Make the best of summer’s produce 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. Recently, I was looking at a big box of cherry heirlooms and imagined them dried, in bright gem like colors.
Traditionally, sun dried tomatoes are made by allowing them to dry in the sun.
- I am not that patient.
- 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.
Once your tomatoes are dried, they are perfect for adding a pop of summery flavor to all your dishes!
Why learn How to Make 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, pizzas, salads, or sandwiches. That is, if they make it that long. We ate the whole first pan I made within the hour.
- You really only need 1 ingredient! Ripe tomatoes. The additions add flavor but aren’t necessary!
What You’ll Need
- Cherry Tomatoes (or grape tomatoes. I used heirlooms in a variety of colors, but any small, ripe tomatoes will work!)
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt (or sea salt of preference. I prefer a coarse salt.)
- Herbs (to add flavor to tomatoes while being stored. Fresh or dried herbs lend great flavor. This is optional.)
How to Make Sun Dried Tomatoes in the Oven
Before you begin: Preheat the oven to 215ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 1: Slice tomatoes in half. Lay the tomatoes out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. The tomatoes need air circulation to dry out, so do not overcrowd your pan.
Step 2: Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil, and lightly sprinkle with Kosher salt.
Step 3: Bake the tomatoes for 4 hours. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and press down on tomatoes with a spatula to release excess moisture, then return to the oven for 1 more hour.
Step 4: Store sun dried tomatoes in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for several months. I like to pop a few sprigs of thyme, oregano, or dried basil into the jars.
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.
How to Use Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Once you have a pan of sweet, colorful dried tomatoes, there are endless ways to use them!
- Toss them into pasta or pasta salads for little bites of pure bliss.
- Add them to salads for a pop of flavor.
- Process them up with your fresh basil to make a truly special sun-dried tomato pesto.
- Give a pop of flavor to other sauces, such as this Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.
- Add sun dried tomatoes to your Tomato Basil Soup to double down on the tomato flavor!
- Amplify you pizza toppings with some sweet, chewy bites!
- 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.
Variations & FAQ
Other Tomato Varieties
Have an abundance of roma tomatoes, plum tomatoes, or campari tomatoes? All tomatoes will work in this recipe!
For larger tomatoes, slice the tomatoes in 1/4 in thick slices, and lay out giving each one a little bit of space.
Preserve Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil
Step 1: Add sun dried tomatoes to a small jar, along with additional flavorings, like garlic cloves, black pepper, or fresh herbs.
Step 2: Add extra virgin olive oil to the jars to completely cover the tomatoes. Store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Storing your dried tomatoes in olive oil allows the flavor of the garlic and herbs to be infused! Use the entire contents of the jar, including the oil use for packing. The fridge will make the olive oil solidify, so avoid this option.
Make Sun Dried Tomatoes in a Dehydrator
Use this recipe in a dehydrator!
Step 1: Add the sliced tomatoes to dehydrator trays. If using cherry tomatoes, cut in half. If using larger tomatoes, cut in 1/4 or thinner slices. Give tomatoes a little space (do not overcrowd the racks!).
Step 2: Dehydrate at 140º F for 6-8 hours. Check the tomatoes at the 6 hour mark. If the tomatoes still seem juicy, press the juice out with a fork or spatula, and then return to the dehydrator for another 1-2 hours. The tomatoes should still be pliable, but no liquid should squeeze out.
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.