Do you have an overabundance of tomatoes? Try making tomato powder! It’s versatile, doesn’t take up space in the fridge or freezer, and uses all those great tomatoes before they go bad! Don’t forget to try my other tomato recipes like 15-minute spaghetti sauce and tomato Caprese salad.
Let’s just get this out of the way. The IDEA of harvesting bucketfuls of tomatoes when I’m planting seeds in April is a whole lot more fun than ACTUALLY harvesting bucketfuls of tomatoes in August.
The first couple of weeks of picking tomatoes is awesome. We have fresh tomato pizza sauce on Fridays, 15-minute spaghetti sauce with pasta on Wednesdays, tomato Caprese salad for lunch almost every day and gallons of hearty tomato sauce put up in the freezer for winter.
But then picking tomatoes gets old and tedious. And if you eat another tomato you swear you’re going to go plow down those tomato plants so you can stop looking at them.
Enter tomato powder.
Yes, tomato powder “is a thing,” and it’s the break you need when you:
- have so many tomatoes coming from the garden, you have no idea what to do with them.
- find a bushel of tomatoes at the farmers market for CRAZY CHEAP and you know you’d be nuts for passing them up.
- have a good-meaning neighbor drops off a bucket of tomatoes because THEIR garden is overflowing.
Whatever the reason you have too many tomatoes, the solution is ALWAYS tomato powder.
What is Tomato Powder?
It’s dehydrated tomatoes, ground up into a fine powder that is stored in the pantry.
- It doesn’t take up the freezer room.
- Or fridge room.
- You don’t have to boil water.
- Or make an ice bath in the sink.
- There’s no coring or de-seeding.
- Or even standing over a hot stove with a massive pot of water and glass jars.
All you need is a knife and a dehydrator.
Why Do I Need Tomato Powder?
Before I share the tutorial, let’s discuss WHY you need this powder in the first place. After all, I’m pretty sure you’ve never seen tomato powder in the store before, right?
Neither have I, but here’s why you need tomato powder: Because you can make just about ANY tomato product you can think of!
- Tomato Paste: 2 Tbsp tomato powder + 1 Tbsp hot water + salt to taste (here’s how to freeze tomato paste, if you make too much)
- Tomato Sauce: ¼ cup tomato powder + ½ cup hot water + salt to taste (makes about 8 ounces)
- Pizza Sauce: ½ cup tomato powder + 1 – 1 ½ cups water, then season according to this recipe
- Tomato Juice: 2-3 Tbsp tomato powder + 8 ounces of water
- Tomato Soup: ½ cup tomato powder + 1 cup water, then follow this tomato soup recipe OR this roasted red pepper tomato soup if you’re feeling “fancy”
Note: The quantities above are not exact, since your tomato powder will taste different than mine due to where we live, the tomatoes we use, etc. Start on the low end for the quantity of tomato powder, and add more to suit your tastes.
How to Make Tomato Powder
The steps are pretty straightforward and easy. So let’s get to it!
- Cutting Board
- Serrated Knife
- Kitchen Towel
- Dehydrator (This one was given to me as a gift years ago. It’s a lot more affordable than this very popular model, and it does a fantastic job!)
- 2 Medium Plates (only if you’re using cherry tomatoes)
- Blender OR Food Processor (I used my Blendtec)
Step 1. Prep the tomatoes.
Wash and set your tomatoes on a towel to dry. Lightly pat dry, just so they don’t slip out of your hands as you handle them.
Step 2. Cut the tomatoes.
You want slices or pieces that are about ½” thick. If you are using cherry tomatoes like me, all you have to do is cut them in half. Here’s the hack that I use to make this quick and easy:
- Put all the tomatoes on a dinner plate.
- Take the second plate and turn it upside down, on top of the tomatoes.
- Hold the top plate gently but firmly, and slide your serrated knife back and forth, through the slit in the plates.
- In less than a minute, you’ll have halved all the cherry tomatoes!
- If you’re using regular tomatoes, you’ll have to slice them. Sorry, no hack here other than you don’t have to peel, de-seed, or core. Just slice.
