How To Dehydrate Tomatoes And Make Tomato Powder

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Tomatoes are a staple in the American diet; they go in all of our favorite recipes, they are a favorite of gardeners to grow, and best of all they are a healthy food. I’ve done another post on tomatoes that you can read here. However, this post will get you thinking about tomatoes in a whole new way. Tomato powder is so versatile; you can make spaghetti sauce, ketchup, tomato soup, BBQ sauce, pizza sauce, and Mexican dishes all with this great dehydrated food.  Not to mention it’s just a handy item to have on standby for thickening stews and making your own instant soups.  Let me show you what I did.

How To Dehydrate Tomatoes

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Start with ripe tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are best for dehydrating but these tomatoes on the vine were on sale.

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Wash your tomatoes.

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 Core your tomatoes.

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 Slice your tomatoes.

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 You can use any size tomatoes. I had some of these grape tomatoes so I thought I would throw them in.

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Load up your trays.

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I started out with about 20 lbs of tomatoes and filled all nine trays in my nine tray Excalibur Dehydrator.

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 Set the temperature to 125ᵒF and dehydrate for 12 to 18 hours.

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 Here is what the tomatoes look like dehydrated.

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 Here is what the grape tomatoes look like.

At this point you can place the tomatoes in a high-powdered blender or a spice grinder to make tomato powder. You could also store these tomatoes as-is and add them to stews, soups or casseroles. You might break them up a bit before you add them to a recipe, but if you didn’t want to make a powder these tomatoes would be very useful in your pantry.

I had some tomatoes from last year’s garden that I kept stuffing in the freezer because I could never get enough of them ripe at one time to can.  I did intend to can when I defrosted them but I never got around to it. Instead I decided to make tomato powder.

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This is what the tomatoes look like right out of the freezer.

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 I left them in the fridge for a few days to defrost. This what they look like defrosted.

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 I drained off the water before I prepared them to make tomato powder.

 How To Make Tomato Powder

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Take your tomatoes and blend them up in a blender.

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Now, I love my Excalibur Dehydrator, but I don’t like to put liquid on the dehydrator sheets (not pictured). They have no lip and things can spill. So I use the fruit roll up sheets that are actually designed for the round dehydrators. You lose some real estate but I’m fine with that because it doesn’t spill over.

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 Fill your trays.

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 I just place the fruit roll up tray right on the Excalibur Dehydrator trays.

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I had a few tomatoes that were not quite done from the previous day so I placed them in with the fruit roll up trays. I laid the tray down to grab another tray and I thought it made a pretty picture. Yes, I take too many pictures!

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 This is what the dehydrated blended tomatoes look when they are done.

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 They actually come out of the trays in disks like this.

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Break up the disks into pieces and place in a high powdered blender, a high powered food processor or my favorite: a little coffee/spice grinder.  This would be a great application for your Wonder Mill Junior Deluxe too.

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 There you have it, tomato powder.

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You could do this entire process with canned tomatoes but you might lose some taste. I recently did a taste test with fresh, frozen and canned corn. Also, if you buy canned tomatoes they are already preserved so there is no need to dehydrate them unless they are close to expiring or you’re worried about BPA.

How To Store Dehydrated Tomatoes and Tomato Powder

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I place my tomatoes and tomato powder in Mason jars.

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Before I add the tomatoes to my food storage I vacuum pack it with my FoodSaver in Mason jars with a jar sealer attachment. This is a half gallon sized jar.

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I also do the same thing with the tomato powder.

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The attachment also comes in a smaller size for regular mouth jars.

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Label and put away.

How To Reconstitute Tomato Paste

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To reconstitute tomato powder, add one tablespoon of powder to a small bowl.

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Add two tablespoons water.

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It looks like tomato paste.

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Here is a closer look. So the formula is 1 part tomato powder to 2 parts water.

Since I used fresh tomatoes from my garden they taste super sweet. My husband said it tastes just like ketchup so I think I might mix some of this up next time we have a need for ketchup and see how it goes.

Can you think of other ways to use tomato powder? I’d love to hear about them!

