Dehydrated and Oven-Baked Tomatoes and Peppers are easy to make for a burst of fresh garden flavor year-round!
It’s that time of year! My garden is turning out more produce than I know what to do with, namely tomatoes. Every year, I’m going to cut down on the amount I plant and every year, I don’t. Who can decide? There’s Cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, and Tomato tomatoes, each serving their own purpose.
I’m sick of eating tomatoes and have already canned three year’s worth of salsa and spaghetti sauce. What’s a girl to do? Read on to make dehydrated and oven-baked tomatoes and peppers.
Dehydrate Tomatoes and Peppers
Get yourself a handy dandy dehydrator that combines a constant, low temperature and a fan to dry out the produce while keeping enzymes intact. I’ve done a lot of research and found a fan is imperative to circulate the airflow for even drying. Be sure to use the correct temperature. If it’s too high, the produce will harden on the outside but remain moist inside, making it vulnerable to spoilage.
- Slice (Cherry, Grape or Plum) tomatoes into quarters.
- Scrape out the seeds, leaving the pulp intact.
- Arrange tomatoes (pulp-side up) on dehydrator trays
- Set the dehydrator to 135-140F.
- Typical drying time is 8-12 hours depending on humidity. I start the dehydrator before going to bed and let it work while I sleep.
- The tomatoes should be dry but pliable when finished.
- Place finished produce in baggies and store in the refrigerator or freezer up 6-9 months.
- To rehydrate, soak in warm water or olive oil for about 10 minutes.
It is possible to dehydrate Slicing and Roma tomatoes also. Be sure to cut your produce in uniform slices, approximately 1/4-1/2” thick, for even drying. The thickness will affect drying time.
Dehydrate Peppers: Green! Red! Jalapeño!
- Dehydrate peppers in the same manner.
- Cut the slices evenly for uniform drying.
- Dehydrate hot peppers separately.
- Trust me.
A word to the wise: Don’t mix up the bags of green pepper and jalapeno powder (below). I could write a blog post on that story.
Make Dehydrated Tomato Powder
This is by far my favorite use of dehydrated tomatoes and peppers. Using a food processor, puree the dried produce into a powder. Store in a jar or baggie (up to 2 months) or in the refrigerator (6-9 months).
How to Use Dehydrated Tomato Powder:
- Combine with water to form a tomato paste.
- Mix with Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on popcorn or corn on the cob. Ratio 1:1.
- Thicken sauces and soups (ding, ding, ding – we have a winner!)
- Thicken salsa and spaghetti sauce when canning.
Add Dehydrated Tomatoes and Peppers to:
- Scrambled eggs
- Deviled eggs
- Stuffed Peppers
- Cabbage Rolls
- Salad Dressing Vinaigrette
- Pulse in a food processor:
- 1/2 cup dried tomatoes
- 3/4 c water
- 1/4 c herbs (basil, oregano, cilantro, or parsley)
- 2-4 Tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and Pepper as needed
- Optional: 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Use on pizza, pasta, sandwiches, eggs, or vegetables.
Oven-Baked Tomatoes and Peppers
- Wash (Cherry, Grape, or Plum) tomatoes and remove stems.
- Place tomatoes in a single layer in a large baking pan. (Be sure it has at least a 1/2” lip).
- I ended up with 2 pans I baked at the same time. I rotated the pans each time I stirred the mixture (starting at 2 hours).
- Add chopped green pepper and onion to make an Italian version. I’m going to try a Mexican version with jalapeno and onion next, and make sure to label the bag. Be creative!
- Drizzle olive oil over the mix. I used about 2 Tablespoons in a 12×18 pan. You can’t go wrong here.
- Toss the mixture to coat somewhat evenly.
- I added fresh basil from the garden and a sprinkling of salt.
- Place the pans in a preheated oven of 375F.
Depending on the juiciness of the tomatoes, how many you have in the pan, and the humidity in the house, times may vary.
My timeline for Oven-baked Tomatoes and Peppers:
- 1/2 hour, the tomatoes will begin to burst and fill the pan with juice. No worries, they don’t burst enough to make a mess in the oven.
- 1 hour, juice bubbles, and a Tuscan scent invades the house.
- 1-1/2 hours, the juice will begin to thicken.
- 2 hours, moisture is leaving. Stir and rotate pans.
- 2-1/2 hours, the moisture is gone. It’s time to pay a little attention. Stir and rotate pans.
- 3 hours, the tomatoes are drying out. Use a spatula to turn the mixture and repeat every 15 minutes.
- 3-1/2 hours, remove pans from the oven. The tomato mixture will not dry completely.
Once cooled, spread the mixture, in a thin layer, on a waxed or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Place in the freezer (overnight).
- Break the tomato “paste” into pieces while putting in a baggie.
- Store in the freezer.
Add to soups, stews, and spaghetti sauce to add a burst of unbelievable flavor.
It’s that easy to make dehydrated and oven-baked tomatoes and peppers!
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