taste sweet and chewy. We add marinated homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes into salads, omelets, crostini topping, and our own Easy homemade Marinara sauce for amazing flavor enhancements. Use these one to one for any recipe calling for sun dried tomatoes.
I’m finding myself repeatedly going back to that jar, digging in with a fork and picking out yummy bits. Homemade Sun dried tomatoes make a great snack just by themselves!
let me know your experiences with drying your own tomatoes. I’m sure, now that I know these are so delicious, I will be revising this post with future discoveries.
I strongly suggest:
If you’re not using your own home organically grown tomatoes; go find some!! Do NOT use non-organic tomatoes for this recipe. Normally “safe” levels of conventional pest and herbicides on tomatoes and peppers will concentrate as they are dried; making them more toxic. Go find a local organic source of tomatoes and peppers for this recipe. The flavor will be magnificently improved as well.
…you need to be VERY careful about putting these dried tomatoes in a jar with oil, herbs and spices and setting it on a shelf at room temperature, for long term storage. That is very controversial (And I haven’t shared the method correctly for long term storage), due to possible lethal, bacterial contamination.
The preferred safest method to store home dried tomatoes:
- freeze them in a vacuum pack or zip lock freezer bag with ALL the air squeezed out.
- when you want to use them; remove from the freezer in small batches.
- Put into an airtight container in the fridge with your olive oil, spices and herbs.
- Adjust the oil and spices as you discover what you like best for different uses.
- Kept in the fridge these Will last several weeks.
Here is Your Printable Recipe Card:
Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes
Making Homemade Sun dried tomatoes is easy and saves you money. The flavor is fantastic! Make yourself a wonderfully healthy snack food or condiment with healthy fats and the freshest, most flavorful ingredients!
- 1 lb.Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 Cup olive oil
- fresh herbs like basil, to taste
- sliced garlic cloves, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Italian seasonings, to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar, to taste
- Wash and Dry the tomatoes.
- Slice them into quarters for fleshy varieties or thin slices if juicy and seedy.
- Dry them in the oven at about 100 or 200 degrees on a shallow baking sheet, turning occasionally OR use your food dehydrator as I did.
- Once dry,for immediate use; put the tomatoes into a container. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, spices and vinegar.
- Pour over the tomatoes and mix until the tomatoes are thoroughly coated with the oil mixture.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Use as desired
For long term storage freeze the dried tomatoes with a vacuum pack or freezer bags. Thaw in small batches and rehydrate with the oil infusion over night.
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Serving Size1 Tablespoon
Amount Per Serving Calories 32
This post is a repost. original post published July 13, 2015
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Saturday 26th of September 2020
Hi, how long is the shelf life for this yummy sundried tomato recipe? And, do you store it in the refrigerator or pantry? Thank you
Saturday 26th of September 2020
Hi Lisa, Once the recipe is made I store mine in the fridge. It lasts at least three months. I've had mine in the fridge up to six months and it's still good. Enjoy!
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Saturday 18th of August 2018
How long do they take to dry in the oven? Typically, not exactly. Just looking for a round about amount of time.
Saturday 18th of August 2018
Hi Pam, Your oven will dry at about the same time as a food dehydrator if you use the same temperature and the convection setting on your oven to ensure even heat and good air flow. Without the convection feature the drying will be more uneven and may take a bit longer but is still quite do able.
Remember, the variety and ripeness of the tomatoes also determine how long until they are completely dried. Another factor is how thick you slice the tomatoes. You can see in my post I slice them rather thin and there is not much flesh on my slicing variety. A meaty Roma or paste type tomato will need a longer drying time.
Plan on a drying time of 6 to 12 hours. However, it can take up to 24 hours if your using a heavy paste tomato and cutting them thickly. Good luck!
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Tuesday 18th of July 2017
I absolutely adore sun dried tomatoes! I totally agree, they price is high when you look at the grocery store. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful how-to. It seems easy, healthy and a perfect weekend activity!
Tuesday 18th of July 2017
It truly is Angie. Thanks for stopping by.