Easiest Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes

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Do you love Sun Dried Tomatoes but don't love the price? Here's how to make your own - easily and on the cheap!

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.

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!

By the way, any of the following links may be affiliate links. If you click on them and make a purchase, I might make a commission. Your support is much appreciated and helps keep this free resource up and running.


  • 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

Below are some Heirloom Tomatoes we got  — lovely!

Drying Tomatoes Dehydrator

Tomatoes after drying….How to Dry Tomatoes Dehydrator

Bagged up and ready to store

Oven Dried Tomatoes

What You Will Need

You will need the following things to make this recipe:


Salt (optional.  I recommend Real Salt)

Olive Oil (optional)

Twixit Clips (I love these clips for sealing my tomatoes in bags)

Do you love Sun Dried Tomatoes but don't love the price? Here's how to make your own - easily and on the cheap!

Easiest Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes

These Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes are a cinch to make and add pizazz to any savory dish - pastas, pizza, savory muffins - and they're great right out of the bag!


  • Tomatoes
  • Salt (optional. I recommend Real Salt)
  • Olive oil (optional. Just drizzle some on top if you like.)


    See below for photos

    1. Slice tomatoes into uniform thickness (so they dry at about the same rate). If you will be using the olive oil and salt, place tomatoes in a bowl, drizzle and sprinkle and toss lightly.
    2. Place on dehydrator trays (using non-stick sheets) or on a cookie sheet if using your oven. Once they are partially dry (i.e. not "goopy" anymore, remove the non-stick sheets and dry directly on the rack for quicker drying.
    3. Dry until no moisture remains, but tomatoes are still flexible. (Don't worry - if they get stiff and dry, they still taste great!)
    4. Store in an airtight container, in the fridge or freezer for long term. I use the same small 4 x 2 x 8 2 mil bags from Country Life that I've written about before. And I seal them with these handy-dandy "I can't deal with twist ties" Twixit Clips.


    2 reviews

    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

    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?

    These comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Whole New Mom, LLC.


      Speak Your Mind


    1. Hi, Adrienne!
      I found your recipe incredibly useful, so I tried to make sundried tomatoes, but on the 2nd day, almost all became moldy. Is it possible because, as soon as I put them out there, the weather went from 35 C sunny to 20 C cloudy? 😀
      I’m just not lucky, I guess. :)))

    2. Hi Adrienne,
      I love your recipes and tomatoe ideas. After reading, I have decided to purchase an Excalibur Dehydrator, however I prefer to not shop online. I will probably purchace it from Wal-Mart. My question is: Is there a way you can receive commission from my purchase if I don’t buy it online? Thanks, Renee

      • If you are interested you can email me at wholenewmom {at} gmail {dot} com and I can arrange for you to purchase one and I can have it sent to you. That would work. Thanks for your interest in supporting me.

    3. Sounds good. I’m going to try this tonight. What do you mean when you say don’t use “mushy” tomatoes?

      • Firmer tomatoes will work better. Mushy ones have more water in them so they will take longer and not produce as good of a resulting product. Hope you like them!

    4. I am struggling to find the write method to preserving my tomatoes. I dehrated at a lower temp (maybe mistake number one) until pliable but not moist. Then put them in a jar filled with olive oil and put them in thr fridge. After a week there are big crystals on top And lots of sediment on the bottom of the jar. When you bag them, where do store them and how long are they good for? Do you ever immerse them in olive oil like I did? Thoughts?

    5. How long would these take if I am using an oven?

    6. This is a very enlightening information. Please let me know if we can dry cabbage, broccoli or any other vegetable in dehydrator or microwave and preserve for the rest of the year.

    7. I dry tomatoes this way also, but I love sprinkling them with garlic or onion salt; italian seasoning, rosemary, chopped basil, or oregano….the results are awesome and the sky is the limit as to what you can sprinkle them with!

    8. I’m looking forward to trying this. I’m not sure what a non-stick sheet is, can parchment paper be used?

      • Yes, you can do that – there are specific non stick sheets made for dehydrators and of course it would be less expensive to use the not disposable sheets long term. Hope that helps!

        • If you want to go one step further, dehydrate until dried and then put in a nutrabullet or strong blender or food processor and make a powder…….use in soups, eggs, salads, or withany broth……I love my tomato powder….

          • LOVE that idea. I have some tomato powder in the basement that needs to be used. Thanks for reminding me! How do you use yours?

          • great idea to make it into a powder joan . can you tell me what will be the shelf life of this powder and do you store it in the fridge

    9. 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.

      • You could do it in an oven on the lowest temp – not a great thing for summer but it will work. Thanks for stopping by!!!

        • Steve DeVries says:

          Re using an oven to “sundried” tomatoes. I replace the light in the oven with a 100 watt light bulb. That will keep the oven at 115-120F and work well drying the tomatoes.

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

    11. 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!!!

    12. I love sun-dried tomatoes. Thanks for sharing this.

    13. 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!).

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