Dehydrating Grape and Cherry Tomatoes

If you’re like me, you only eat fresh grape and cherry tomatoes when they’re in-season, vine ripened, and just picked. Compare the bright flavor of summertime tomatoes to the anemic taste of off-season hothouse tomatoes and there’s no contest! Want to preserve their incredible taste? Consider dehydrating them!

Dehydrating grape and cherry tomatoes creates an intense burst of flavor and color. If you grow your own garden I suggest planting extra grape tomatoes and/or cherries just for this purpose. If you don’t have your own bumper crop, see if a local farm or market will sell you them in quantity at a discount.

Grape tomatoes cut in half and arranged single layer on a dehydrator tray in the foreground; bowls of tomatoes in the rear
Halved grape tomatoes ready for the dehydrator. I sprinkled them with the optional oregano and sea salt.

Dehydrating Grape and Cherry Tomatoes

“Moist-Dry” versus “Leathery-Dry”

I prefer dehydrating grape and cherry tomatoes until they are almost dry; I store these moist gems in the freezer. Dry completely if you prefer to store them in your pantry, otherwise they’ll grow mold.

Dehydrated tomatoes spilling out of a canning jar in the foreground; a glimpse of another jar filled with dehydrated tomatoes in the rear
Try to fight the urge to eat these tasty jewels before they even make it to the pantry or freezer!

Drying Tomatoes in a Dehydrator

Method Overview

  • Wash grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Cut them in half
  • Arrange on trays
  • Dehydrate between 125ºF – 135ºF
  • Check and rotate trays periodically

Trays of halved grape tomatoes in dehydrator; jars of dried tomatoes in jars on top of dehydrator


How long does it take to dehydrate grape and cherry tomatoes?

In general, it takes somewhere between 10 to 14 hours for halved grape and cherry tomatoes to dehydrate. The actual time will depend on several factors, such as:
• temperature of the dehydrator
• humidity in the room
• whether the dehydrator has a circulating fan or not to keep the heat evenly distributed
• how often the dehydrator is opened, and if it opens from the top or side
• size and moisture content of the tomatoes
• whether you are drying until moist-dry or leathery-dry

How to use dried tomatoes?

• We enjoy eating moist-dried tomatoes right out of the jar for a burst-of-tomato snack. We also add them to various salads, wraps, stuffings, and more. Many Italian recipes call for sautéing garlic in olive oil. Consider slicing moist-dried tomatoes into ribbons, then adding them to the pan during that step. They are especially delicious in hot or cold pasta dishes that call for a pesto or olive oil dressing. Even just a bit of these gems adds a welcome bursts of flavor – there’s no need to overdo it.
• Soak leathery-dried tomatoes in a small amount of warm water until they are softened. Once they’re softened, slice into ribbons (or use as is) in various dishes as described above. You can add the tomato infused soaking water to your dish too.

How long do dehydrated tomatoes last?

Technically, if kept in an airtight container, moist-dry tomatoes will last indefinitely in the freezer and leathery-dry tomatoes will last indefinitely in a dark, dry, cool location. The longer they are stored; however, the more nutrients will be lost. So try to use them within a year.

How to make tomato powder and what is it used for?

If you have a grinder or a high speed blender, tomato powder can be made from leathery-dried tomatoes following these three easy steps.

  1. Freeze leathery-dried tomatoes before grinding or blending them into powder.
  2. Transfer them to your grinder or high-speed blender and immediately process using the highest speed. Blend while the tomatoes are still frozen for best results. They thaw fast, so work quickly.
  3. Put the powder into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and store in a dark, dry, cool location.

As you can imagine, tomato powder packs a tomato punch. It can be added to soups, sprinkled on anemic tomatoes (to boost their flavor), sauces, and more.

You can also use this powder to make tomato paste. Simply combine two parts powder to one part water and voila, you have tomato paste!