(But I do have 24 time-saving hacks in this post!)
Step 3. Place the tomatoes in the dehydrator.
If you are using cherry tomatoes, place them cut side up. Otherwise, lay the slices on the tray. You want the tomatoes to be in a single layer, but it’s fine if they touch.
Step 4. Dehydrate.
Set the dehydrator to slightly less than 135F. The time it takes to dehydrate will vary depending on the tomatoes you use, but they’ll take at least 8 hours. Check them at the 8-hour mark first. If they seem close to completely dry, check again in an hour. If they still seem fairly moist, check again in 4 hours.
Once the tomatoes are 100% COMPLETELY dry, remove them to your blender or food processor. Blend the tomatoes for about 30 seconds, and then let the machine cool for about 30 seconds. Repeat until all the tomatoes are a fine powder.
Step 5. Storage.
Store in a glass jar in the pantry for up to a year. If you’re not sure if your powder is completely dry, you can store it in the freezer as well.
Powdered Tomato Questions
Tomato powder is made from dehydrated tomatoes! This is a great way to use up those extra tomatoes that you may have laying around.
Homemade tomato powder can be stored for three to six months!
Tomato powder serves as a powerful cleanser for your skin! It’s a useful ingredient for face washes, facial scrubs, and other similar products. Dehydrated tomato powder has exfoliating effects that get rid of dust, dirt, dead skin, etc.
Need more ideas?
Here are some more suggestions on how to use this homemade powder.
- Add to homemade barbeque sauce
- Include in dry rubs
- Add to homemade soups & chili
- Scoop some into the seasoning blend for meatloaf or meatballs
- Add it with herbs to cream cheese for a spread
- Can you imagine it in homemade mayo?!
I’ve made tomato powder from the peels and stem-ends of tomatoes I’ve been canning, so nothing goes to waste. Same process as when using the whole tomato except they dehydrate a lot faster. A surprising amount of flavor in the peels; I usually use the powder to flavor stews and goulashes where otherwise I’d use a spoonful of tomato paste.
That’s so smart Pearl!
Tomato powder makes the greatest red beer (chelada) ever. Add to taste to any pilsner or lager, along with lime zest, citric acid, salt and hot sauce. I make many hot sauces and salsas from scratch, but my daughter in law brought me a bottle of Trader Joe’s habanero hot sauce that adds the perfect flavor and kick in my opinion. The powder adds all the tomato flavor without all the liquid that can dilute the beer taste.
Ooh – great idea David!
Hi there! I stumbled upon this post whilst looking for tomato powder recipes to use on a backpacking trip. So thank you for sharing this! 😊
You are very welcome!
correction to the banana flour recipe, there should be 1/2 (half) cup of water and 1/2 (half) cup oil.
Your idea of tomato powder was a pleasant surprise to me too, but I think I might have figured it out as I have just started to dry GREEN BANANAS for GLUTEN FREE flour. (Same was as above) I have made pancakes out of the flour and a chocolate topped cake – normal recipe with 2 cups flour, 2 eggs, 1/ cup water, 1/cup oil and 3/4 cup of jam or sugar, together with 1/2 teaspoon of Bicarbonate Soda and 2 teaspoons baking powder. All went well, it is a heavy dough to mix by hand and the cake comes out a very dark colour – that’s why I topped it with chocolate.
A few years ago tomato cakes were the rage, I had forgotten about them so guess what my next cake is going to have in it? When sugar is mixed with tomatoes it is just like a fruit.
Best wishes – Grace.
Thanks for the tip Grace, and for the recipe!
I have tons of cherry tomatoes… I thought about making tomato powder but didn’t think to use the cherry tomatoes… Been tossing them in with the other tomatoes to make sauce and juice. Thanks for the info
You’re very welcome!
I make fresh pasta occasionally. Adding some tomato powder to the dough would be a interesting idea. Can this work with spinach or kale? My mind is overflowing with ideas. Thank you big time for the inspiration. I live in New Jersey,USA. This time of year, fantastic bargains for tomatoes are available at the farm stands.
