Make the best of summer’s dreamy tomatoes by oven roasting Sun Dried Tomatoes. I used cherry heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colors to give them a gem like appearance. These oven dried tomatoes are perfect for pastas, salads, or for spreads like pesto.
How to Sun Dry Tomatoes
These little gems are like popping bites of sunshine. I love keeping sun dried tomatoes in the freezer to toss into pastas, salads, or spreads, and recently, I was looking at a big box of cherry heirlooms and imagined them dried, in bright gem like colors.
What You’ll Love About these Sun Dried Tomatoes:
- They are BURSTING with fresh, sweet tomato flavor. I’m talking TONS more flavor than anything that comes in a pouch.
- Sun dried tomatoes are VERY EASY to make. Slice, drizzle, sprinkle, bake. Hands off while they slowly dry in the oven.
- They pack a HUGE FLAVOR punch, so are perfect for dressing up every day pastas, salads, or sandwiches. That is, if they make it that long. We ate the whole first pan I made within the hour.
Traditionally, sun dried tomatoes are made by allowing them to dry in the sun. One, I am not that patient. Two, we have a lot of critters in our backyard, and I don’t want to share my summer tomatoes with them.
Using an oven at a low temperature allows the tomatoes to dry out in 5 hours. They are virtually fool proof. If you leave them in longer, no worries.
Three Easy Steps to Make these Beauties:
- Slice tomatoes in half, lay out on a baking tray, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, if desired.
- Bake tomatoes at 215ºF for 4 hours.
- Remove from oven, and press down on tomatoes with a spatula to release excess moisture, then return to the oven for 1 more hour.
Store these tomatoes in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for several months. I like to pop a few sprigs of thyme or dried basil into the jars.
How to Use Sun Dried Tomatoes
Once you have a pan of sweet, colorful dried tomatoes, there are endless ways to use them!
- Toss them into pasta for little bites of pure bliss.
- Add them to salads to a pop of flavor.
- Process them up with your fresh basil to make a truly special pesto.
- Flavor your salad dressings by chopping them finely (or blending them) into a basic vinaigrette.
- Add them to a snack plate, along with nuts, veggies and olives.
- Prepare a savory snack mix by tossing these along with nuts, rice crackers, and freeze dried veggies or wasabi peas.
After preparing your oven dried tomatoes, keep them fresh by storing them sealed tight. We use them quickly, so I just store in a jar with a few sprigs of thyme or fresh basil.
If keeping the tomatoes for an extended period of time:
- Pack your tomatoes in a freezer bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
- Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil stay fresh tasting for a longer period of time. Pack them into a jar, and cover with a high quality olive or avocado oil.
- After the drying process, keep them vacuum sealed to extend the life of the tomatoes stored either in the fridge or the freezer.
Sun Dried Tomato Recipes
It’s no secret that I love using sun dried tomatoes to add pops of flavor to my recipes.
Try these recipes using oven dried tomatoes:
- Vegan One Pot Pasta
- Pesto Zoodle Salad
- Mason Jar Salads
- Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Whole30 Creamy Tuscan Chicken
Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 2 pounds cherry tomatoes or campari tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt to taste, optional
- Preheat oven to 215º F.
- Slice tomatoes in half, and spread out over a baking tray, being sure to leave space between the tomatoes so the juices evaporate. Use 1 large baking tray or 2 smaller trays.
- Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, and sprinkle lightly with salt, if desired.
- Bake the tomatoes for 4 hours.
- Remove the baking trays from the oven, and lightly press on the tomatoes to release excess moisture. Return the trays to the oven for an additional hour.
- If the tomatoes seem to still have moisture, turn the oven off, and leave in the warm oven for an additional hour or two.
- Store sealed in a jar or plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or frozen (sealed tight) for up to 3 months.
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