Got a dehydrator and some tomatoes? Make these marinated dehydrated tomatoes! They are easy, delicious, and so satisfying come winter.
The first summer I had a dehydrator, I dried everything I could get my hands on. I did peaches, apples, herbs, citrus, tons of fruit leather and buckets of small tomatoes. I kept that round unit running for days at a time, and found that I missed its constant drone when it was finally unplugged and put away.
Since that first heady season, I’ve narrowed down the things I regularly dehydrate. It is still one of my favorite methods of food preservation, I just have learned more about which dehydrated things that work best in my kitchen and have stopped doing the ones that I didn’t manage to use up as well.
Top on my must-dry list each year are tomatoes. I do them a couple of different ways. I always do two or three dehydrator loads of small tomatoes like grape and sungold to use in salads throughout the year. And I always (ALWAYS) make some marinated and dried tomatoes.
I first learned this trick years back from Kristina McLean’s blog Mouth From the South. She is an avowed tomato lover and takes the growing and preserving of tomatoes very seriously. So the first time I made them, I knew they’d be good. I just didn’t realize quite how life-changing.
If you have a dehydrator, these marinated dehydrated tomatoes are incredibly easy to make. You slice up about five or six pounds of tomatoes and heap them in a bowl. Then you puree together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh parsley, rosemary, garlic, salt, red chili flakes, black pepper, and the juice and zest of a lemon.
Once the marinade is smooth, you pour it over the tomatoes. Using your hands, gently give it all a good stir and then let it sit. Because I rarely have enough space in my fridge, I only marinate for a couple of hours. You could also cover the bowl and tuck it in the refrigerator overnight if you’ve got more cold storage than I do.
Then you arrange the marinated tomatoes on your dehydrator trays, stack them up, and set it to 135 degrees F. I typically slice my tomatoes so that they’re a little more than 1/2 inch thick and they take about 18 hours like that. If you cut yours thicker, give them more time.
These days, I’m using the new Excalibur stackable dehydrator that I wrote about here. I particularly love the fact that it comes with the mesh screens that make it easier to remove the finished tomatoes (because they stick like crazy).
When the tomatoes are dry and chewy, they’re done. Then it’s just a matter of pulling them off the trays, heaping them in zip top bags, and stash those bags in the fridge or freezer (thanks to the oil, they really need the cold storage).
I often eat a few while thinking about what to make for dinner. They’re nice as a garnish on a bowl of soup or a grain salad. And for fancy times, I like to chop them and fold them into softened butter for tasty bread.
Marinated Dehydrated Tomatoes
- 5 pounds tomatoes
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1 sprig rosemary leaves removed and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Slice your tomatoes into sections that are about 1/2 inch thick and put them in a large bowl.
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, rosemary, garlic cloves, salt, chili flakes, black pepper, and lemon zest and juice into a blender container and puree.
- Pour the marinade over the tomatoes and let them sit for at least an hour or two.
- When you're ready to start the dehydration process, arrange the tomatoes on the trays of your dehydrator. Set it to 135 degrees F and run for 18 to 24 hours, until the tomatoes are well-dried.
- When they're done, pull the finished tomatoes off the trays and place them into zip top bags.
- Keep in the fridge for 2-3 months or in the freezer for 6-8 months.
Is there any reason this wouldn’t work in the oven (following conventional oven- drying rules)?
If your oven has a dehydration setting, there’s no reason why you couldn’t use it. I wouldn’t do it in a regular oven, though. They really need a lower temperature than you can get in an oven without a dehydration setting.
Yes, you can dry this in a conventional oven that has a low setting around 140 degrees.
I oven dried for years before I found an Excaliber in a thrift store for $10.00.
Those cheap round dehydrators with no fan or thermostat are no bargain.
Follow this link to a Colorado State University pamphlet that has a nice section on oven drying.
An oven requires more fiddling to get it right and more attention through the process to prevent scorching.
Rotate the trays and stir the product to get more even drying.