I bet it would work with greens to Reen – what a fun way to flavor fresh pasta!
Sheesh, now I HAVE to go to the farmers market! My small container garden is not producing a lot. The cherries are ripening in fits and starts, usually enough every other day for us to eat one day. My full size plants are not anywhere near ripe, and I don’t expect more than a handful. But with the recipes you provided, tomato powder sounds like a MUST HAVE in my house! Thanks Tiffany!
Tomato power is wonderful stuff. Used to be able to buy it here in Australia but haven’t seen it for a long time. Oddly it makes a great ‘seasoning’ sprinkle onto, into anything that could benefit from a tomato dash. Think of it as a special.type of herb. Add less rather than more be a little cautious you can always add more. The flavour is very concentrated. A MAGIC EXTRA 🍅🍅🍅
You’re very welcome!
Tomato powder on home made potato crisps ; = life
Yes indeed! Time to get it back! Thank you for the encouragement Fiona 🙂 ♥
Do what I do with homemade chicken or beef stock: freeze in 1/2 cup portions. Foodsaver could help with larger quantities to be frozen for a longer period.
I love the idea of tomato powder and have a tomato overload currently. Not sure why I didn’t think of it, so thanks! My husband has made jalapeño powder in the past which is also very good.
You are super welcome Michelle!
Super idea! I’m from the UK and I’ve only recently discovered your website. I love it! Really, really interesting ideas that I can’t want to try. Your style of writing is so easy to relate to and your ideas are amazing. I had not even heard of tomato powder. I bought a dehydrator a few years ago and used it once and forgot about it. Time to dig it out of that cupboard!
Welcome to Crumbs Soni! I honestly hadn’t heard of tomato powder until recently either, but with all these tomatoes, I had to do something, lol!!
I have a Ronco dehydrator that heats only @ 170 degrees (F). I dehydrated tomatoes for the first time last year, but many of them stuck to the trays. Any thoughts? did I dry them too long.?
I love the idea of dried tomato. My husband has challenged me to come up with ways to dehydrate food for when we go camping.
Hi Nancy! It’s pretty common for foods to stick to the dehydrator. The natural sugars come out, and it just happens! One thing that helps is moving the fruit after a few hours or so, especially at the beginning. Not far, just a smidge from its original spot. I do this maybe every 2-4 hours at first, and once you do it once or twice, you can stop. You can also try using non-stick cooking spray too, but I wasn’t a fan of it myself.
Bless you for this post! I am in the midst of tomato overload myself and will be trying this – today! I think I will be trying a version of this with the lemons from my trees to make lemon powder.
Thank you again for another great idea.
You’re very welcome Susan!
Thanks for making people aware! I love having tomato powder on hand. Sometimes I slice tomatoes with a mandolin, sometimes I dice the tomatoes, and sometimes I blend the tomatoes in my blender and then dehydrate – kind of like a fruit rollup. They all make powders very well. I also keep my dehydrated tomatoes in jars with oxygen absorbers until I need powder. I also use oxygen absorbers in my powders. Supposedly the tomatoes will last long than the powder. At this time of year, I try to have enough tomatoes dehydrated for at least 12-18 months.
Wow! This is genius! I could sprinkle a teaspoon or two on my pizza dough before adding toppings.This way I could eliminate the whole sauce vs.no sauce battles with family members and still have a tomato-y flavor. What a great idea. Thanks, Tiffany. Happy Wednesday.
Thanks JoAnn – glad I could help!! (PS – I vote sauce! 😉 )
I add tomato powder and onion powder to homemade bread. It’s so delicious! Try thick sliced ham with cheese in a tomato-&-onion-bread sandwich. (Don’t clap, just send money 😄)
Like the egg slicer idea, maybe try a mandolin.
Like the idea of grindindingbthe dried tomatoes to powder will definitely try this come simmer, January/February in Australia
Sort of random but the only hack I have figured out for tomatoes are if their skin isn’t too thick and the insides aren’t too runny you can use an egg-slicer.