‘Sun-Dried’ Tomatoes in the Oven

When I find myself with more tomatoes than counter-space to store them on, I have several options (in addition to sharing them with friends):  make sauce, freeze them, or make sun-dried tomatoes.  Sun-dried tomatoes are one of my favorite foods, many never make it from the oven into the jars (any ‘imperfection’ is a good excuse for me to eat it immediately).  I store them in pretty little jars that I enjoy using and also make great gifts throughout the year.

Any tomato will work for drying.  Small ones can be cut in half, large ones in quarters – make sure you place them skin down on the baking tray.  The process takes a l-o-n-g time, so only do this when you will be around for a full day.  I often find that I have not-quite-done ones that have to sit in the oven (with the heat off) overnight until I wake up and can finish drying them out.  I would not suggest leaving the oven on overnight, you don’t want to put all that time in only to over-dry the tomatoes.

I store the jars of tomatoes in oil in the pantry.  Once I open one, I keep it in the fridge.  The oil will solidify, but that is ok.

An added treat – the oil left over in the jars after you use the tomatoes can be use for cooking as an infused oil – yum!

‘Sun-Dried’ Tomatoes in the Oven

Tomatoes, cut in half or quartered

Olive Oil, I only use extra virgin

Heat the oven to between 170 and 200F.  Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.  Place the cut tomatoes skin-side down on the foil.

Place the tray in the oven and let the tomatoes dry out for hours.  The time will vary depending upon how much moisture is in the tomatoes and how big the pieces are.  I usually plan on at least 8 hours, but it can be more.  Just check them every hour or so after that to see how they are progressing.

Once the tomatoes are dried, remove from oven and cool.

Store in jars, fill the far with olive oil.  Enjoy!


19 Comments Add yours

  1. You dried green tomatoes as well?! Do you use them differently than the dried ripe ones? Do you jar them separately, or as a mix with the red ones? I ask because in the Pacific NW I typically have more green tomatoes than red. (This year I have all green ones.) I can only eat so many fried green tomatoes and green tomato pickles.


  2. The green tomatoes are ripe Green Zebra tomatoes (one of my new favorite tomatoes). I do not think that unripe tomatoes would work well since they would not have enough sugar. But, that said, now that you mention it, I may try some to see if they are useful for a relish.


    1. Where do you get your seeds or starts? You have the most interesting variety of veggies. I’m thinking back to a recent post about eggplant. You showed two variety that I’ve never seen.


      1. I am still trying to find the best place to get seeds. I tend to buy from Park Seed out of habit. I buy most of my starts at a local garden center owned by neighbors. They do many of the starts themselves. The eggplants are a mix of european and asian varieties. I tend to like growing smaller eggplants rather than the large ones you find at the grocery. I am not sure what the exact names of the varieties I have this year are, but I typically from the long white ones (‘white beauty’?), purple and white striped (most likely ‘antigua’ or ‘zebra’), and the green variegated (maybe ‘green egg’?). I will also do dark purple bell shaped ones, I like those a lot, but they did not have them this year and I usually only do 3 eggplant plants.


      2. hmm…going to have to go exploring after we move and find me a cool nursery or garden center for next season. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. I always love to see what you are up to in the garden!


      3. I went out to the garden and realized I still had the plant tags for the eggplant: ’emerald isle’ – green variegated, ‘fairy tale’ – purple and white and ‘gretel’ – white.


  3. Thanks! It is my calm in an otherwise too hectic life.


Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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