  • Edwina Rozelle says:

    Can you talk a little bit about the nutritional content once the tomatoes are dehydrated? Does it change any from fresh or canned tomatoes? I would love to do this to add to my soups as I use ketchup quite often as part of the base for them.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Edwina,
      The nutritional value is almost the same as fresh tomatoes. The only difference is the water content is removed from the food, obviously. This means that the nutritional value is actually concentrated so in some cases you can actually take in more nutrients eating dehydrated food. However, keep in mind that the calories and sugar content is also concentrated. Then the only other difference nutritionally speaking involves the dehydrating/cooking temperatures that the food is dehydrated at. If low temperatures are used then most enzymes remain however dehydrating at higher temperatures kill these enzymes.

  • I have celiac and must eat a gluten free diet. GF soups are too expensive and have too much sodium. I make jars of “soup” by using various ingredients like tomato powder, onion powder, various dehydrated vegetables, Herb Ox sodium free bouillion powder, broken up Asian rice noodles etc. and add it to little mason jars. I keep some in my desk and I can add water and microwave it at work and have a delicious, sodium free soup. It’s great for camping or whatever. Thanks for your post, I enjoyed it.

  • Jess Cox says:

    How clever to use the other brands trays! I have an Excalibur, but I don’t like their sheets for fruit rollups. I had quite a mess the last time I made them. I’m placing an order for the other trays today! Thanks for the idea!

    • Michael N. says:

      We use the Nesco fruit leather trays in our Excalibur also! Great for anything runny… Our favorite thing is to whip up pineapple in the blender (sweetener optional) and pour it out like we’re making fruit leather. Thing is… the pineapple dries hard and we break it up into pineapple “brittle.” It’s just like candy!

  • J.D. Raaz says:

    I use my tomato powder to add to light cream sauces for pasta, soups and it is also wonderful to add to home made noodles.

    Love your site, very informative and clearly written…and you respond to questions and commentary. A very good thing.

  • mujahidshariff says:

    how to prepare ready made food packets like knorr, maggi etc ?? its recipe please

  • Jessica Schule says:

    Hi 🙂 I was curious to why you vacuum seal them? do you have to I am going to try this recipe it sounds awesome I just do not have a vacuum sealer lol and if I did have one would you have to re seal after ever time you open the jar? sorry im new at that process 🙂

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Jessica,
      I vacuum seal the jar to keep air out. Air, light and temperature are the things you need to minimize in order to give food the longest possible shelf life. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer you might consider using an oxygen absorber. If you don’t have any just make sure the lid is on tight enough so the minimum amount of air gets into the jar. Yes, you would reseal each time you opened the jar.

  • Judy Montague says:

    Hello-I have been making dried, powdered tomatoes for a while now, but I think my method is much less messy and easier all around. I first dry the tomatoes, much as you do until they are “crackly” dry. I then grind them up in a coffee/herb mill, and VOILA! tomato powder without the mess of putting “liquid” tomatoes on dryer sheets. I also have tried about 4 differ brands of mills, and have burned out three within an hour or so. My husband got tired of taking them back to Fry’s Electronics, and brought me home a larger, more expensive Cuisinart, which holds more and is much more durable (I haven’t burned it out yet!)

  • Judy Montague says:

    An additional note–I store the tomato powder in Freezer Zip Lock bags, usually quart size and keep it in the freezer. Stores great lying flat and stacked. I also make mixtures of dried peppers, onions, celery, cilantro or any other herbs, etc., on sale mixed and powered together. Wonderful in soups, stews, cream soups, roasts, dips.

  • faith says:

    Thank you, i love reading about your ideas. Tomato powder works well when added to flour and made into bread, i like to add cheese as well. Yummy!

  • Barbara says:

    When he is being anxious to please, my hubby, who loves to shop at the local farm stand, will bring me 15 pounds of tomatoes that are slightly blemished that only cost $5! I make tomato powder with them, which is just the best thing to have on hand at all times to thicken a stew, make tomato paste or ketchup (yes, I do make sugar free-ketchup!) or use for pasta sauce. The 15 pounds becomes a full quart of powder. I dehydrate the entire tomato except the core. Skin and seeds are part of it, and they are so easy to dry that way. I do it either with puree, but I’ve also done it with sliced tomatoes. I have a Nutribullet that will powder the slices, so that’s not a problem.

  • Dianna says:

    Can you dehydrate the tomatoes in the oven if you don’t have a dehydrator? If so, at what temperature would you use and how long would you dry them in an oven?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Dianna,

      You can dehydrate in an oven if your oven will go as low as 135F. Drying time will depend on your oven and the moisture in tomatoes. It will be at least 4 to 8 hours, which is too long for me to have my oven on especially in the summer.

