Dehydrated Tomato Powder Recipe
Drying tomatoes and making tomato powder are one of my favorite ways to preserve tomatoes for later use. It's also easy to make a powder you can use in sauces, soups, and stews. This recipe will show you how to dehydrate tomato slices and powder at home using any method you prefer: oven drying, dehydrator, or drying outdoors!
Whole tomatoes! Ripe tomatoes are ideal for drying.
They should be free of blemishes. If you have access to heirloom varieties, consider combining several types of tomatoes—their different colors, shapes, and flavors will result in a more complex final product than if you use just one type.
Once dried, tomato slices retain much of their naturally sweet flavor. Still, they also have an earthier taste that makes them perfect for use in sauces or as a topping on your favorite foods.
Wash tomatoes. Cut into slices, about one-quarter inch thick if using large tomatoes. If you are working with grape or cherry tomatoes they can either be cut in half or dried whole.
Place the tomato slices on dehydrator trays, ensuring they do not overlap (this will prevent them from drying evenly).
Dehydrate at 135 degrees for 12 hours, then remove from the dehydrator.
Place in a food processor or spice grinder until fine. Store the red powder in an airtight container until ready to use!
Conventional Oven method
- Heat the oven to 200 degrees or the lowest temperature setting. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place tomato slices on a baking sheet, ensuring plenty of space between slices. Bake for 6-8 hours.
- Check every hour you check the tomatoes for driedness.
- When they are dehydrated and no longer bendable, remove them from the oven. Let them cool to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container or baggie
Sun drying is probably the easiest way to get dehydrated. Youre are not able to control the elements like you can with an oven or in a standalone dehydrator. Here are some tips if you're looking to try out sun drying.
Find a sunny spot where the sun rays can reach all sides. that are protected from the elements. Drying time outdoors will depend on the weather, and since temperatures can fluctuate quickly, it can sometimes be challenging. If you don't have any protection from these things, then maybe it's not the best time to dehydrate tomatoes.
When are they ready?
When they are dry and brittle, they are ready. They should not be sticky, shiny, soft, or wet. Dehydrated tomatoes will not have the same texture as fresh tomatoes, so if you pluck one up and eat it raw, it may taste a bit bitter or acidic because the sugars have been converted to acids during dehydration. This is normal, however, because these flavors return to their sweet selves once cooked!
How long does it take?
In the oven, you'll have to wait 6-8 hours. In a dehydrator, it takes about 12-24 hours. If you want to go with the sun-drying method and hang them up on your balcony or backyard for about 3-4 days, that will also work well!
Making the powder
Making the powder is relatively straightforward, but there are a few things to remember.
First, ensure your tomatoes are free of moisture or liquid. This includes the water from washing them, any oil from slicing them, and even condensation that may have occurred while you've been storing them.
If you're making tomato powder from fresh tomatoes, it's best to slice them first and then dry them in an oven on low heat (around 200°F) until they're dry enough to crumble between your fingers.
Second, if you want a more robust flavor profile—say for meatballs or soups—you can add any number of herbs or spices to the drying process (e.g., garlic powder). Lastly, be careful not to overdo it; one tablespoon should be enough
Dehydrated tomato uses
Use tomato powder in soups and stews for a rich, tangy flavor. You can also use it in sauces, meatballs, and meatloaf. The uses are pretty much endless!
- Soups and stews: Dehydrated tomato powder has a very concentrated flavor, so it's great on its own or combined with other ingredients. Add dehydrated tomato powder if you're making an instant tomato soup or stew that usually calls for fresh tomatoes. You'll be surprised at how much like fresh tomatoes it tastes!
- Salads: Similar to soups and stews, dry tomato powder can be used in salads as well—just add it while tossing the salad together with dressing (or just sprinkle it on top). If you want something more than dried tomatoes themselves, consider combining them with other cheeses such as mozzarella cheese or feta cheese that complement the flavor of your dried tomatoes well.
- Sandwiches: This may seem like an odd way to use dried tomatoes since sandwiches are usually made from fresh bread slices filled with meat and vegetables (and sometimes cheese).
- Homemade tomato paste: No more tubes of tomato paste for us! Mix equal parts tomato powder and hot water for intense tomato flavor.
Making tomato sauce from powder
Another way you can use tomato powder is to make tomato sauce. It is a great alternative if you don't have fresh tomatoes or want to add more flavor to your recipe without adding extra water.
Start with sautéing onions and garlic in some olive oil over medium heat.
Next, add 2 cups of tomato paste and cook for about 10 minutes before adding ¼ cup of dry red wine or dry sherry (commonly used in authentic Italian cooking).
After this has been added, stir well, then reduce heat slightly before adding 2 cups of water or broth into the pan. Then bring everything together into one large pot on low heat for 20 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
Dehydrated Tomato Powder Recipe
- 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
- Dehydrator or oven
- Place the dried tomatoes on the dehydrator trays.
- Set the temperature to 135 degrees F.
- Dry the slices for 8-10 hours (or overnight) until they are dry and crispy.
- Let tomatoes come to room temperature before gaging their dryness.
- Condition or harden them for 48 hours to ensure they are fully dry.
- Add tomatoes to a spice grinder and pulse until tomatoes are a fine powder.
- Once they are at the desired powder, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Whether you use them in a recipe or just sprinkle them on top of your pizza, dehydrated tomatoes are a great way to add extra flavor. You can even make tomato powder at home by drying out slices of cooked tomatoes in an oven or dehydrator.
- If you don't have a food dehydrator, use an oven instead. Set it to 135°F and let them dry for 3-4 hours until they are fully dry but still slightly pliable to prevent cracking when you crush them into powder later in this process