How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes


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When tomatoes are in season, it’s the perfect time to include them in just about every dish (fresh tomato salsa or Caprese skewers, anyone?). If you have a lot of these little red gems on-hand, you’ll want to know how to make sun-dried tomatoes in the oven. It’s a great way to make them last longer and add flavor to so many dishes. But don’t be intimidated — making this homemade sun-dried tomatoes recipe is surprisingly simple!

What Are Sun-Dried Tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes are tomatoes with their excess moisture removed, which brings out their naturally sweet, tangy flavor.

3 Ways To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes

  1. Dry them out in the sun – The obvious way. Simply arrange on a rack, sprinkle with salt, and place in the hot sun. Unfortunately, weather can be unreliable and humidity can be a problem.
  2. Dehydrator – Homemade sun-dried tomatoes can be made in a dehydrator, but it’s a specialty tool that not everyone has. If you do, you can follow the oven dried tomato recipe below but dry in the dehydrator for 6-8 hours instead.
  3. Oven – My favorite method! No specialty tools required and everyone has one. Get instructions for how to make sun-dried tomatoes in the oven below!

Why You’ll Love This Sun-Dried Tomatoes Recipe

  • Intense dried tomato flavor and sweetness
  • Chewy texture
  • More plump and flavorful than store bought
  • Just 4 ingredients (and 2 of those are optional!)
  • 10 minutes to prep + lots of hands-off cooking time
  • Naturally low in carbohydrates, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, whole30
  • Easy to make, store, and use in a variety of recipes
Bowl of sun-dried tomatoes with fresh tomatoes in background.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for sun-drying tomatoes, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.

  • Tomatoes – I used Campari tomatoes, but roma, grape, or cherry tomatoes are great to use. San Marzano tomatoes are also excellent, because they don’t have a lot of pulp or seeds. Small to medium tomatoes have less water and seeds, meaning they dry out faster and hold their shape better after drying, so I don’t recommend using ones larger than roma tomatoes.
  • Sea Salt – Helps get extra moisture out of the tomatoes, and adds flavor.
  • Olive Oil – You can use this for serving or storing, but it’s optional. If you do use it, get a high quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Italian Seasoning – Optional, but adds extra flavor! Use store-bought or make homemade Italian seasoning. You can also just pick individual dried herbs, such as oregano, rosemary, thyme, or basil.
Tomatoes, oil, salt, and seasoning in bowls.

How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes In The Oven

This section shows how to sun dry tomatoes using the oven, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.

  1. Preheat. Heat oven to 225 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Slice. Halve tomatoes and remove core at the top where tomatoes connected to their stems.
  3. Sprinkle. Place tomatoes cut side-up on a baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt.
Tomatoes sliced in half.
Raw tomatoes on a baking sheet.
  1. Bake. Bake tomatoes for 2 and 1/2 hours.
  2. Press. Remove and press down on tomatoes with a spatula to extrude juices.
  3. Bake again. Continue baking until tomatoes are completely dry. (See my tips below if you have trouble getting them dried out.) The pan may be a bit messy, which is normal. Use a thin turner or spatula to release.
  4. Finish. If desired, drizzle oven dried tomatoes with oil and sprinkle with additional seasonings. You can also chop them up if you plan to use them in recipes.
Spatula pressing down on tomatoes in baking sheet.
Sun-dried tomatoes in the oven come out looking like this.
Tips For Best Results

Tips For Best Results

This recipe is pretty straightforward, but make it even better with these tips.

