If You Powder Nothing Else, Make Tomato Powder

Replace your cabinet full of tomato products with tomato powder!

Tomato Comparsion3

Does this picture grab your attention? Well it should, because what it shows is a firm reality.

Tomato powder is lovely but is it useful? In a word, YES! Go to your kitchen cabinets right now and count the number of cans you have of tomato sauce products. I bet you have tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato juice, pizza sauce, spaghetti/marinara sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce, sloppy Joe sauce, and more. Tomato powder can replace ALL of them and allow you to add flavors to so many more items in your cabinet like herb/spice blends, meat rubs, and seasoning mixes.  It can be used on salads, meats, pasta and you can even toss this flavorful powder with popcorn and butter.

Dried tomato powder is amazing stuff. This one food item helps eliminate many of the tomato-related food items normally found in your cupboards. When one food source can take the place of many, it’s a big winner. And at Casa Colleen, tomato powder rules!

Tomatoes are a “functional food,” meaning that they provide much more than just basic nutrition. Adding a powered food like tomatoes to your pantry storage will bring variety, flavor, nutrition, and familiarity that few other items can provide. Dried tomato powder should be an essential item in your pantry, whether you plan on using it tomorrow or only during an emergency.

Tomato powder is excellent for:

  • Long-term food storage,
  • Adding to any recipe calling for tomato paste, tomato sauce, or tomato juice,
  • A preservative-free kitchen because it is “pure” tomatoes-no additives, preservatives, etc.,
  • Ease of use to create lots of different tomato-based products,
  • Eliminating the need to buy and store multiple products,
  • Saving money and eating healthier by creating ingredients from scratch.
  • More nutrition in your cooking. With the low heat required to dry the tomatoes, much of the nutrition is still intact.
  • When rehydrated, the color is a vibrant red.
  • Due to the rich flavor of the powder, not much is required to make something like a simple cup of broth-based tomato soup.

A heaping tablespoon of tomato powder gives as much tomato flavor to a sauce as a pint of canned tomatoes. The texture of the sauce will be slightly different but it is hard to get too picky when you are using one tablespoon of powder instead of a 16 ounce can or jar on the shelf. It’s just a matter of developing the habit of using tomato powder rather than canned or frozen tomatoes.

The concentrated flavor of the powder was amazing and not to be wasted. For those concerned about acidic tomatoes and BPA in packaging, it’s a great way to store a large quantity of the former within a small pantry footprint and have “just add water” access to everything from tomato paste to tomato sauces and juice.

Whether you want to hang onto tomato powder for emergency use or you’re an avid cook, it’s a great choice for all. Think of how convenient it is to have a can of tomato powder on hand. There will be no need to make a mad dash to the crowded grocery store. Let’s start with an understanding of the basic conversions for tomatoes.

Fresh Tomatoes

Basic Conversions

Tomato Equivalents-How to Measure Tomatoes

Different varieties of tomatoes are interchangeable in most recipes.

  • 3 medium globe tomatoes = 1 pound
  • 8 small plum tomatoes = 1 pound
  • 25 to 30 cherry tomatoes = 1 pound
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes = 1 pound
  • 3/8 cup of tomato paste plus 1/2 cup water = 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes = 1-1/2 cups fresh, chopped, cooked tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound or 1 small tomato = 1 serving
  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh tomato = 1/2 cup tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound fresh = 1-1/2 cups chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) can of tomatoes = 2 cups
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of tomatoes = 3 cups undrained
  • 1 (35-ounce) can of tomatoes = 4 cups undrained


Most tomatoes are about 94% water and only 6% solids. The plum-shaped Roma (or “Paste”) tomato variety can be as high as 15% solids. They’re a great choice for for dehydrating, giving more yield and shorter drying times. Beware of low-acid tomatoes which may develop black spots during drying. Remember to let tomatoes ripen fully on the vine before picking for fullest flavor.

Tomato Powder Basic Equivalents

Tomato Paste: 6 tablespoons tomato powder + 1/2 cup water = one 6 oz can

Tomato Sauce: 2/3 cup tomato powder + 2 cups water = one 15 oz can

Tomato Juice: 1 cup tomato powder + 8 cups water = one 64 oz can or bottle.

Dehydrating Toatoes Collage

Dehydrating Tomatoes to Make Tomato Powder

Just as with making any powder, there are several ways to make tomato powder.

Method #1-Raw Food Processing: You can just slice your fresh tomatoes and dehydrate. All parts can be used; peels, seed, tomato meat, and even the cores are fair game. You can also use canned tomatoes; dices or whole will work. Just flatten and lay out on your trays to dehydrate. This is my preferred method for making tomato powder.

Method #2-Raw Food Processing-Puree: This method works for the above tomato varieties as well as frozen tomatoes and canned tomato puree and canned crushed tomatoes. It allows you to spread the puree onto a lined dehydrator tray. Use Solid sheets or baking paper to line your trays.