As you get to the end of the drying cycle you will have to take product out in stages as some pieces will be drier than others
Once you know how much to prop open the door oven it will be much easier.
Get a thermometer with a probe on a wire, available almost everywhere to monitor the oven temperature.
Do not rely on your oven dial. Notoriously inaccurate.
Put the probe into a small pan of water in the oven and do a dry run (pun intended) to see what the temperature is.
Master Food Preserver
UCCE San Bernardino County
Thanks so much, it turns out my oven has a dehydrator setting I wouldn’t have thought to look for.
Wow! Just yesterday, I was looking for info on how to do this with the millions of grape sized tomatoes i have. Everything I read seemed too time consuming (and all the recipes seemed to call for Roma tomatoes.). I texted my daughter last night and asked her if she wanted my dehydrator. I think I will try these tomatoes first! Thank you.
Oh boy! I’ve got my tomatoes marinating now and can hardly wait! My husband walked by the bowl and thought we were going to eat it as is… which probably is OK, but I’m so excited to try this in the dehydrator (and put in a strong hint for an Excalibur dehydrator sometime in the future). Thanks, too, for the link to Mouth from the South, which I used to read long ago, but somehow got disconnected.
I love dehydrated tomatoes, though I’ve never made any. They are expensive to buy in a jar though, so I’d love to make them myself. I’ll have to find a dehydrator first though. Anyway, my question is how much added electricity you’re using for this. I guess an easy way to think about it is how much your electric bill goes up from running the dehydrator. I’ve always wondered about gas and electric use for dehydrating things in the oven for hours on end, or in a dehydrator. I’m always shutting off lights, hanging my clothes to dry, and re-using water on my plants. So running another electrical appliance for long periods of time kind of goes against my environmental ethic. Maybe they are super efficient. I honestly don’t know. I’m not judging at all. Just wondering. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks much.
I’ve been dehydrating stuff for years and I don’t think I’ve ever even noticed a blip on the electrical bill.
Running a dehydrator is definitely more efficient energy-wise than an ordinary oven and isn’t likely to raise your electricity bill in any noticeable way. One exception might be a convection oven with a dehydrate setting, in which case the oven’s bigger capacity still might be an energy-efficient way to dehydrate a larger quantity of food at one time.
The link below has a simple formula to calculate the cost to run a dehydrator using your own actual electricity rate.
There are also lots of designs for home built electric and non-electric dehydrators.
Would it be possible to marinate without the olive oil, dehydrate until crunchy, and then store in the pantry? Maybe a few at a time could be soaked in in the fridge in olive oil for a few days as needed?
I imagine you could do that. The vinegar would certainly provide plenty of acidity.
These look fantastic! I’m so excited to try them, especially since I I have 14 tomato plants in my backyard right now.
I’m very curious to hear what your other favorite dehydrated fruits/veggies are… I feel like I’ve made too much jam this season and need other ideas.
Perfect timing! I have tomatoes, and I just got a Nesco dehydrator for my birthday! Can’t wait to try this. Would love to see another post (or more!) about drying food.
Ok.My tomatoes are done, and they are incredible! I did some romas and some cherry. The cherry tomatoes look like dried cranberries… they make me feel like making some kind of bread and putting in some tomatoes. I’ve just got to stop “tasting” them or I won’t have enough to save for later!
I have my tomatoes in the dehydrator, oh my they smell delicious and the marinade is great. Question, can the marinade be used to do a 2nd batch if use right away and/or kept in fridge? I actually plan on using it to marinate some beef this evening, but wonder about this for future batches of tomatoes.
Making these today!!! Can’t wait until they’re done!!
Don’t overlook the snaking opportunity provided by dehydrated tomatoes. They are pretty tastey right out of the bag.
Snacking – not snaking.
If the tomatoes are not marinated, just straight-up dehydrated, do they need to be refrigerated?
If they are just dried and you take them to the point where there’s nearly no moisture left, they don’t need to be refrigerated.
