How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes with a Dehydrator

I look forward to harvesting tomatoes from my garden each summer. I am hoping to have a large crop this year.

Make Sundried Tomatoes with a Dehydrator | Foodal

My little ones eat this fruit the same way you would eat an apple. Personally, I love the cherry variety. I am hoping the friendly neighborhood deer doesn’t like them as much as I do.

I use my homegrown (and store bought) tomatoes in salads and sauces. I will freeze or can my sauce to be used at a later date.

How To Make Sundried Tomatoes with a Dehydrator |

When I have a surplus, I also like to use my dehydrator to make sun-dried tomatoes to be enjoyed for months to come. I know the name says “sun” dried, but using the dehydrator is a lot quicker and simpler.

Sundried Tomatoes with a Dehyhdrator |

Add this dried fruit to rice, pastas, stews, casseroles, and even omelets. Try it now in our Sicilian pasta salad!

You can also rehydrate them in a little bit of boiling water and puree them to make different types of sauce, when the tomatoes at the market are looking a bit decrepit during the winter months.

Make Sundried Tomatoes with a Dehyhdrator |

This dried variety is also yummy straight from the container.

For drying purposes I prefer to use Romas, which is the type I usually buy from the market during the year. Select the firmest tomatoes that you can find. Mushy ones will not work as well.


  • Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
  • Cut into ¼-inch slices or in half – remember, thicker slices will take longer to dry out.
  • Place the slices on the dehydrator trays. At this point, you can sprinkle them with oregano or basil, if you like.
  • Turn on the dehydrator and dry out the tomatoes at 150°F for about 10 hours maximum, until they take on a leathery texture. Total drying time depends on the liquid content of the tomatoes, so check them every hour or so after the first 4 hours.
  • Place your dried tomatoes in an air-tight container, and store in the refrigerator or freezer in order to extend the shelf life. They should last for 6 months to a year with the proper storage.

How To Make Sundried Tomatoes with a Food Dehydrator |

If you do not own a dehydrator, you can also dry your tomatoes out in a 150°F oven following the same preparation instructions.

Simply place the slices on baking sheets for a few hours, or until they take on a leathery appearance.

For more drying tips, check out Foodal’s Ultimate Guide to Dehydrating Your Garden’s Bounty.

About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

31 thoughts on “How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes with a Dehydrator”

  1. This is a great article! Sun-dried tomatoes are a “thing” now, because they’re so good. Where I work, we sell a sun-dried tomato turkey that is very popular. I am going to try to make my own this summer, using this article as a guide. I love them in soups and omelettes! They’re extremely versatile, and it’ll be fun trying new recipes with them.

    • Sun dried tomatoes are a thing?? I rarely see this where I’m from, but then again I hate tomatoes. This may be a silly question, but is the regular taste overpowered by other ingredients? Does it being sun dried make a difference? I know my husband would love this, but I can’t take the taste! The only way I could even eat it is if its drowned in something. I’ll try your omelette idea as a start.

      • I feel you, I don’t particularly like tomatoes either. I like them in small amounts when they’re enriching the flavor of a dish or in the form of tomato sauce, but on their own? Nope. I have a friend who’s crazy about them though, she’ll actually stop while we’re out to go to a supermarket quickly and buy herself one to eat like an ordinary fruit. I can only imagine she’d love this. Who knows, I might end up liking them as well, if I keep telling myself it’s like chips but healthier.

  2. I once used to go to a bakery where they put little bits of tomato in it. I’m assuming that it’s sun dried because it didn’t taste mushy when I bit into it. I love the ideas of what dried tomatoes could be used for.

  3. I’ve actually never tried sun-dried tomatoes. Maybe I’ll actually try it after following this article. I love tomatoes and they are just my favorite addition to almost anything.

  4. It seems easy enough. I just started eating sun dried tomatoes and putting them in recipes. I love tomatoes to begin with. I need to get the dehydrator though. An excalibur seems to be the best. Oh, wow I didn’t know you could also use a regular oven. I’ll have to give it a go.
    There are so many different things you can use these for too it is a versatile add in. I don’t seem to have a taste for the dried ones as they are. I’m bet that the homemade is better than when you buy them in the store.

  5. I don’t own a dehydrator but I’ll definitely have to try the oven method. I love sun-dried tomatoes, I just wasn’t aware it was so simple to prepare my own. Thank you for the tips, I’m sure I’ll put them to good use!

  6. I love tomatoes, but unfortunately, they don’t last forever, and sometimes tend to go mushy before I can use them. I like the idea of having some on hand, and although sun-dried sounds nice, I think this is probably a safer method, considering all the bugs we have here in Texas. I don’t have a dehydrator, so I’m glad you included instructions on oven drying. I can’t wait to try this out, once I pick up some Romas, which are also my favorite.

  7. So many people I know have purchased dehydrators. They are so popular right now. Having one really expands your ability to create all versions of foods. It is good to know this recipe and also how to do it in the oven. I will be making some pasta tomorrow and I can add some sun dried tomatoes. Also, I just helped a friend plant tomatoes, and we see some of what we can look forward to.

  8. I’ve been drying out excess tomatoes in the oven for a few years now – they tend to last around 4 months in the fridge. It’s a really simple way to prevent waste and it’s actually quite a luxury to have your own fruit on hand instead of relying on the tinned alternative.

    As a side note, they are also delicious when eaten straight from the oven!

