Best Tomato Varieties for Drying

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Updated 12.21.23

“Which are the best tomato varieties for drying that can I grow successfully in my home garden?”

We get that question a lot!

Here’s the dirt: the best tomatoes for drying are small, solid and meaty. Cherry or plum varieties are the “drying champions.”

When it comes to drying tomatoes successfully – whether it’s sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes dried in a dehydrator, tomatoes dried in the oven or even in the microwave – grow varieties that have few seeds, low moisture content, and a rich, tangy flavor. It helps if plants are indeterminate because they’ll produce a steady stream of fruit, rather than a mega-crop all at once, which makes drying in shifts manageable. Small fruit works best, because that size allows for even drying. Experiment with some of the varieties below and see which ones give you a pliable consistency when dried. (Check out these how-tos for drying tomatoes.)

Heirloom Tomato Varieties for Drying

Carol Chyko Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 76 days, red, large plum (1-3 pounds)
Meaty tomato with very few seeds.

Costoluto Genovese Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 85 days, red, large
Originated in Italy. Likes heat. Often used for making juice in addition to drying.

Coyoto Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 50 days, yellow, cherry
Grows wild in Mexico. Sweet and prolific.

Federle Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 90 days, red, plum (7 inches long)
Long, banana-shaped tomatoes. Good for drying, salsa, and paste.

Opalka Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 78 days, red, plum (5 inches)
Originally from Poland; nicknamed the “Polish Torpedo.” Meaty and flavorful with very few seeds.

Principe Borghese Tomato
Heirloom, determinate, 78 days, red, plum (1-2 ounces), resistance: cracking
A variety from Italy. Known as one of the best drying tomatoes. Grows well in cool weather.

Russo Sicilian Toggeta Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 75 days, red, globe (3 inches)
Italian variety. Not a true plum tomato but dries well. Sets fruit and bears early; produces until hard frost.

San Marzano Redorta Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 78 days, red, plum (8 ounces)
Named for Pizzo Redorta in Bergamo, Italy. A cousin to the San Marzano tomato and considered to be more flavorful.

Zapotec Tomato
Heirloom, indeterminate, 85 days, pink- red
Mexican Indian tomato variety with a fairly hollow interior; pleated look

OP (Open-Pollinated) Tomato Varieties for Drying

Napoli Tomato
OP (open-pollinated), determinate, 79 days, red, plum (3 ounces)
Meaty tomatoes with heavy yield. Excellent for sauce, paste, drying, canning, and freezing.

Roma VF Tomato
OP (open-pollinated), determinate, 75 days, red, paste (3 inches), resistance; VF
Classic Italian paste tomato; popular in paste, sauce, ketchup, and canning

More on drying tomatoes

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