  • nur says:

    Thank you for your support and also sorry for my english
    Dear i need to produce tomato spicy for corn snack like chitos or kurkura and can i make it by tomato powder and chili
    Please sent to me your advice
    Thank you for your support

  • nanc says:

    Thank you for sharing ALL of the information. I have a comment on stabilizers (used by the commercial brand). In the case of salt, the stabilizer is a corn based product. If you have any food allergies, find out what stabilizer is used.
    Your dehydrating information is invaluable to anyone with allergies.

  • Amy says:

    I just happened upon tomato powder as an experiment 2 summers ago. I often plant 40 or more tomato plants and it depends on my health as to how much gets put up, given away or used to supplement our critters.. Anyway, I had a mound of peels after making salsa and it struck me that so many nutrients are in the skin of fruits and vegetables, there just had to be something I should do to them. I thought for a second and wondered if drying the skins and crushing them would work.. It was fantastic! I used the oven as I only have a dehydrator from a flea market that doesn’t work well and the skins dried quickly anyway. I then used my coffee grinder and powdered them. I have used the powder in soups and other tomato based dishes. This summer I’ve even used them in my salsa to add extra nutrients and a bolder tomato flavor.
    I’ve been wondering if I could use the entire tomato.. Thank you so much for answering my question!
    I so wish I’d started canning and dehydrating years ago.. I’m 44 now and have been doing better at these things the last few years. I’m an RN but can no longer work in that copacity as I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. I so wanted to continue working in labor and delivery for many more years.. God has a plan.. I cling to that.. I’ve been able to spend more time with my boys and on good days I’ve been able to do so many things I never had time for working 12 hour shifts..
    I will definitely be visiting your blog frequently now that I have found it. What a wonderful site! Thank you for the excellent information and may God Bless.
    ~amy

  • Nk says:

    Am new here pls. I love ur post. Pls How much does a good dehydrator cost and where can I get it.

  • Lori says:

    Could you oven can the dried tomatoes and powder without covering with oil? If so what temperature and how long?

  • Allison says:

    Hi!
    I have tomatoes I froze last year intending to can them but never did. Are one year old frozen tomatoes too old to try to defrost and then dehydrate?
    Thanks so much!

  • Kevin Walton says:

    Three things cause food to spoil, Heat, oxygen, and light. 300 cc oxygen absorber for a quart jar or 100 cc for a pint jar with new lids will keep dehydrated vegetables stable for much longer than a vacuum sealer. Just fill jar completely add dried veggies oxygen absorber and new lid. same test as canning. if lid depresses jar is sealed. I prefer mylar bags with oaps . These take care of oxygen and light, I use regular mylar bags and stand up bags but I prefer the standup bags with the zip seam so they can have a temporary seal after opening. The bags can be used for powders, flours and crackers, or anything that is dry. They come in various sizes. I buy spices in bulk and seal them in the smaller bags. Some people like soup in a jar but I do soup in a mylar bag. if I use dry beans, I parboil and then dehydrate and make my own quick cook beans.
    To seal your bags you can buy an impulse sealer, use the heat strip on your vacuum sealer, or you can experiment with an iron or curling irons.
    If you have rodent issues in your storage area store your bags in gamma buckets or any other bucket you can close because the can chew thru mylar bags.

  • justme says:

    Hi, i’ve put my tomatoes in my food dehydrator but my tomatoes seem to remain sticky?
    even after a very long period of drying? i tried putting them in food processor/coffee grinder but its just a sticky slump not powder. can you tell me what might have gone wrong?

  • Lily says:

    I was very happy to find your site (again) – the last time I checked in, you were still “Are We Crazy…” and that bookmark didn’t work…. Doing a search on “Dehydrate Tomatoes and Tomato Powder” was the way!

  • Colleen says:

    Long time foodie here…just a suggestion… Fruit roll up trays run about $8 for 2 For the Excalibur I found that 10×14 food service trays (Amazon New Star Food I got 12 for $24) are sturdy, & deeper which are perfect for liquid anything! I throw my flex sheet on them, fill, put my mesh sheet on top. Those trays will last forever! Love your blog and refer you often. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and inspiring people! Happy Day!

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