  9. I have never even tried these on their own. So naturally I never thought of making them myself. I have had them as flavoring for cheese, breads, and chips but that is about it. I’m going to have to try them and if I like them I might consider making my own.

  10. If you live with other people who use the oven, I’d recommend putting a post-it on the knob. A roommate of mine once ruined an entire batch of farmshare tomatoes by cranking the oven up to pre-heat it for dinner. The tomatoes had already been in there for hours and it only took about ten minutes at a higher heat to burn them to a crisp. (We still ate them! But this was three years ago and I still remember the look on her face!)

    I like drizzling mine with olive oil and a little bit of salt. It seems like that makes them dry out faster, too, but that might have been wishful thinking. Sometimes I’ll store them in oil too or throw a garlic clove in the tupperware where I keep them.

    A dehydrator is definitely on my dream list of kitchen supplies! It’d be nice to make these and other projects (like homemade fruit leather or beef jerky) without having to keep an eye on the oven all day and heat up the entire kitchen…

    • Yikes! Well, that did give you a story to tell, haha. Ah, kitchen mishaps. It’s a great tip, too, something I’ll keep in mind.

  11. Its very useful to know they will last up to a year in storage. I’ve never thought of using an oven, thanks for the idea. I do not have a dehydrator yet.

  12. I’m not a tomato fan, but this was still a very interesting read! My family loves them, and they’re one of the things we are growing in the garden this summer. I had a giggle at the mention of the neighbourhood deer; that was something we had to worry about out at our old house by the lake, though we didn’t have much garden space. The little creatures would come through the yard even so and chew up all of the trees – left a bunch of them bare all the way up to what they could reach.

    I’ll have to show this article to my mum, who loves tomatoes more then anyone else I know. We don’t have a dehydrator but I’m certain she’d be interested in trying out the oven method! I’m curious to know if you can dry other fruits & veggies that way as well.

  13. I’ve been looking for a way to preserve all the tomatoes I get every year. I’m curious though if there is seasoning that you can add to these while the dehydrate? Or is it better to just dehydrate them plain. Also is this super messy? I feel like the juice from the tomatoes would make a huge mess in the dehydrator.

    I’m excited to try this though. We make so much pasta it will be nice to have our own dehydrated tomatoes to add.

  14. Bother! I missed the opportunity for my summer tomatoes this year, but next year, I will certainly have to give this a try… I did not think about reconstituting these for sauces, what a great idea.

    Thanks for this helpful article!

  15. This is a good article. I find at the end of the summer I have so many tomatoes left over. There is only so much you can give away. I often make pickled green tomatoes and purée the red ones to save for sauce. I never was able to master sun drying them. I going to try them out in the dehydrator next time.

  16. Oh, this is cool. Who knew that this could be so easy? I buy these suckers, because I always imagined them being a pain to make. I don’t know why I thought that. I guess I was picturing trying to make them in the sun, but ha, who knew you didn’t need the sun.

    I’m definitely going to try this out. Hubby enjoys tomatoes, and I can add these to lots of recipes.

  17. This article brought a smile on my face, it made me think of my grandfather who used to make them every year, using the old fashioned method of leaving them under the sun until they were perfecly dry. It took him lots of work but the result was amazing. Actually this is the article I was looking for, I recently got a dehydrator for my herbs and hot peppers and I’ll definitely put it to good use thanks to your precious informations.

  18. Thanks for this post! I recently purchased a dehydrator and I have been trying out various fruits and vegetables. I never thought to try tomatoes. I’m excited because I have two receipes that require them. How I know I can always have them on the shelf in my air tight mason jars.

    Great post!

  19. This is great! I love sun – dried tomatoes but don’t own a dehydrator. Good to know I can work with an oven too. I don’t think dehydrators are easily available locally (I live in Bangalore and the only ones I can find on-line appear to be industrial strength!). I’ve been looking around for a way to make these – they go so well with so many different dishes. I’m quite excited about trying these out in an oven.

  20. This is really interesting, dehydrated tomatoes (or even fruits in general) seems to be a great alternative for regular and unhealthy snacks, and we’re also trying new things at the same time. I’ll definetly give it a try.
    I’ve also heard about dehydrated fruits used for decorating your house, I have a friend who did this with a couple of organge slices and they put them in a thread around their living room, how cool is that? Their apartment looks so great and ethereal!
    The possibilities are endless!

  21. Looking at the pictures it doesn’t seem like the most appealing dish you can make, but I’m sure sundried tomatoes taste really good! How much is a decent dehydrator by the way? I’ve been thinking of buying one for a while now, I’d love to package my foods easier.

    • I bought mine online for about $50. Some can be much more expensive but my cheap one does just fine. You can also dehydrate in the oven. Electric oven is best. Drier heat than gas. 150f or 70c

    • Drying times will actually vary depending on the moisture content of the tomatoes- but yes, this should certainly be in hours rather than minutes! Thank you for catching our error. The article has been updated.

  22. Both of my kids hate tomatoes but will eat sun dried ones. Love them in a creamy pasta sauce with chicken & basil. Had heaps of tomatoes from my plants this year & have dried a big batch for my winter months. Love knowing exactly where my produce has come from. No preservative or chemicals. Could not be happier

  23. Am I the only person that eats sun-dried tomatoes like beef jerky? I love them chewy and kinda sweet and the sharp tang of the dried out seeds bitten between your teeth. Yum. Yum!

  24. If you dehydrate them until they are crisp, you can throw them in the food processor or blender and make a powder that can be used like bouillon to add flavor to anything you want to be more tomatoey.


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