How To Make Oven Dried Tomatoes

Heather Dessinger

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Oven dried tomatoes in a bowl

Is there anything quite like tomatoes fresh off the vine for making a batch of fresh salsa or a juicy BLT with homemade mayo? That was a rhetorical question, of course. This time of year you can often find great deals on tomatoes at your local farmer’s market . . . I once got 20 pounds for $20! Or maybe you’ve got garden or a friend who brings extras over by the bucketful – even better.

Whatever the reason, if you’ve got extras on-hand, here’s how to make them into delicious oven-dried tomatoes. Like their more famous cousin, sun-dried tomatoes, these little morsels are delicious in pasta, salads, quiche and other recipes. However unlike sun-dried tomatoes, you can make these in just one day without worrying that your efforts will be spoiled by a surprise summer rain shower.

Oh, and if you ask me the oven-dried versions are much tastier, too.

What kind of tomatoes should I use?

I like to use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes because they require the least amount of work. They’re also naturally sweet, making them a sweet and savory snack when dried. However, you can use whatever you have on hand: heirloom, roma, or plum tomatoes.

Here’s something to keep in mind as you choose your variety:  Tomatoes with smaller seeds and/or less water probably don’t need to be de-seeded. However, many people choose to remove the seeds from larger, juicier tomatoes.

Some people believe the seeds make the dried tomatoes bitter, while others say they make no difference at all or enhances the flavor. It’s really up to you what you want to do. I’m a seeds-in girl, but I recommend trying it both ways to see how you like it.

How to Use Oven-Dried Tomatoes

The best thing about oven-dried tomatoes is how versatile they are. Here are some ways to use them:

  • Add them to wraps and sandwiches
  • Sprinkle them on a summer salad
  • Add them as a topping for gluten-free pizza (with homemade pizza sauce!)
  • Throw them into a quiche
  • Puree them and make a vinaigrette
  • Add them to pesto
  • Scoop them onto bruschetta with gluten-free bread
  • Use them in place of fresh tomatoes in most recipes (you may have to add a little extra liquid)

They’re also amazing on their own as a snack on the go!

Can I use a dehydrator instead of the oven?

Yes, you can use a dehydrator instead of an oven. A dehydrator may take a little longer, but it also may make for more evenly dried tomatoes. Dehydrators also use less energy and are easier to get very specific temperatures and airflow. I have an Excalibur, which is considered the gold standard for dehydrators. I use it for jerkyfruit leather, apple chips, etc.

However, the oven works just fine if you don’t have a dehydrator.

Tips for Making Delicious “Sun-Dried” Tomatoes In Your Oven

Luckily dried tomatoes are fairly easy to make. But here are some tips to help you make them as tasty as possible.

  • Start with in-season tomatoes –  It probably goes without saying, but the better tasting the tomato is the better tasting the dried tomato will be.
  • Season the tomatoes – Consider making a few different batches seasoned differently. Make a plain batch with just olive oil, salt and pepper, then try adding herbs like basil or oregano to another batch.
  • Choose firm tomatoes if possible – Soft tomatoes can take longer to dry.
  • If you’re using larger tomatoes, be sure to slice them evenly and thinly (Thick pieces take longer to dry).

Dried fruits and vegetables can be stored at room temperature, but if they aren’t completely dried they can spoil. If you store them in the refrigerator or freezer they will last a long time.

Step-by-step depiction of making oven dried tomatoes
Oven dried tomatoes in a bowl
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Oven Dried Tomatoes Recipe

Savory and sweet oven dried tomatoes that make a great snack. If you're using small tomatoes like the cherry or grape varieties, this recipe can be easily doubled and spread on two baking sheets to dry at the same time.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 38kcal
Author Heather Dessinger


  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • ¼ – ½ tsp black pepper (If you usually have a light hand with pepper, use ¼. If you like lots of pepper, use ½)


  • If using oven, preheat to 170°F.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Wash the tomatoes and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  • Slice tomatoes in half and place them in a medium size mixing bowl.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Place the tomatoes cut side-up on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Dry in the preheated oven for 4-8 hours or dehydrator for 6-10 hours, until tomatoes are leathery. The time will vary based on the size of the tomatoes and how juicy they are. You'll know they're ready when you allow one to cool and it's dried all the way through.
  • Remove tomatoes from oven store in an airtight container. Place in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for extended storage.


Feel free to use various dried herbs for seasoning if desired.


Serving: 2TBSP | Calories: 38kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.8g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 3.6g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 242mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0.6g | Sugar: 1.2g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg

What is your favorite way to use dried tomatoes?

how to make oven dried tomatoes

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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26 thoughts on “How To Make Oven Dried Tomatoes”

  1. I love doing this! It really concentrates that awesome tangy tomato-y flavor. Not mention how great it makes the kitchen smell!

  2. Mmmm yummy! Will bookmark this idea for when my CSA overflows with tomatoes later this summer.

  3. I’m making these tomorrow with the crazy amounts of cherry tomatoes from my garden! I was wondering how long they will keep for, and if they keep for longer packed in oil?

      • Alrighty, here’s what she had to say: “For me, I’d say about 6 months in an air tight container (if there is no moisture left in the tomatoes. Some say longer but I’ve never kept them longer than that. Keeping them in oil is about the same, especially olive oil sense it has it’s own shelf life.”

  4. Making these now….I’m sure I’ll love them but I’ll try to remember to come back here to post an update. Just wanted to drop in and tell you that my 6 and 4 year old did ALL the prep for these babies…the only time I helped was to put them in the oven. I bought them some “Curious Chef” knives for Christmas and they cut tomatoes easily. (Of course not as easily as my Henckels, but relatively good!) The knives are plastic (I think) and totally safe. My 6-year-old cut and 4-year-old arranged the tomatoes “seed side up”. I know you like to work with your kids in the kitchen so wanted to offer that tip.

    So blessed by a temperate Texas June that has provided us with TONS of spring tomatoes! You guys endured the TORTUOUS last summer, and missed this pleasant one (so far)! I’m sure you are enjoying TN though. 🙂

  5. Very yummy! I’m having trouble restraining myself from eating the whole batch. This recipe might just have me planting 3x as many tomato plants in the fall. 🙂

  6. ooooooo….have fun! Also, Dr. Cindy had a tomato sauce recipe on her blog that is INCREDIBLE. Roasted garlic, tomatoes, basil or oregano, and olive oil, I think. Roast the veggies then puree. Out of this world yummy. I’m not sure how you feel about roasting olive oil, though. (I don’t necessarily LIKE it, but I know how good this tastes, so I’m not willing to change it. 🙂

  7. Sometimes I drink it straight. No kidding. But sometimes I actually use it as tomato sauce….very yummy in cabbage lasagna. Also yummy with added cream and parmesan to make tomato basil soup. And one time I made a vegan tomato basil soup with cashews. Yummy too. Or roast onions with it and nix the herbs, then add chicken broth for Tortilla Soup. Love it when one recipe is so versatile.

  8. I have a TON of dried tomatoes from my garden last year. Any ideas on how to rehydrate them? I tried soaking them in olive oil and it didn’t do anything. I would love to soften them up to make with eggs.

  9. I tried the oven, my lowest setting 170 degrees had them in oven a good four hours, and still was wet, transferred to the dehydrator this morning and while at 8 hours of work, I came home , tomatoes are soft but not wet. Are they ready for storage? 🙂

  10. This one is such a life saver ! I’ve skipped so many recipes just because I couldn’t find dried sun tomatoes in my city. I will definitely try to do this at home ! 😀