Dehydrated Tomatoes

Dehydrated Tomatoes

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
17 Calories
0g Fat
4g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 17
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 269mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 13mg 64%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 220mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Drying tomatoes is the best way of making the best out of an abundance of summer tomatoes. With a wonderfully concentrated sweet tomato flavor, dehydrated tomatoes are a flavorful ingredient for soups, pizzas, stews, dips, sauces, meats, sandwiches, pasta, salads, or cheese and charcuterie boards. Although they're traditionally dried under the sun, using a dehydrator or an oven is best as it allows you to control the temperature and humidity needed to achieve the perfectly pliable and chewy tomatoes without excess moisture. Our recipe using a dehydrator is very easy to follow. You just need to plan ahead and be patient. The tomatoes will dry out in 6 to 8 hours, depending on size and their water content. Use any tomatoes you have at hand, but no matter the type, cut them into similar size pieces.

A food dehydrator is a tool that employs a constant, low temperature and a fan to dry out food, removing the water but keeping the enzymes within the food intact. Fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, and proteins can be successfully dehydrated and stored for colder months. To successfully dry food, the key is to keep a constant low temperature and adequate airflow. If the temperature is too high, the food will harden too quickly, but the inside may remain moist and will be vulnerable to spoilage.

The process for dehydrating tomatoes is the same no matter the quantity, so plan depending on how much space your dehydrator has. That said, always leave enough room between tomatoes to allow for airflow. If your dehydrator does not have a thermostat, use a dependable oven thermometer on the bottom rack so you can monitor the temperature.

Ingredients

  • 2 plum tomatoes

  • 4 pinches salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Dehydrated Tomatoes ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. Slice the plum tomatoes in half. If using round tomatoes, cut them into quarters. Carefully scrape out the seeds, leaving the pulp intact.

    Slice the plum tomatoes in half and scrape out the seeds

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. Turn halves pulp-side down and make a shallow slit of about 1 inch long lengthwise into the skin.

    Turn halves pulp-side down and make a shallow slit into the skin

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Turn back over and sprinkle lightly with salt to help drain the moisture.

    salt the tomato halves

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Set dehydrator temperature to 135 to 140 F. Arrange tomatoes on dehydrator trays pulp-side up at least 1/2-inch apart from each other. Leave 1 to 2 inches in between racks for good air circulation.

    salted tomato halves on a dehydrator tray

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  6. For proper dehydration, the drying time might be between 6 to 8 hours, or more if the tomatoes are especially large and plump or if it is especially humid in your kitchen. During the dehydration process, turn the tomatoes and rotate the racks as needed to promote even drying.

    tomato halves in a dehydrator

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  7. Always check at the 6-hour mark. During the last part of the drying, check that the tomatoes become a deep red color and are completely dry but still a bit pliable—not crispy. Test for doneness by touching the tomatoes with your finger. They should not feel tacky or sticky. Remove the ones that are done, leaving thicker ones to finish.

    dehydrated tomato halves

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  8. Enjoy in your favorite recipes!

    Dehydrated Tomatoes

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

How Can I Reconstitute Dehydrated Tomatoes?

To rehydrate the tomatoes for recipes that requiere it, simply place the amount of tomatoes needed in a bowl and cover with hot water or hot vegetable broth. The tomatoes need to be submerged all the way. Allow the tomatoes to steep in the liquid for 30 to 60 minutes. Drain and use.

How to Store Dehydrated Tomatoes

Store dehydrated tomatoes in a zip-top bag, squeezing out the air, in a cool, dry place for up to 2 months. If you refrigerate or freeze the bags, the shelf life will be extended to 6 to 9 months. Be mindful that a minimal amount of moisture can encourage mold growth, so keeping them in the fridge or freezer is always best.

How to Use Dehydrated Tomatoes

The fabulous flavor of dehydrated tomatoes shines in varied preparations. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Tomato cream cheese: Mix 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese with 1/4 cup of chopped reconstituted dehydrated tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Use on bagels, sandwiches, or wraps.
  • Pasta sauce: Make your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce and add 4 to 6 chopped dehydrated tomatoes to intensify the flavor.
  • Tomato pesto: Blend 8 ounces of reconstituted dehydrated tomatoes with 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 4 tablespoons of pine nuts, a pinch of chili flakes, 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. If needed, add extra oil to make a smooth paste to use in pasta salad, on top of baked potatoes, or as a spread for bread.
  • Crostini: Serve reconstituted tomatoes on top of a slice of toasted baguette topped with Manchego cheese. These small appetizers are also great with goat's cheese, Asiago, Brie, or Camembert.

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