Easiest Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Do you love Sun Dried Tomatoes? Here's the EASIEST way to make them. Great for when your tomato crop comes in or for a bulk purchase at the Farmer's Market :)!

I love finding ways to make simple foods taste more special.  Adding a little something like taco seasoning to beans or meat and rice, or Dorito® Seasoning to popcorn can make all the difference.

Sun Dried Tomatoes are just that kind of “special”.  They can just add that special “oomph” to any dish — Pasta, eggs, green salads, hummus, homemade flax crackers.

I love them dripping with olive oil or crispy dry.  I love them flying in the sky…(ahem…just kidding).  Either way, their sweetness and depth of flavor is just exquisite.

But are they expensive — about $20 per pound — Ouch!

I used to purchase these sun-dried lovelies in a large bulk bag (kind of the way that I do everything — bulk, that is :-)) when we lived in the Chicago area.

But once we moved to Oklahoma and then to Michigan, I couldn’t find them anymore.  I went on a pretty thorough hunt — calling stores, searching the internet…No dice.  The company that used to produce the big bulk bags only sells teensy-weensy overpriced tomatoes now.  I just couldn’t find them for a reasonable price anywhere.

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But one day it occurred to me.  Sun. Dried. Tomatoes.  “Does it really need to be the sun?  You’ve got a dehydrator, Adrienne.”  There must be a way.

And there is!

And it’s super easy-peasy.

Tomatoes Galore

If you’ve been on my blog over the past week, you have seen that we’ve been having quite the tomato extravaganza.

Check out some of the details in my posts on:

First of all, let me tell you there’s a lot of info on sun-dried tomatoes on the web.

There are posts recommending

  • soaking the tomatoes and peeling them
  • removing seeds
  • using only certain kinds of tomatoes
  • making special screens to dry the tomatoes in the sun
  • storing tomatoes in special jars and freezer bags

All of these are a lot of work, but none are necessary for this already-too-busy-mom.

Now, let me say first, that I have been making sun-dried tomatoes with added oil and seasonings for years and I will be sharing my recipe for Seasoned Sun-Dried Tomatoes later this week.  However, I was so overwhelmed with all of these tomatoes that I needed something even faster and so — voila!

I decided to simplify this process as much as I could and make it easier for all of us.  And the results are, well – wonderful!

Notes:

  • Use any type of tomatoes.  Most people dry Roma and Cherry since they’re more meaty.  But my large heirloom tomatoes turned out just great!  Aren’t they beautiful?
  • Don’t use “mushy” tomatoes for drying.  They take forever to dry.
  • Excalibur recommends drying tomatoes at about 155 degrees since there’s a lot of moisture in the tomatoes – this prevents molding.  I’ve done OK at lower temps, but we did lose some tomatoes this summer due to drying at a lower temp.  Thanks to a reader’s question, now I know why :-).
  • When drying tomato “ends”, place the slice on the sheet with the skin side down so it dries well.
  • You can, of course, dry your tomatoes in an oven as well.  However, there are TONS of reasons why the dehydrator is better.

- you can dry foods at a low enough temperature so they still have their enzymes intact
– you can dry MORE foods at once (I can fit about 25 cups of nuts or seeds in my Excalibur Dehydrator
who wants an oven on in the middle of the summer?
- the Excalibur Dehydrator is way more efficient than an oven since the fan circulates the warm air
– Need more convincing?

More Dehydrator Posts:

Saving Money with a Dehydrator
- Which Saves Most – Dehydrating, Canning, or Freezing?
How and Why to Soak Nuts and Seeds
- Frugal Pantry Storage
And read my Excalibur Savings Page to see the great deal that I offer on these great dehydrators!

Well, that’s it!  You’re now ready to make sun-dried tomatoes that taste great and are great for your whole food budget as well!

Do you have a favorite food that you’d like to make for less?

 This post contains affiliate links.  If you click on them and make a purchase, I may be compensated with a small (emphasis on small) commission.

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  1. Great post! I can’t wait to try this!! Found you at The Thrifty Home blogparty!!

    http://www.aleahhelton.blogspot.com

  2. Hi I just saw your post and am starting to dehydrate my tomatoes and was wondering, why do you use the olive oil before dehydrating? My tomatoes dehydrate in less than a day when I don’t add anything to them. I was surprised to hear people get mold on them while dehydrating also, is this common?

    • The olive oil is frequently used when drying tomatoes. It makes a very nice final result. But it isn’t needed. It is common to get mold when drying tomatoes if you don’t dry them at a high enough temp. Ick – happened to me on a few trays but won’t happen again (I hope!).

  3. I love sun-dried tomatoes. Thanks for sharing this.
    Sue

  4. Hi, Adrienne,
    I want to do these again this year! I like all the extra info you give and the encouragement to use heirlooms, too. Would you consider contributing your great posts on the ‘EOA’ link-up. Your posts are the kind I would love to offer my readers! Thanks ahead of time :)

    • Hi Jacqueline. I have tried to make it a point to link up but sometimes miss it. Sorry -I had a guest from Australia come in today and got really overwhelmed. Thanks!!!

  5. What a great way to have delicious sun dried tomatoes without the high price tag!

  6. I really want to do this but I don’t have a dehydrator…how could i do it?I came over from NapTime creations link up, I’m excited to see more of your creations.