How To: Dehydrate Cherry Tomatoes

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Learn how to dehydrate cherry tomatoes to preserve the taste of summer! This easy cherry tomato preserving recipe helps maximize your harvest.

Tomatoes here there and everywhere!

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Don’t despair if your cherry tomato plants are poppin’ off and you’ve eaten so many cherry tomatoes in the past few weeks that you’re about to tap out. I have a simple solution – dehydrate them for later use!

Tomatoes are one of my favorite foods to dehydrate because they take almost NO prep. You’ll love this easy way to preserve tomatoes too!

This dehydrated cherry tomato recipe is dedicated to tapping out!

Dehydrated cherry tomatoes in a mason jar.

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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> Pick the freshest, most vibrant foods you can when dehydrating. The most important reason for this is that the fresher the food that goes into the dehydrator, the fresher the flavor and texture of the dehydrated food when it comes out.

No. 2 –> It can be a bit of a pain for storage purposes, but storing the dry cherry tomatoes in smaller jars or containers is better – because we are removing so much volume, a lot of them fit in one jar. Large jars mean more opening and closing the jar and exposing your dehydrated tomatoes to the air which can degrade the quality.

No. 3 –> This might sound silly, but my favorite knife when working with tomatoes is a thin, serrated knife. A share straight blade also works, but I always find myself reaching for my yellow-handled “tomato knife”.

No. 4 –> Chances are your dehydrator is already going, and if that’s the case, feel free to toss your tomatoes in with other veggies as long as they aren’t strong smelling. Avoid drying tomatoes with garlic, onions, bell peppers, hot peppers and other very fragrant veggies or herbs as they can affect the flavor and aroma of your tomatoes.

No. 5 –> If you don’t have a dehydrator, don’t despair! You can follow the steps in my sun dried tomatoes recipe and stop before packing the tomatoes in oil!

Close up of dried tomatoes.

Key Ingredients

Cherry Tomatoes: Use any type of cherry tomato for this recipe, they all work. I’ve dehydrated sun gold, chocolate cherry, sweet 100s and everything in between! For best results, use tomatoes that are ripe but still slightly firm. If they’re too ripe, they’ll be too soft and won’t hold up well during the preparation process. On the other hand, if they’re not ripe enough, they won’t have the same rich tomato flavor.

You can also make dehydrated grape tomatoes using this recipe, you may want to slice them into quarters rather than halves to reduce drying time, but the guide is the same!

Fresh sliced cherry tomatoes in a green basket.

Dehydrating Cherry Tomatoes

Prepare Cherry Tomatoes:

  1. Remove any stems or leaves and wash tomatoes under cool running water, making sure to remove any dirt or soil from the tomatoes. Remove any over-ripe tomatoes as they should not be dehydrated, and set aside any tomatoes that aren’t quite ripe and allow them to ripen further before dehydrating.
  2. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half then place them on the dehydrator tray in a single layer, skin side down. It only takes a second to ensure they are skin side down, but makes a large difference in drying time.

Dehydrate The Tomatoes:

  1. Place filled trays into the dehydrator and dry at 135f for 12-14 hours.
  2. Check tomatoes every hour or so near the end of the drying time for doneness. Tomatoes are dry when they are leathery, but still flexible.

Store + Condition:

  1. Once the tomatoes are completely dried, allow the racks to cool in the dehydrator for 30-45 minutes before transferring to an airtight, long-term storage container. This allows the heat to dissipate and reduces the chances of condensation forming in your storage container.
  2. Once the dried cherry tomato pieces are in storage containers, shake the jar each day or so for a week and observe the container for signs of moisture. If there are no signs of moisture, you’re good to go, place them in a cool dark place for long-term storage! If there is evidence of moisture in the container, you must add the tomatoes back to the dehydrator and dry it longer. After they’ve been dried the second time, you’ll need to go through the conditioning process again.
Spilling jar of dehydrated tomatoes.

Storage

Dehydrated tomatoes, when properly stored in an airtight container, preferably glass jar, in a climate controlled location will maintain its quality for at least 12 months. Aim to keep yours in a cool, dark location, away from light that can degrade the quality during long term storage.

I personally like to store my dehydrated cherry tomatoes in jars and vacuum seal them in my Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer! It works amazing for removing the air from mason jars, giving my dehydrated goods a longer shelf life.

From there, they go into our storage room in the basement, where they are protected from sunlight, heat, and temperature swings.

More Ways To Preserve Tomatoes

Reducing Drying Time

When it comes to tomatoes, drying time is crucial. The longer the drying time, the less tender and flavorful the rehydrated pieces become.

It’s important to prepare your tomatoes in somewhat uniform pieces, which may mean slicing cherry tomatoes in half and grape tomatoes into quarters. This ensures that most of the pieces are sufficiently dried within the same timeframe.

Leaving space between the pieces on the trays is another way to help reduce drying time. Sounds simple, but it allows airflow around all sides of the tomato pieces, ensuring even drying. Don’t forget to place the tomatoes skin side down!

Some hurdles are harder to overcome than consistent knife skills and spreading the bits. Drying time can fluctuate a lot, for a number of reasons, including; ripeness, size of pieces, tray load, and probably most importantly, humidity. Rainy or humid days can absolutely extend your drying times, if at all possible, I try to avoid dehydrating on rain days!