Dehydrated tomatoes spilling out of a canning jar in the foreground; a glimpse of another jar filled with dehydrated tomatoes in the rear
Print Recipe
5 from 12 votes

Dehydrating Grape and Cherry Tomatoes

Course: condiment, snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: oil-free, plant based
Servings: 1 quart


  • dehydrator


  • 10 pounds grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Dried oregano, optional
  • Himalayan sea salt, optional


  • Wash the tomatoes and drain well.
  • Slice each tomato in half lengthwise.
  • Arrange the halved tomatoes on your dehydrator trays with the skins facing down. This will prevent the juices from dripping. Leave a bit of space between each tomato so they are not touching. Sprinkle with oregano and sea salt if desired.
  • Put the trays in your dehydrator and turn it on. If it has a thermostat, set it between 125º to 135º.
  • It will take 10 to 12 hours for the tomatoes to become "moist dry" and will take 12 to 14 hours to become "leathery dry." These are approximate times. Periodically check the tomatoes for doneness, and rotate the trays. Even if your dehydrator has a fan, rotating the trays will help them become more evenly dried.
  • Once dried to your preference, let the tomatoes cool down. Place them in an airtight glass jar with a screw lid; label with the date.
  • Leave the jar at room temperature for 24 hours so the moisture content of the tomatoes will become more evenly distributed. This process is called "conditioning".
  • Store moist-dry tomatoes in the freezer. Store leathery-dry tomatoes in a cool, dark, dry location.

General Rule of Thumb

10 pounds of fresh tomatoes = 1 quart dehydrated

Types of Dehydrators

Although a bit pricy, Excalibur makes an excellent line of dehydrators. I upgraded to this Excalibur model a few years ago; it includes a fan, timer, adjustable thermostat, and stainless steel shelves.

My father-in-law gave us our first dehydrator; he had bought it on the Home Shopping Channel. It was a Ronco brand and we used it for many years. It was bare bones, but with careful attention got the job done. It did not have a fan, timer, or thermostat – so I had to rotate the shelves often, and keep a close eye on the tomatoes so they dried evenly and didn’t burn.

A Ronco brand dehydrator filed with halved cherry tomatoe
Ronco dehydrator

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like another one I created, How to Make and Freeze Tomato Puree. It describes how to preserve Roma style tomatoes.


  • Anonymous
    April 14, 2021 at 11:44 am

    5 stars
    Very helpful with clear directions.

  • kenneth bullard
    July 25, 2021 at 3:29 pm

    We have been dehydrating cherry tomatoes for awhile but I never thought of grinding them.
    Thanks for the heads up.
    We have some frozen from last year. I may get to grinding.

    • Judy DeLorenzo
      July 25, 2021 at 5:39 pm

      Glad to be of help! Let me know how they come out.

  • Bonnie
    December 31, 2021 at 9:42 am

    Thank you for the information. This will be the first time I’ve dehydrated in the Ronco and I don’t think I would have thought about rotating the shelves!

    • Judy DeLorenzo
      December 31, 2021 at 8:53 pm

      You’re welcome Bonnie. Let us know how it goes!

  • Theresa
    August 14, 2022 at 5:34 pm

    I’ve been dehydrating tomatoes for years but have never dried cherry or grape varieties. Thanks for the recipe. I have some in dehydrator right now.

    • Judy DeLorenzo
      August 15, 2022 at 10:57 am

      Hi Theresa. Let us know what you think! I suspect these will be your new go-to tomatoes for dehydrating 😉

  • Pamela Wolfe
    October 7, 2022 at 4:56 pm

    5 stars
    So full of great info! Thanks a million! i do have one question. What are the pros and cons of salting before dehydrating.

    • Judy DeLorenzo
      October 8, 2022 at 12:14 am

      Thanks and you’re welcome 😉 If you decide to sprinkle the tomato halves with a bit of salt, it will add a bit of salty flavor, but will also add sodium mg. Other than that, no pros and cons that I know of.

  • Cindy
    October 13, 2022 at 11:11 am

    I am intrigued by making a powder of my dehydrated tomatoes. I have a couple of questions, are the tomatoes the wet style or dried style of dehydrated tomatoes? I do not have a high speed blender. I do have a fancy immersion blender with a blender style blades, a deluxe food processor and a kitchen aid grinder with several grinder plates. Which if any would work the best?
    Thank you.

    • Judy DeLorenzo
      October 14, 2022 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Cindy. Use leathery dry tomatoes (not moist) when making tomato powder. Since you don’t have a high speed blender, try using your grinder. As my post mentions, it’s best to freeze the tomatoes before blending/grinding; work quickly because they’ll thaw quick. Let me know how it goes!

  • Chrissy D
    August 7, 2023 at 1:51 pm

    How do you store the moist-dry tomatoes in the freezer? It looks like in jars from the pictures. Do you ever have problems with freezer burn?

    • Judy DeLorenzo
      August 8, 2023 at 12:08 am

      Hi Chrissy,

      Yes I do store them in jars; I’ve never had a problem. If you’re worried about freezer burn, you can cover the top of the tomatoes with a piece of parchment paper.


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