  • Go light on the salt. Tomatoes will shrink, so you only need a light sprinkle of salt.
  • Add spices, if desired. Dried spices work best for homemade sun-dried tomatoes. You can either add them at the end of sprinkle them in the beginning and bake with them.
  • Use parchment, not foil. Foil will react with the acid in the tomatoes and change their flavor.
  • Press down on tomatoes halfway through to remove juices. Use a spatula to press on the tomatoes after about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. This will help them dry out faster. Just be careful – they can squirt at you!
  • Prop the oven door open and leave tomatoes inside to dry out more. If tomatoes aren’t dry enough but would start to lose their shape if you bake them longer, turn off the oven and leave them inside with the door propped open (use a wooden spoon). This will encourage air flow and they will dry even more.
  • Make sun-dried tomatoes in a dehydrator, if you have one. Sun-dried tomatoes in the oven are awesome, but if you have a dehydrator, it’s a more hands-off option – and saves you turning on the oven during the summer.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes Nutrition

Are sun-dried tomatoes healthy? Yes! They have essentially the same nutrients as fresh tomatoes, making them good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, iron, magnesium, potassium, lycopene, and dietary fiber [*].

That being said, if you are following a low carb diet, be careful with the sugar and carbs in sun-dried tomatoes. Like all dried fruit, they are fairly calorie- and carb-dense, though less so than other dried fruit. They are easy to overeat if you have them plain, but are excellent for flavoring dishes and using in recipes.

Carbs and calories in sun-dried tomatoes can vary depending on how dried out they are, and how they are stored (plain or in oil). On average, 1 cup of these tomatoes has 139 calories and 23.5g net carbs [*]. That may sound like a lot, but it’s more typical to use 1/4 to 1/2 of that amount in an entire recipe.

This homemade sun-dried tomato recipe has fewer calories and carbohydrates by volume than store-bought versions, because they turn out a little more plump when they are homemade — which is a good thing for both taste and nutrition.

Oven dried tomatoes on a plate.

How Long Do Sun-Dried Tomatoes Last?

How long sun-dried tomatoes last depends partly on how you store them. There are several options…

Pantry.

Keep homemade oven sun-dried tomatoes in an airtight container in the pantry (without oil) for 2-3 days. Because there is still likely moisture in them, longer than that is not recommended.

Refrigerate.

Keep homemade oven sun-dried tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week without oil, or up to 3 weeks with oil.

TIP: Storing sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil is recommended.

TIP: Storing sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil is recommended.

The oil will keep the tomatoes plump and they’ll last longer, too. To preserve them this way, place them in a jar, submerge completely in oil, and cover with a lid. You can also throw in some Italian seasoning, minced garlic, or even roasted garlic if you like.

However, they still won’t last as long as commercial sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, since the jar isn’t sealed.

Freeze.

Freeze the oven dried tomatoes right on the baking sheet. Once they are solid, you can transfer them to a freezer bag and keep in the freezer for 3-6 months. If they are too rigid after thawing, you can reconstitute them in water or oil.

Sun drying tomatoes makes them come out sweet and flavorful like these.

How To Use Oven Dried Tomatoes

Now that you know how to make sun-dried tomatoes in the oven, how do you use them? There are many ways! Here are some ideas for sun-dried tomato recipes you can make:

Reader Favorite Recipes

The recipe card is below! Readers that made this also viewed these recipes:

How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Easy!)

Learn how to make sun-dried tomatoes in the oven, in the dehydrator, or in the sun! Includes tips for perfect results, lots of recipe ideas, and storage instructions.

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 4 hours 30 minutes

Total: 4 hours 40 minutes

Servings: 6 (adjust to scale recipe)

Recipe Video

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Ingredients

Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.

Instructions

Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F (107 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (don’t use foil, which can react with the tomatoes).

  2. Slice tomatoes in half. Cut out the little core at the top of the tomatoes where they connected to the stem.

  3. Arrange cut side up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle very lightly with sea salt.

  4. Bake for 2 1/2 hours. Press down on the tomatoes with a spatula (juices will come out).

  5. Return to the oven and bake for at least 2 more hours, until tomatoes are dry.

  6. If desired, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 4 large pieces (4 halves), or about 2 tablespoons, or 1/6 of entire recipe

Entire recipe makes about 3/4 cup. The exact amount will vary depending on how much you dry them and how watery they were to begin with.

See blog post above for instructions for drying in the sun or a dehydrator.

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories
34

Fat
2g

Protein
0.6g

Total Carbs
2.9g

Net Carbs
2g

Fiber
0.9g

Sugar
1.9g

Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.

© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂

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