Dehydrated cherry tomatoes in a jar with fresh cherry tomatoes around.

Converting Fresh To Dried

Dehydrating removes around 95% of the moisture in the tomatoes so the weight drops drastically and the tomato pieces themselves will also shrink in size.

The conversion from fresh to dried tomatoes is going to be different for each size of cherry tomato used. I usually find that 2 lbs fresh cherry tomatoes = 2 cups halved dried tomatoes.

My favorite way to determine the conversion is to fill the top rack of my dehydrator with a pre-determined measurement, for example 4 cups whole cherry tomatoes, halved, and then measure the resulting volume after dehydrating and divide by 4. Then I write the conversion for that batch on a strip of painters tape and stick it to the side of my jar.

More Great Dehydrating Guides!

Rehydrating Dried Tomatoes

The steps to rehydrate dried tomatoes are the same as most dehydrated foods – add an equal amount of dehydrated tomato and water – by volume – and allow to soak.

The dried tomatoes can be reconstituted using hot water or cold water, hot water will begin cooking the tomatoes while cool water will take longer to rehydrate. Avoid soaking for longer than 2 hours – it can get a little gross!

If you’re adding dehydrated tomatoes to soups and stews, just toss them into the boiling pot. The soup will do all the work for you!

You’ll know the tomato pieces are rehydrated when they are nearly the same size as they were before going into the dehydrator.

Dried cherry tomatoes in a vintage mason jar.

Limitations

Listen dehydrated foods are wonderful. They’re work up front but they save time and effort on the back end, but they do have limitations!

You won’t be able to rehydrate a cherry tomato and toss it on a sandwich for a BLT.

BUT, that doesn’t mean tomatoes aren’t a valuable food to dehydrate and store. Dehydrated tomatoes are excellent in cooked dishes that need tomato flavor or a hint of acid, like soups, stews, stocks, and sauces. Dehydrated and powdered tomatoes are excellent to thicken and add tomato flavor.

Any time you need tomato flavor and not the texture or structure, you can use dehydrated tomatoes!

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📖 Printable Recipe

Dehydrated cherry tomatoes in a jar with fresh cherry tomatoes around.

How To Dehydrate Cherry Tomatoes

Allyson Letal
Juicy bursts of flavor meet delightful crunch! These dried cherry tomatoes result in a savory snack or versatile ingredient that adds a burst of intense tomato goodness to your recipes!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Course Preserved
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 27 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes fresh

Instructions
 

Prepare Cherry Tomatoes:

  • Remove any stems or leaves and wash tomatoes under cool running water, making sure to remove any dirt or soil from the tomatoes. Remove any over-ripe tomatoes as they should not be dehydrated, and set aside any tomatoes that aren't quite ripe and allow them to ripen further before dehydrating.
  • Slice the cherry tomatoes in half then place them on the dehydrator tray in a single layer, skin side down. It only takes a second to ensure they are skin side down, but makes a large difference in drying time.

Dehydrate The Tomatoes:

  • Place filled trays into the dehydrator and dry at 135f for 12-14 hours.
  • Check tomatoes every hour or so near the end of the drying time for doneness. Tomatoes are dry when they are leathery, but still flexible.

Store + Condition:

  • Once the tomatoes are completely dried, allow the racks to cool in the dehydrator for 30-45 minutes before transferring to an airtight, long-term storage container. This allows the heat to dissipate and reduces the chances of condensation forming in your storage container.
  • Once the dried cherry tomato pieces are in storage containers, shake the jar each day or so for a week and observe the container for signs of moisture. If there are no signs of moisture, you're good to go, place them in a cool dark place for long-term storage! If there is evidence of moisture in the container, you must add the tomatoes back to the dehydrator and dry it longer. After they've been dried the second time, you'll need to go through the conditioning process again.

Notes

storage

Dehydrated tomatoes, when properly stored in an airtight container, preferably glass jar, in a climate controlled location will maintain its quality for at least 12 months. Aim to keep yours in a cool, dark location, away from light that can degrade the quality during long term storage.

converting fresh to dried

The conversion from fresh to dried tomatoes is going to be different for each size of cherry tomato used. I usually find that 2 lbs fresh cherry tomatoes = 2 cups halved dried tomatoes.
My favorite way to determine the conversion is to fill the top rack of my dehydrator with a pre-determined measurement, for example 4 cups whole cherry tomatoes, halved, and then measure the resulting volume after dehydrating and divide by 4. Then I write the conversion for that batch on a strip of painters tape and stick it to the side of my jar.

rehydrating dried tomatoes

The steps to rehydrate dried tomatoes are the same as most dehydrated foods – add an equal amount of dehydrated tomato and water – by volume – and allow to soak.
The dried tomatoes can be reconstituted using hot water or cold water, hot water will begin cooking the tomatoes while cool water will take longer to rehydrate. Avoid soaking for longer than 2 hours – it can get a little gross!
If you're adding dehydrated tomatoes to soups and stews, just toss them into the boiling pot. The soup will do all the work for you!
You'll know the tomato pieces are rehydrated when they are nearly the same size as they were before going into the dehydrator.

Recommended Equipment + Ingredients

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 27kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 0.2gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 17mgPotassium: 330mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 739IUVitamin C: 34mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
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