Method #3-Pureed Cooked Foods: If you wish, you can cook down your fresh tomatoes or use canned tomato sauce, making sure there are no oils or additives to your canned sauce. While I prefer the bite of fresh, raw tomatoes, many people like their tomato powder to have less zing.

Deciding what part of the tomato you will powder. You may decide you want to can your tomatoes as a sauce or tomato juice. In this case, the peels, seeds, and cores can be dehydrated for tomato powder which gives you zero waste!

Or you may decide that you want to have tomatoes sliced, diced, or halved to add to your dehydrated goods (more cans off the shelves!). I like halving my plum tomatoes, scooping out the seeds after peeling, and adding the peels and seeds and cut up cores to my trays along with my halved tomatoes for drying.This gives me tomato chunks to add to my dishes as well as that delicious tomato powder—win, win.

Dehydrating Tomatoes

  1. Tomatoes should be sliced about 3/8 inch thick so that there is more meat and it does not stick to the trays. Using mesh or solid trays is recommended so be able to remove your tomatoes/puree easily. If you encounter problems, see our Food Stuck to Dehydrator Trays? problem-solver to help you out.
  2. Place the tomatoes (cut side up if sliced in wedges) directly onto the mesh, solid, or parchment-lined dehydrator trays.
  3. Set dehydrator temperature at 125°F/50°C to 135°F/55°C.
    ~ I process paste tomatoes at 125°F/50°C because they have less water.
    Slicing tomatoes I process at 135°F/55°C because they have a higher water content and many varieties are lower acid.
    ~ Additionally, with high humidity (above 60%), I also turn the temperature up to 135°F/55°C to prevent any molding that may occur at the lower temperatures.
  4. After 4 or 5 hours, turn the tomatoes over and press flat with a spatula if processing wedges. After a few hours, turn the tomatoes again and flatten gently.
  5. Continue drying until crispy, about 8-24 hours depending on the variables you are working with.


After dehydrating. Whichever way you decide to go, you have a couple of options.

  • You can go ahead and grind down your whole batch of dehydrated tomatoes into powder,
  • Grind down just what you will use short term and leave the rest as is for grinding later (see our article How Much Should You Powder),
  • Or you can just leave your pureed tomatoes in sheets or pieces and use them to cook with. This is called tomato leather and works just as well if you do not want to take the added step of grinding.
    Note that while tomato leather works well if you are adding to soups, stews, sauces, and the like, you will lose the functionality of the powdered form in dry mixes.

I always turn my ground powder back onto my dehydrator trays and process for another hour at the same temperature I used to dehydrate the tomatoes. This ensures the powder is dry because the heat of the grinder machine and the ambient air humidity can dampen and clump the tomato powder.

  1. Freeze the dehydrated tomatoes overnight. This helps to give cleaner grinding and helps control clumping.
  2. Tear or cut the leathers/wedges into small pieces with kitchen shears. Grind into a powder with a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, or high-powered blender like a Vitamix, Blendtec, or NutriBullet.
  3. Be sure to seal the lid well if using grinder or blender. Make sure the dust has settled inside the grinder before removing the lid when finished powdering.
  4. Break it up first and pulse your machine for several minutes until you no longer hear pieces clicking around inside the canister.
  5. If you still have pieces within the powder, sift these out and re-grind.
  6. If it does not grind to a powder and you experience clumping, the pieces are not dry enough (see Note). Put the powder back into the dehydrator and dry at the same temperature for another hour or so. Re-grind if necessary. For box-type dehydrators (such as Excalibur) with the blower in the back you can lay another solid sheet on top or put it inside a pyrex (or similar) pan and dry it further.
  7. Store it in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid. As long as the powder is stored properly, it will last 6 months to 1 year.


Note: Many dehydrated fruits are somewhat sticky after grinding, due to the sugar content. Make sure your fruit is dried very well. Even when you are using a well-dried batch of fruit, the stickiness is simply innate in the fruit. You can add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder (a healthy starch, like cornstarch) to each batch of fruit before grinding, and it will lessen clumping. Just dump your arrowroot into the grinder along with your dehydrated fruit.


Storing Tomato Powder

For immediate use: Place the powder in an adequate-sized mason jar or other glass container with a moisture absorber (desiccant or silica gel packet) and store away from heat, damp (like steam), and light. Adding a few grains of rice will also help to keep it from clumping. You can also add a bit of arrowroot powder as a natural anti-caking agent.

Long term storage: Store the powdered vegetable in vacuum sealed bags for long term food storage, and Mylar bags with an oxygen absorber will help eliminate the light and other variables. I usually store the shreds themselves in long-term storage and grind when I am ready to refill my jars for short- term storage.

