Tomato Candy, or How to Dehydrate Tomatoes

Can you believe I’ve never tried to dry my own tomatoes? I buy sun-dried tomatoes for a lot of things – this zucchini casserole, or this sardine salad – and yet, I’ve never tried to preserve my own bit of summer. This past Saturday, I opted to pick up extra grape tomatoes at the farmer’s market just so I could make these sweet little nuggets. One caveat – I didn’t use the sun to make my “sun-dried” tomatoes. I used my dehydrator.

My only regret? That I didn’t buy more tomatoes! These couldn’t be simpler to make – just slice grape tomatoes in half, and lay them out in a single layer on the dehydrator screen. Pop them in the dehydrator and turn it to 125 degrees F for 20-22 hours. That’s it. I was surprised that they retained their beautiful, brilliant red, but even more delighted when I popped one on my mouth. Sweet, bright, and chewy – like a lovely bit of sunshine in my mouth. They were like tomato candy.

Want to make your own dehydrated tomatoes? Don’t have a dehydrator? Laying the tomatoes out on a rack in the oven at the lowest temperature could do a bang-up job as well. Most ovens don’t go quite as low, so the time needed would be shortened – maybe 10-12 hours – but you could still keep that lovely bit of sunshine for months to come.

These likely won’t keep on the shelf for a really long time – to be safe, I put mine in the fridge. They’ll keep for a long while that way. That is, if I don’t sneak in and munch on them every time the fridge door opens.

This post is linked to Wellness Weekend over at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free, and Friday Foodie Fix at The W.H.O.L.E. Gang.


  1. says

    When I bought tomatoes for roasting the farmer said a local chef puts them in the freezer after he roasts them. I’ll bet that would work and you can keep them even longer! (And make a bigger stash!)

  2. says

    Thanks for this idea Alta! I have made sun dried tomatoes in my oven, but never with grape tomatoes. I have a grape tomato plant that is producing more than we are eating right now. The reason for this is that they got too much water and the skins split. Then they start to get black mold or something in the split. All you need to do is slice off that little bit of the tomato, but it’s more work than just popping it in your mouth, so the kids aren’t eating them as much. I’m going to work on this tomorrow or I might even put some in the oven overnight tonight.

  3. says

    I tried to dehydrate those little gems but they are still fat after two days…so I looked up how to do it and found your page. I had not split them, so may have to go do that now, but am thrilled to see your site! Thanks!


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