Sun-dried tomatoes are a chewy, tangy and sweet snack made from drying tomatoes. Get to know everything about them and also get a few good sun-dried tomato recipes for lunch, dinner and snacks.
Sun-dried tomatoes are the only ingredient that can outshine tomatoes, if you ask me.
A good sun-dried tomato can put new life into a dull and blah meal.
That’s how powerful this colorful, simple ingredient can be.
Here are recipes that showcase this amazing fruit.
Tips for working with them
- If you are not going to use the whole dry packet of sun-dried tomatoes within a week of opening it, refrigerate the remaining.
- Put leftovers in a air-tight glass container and refrigerate it. Exposing it to air can make their colors turn deeper red and they loose their sweetness, along with other flavors.
- You can put garlic cloves along with the sun-dried tomatoes because they will give the tomatoes a wonderful flavor.
- Making your own sun-dried tomatoes is very easy. If you can, make them yourself.
- If you have a farmer’s market near you, get the sun-dried tomatoes from them. They make it fresh and you can get it a day or two after they have made.
- Get the sun-dried tomatoes slices, if you can. This way, you can use them whole or cut them julienne based on the recipe. I prefer putting slices in my soup and julienne in my salads.
What is a sun-dried tomato?
A sun-dried tomato is when a whole tomato has all it’s juices removed by some kind of heating process. What remains is a stretchy, chewy and almost jerky like texture.
What you get after you dry a tomato is a tangy and sweet ingredient that can be put into so many recipes. Many times, you don’t need to add any sugars to your recipe.
This is because the sun-dried tomatoes will bring their natural sweetness which flavors the meal better than any sugar ever can.
What types of tomatoes can be dried?
- Cherry tomatoes
- Grape tomatoes
- Plum tomatoes
- Campari tomatoes (AKA tomatoes on the vine)
- Green tomatoes
- Purple tomatoes (Like Cherokee purple)
- Golden tomatoes
Basically, any kind of tomatoes can be used. If they are large like beefsteak, cut them into smaller slices which will dry them faster.
P/S: My favorite tomatoes in the whole wide world are campari tomatoes. I use them in so many recipes like tarts, pasta, soup and even pickle them
Dry packed vs in oils
Dry sun-dried tomatoes are always better than those preserved in oils and herbs. The oils used to brine them are always bad seed oils and many times, sugars are added to them.
Instead, buy dry sun-dried tomatoes and make the brine solution yourself. Use extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs like lemon balm or purple basil.
You can make it even more interesting by adding things like garlic, jalapeno, dried spices and even capers.
What bad ingredients are in sun-dried tomatoes in oil
- Seed oils like canola and sunflower oil
- Plain white sugars
- Other sugars like glucose, dextrose or maltodextrin
- Sulphur Dioxide
- Table salts
- Balsamic Vinegar
Look for products that have no added sugars, salts and use real extra virgin olive oil. There is no reason to have any of these bad ingredients in your sun-dried tomatoes.
- High in Vitamin C
- They have lots of Vitamin A
- Good source of Potassium
- Contain iron
- Have calcium
- Low sugars
Sun-dried tomatoes can be a good ingredient to add to everyday meals. I go through about 6-8oz a week.
Ask me a question
1. Dry them by exposing them to natural sun-light.
2. Use your oven to heat them and turn them into sun-dried tomatoes
3. Pull out your dehydrator to dry your tomatoes.
Drying them in the oven is the fastest way to make them. Depending on the size of your batch, you can have them ready in about 3-5hours.
Yes, they are very easy to make in the dehydrator. It does take a few hours to make them but, it’s a very hand-off process. It could take about 8-10 hours to dehydrate a tomato completely.
Check out Grow A Good Life’s post where she shows you the best way to make sun-dried tomatoes in the dehydrator.
Put them in an air-tight container and refrigerate them. They will last about a 30-90 days. They will go bad before the expiration date, in my experience. So, I like to use them up within a month of opening them.
Sun-dried tomatoes should be refrigerated to retain their freshness and vibrant color.