Starting these tonight bu saved the marinade to use in salad dressings etc. then I got hungry and dipped a couple of slices of bread in the marinade. Yum’
These are going to be wonderful. They are marinating right now. I read the recipe, went to the kitchen and started to make them. They taste fabulous. I had to cover the bowl to force myself to leave them alone. Concentrating the flavored by dehydrating will make them so much more flavorful and intense. Thanks for the recipe.
I did these but couldn’t bear the thought of throwing away the marinade especially since I used a spendy balsamic. I drained the marinade and subsequent tomato juices and reduce to syrup form, then reapplied before dehydrating. Delicious thank you!
Thanks for answering my question about the extra sugar on the peach BBQ sauce recently. I just ordered your Naturally Sweet Food in Jars book on Amazon, I want to make jams with Pomona’s Pectin. By the way are frozen fruit okay to use for making jams if measuring in cups? We had huge harvest of peaches from our tree that we froze. I started dehydrating 2 years ago but I haven’t done much so I’m still new to this. I dried some in my Presto dehydrator a couple of days ago. In a bowl, I seasoned around 4 lbs of San Marzano tomatoes from my garden with around 1.5 tsp of olive oil and then sprinkled homegrown dried basil and salt on them. I dried the tomatoes using the dehydrator then I put them in a canning jar with a plastic lid. Do I need to refrigerate the dried tomatoes for storage? The tomatoes are quite oily but tomatoes are completely dried. I also have mylar bags that I seal with heat, I usually store dried vegetables in the bags with oxygen absorbers in my pantry. I wanted to know the safety of storing dehydrated tomatoes that have been seasoned with a little bit of oil inside jars or mylar bags in a cool, dark place like my pantry. I’ve only found information online about not storing in olive oil with garlic. I’m hoping you could help me. I have little kids and I’m anxious about botulism and poisoning my family. I appreciate your time! 🙂
1. Here’s how I make jam using frozen fruit. Using weight it more accurate that cups. https://foodinjars.com/2016/02/canning-101-how-to-make-jam-with-frozen-fruit/
2. You need to store the marinated dried tomatoes in the fridge if they have oil on them.
Thank you for the info about frozen fruit for jams! I can’t wait for your book to arrive in the mail, I previewed it on Amazon and the recipes looks good, I’m excited to make lower sugar jams with Pomona’s Pectin. I didn’t pack the dried tomatoes in oil. I have to refrigerate the tomatoes even if only 1.5 tsp of olive oil was added to season the tomatoes prior to drying them? Just making sure.
If you added any oil to the tomatoes, you need to refrigerate them.
Made these this weekend using Roma and San Marzano tomatoes. Wow! Very addictive! I can’t stop eating them. Finally, put them on a cookie sheet to freeze and will bag them tonite for the freezer.
I have cherry tomatoes coming out my ears! When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. As much as I love tomato jam, there’s only so many jars you can make. After clean and slicing the tomatoes, I realized I had forgotten to pick up some parsley. Where I live it’s not convenient to just run to the store for a forgotten item. So I substituted fresh basil for the parsley and a couple tsps of thyme. Normally I don’t change up a recipe the first time I’m making it, however, the mother of necessity came calling today. I can’t wait to get these in the dehydrator.
Truly tomato candy. Fantastic
I’m so glad you like them!
Oh my gosh, these are SOOO GOOD.
Thank you for the recipe.
So happy you like them!
Very excited to try these! Already made several batches of salsa this year. My hubby has been dehydrating the rest. These sound like they are the BOMB! Thank you for sharing!!
Thanks for this, really excited to try it!!! Would you use the excalibur non-stick sheets instead of the mesh trays? I’m wondering if that would make clean up easier if they are sticky.
I do it right on the regular trays, but it’s up to you.
I gave my tomatoes a very light spray with oil befor dehydrating can i put them in oil and then vacuum seal in bags . Will they still need to go into fridge ? I am needing to find a way to store them in pantry not fridge or freezer