Oven Dried Tomatoes

The 1980s had quite a few trends best left back in time. Most of them have to do with tiered bangs and MC Hammer pants. However, there are some things from the 1980s that are easily made fun of but really have quite a bit of merit. Namely: The Bangles and sundried tomatoes.

In the 1980s, these little lycopene bombs were found on everything from bagels to pizzas to (probably) chocolate. They got overexposed, and, just like Corey Feldman, they are now a source of laughter and ridicule. Yet, they can really be so different from those leathery, tough little salt bombs that used to be de rigeur. If you roast them at home, with only a bit of olive oil and no added salt, they become sweet, juicy little morsels of pure umami.

Oven Dried Tomatoes



Olive Oil

Dried Italian Herbs

1. Slice the tomatoes in half and preheat oven to 200F.

2. Put  all ingredients in a shallow pan or rimmed cookie sheet lined with tinfoil. Stir with hands so the tomatoes are coated in the oil and spices.

3. Lay the tomatoes cut side up (the opposite way from how they are in this photo) in the dish and let them bake for 10 hours.

4. Serve and enjoy. Be sure to save the oil. 

The secret to these tomatoes is the lengthy cooking time and not juicing them. The very low temperature makes sure that the tomatoes really render out all of their natural sugars without burning or getting leathery. Though many cooks seed the tomatoes before roasting, keeping the seeds in results in a plumper, juicier tomato. As an added bonus, the juices bubble over and mix with the oil, making a very tasty olive oil for dressing pasta or roasting potatoes. These are so much better than the store-bought sundried tomatoes because they are just tomatoes – no salt, no preservatives. They are lush, tender, and totally addictive on a sandwich or mixed into scrambled eggs.

Let’s chow down like it’s 1984.


  1. Yes! I do these when the tomatoes are coming fast and furiously…with chopped garlic (because everything is better with garlic) and thyme branches. They freeze very nicely for winter consumption. You can also do this with cherry tomatoes, just cook them for more like 2-3 hours. I usually do romas overnight. OMG the smell in the morning is unbelievable. Yes yes yes! These are NOTHING like those hideous sundried tomatoes of yore…

  2. Those look great! I can eat a ton of them just on a baguette with olive oil. Perfect for summer. 🙂

  3. Confession: I don’t really like sundried tomatoes. I may just give this a go though… easy and delicious. And won’t heat up the kitchen… much. 😉