Flavor-packed oven “sun-dried” tomatoes are super easy to make at home. Use garden fresh, meaty tomatoes to make delicious chewy, herbed-dried tomatoes using my easy and efficient oven-drying method.
PIN IT for later
Updated post from 2012.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE OVEN “SUN-DRIED” TOMATOES
Use ripe tomatoes when they are at their flavor peak. From my experience July and August crops are the best. If you can, get locally sourced tomatoes from a farmer’s market. We have a large vegetable garden and I use tomatoes from our beautiful garden.
Sun-drying is a great way to preserve delicious summer tomatoes. To dry tomatoes I use a super easy and efficient oven drying method.
TO MAKE SUN-DRIED TOMATOES YOU NEED
- Favorite Kitchen Tools
- Heavy Duty Baking Sheet
- Favorite Tomato Knife
- Cutting Board
This post containsThis post contains Amazon affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no cost to you. I only recommend products that I use and love. Learn more about my affiliate policy here.
WHAT TOMATOES ARE GOOD FOR OVEN “SUN-DRYING”?
To make sun-dried tomatoes it is best to use tomatoes that are meaty. So when they are dried you are not left with only a mere sample of a thin tomato skin and a few seeds. I use Hybrid Juliet and/or Roma tomatoes.
Hybrid Juliet Tomatoes
Juliet Tomatoes are a version of Italian Plum Tomatoes. They are cherry tomatoes. However they are significantly meatier than any other cherry tomatoes I’ve tried. Making them a great choice for drying.
Hybrid Juliet Tomatoes are disease resistant, very meaty and super juicy. What also makes them very desirable is their long shelf life. I love using them in a Tomato Salad.
Wash tomatoes. Cut smaller tomatoes in half and larger tomatoes can be quartered or sliced into wedges.
Place tomatoes into a larger colander. Generously season tomatoes with salt. Toss tomatoes and let them drain in a colander set over a kitchen sink or a large bowl. Let them drain for at least 20 minutes.
SEASON TOMATOES: MARINADE FOR SUN-DRIED TOMATOES
In a bowl combine together olive oil, dry basil, dry oregano and sugar.
Add drained tomatoes and toss them well to coat with herb marinade.
EASY AND EFFICIENT OVEN DRYING METHOD
Line a baking sheet with parchment—layer herbed tomatoes in one layer onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Place tomatoes into the oven preheated to 350 F.
- Right after you place tomatoes into the oven increase temperature to 400 F-420F *(see the note below).
- After your oven reaches 400F set the timer for 15 minutes.
- Then turn off the oven and don’t open the oven for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours take baking sheet(s) out. Collect tomatoes that are dried. Some might need more drying time.
- Again preheat oven to 350F.
- Place tomatoes in to the preheated oven.
- Increase oven temperature to 395F.
- After your oven reaches 395F set the timer for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and don’t open for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, take tomatoes out. They should be dry.
- Dried tomatoes should be wrinkled around the edges but still slightly plump.
*Based on reviews from a few people, I adjusted the temperature from 420F to 400F to avoid tomatoes from burning. Every oven is different; please pay attention. If you see tomatoes are becoming dark very quickly, reduce the temperature.
HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE SUN-DRIED TOMATOES?
Store sun-dried tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks. You can also layer tomatoes into a glass jars with some olive oil.
CAN I FREEZING SUN-DRIED TOMATOES?
Yes, you can freeze tomatoes in an freezer safe container for up to a year. I find it’s best to freeze them plain, without olive oil.
SUN-DRIED TOMATO RECIPE IDEAS
Sun-dried Tomatoes are great for snaking. And I love using them to make appetizers and salads. They are also great in savory breads or in spreads.
- Chop them up and toss them into a salad. They pair exceptionally well with pasta salads. Yum.
- Make a flavorful dip with cream cheese. Mix them with cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream, season with pepper and salt, garlic, honey, olive oil.
- Use them in sandwiches for and extra chewy bite.
- Add them to a bread dough for a burst of flavor.
- Puree sun-dried tomatoes to make a spread for crostini.
- Get creative with your next charcuterie board, include sun-dried tomatoes along with meats, cheeses, crackers and fruit.
- Throw some in your breakfast frittata muffins.
MORE TOMATO RECIPES
- Baked Stuffed Peppers in Tomato Sauce
- Soft Pretzel Tomato Bites
- Grilled Vegetable Soup – great for canning
- Peach Tomato Pepper Salsa
- Fried Green Tomatoes via Simply Recipes
- Avocado Basil Tomato Crostini
- Tomato Salad with Roasted Pepper and Barley
- Homemade Ketchup
Sun Dried Tomatoes
- 2 pounds meaty tomatoes (I use Roma and Hybrid Juliet)
- 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp kosher salt or sea salt
- 1/2 tsp dry oregano
- 1/2 tsp dry basil
- 3 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper. I like to use my old baking sheets for roasting and drying.
- Wash tomatoes (2lb, about 1kg) in water.
- If using Roma Tomatoes (meaty tomatoes) cut each tomato in half and then cut 3 wedges from each half. Smaller tomatoes you can just quarter, lengthwise.
- If using Hybrid Juliet Tomates (small plum tomatoes), cut them in half.
- Set tomatoes in a colander over sink or another bowl. Season tomatoes with kosher salt (1 to 1 1/2 tbsp) and let them drain for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl combing olive oil/avocado oil (3tbsp), dry basil (1/2tsp), dry oregano (1/2tsp), sugar (1tsp). Whisk to combine.
- Add drained tomatoes into a bowl and pour in the marinade. Toss to coat all the tomatoes with marinade. Then Transfer tomatoes onto a baking sheet and lay them down on the sheets, skin part down. They need to be in one layer.
Baking / Oven Drying Method
- If using 2 baking sheets. Place both sheets into the preheated oven at 350F. I had my oven racks in about 3/4 high and 1/4 low position.
- Increase oven temperature to 400F *(see recipe notes)
- Once your oven reaches 400F, leave the tomatoes in for 15 minutes and then turn the oven off. Don't open the doors for at least 3-4 hours.
- After 4 hours open the oven and take sheet out. Remove those that are done and leave those that need a bit more drying on a baking sheet. I find that tomatoes close the the rim of the baking sheet are dried the fastest.
- Continue drying tomatoes. Turn the oven to 350F.
- Once the oven is heated up to 350F place a baking sheet with remaining tomatoes into the oven.
- Increase oven temperature to 395F. Once your oven reaches this temperature leave the tomatoes in for 5 minutes and then turn off the oven. Don't open oven doors. Leave the tomatoes in there for 2-3 hours. After this time tomatoes should be dry.
- Store oven dried tomatoes an airtight container or a glass jar in the fridge. You can also pour extra virgin olive oil into the jar and store them that way. They will last for 2 weeks.
HOW TO STORE HOMEMADE OVEN DRIED TOMATOES?Store dried tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can also layer tomatoes in a jar with olive oil.
CAN I FREEZE-DRIED TOMATOES?You can freeze tomatoes in an airtight container for up to a year. *Based on reviews from a few people, I adjusted the oven temperature from 420F to 400F to avoid tomatoes from burning. Every oven is different; please pay attention. If you see tomatoes are becoming dark very quickly, reduce the temperature.
PIN IT for later
I updated this post from 2012 with new step-by-step photos and written text.