How to Rehydrate Dried Tomatoes and Oven Dried Tomatoes to Use in Recipes

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Dried tomatoes must be rehydrated or reconstituted before they can be used in cooking. That includes sundried tomatoes, oven dried, tomatoes dried in a dehydrator, and tomatoes dried in a microwave.

There are different reconstituting methods you can choose.

Ways to rehydrate or reconstitute tomatoes

Soak tomatoes

  • Set tomatoes in a bowl with water, bouillon, wine, or vegetable juice.
  • Allow tomatoes to steep until they are soft, about 30-60 minutes.
  • Drain tomatoes. (Note: save the liquid to use in soups or other recipes. It contains lots of vitamins!)
  • Pat tomatoes dry.
  • Use as directed in recipes.
  • If you soak tomatoes more than 2 hours, set the bowl in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage.

Add tomatoes directly to recipes

  • Stir tomatoes directly into soups or stews.
  • Let recipe cook slowly. Liquid in these dishes will rehydrate tomatoes.
  • This method works only when tomatoes are added to a recipe with a liquid base (such as soup.)

Reconstitute tomatoes in oil

Dried tomatoes reconstituted in oil
  • Dip tomatoes into white wine vinegar before placing in jar with oil to sharpen flavor, acidify oil, and to discourage bacteria and mold growth. (Dried tomatoes look especially attractive in decorative canning jars.)
  • Place tomatoes in a jar or bowl.
  • Cover tomatoes with oil (olive oil is preferred). Add garlic and fresh herbs as desired. Seal with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate.
  • Let tomatoes sit for at least 24 hours before using.
  • Drain tomatoes before using in recipes. Replace oil to cover unused tomatoes.
  • Store opened tomatoes in the refrigerator to prevent spoilage. Tomatoes in oil without added garlic and herbs will keep several weeks in the refrigerator. If you add garlic or herbs, use tomatoes within a week to prevent spoilage. Oil will solidify in the refrigerator but will reliquify quickly at room temperature.
  • Reserve oil (now flavored) to use in salad dressing or in sautéed dishes. 

Get more tips on our Drying Tomatoes Pinterest board.

More on preserving tomatoes 

Drying tomatoes is easy, cheap, and saves space ...

Oven dried tomatoes: step-by-step directions to make your own ...

Dehydrating tomatoes in a dehydrator: the most reliable drying method

Food dehydrators explained ...

Making sun dried tomatoes: step-by-step directions ...

How to dry tomatoes in a microwave ...

Storing dried tomatoes in the pantry, refrigerator, freezer ...

Drying tomatoes FAQs: answers to your questions ...

Canning tomatoes: how to get started ...

Freezing tomatoes: the basics you need to know ...

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