Do you want to know How to Make Homemade Sun-Dried Cherry Tomatoes? Homemade “Sun”-Dried Tomatoes are easy to make in your dehydrator. It’s a great way to use up all your summer cherry tomatoes, so you can have a taste of summer all year round!
Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes. I have tomatoes coming out my ears! More tomatoes than we can eat, give away and make into sauce for the freezer. So I thought… how else can I preserve these summer beauties?
How about drying them out?!
We have a dehydrator for making jerky when Nick is on a hunting kick, but I’ve never dried anything but meat in it. I keep wanting to try dried fruit, but then never get around to it. Sun-dried tomatoes were my first experiment! (Tomatoes technically are a fruit, after all.)
This is the really simple NESCO food dehydrator that I have (I have an older version) and it works great. There are lots of fancier versions though too.
The tomatoes took a lot longer than I thought they would, but they were totally worth the wait. They are so flavorful and delicious. They’re like little tomato raisins and I’ve been popping them like candy.
Though the tomatoes are great on their own, they’re also awesome for cooking with! You are definitely going to want to try this Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pasta! Re-hydrating the tomatoes in a creamy sauce with fresh garden basil was pretty much amazing.
I used cherry tomatoes because I had soooo many of them and they aren’t good for making sauce (too much skin and seeds)– but you could pretty much use any kind of tomato here. If I used something bigger, I would probably de-seed them.
The cherry tomatoes really came out great though because they’re so sweet, and dehydrating the tomatoes makes the flavor extra concentrated and delicious. Plus the prep is really easy– just halve them!
And place them cut-side up on the racks of your dehydrator. Easy peasy!
The tomatoes may take up to 12 hours to dry out, depending on your dehydrator, but they are oh-so worth the wait. For something that many people think of as a vegetable, these little babies taste like candy.
Now it’s time to eat them! Enjoy as is, sprinkled on salads, tossed in pastas, blitzed into pesto… the possibilities are endless!
- ~3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning (or a mix of your favorite dried herbs: basil, oregano, sage, etc)
- In a large bowl, toss halved cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and herbs.
- Place cherry tomatoes cut-side up on the racks of your dehydrator.
- Turn on the dehydrator (mine does not have heat settings, but if yours does, set it to 135-140 degrees).
- Flip the tomatoes after 5 hours and continue checking them every couple hours after that.
- Depending on the temperature and efficiency of your dehydrator and the water content of your tomatoes, it may take 6 to 12 hours to completely dry your tomatoes.
- Leave the tomatoes in the dehydrator until they are completely dry.
- Remove, let cool completely, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
You might also want to check out this Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto that I made with a bunch of my tomatoes. It’s perfect for gifting to neighbors and friends!
What’s your favorite way to eat sun-dried tomatoes? Any recipe suggestions for me? Have you ever made dried fruits or veggies?
Denise @ Sweet Peas & Saffron says
Oh man, now I’m wishing I’d planted some tomatoes this year, I am just so jinxed with tomatoes! These look delicious, Jess!
Last year I added a fish head, aspirin, egg shells, epsom salt, and hair into a 3 foot hole then added a foot of soil over that and then added my plants. WOW…they reached 15 feet tall. You want to bury your tomato plant up to its top set of leaves. My plants were around a foot tall at the time of transplant. Remember to NOT over water.
One magic mountain plant gave me over 300 tomatoes.
We have also done straw bale gardening for the last 2 years and that is AMAZING!
Wow, that sound’s like a crazy witch’s brew!! 🙂 I have definitely heard egg shells and asprin before… I will have to try that next year!
Nothing like adding pharmacutical chemicals into your soil, healthy living thru chemistry I guess!
Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice says
What a great tutorial and recipe, Jess! I’ve only bought sun-dried tomatoes, so I’m loving this recipe! Definitely a time and money-saver…not to mention these look delicious!
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
i’ve never thought of making my own sun-dried tomatoes before.. i definitely will stop being lazy by using store bought tomatoes and take the time to make my own instead. thanks for sharing a great recipe + for the inspiration!
Natalie @ Tastes Lovely says
This is such a great idea! I’ve got to get myself a dehydrator. My sister has a fig tree, and this time of year she has SO many figs she can’t go thru them fast enough. So she dehydrates them and they’re so yummy in salads or with cheese. Why did I never think to do the same with tomatoes? Duh!
PS – I want to know more about you making your own jerky! The next time Nick goes hunting, you must do a post in it!
Ahhhh so jealous of figs!! Fresh figs are my fave!
The jerky was fun to make!! I’ll definitely have to post a tutorial next time we make it! 🙂
[email protected] says
I so want a dehydrator now! Those sun-dried tomatoes look amazing. I love them on pizzas 🙂
Isadora @ she likes food says
I’m so jealous of all your tomatoes! I have three plants and they are making just enough for me to make salads with, but not much more. I love sun dried cherry tomatoes, but they are always so expensive! I bought a food dehydrater last year, but still haven’t used it yet. I might just have to go and buy a bunch of cherry tomatoes just so I can make these sun dried tomatoes!
put in more cherry tomatoes plants
so worth it
hope you have had better luck
can freeze cherry tomatoes whole
also the dried ones are amazing and last forever
Annie @Maebells says
Oh cool!! We have a dehydrator for jerky too but only my husband uses it. I love this idea for tomatoes! I never use sun dried tomatoes, what are you going to put them in? Like salads and pasta? I want to know more! 🙂
Definitely in pasta… I’ve been keeping my eye out for a good recipe. I’ve seen a lot of sun-dried tomato pestos, so I was thinking about that too!
These sun dried tomatoes look awesome! My favorite meatloaf recipe has sun dried tomatoes and you’re making me wish I had some on hand. They add such such a unique flavor! I’m also wishing I had a dehydrator!
I can’t wait to try this 🙂
I just started a dehydrator full of tomatoes!! So excited. Do I just store them in an air tight jar or do I need to cover with olive oil?
Hi Jennifer! I just store them in an airtight container. They won’t last as long as store bought since there are no preservatives but I have kept them at room temp for 3 weeks with no issue. Longer than that you might want to store in the fridge.
I just started a dehydrator full of tomatoes!!! So excited!!!!!! How do I store them when finished? In an air tight jar or a jar filled with olive oil?
these smell so good! Still a ways to go!
Hooray! They do make the house smell SO good!
once they are done how do you store them?
Hi Suzy! I store them in tupperware containers, you could also use ziplocks. I keep them in my pantry and I’ve kept them for several months in there and they’re still good!
I’ve got a dehydrator full at the moment and came on-line to see how long they might take. If anybody is interested, I just cut mine in half and dry them without any olive oil or other ingredients. I put them in zip-lock bags and put some in the freezer, some in the fridge. They were fine after two years. (I had a bumper crop that year and it took a while to use them all!)
I tried this recipe yesterday. Takes awhile but the end result is totally worth the time. Delicious. I will be drying another batch this week!
Laurie Lundale says
Can you use frozen tomatoes ?
I just made your sun dried tomatoes with my garden cherry tomatoes using my dehydrator. I think they turned out ok. I brushed some olive oil on them with a little sea salt and Italian seasoning prior to turning on the dehydrator. Can I now place them in small freezer bags and put them in the freezer for storage as I would like to enjoy them over a period of time?
Does it have to be a fan dehydrator or can I use a heated one