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Looking down on a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil next to herbs and fresh tomatoes.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Sun-dried tomatoes in oil are an easy kitchen project with big flavor benefits! The key is to go low and slow.

Vine-ripened varieties will offer more exciting subtleties. But you can truly use any variety of tomato. They're great to keep on hand for adding loads of flavor to last-minute meals. 

  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 24 pieces 1x


  • 6 vine-ripened Roma tomatoes (or however many of whatever variety tomato you choose)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling and storing
  • Fresh herbs such as basil, oregano, Italian parsley, and thyme
  • Fresh garlic cloves, peeled


  1. Preheat your oven to 180° F (or up to 200° F for faster drying). For an air fryer, set the temperature to 130° F, or choose the "Dehydrate" setting if yours has one. If you have a dehydrator, consult the manufacturer's recommendations for temperature setting and drying time.
  2. Use a small paring knife or similar to cut away the stems. 
  3. Slice smaller tomatoes in half, or cut larger varieties into quarters or eighths. Aim for slices that are all about the same size. Remove as many seeds as you can, but don't worry about cleaning away all of the jelly (it's where the umami is in a tomato).
  4. On a large baking pan with a rack set inside of it, or in your air fryer basket, line the tomatoes up skin-side down with space between them. Leaving space will allow for air circulation and more efficient drying. Then drizzle the tomatoes with a little bit of olive oil. Scatter fresh herbs around the tomatoes, if you like. 
  5. Place the tomatoes in the oven, air fryer, or dehydrator. Begin checking the tomatoes after two or three hours to gauge how fast they're drying (sooner if you set the temperature higher). If the edges seem to be drying much faster than the middle of the tomatoes, press down on them with a fork or slotted spatula to force away the excess moisture. 
  6. The tomatoes are done when they're dry, chewy, and bend easily without breaking.
  7. Store the dried tomatoes submerged in olive oil in the refrigerator. Add one or two peeled, whole garlic cloves to each jar, if desired. I find my sun-dried tomatoes keep for several weeks. But use your best judgment regarding any bad smells, sights, or flavors. And always follow the USDA guidelines when canning.
  8. To rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes, soak them in the hottest water your tap will give until they plump and soften a little. Or warm them in their oil in a small pot on the stove. 


On Drying Times

You can certainly bake or air fry your tomatoes at higher temperatures for a speedier finish. However, if you're after that textbook sun-dried tomato flavor and texture, I wouldn't recommend going above 180° F with the oven. Or 150° F with an air fryer. Also, the smaller the tomato, the faster the drying time.

So if you dry larger varieties like Romas low and slow in the oven (at 180° F) expect drying to take between five and six hours (or more). Many air fryers have a programmed "Dehydrate" setting that will automatically load a recommended drying time when you select it. If you raise the temperature slightly on either appliance, drying will take less time, so keep a close eye on the tomatoes during cooking. 

The bottom line is that every oven cooks differently. And drying times will vary (our ovens also lie to us about their temperature). So on the first time out with your oven, check the tomatoes fairly often for the best results.

Chef's Tips

Give the tomatoes space on the pan. You'll see photos of sun-dried tomato recipes where the slices are all squished onto the pan without room between them. But I don't recommend this! Crowding the slices will prevent their moisture from escaping easily. And the tomatoes will take longer to dry or dry unevenly. For best results, leave a little space between each tomato.

Use a rack. If you have an oven-safe cooling rack, set it inside your pan and place the tomatoes on it. Since the slices will be elevated they can receive heat from all sides. And will dry more evenly and quicker. The air fryer is great for this purpose as the tray or basket is perforated.

Save the tomato flesh and jelly. If you clean your tomatoes by removing the white flesh, jelly, and seeds, save it all! You can blend it all together to add to your next tomato sauce. It's an incredibly flavorful part of the tomato that often just ends up as food waste.

  • Author: Christina
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5-10 hours
  • Category: Vegan
  • Method: Dehydrating
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • Serving Size: 1 Sun-Dried Tomato Sliver
  • Calories: 13
  • Sugar: 0.4 g
  • Sodium: 13.7 mg
  • Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.6 g
  • Fiber: 0.2 g
  • Protein: 0.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: sun dried tomatoes, oven dried tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes in oil, how to make sun dried tomatoes