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Dehydrating Tomatoes... Simple Homemade “Sun-Dried ” Tomatoes

Dehydrating tomatoes and bell peppers

UPDATE:  July, 2018 – The tomato and bell pepper plants in our “skinny” garden got off to a slow start again this year.  But they’re finally starting to produce, and it looks like there’ll be a bumper crop of both.  If that’s the case, I’ll be dehydrating tomatoes about every other day.

And that’s ok with me, we loved the ones I did last year… and who knew I’d come up with so many ways to use them.

Our 2017 garden is 5'x70' with just tomatoes and peppers.

Last year, I picked every other day, so there was plenty to eat and still enough to put away for later.  I froze some, canned some and ending up dehydrating tomatoes a couple times a week.  I dehydrated some of the peppers, but didn’t seem to use them like I did the tomatoes.

Dehydrating tomatoes… especially the ones with Italian Seasoning on them, made for great “snacks” too.  Everyone seemed to like those best.

Our daily harvest from the 2017 garden spot.

Original posting July, 2017:

I’ve got over a gallon of frozen chopped peppers, a dozen or so whole ones for stuffed peppers, and 16 pints of frozen tomatoes.

Rather than freeze any more, I’ve started dehydrating them. Both dehydrate and store really well.

I have an Excalibur Dehydrator and absolutely love it.  Not only can I use it for dehydrating tomatoes and other veggies, I use it to make the absolute BEST BEEF JERKY on the planet. (ask me about my recipe)

Dehydrating tomatoes - slice thin
Dehydrating tomato slices ready to eat.

The peppers and tomatoes re-hydrate quickly so you can use them dry and the moisture from other ingredients will soften them up:

  • Add to stews and soups
  • Mixed in meatloaf
  • Added as a pizza topping
  • Add them to deviled egg filling
  • Mixed in scrambled eggs
  • Add to biscuits, cornbread, or herb breads
  • Put them in your stuffed pepper or stuffed cabbage mix

Tomato Powder… DIY Tomato Paste:
Puree dried tomatoes into a powder and store in a jar. Tomato powder can be used in place of tomato paste by adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to your recipe. It’s easy to waste a can of tomato paste when you just need a little amount.

Create Your Own Creamy Tomato Salad Dressing:
Combine 1 cup mayonnaise with 1 cup milk. Puree dehydrated tomatoes with cloves of fresh garlic, black pepper and dry mustard to taste. Mix the pureed tomato mixture with the mayonnaise base to create a creamy tomato-infused dressing.

Flavoring for Fresh Cooked Pasta:
Cut the dehydrated tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and drizzle with olive oil. Chop or mince a few cloves of garlic and sprigs of fresh basil or oregano. The amount of herbs used will vary based on the amount of tomatoes used. However, there should be enough herbs and garlic in the tomatoes to create a recognizable flavor. Toss the olive oil and tomato mixture over freshly cooked pasta.

They make great Tomato Chips:
Slice the tomatoes real thin, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and dehydrate at 145-150 degrees until they’re crispy. Eat them like chips with pesto, guacamole, or you’re favorite dip.

Dehydrating tomatoes for Tomato chips and guacamole - GREAT

Dehydrating Tomatoes for Italian Tomato Chips:

Slice the tomatoes thin and sprinkle with:
Italian seasoning, oregano, and/or basil seasoning
Finely ground black pepper
Garlic powder (optional)
Onion powder (optional)
Pink salt (optional)
Nutritional Yeast (optional)
Dehydrate at 145-150 degrees until slices are crispy. Dip into mashed avocado, hummus, or any other dip.

Dehydrating tomatoes for Italian tomato chips

Dehydrating tomatoes can also turn into – “Sundried Tomato Pesto”

1/2 c dried tomatoes
3/4 c water
1/4 c nuts (almonds or walnuts)
1/4 c herbs such as basil, oregano, cilantro or parsley
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Pulse in a food processor and drizzle in 2-4 tbl of olive oil until you reach the consistency you like
Season with salt and pepper.
Spread on pieces of toasted bread for bruschetta.

Have you ever tried dehydrating tomatoes?  How did you use them?

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I made your Italian chips and did it in the oven. They turned out pretty good and I’m waiting to get more tomatoes to do some more.

  2. We live in the midwest and are having a bumper crop, ourselves, this year of tomatoes. A friend sent me this article and I’m going to try this myself. Thank you for being so informative!

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