After a while in the refrigerator, you will notice that sun-dried tomatoes turn darker in color. They are not going bad, but, they tend to loose their softness. They will start to be more chewy.
So, use them up as soon as you can.
Yes, they contain many important nutrients like vitamin c and Potassium. If you are looking for keto-friendly sun-dried tomatoes, get Jeff’s Garden’s Sun-dried Tomatoes which have zero carbs.
Eat them right out of the container. Or, you can add it to salads, soups or turn it into a pesto
A word about nightshades
Whereas sun-dried tomatoes contain less solanine than fresh tomatoes, they do cause problems for those who are sensitive to nightshades.
If you have been told that you can’t consume nightshades, then you may want to avoid both types of tomatoes. Always consult you health care professional for more accurate information.
Best recipes with sun-dried tomatoes
These awesome recipes will make you fall in love with them all over again. They are lunch, dinner and snack recipes that can be made all year long!
How do you like to eat your sun-dried tomatoes?
Easy olive salad
The salty goodness of olives is the best offset to the tangy and sweetness of dried tomatoes. I found myself licking my fork and my fingers!
These olive salad can be eaten by itself or put on top of whipped feta and served as a dip.
Low carb pasta with grilled veggies
Sun-dried tomatoes are not hard to spot in this recipe. They are surrounded by other wonderful ingredients, but they stand out.
I made a buttery sauce using sun-dried tomatoes and drizzzzled it all over the pasta, veggies. No one can resist this bowl of pasta.
Plus, it’s made using chickpeas pasta
Roasted fingerling potatoes
Can fingerling potatoes ever fail? They are delicious any way they are prepared.
I love pouring hot butter with sun-dried tomatoes all over baked, flaky fingerling potatoes! It is a very zen experience, especially for my taste buds.
Sun-dried tomatoes give their all to an otherwise couscous ingredient. Before I added them to this salad, it felt like a plain dinner meal with nothing special.
Once the dried tomatoes are introduced, the whole meal tasted so delicious!
If you like couscous, but hate that waiting for it to plump up, then I have the perfect idea for you!
Make it in your pressure cooker!
Mediterranean Brussels sprouts
Know someone who doesn’t like Brussels sprouts? Add those dry tomatoes and watch their eyes light up!
I know people who are so against Brussels sprouts, but will devour this salad.
Best part is that it is so very easy to make using simple ingredients and is keto friendly.
Rustic quinoa bowl
If there is a quinoa bowl without sun-dried tomatoes, is it even a quinoa bowl?
I don’t think so!
These quinoa bowl looks vibrant and tastes amazing thanks to that one very special ingredient!
Green bean salad
This recipe came together within minutes for me. I had leftovers that I wanted to turn into a quick recipe. I just put them all together and fashioned a quick orange salad dressing.
The result was this amazing dinner recipe that is packed with protein and tastes like you are biting into a sweet, tangy and citrusy cloud.
Sun-dried tomato dip
I saved the best dip recipe for last because I am truly biased toward it. First, you just need TWO ingredients to make it.
Within 5 minute you have the dip ready for any chip or veggie!
It’s not just for chips or pita. I dare you to not dip a carrot or celery in this dip and not instantly fall in love with it.
Sharing is caring
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Now that you have had a chance to see all my recipes and know my favorites, it’s your turn. Tell me which one is your favorite?!
My opinion is if the sun is not involved in the process of drying, you should remove sun from the name and replace it with the method used. Example: oven dried, dehydrated etc. So 2 out of 3 methods to make sun dried tomatoes without the sun are a contradiction. You can sun dry clothes but you can’t sun dry clothes in basement right? The Mediterranean’s would be up in arms…lol
Healing Tomato says
The world calls it sun-dried tomatoes, even when they are dried by different methods. You want to be purist, feel free to go live in a mountain cabin by yourself without modern civilization around you. I have met Mediterranean people who are very nice and easy going. None of them are “Up in Arms”! They, too, refer to it as “sun-dried” even when they oven dry the tomatoes. I think you are just here to troll because you have a very sad life.