Tuesday, September 21, 2021

How to Freeze Dry Tomatoes at Home

Learn how to freeze dry tomatoes at home to preserve your harvest.  You can use your freeze dried tomatoes to add to soups and other recipes or add water to make tomato paste.  You can also add tomato powder to recipes for a burst of flavor.  

Tomatoes are a fantastic fruit, as they are incredibly versatile and simple to use. However, they do not last long and can go bad rather rapidly. This is frustrating as tomatoes can be an essential part of many recipes, but meal prepping becomes much harder when you bring them in.

However, that does not mean that you have to resort to traveling to the grocery store every time you need a tomato, as you can always freeze dry tomatoes for future use! Learning how to freeze dry tomatoes is an incredibly valuable skill that will ensure you always have tomatoes on hand for recipes.

Following is a simple guide on how to freeze dry tomatoes and what you can do with freeze dried tomatoes and tomato powder.

How To Freeze Dry Tomatoes

I use a Harvest Right freeze dryer to freeze dry food.  It's the only one available for home use.  Unless you're selling food, it's the only one that's affordable for home use too!

I have a dehydrator, but dehydrating removes 95 percent of water, so it's great for short term storage.  Freeze drying removes 99 percent of water, so freeze dried food can last up 25 years if stored properly!

Learn how to store freeze dried food for storage options.

Learn more about freeze dried vs dehydrated and the pros and cons of each method.  Check out my favorite freeze dryer accessories.  I also have a printable freeze dryer log book to keep track of inventory and batches.

For more freeze drying recipes, check out these posts:


Can You Freeze Dry Fresh Tomatoes?

In short, yes, you absolutely can freeze dry tomatoes. I recommend using a Harvest Right machine as home made methods of freeze drying will not work very well with tomatoes due to the high moisture content.

How Do I Freeze Dry Tomatoes?

Freeze drying tomatoes in a machine is easy. To start, simply lay out your diced and prepared tomatoes on the rack and slide them into the machine. From there, simply hit ‘not dry’ and then start.

Now the only thing you have to do is wait for them to be done. I do recommend being near the machine, or at least in the vicinity so you can keep an eye on your tomatoes. 

It is worth mentioning that freeze drying machines can be pricey.  However, I have to say that they are a worthwhile investment. With a freeze drying machine you can store all kinds of foods for months and even years beyond the expiration date.

In the event of an emergency you can have easy access to all sorts of foods and ingredients, and most can be reconstituted to enjoy in their original state.

Is It Better To Freeze Or Dehydrate Tomatoes?

As far as long term preservation goes, it is better to freeze dry tomatoes than simply dehydrate them. Tomatoes have a lot of moisture so traditional drying methods are simply not as effective as other fruits. 

Further, freeze drying tomatoes allows you to make powder and paste out of it much easier than drying them regularly.

Are Freeze-Dried Tomatoes Good?

Freeze dried tomatoes are delicious and can be used in tons of recipes. Overall they are packed with flavor and are sure to come in handy.

What Do You Do With Freeze-Dried Tomatoes?

There are all sorts of things that you can do with freeze dried tomatoes. They can be used to provide easy tomato flavor in any recipe that you want. They can be combined with water to make a quick and easy tomato paste. 

They can even be powderized and used in recipes that call for tomato paste as well. Often, recipes will only call for a tablespoon or so of tomato paste. 

In this regard, why bother buying and opening up a whole jar when a sprinkle of powder will do just fine?

Of course, this is all without mentioning that you can reconstitute freeze dried tomatoes and use them as you would any other tomato! 

How Do You Rehydrate Freeze Dried Tomatoes?

Rehydrating freeze dried food is super easy to do. Simply lay out your freeze dried tomatoes and sprinkle with a bit of water until it has reconstituted to your liking. Go slow and be careful not to overdo it, as it can be easy to soak them.

I do not recommend reconstituting and re-drying tomatoes, so I recommend only reconstituting what you need and letting the rest of your freeze dried tomatoes stay on the shelf until you need to use them.

What Do You Do With Freeze Dried Tomato Powder

As previously mentioned, freeze dried tomato powder can be used in tons of recipes. It is perfect for recipes that call for just a little bit of tomato or tomato paste, and prevents wastage from occurring. 

Further, freeze dried tomato powder is incredibly easy to store in all sorts of containers making it ideal for long term storage on your homestead.

While I think a freeze dryer is a worthwhile investment for a homestead, it is costly.  You can also buy tomato powder to store and use in recipes like the homemade tomato powder.

How Do You Rehydrate Freeze Dried Tomato Powder?

Like rehydrating standard freeze dried tomatoes, you need only add water to dried tomato powder. However, it will not return to its original form but will instead become a paste or sauce. This is a great way to quickly make sauces for pastas and pizzas but not for making tomatoes to be eaten on their own.

How Long Does Freeze Dried Tomato Powder Last?

When stored properly in optimal temperatures, freeze dried tomatoes can last up to ten to fifteen years. This means that for over a decade you can have tomatoes at the ready straight from your food storage.

To properly store your tomato powder, pour it into sealed containers and store up off the ground in a dry environment.  I recommend storing your freeze dried in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers for best results.

Freeze Dried Tomatoes Ingredients

To make freeze dried tomatoes, you will need fresh tomatoes.  I used 6 cups of cherry tomatoes, but you can use as many as you have that will fit on the trays.

How to Freeze Dry Tomatoes at Home

Step #1

Wash and slice the tomatoes.  Place on freezer dryer trays.

Step #2

Choose "not frozen" on the Harvest Right freeze dryer.  Set the drying temperature to 135 degrees.  A higher temperature can cause the tomatoes to foam.

Step #3

Follow the screen prompts.  Mine took 16 hours to fully dry.  Your freeze dried tomatoes will be fully hardened when done.  

You can store them as is or use a bullet style blender to make tomato powder.

Store your freeze dried tomatoes in Mylar bags.  I also add an oxygen absorber for long term storage.

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How to Make Freeze Dried Tomatoes

How to Make Freeze Dried Tomatoes

Cari @ Homesteading in Ohio
Prep time
10 Min
Cook time
16 Hour
Total time
16 H & 10 M
How to make freeze dried tomatoes at home.


  • 6 cups tomatoes


  1. Wash and slice the tomatoes. Place on freezer dryer trays.
  2. Choose "not frozen" on the Harvest Right freeze dryer. Set the drying temperature to 135 degrees. A higher temperature can cause the tomatoes to foam.
  3. Follow the screen prompts. Mine took 16 hours to fully dry. Your freeze dried tomatoes will be fully hardened when done.

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freeze drying, freeze dried, tomatoes, tomato, tomato powder

1 comment:

  1. Hi, so for tomato powder you just throw your freeze dried tomatoes in the food processor? Thank you