Storage Options

  • Stored properly in a spice jar or a Mason jar, powders will last about 6 months.

  • Stored properly in a spice jar or a Mason jar with a moisture absorber, powders will last about 8 months.
  • Stored properly in a Mason jar with an oxygen pack, powders will last up to a year.
  • Vacuum sealed with an oxygen pack, then double-bagged in Mylar and stored properly in a cool, dry place, powders will last five years or more. When stored like this, the powder can become compacted. If it does, just sift, re-blend, or grind again before using.
  • If you vacuum seal the dehydrated tomatoes without first grinding, the shelf life is extended up to 5 years, and you have more flexibility in using your tomatoes.
    Powdering radically increases the surface area, which is why powders have so much punch, but that larger surface area also allows for more oxidization and more surface area for pathogens to attack and thrive on if not properly stored.


Tomato Powder Collage


Using Dried Tomato Powder

Some ideas for enjoying your tomato powder are:

  • In simple soups.
  • Add it to a more complex soup that is crying out for more tomato flavor.
  • In enchilada sauce.
  • Sprinkled over ground beef as it is cooking or in hamburger patties as they are being formed.
  • In salad dressings.
  • Sprinkled over fresh vegetable juice.
  • In vegetable dips.
  • As an addition to pasta sauces of all sorts, including spaghetti sauce for a more intense tomato flavor.
  • Try a sprinkle into scrambles eggs before cooking.
  • A sprinkle over cottage cheese with cucumber, green onion, and sea salt.
  • Sprinkle tomato powder as a topping for popcorn, deviled eggs, hummus, etc.
  • Make your own herb and spice seasoning blends.

Your imagination is the only limit to using this versatile powder! Have fun with it and enjoy using this new flavor packed way of cooking!

Recipes Using Tomato Powder

I have included these recipes to help get your creative juices flowing in the MANY ways you can use your tomato powder. These basic recipes will allow you to see what your measurements will look like as you adapt your own recipes. I would encourage you to try your own recipes using the tomato conversions above to figure out how much you need. A little of this super concentrated flavor goes a long way, so use a light hand when adding to your dishes. You can always add more after tasting the result. For other recipes using tomato powder, visit our Homemade Convenience Foods Recipe Hacks Directory.

Tomato Powder-Linda Moucha Davis01

Photo Credit: Linda Moucha Davis

Homemade Tomato Paste

6 T powder + 1/2 cup water = one 6 oz can

Homemade Tomato Sauce

2/3 cup powder + 2 cups water = one 15 oz can


Homemade Tomato Juice

1 cup powder + 8 cups water = one 64 oz bottle

Add onion powder, sugar, salt, pepper, to taste if desired.

Or try a dash of lemon juice and a little salt or Tabasco and/or Worcestershire Sauce.



Makes approximately 22 ounces (650 ml)

1-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Tomato Powder
3 tablespoons honey or sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dried Chopped Onions (or 2 tablespoons minced onion)
1/3 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon allspice

  1. Using a stainless steel saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  2. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes until it reaches the consistency of ketchup, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cool and store in the refrigerator. Allow to mellow for a day or so before using.


Barbecue Sauce

1-­1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
6 tablespoons tomato powder
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2-­1/2 teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1-­1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon black  pepper

  1. Using a stainless steel saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  2. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes until it reaches the consistency you desire, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cool and store in the refrigerator. Allow to mellow for a day or so before using.


Pizza Sauce

Tomato Powder-Linda Moucha Davis02

Photo Credit: Linda Moucha Davis

Makes enough sauce for a 12-inch pizza

1 tablespoon tomato powder
3 tablespoons water (more or less depending on thickness you like)
1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch of salt (optional)

Blend ingredients and top pizza with the sauce and add other toppings of choice.


Spaghetti Sauce

2 cups water
4-5 tablespoons tomato powder
3/4 tablespoon  carrot powder
1/2 tablespoon  celery powder
1 tablespoon  dehydrated onion
1 tablespoon  dehydrated diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 small bay leaf

Put all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.  Cook longer or add less water for a thicker sauce. Remove bay leaf before serving.


Marinara Sauce

4 cups water
1/4 cup fresh onion or 2 tablespoons dried onion
1/2 Cup tomato powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1-1/2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients into a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook on low for an hour, stirring occasionally.


Spanish Rice

Just add a tablespoon or two of tomato powder, onion, garlic, and dried green chili to your pot of rice before you cook it. Cook the rice as per directions. When the rice has soaked up the water, fluff with a fork and serve.


Whole Wheat Tomato Pasta

1 cup semolina flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup tomato powder
1/2 cup ice cold water
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Place tomato powder, eggs, water, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon of salt in blender container. Cover and blend until pureed, about 20 seconds.
  2. In a large bowl, make a well in center of flour, add liquid mixture. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
  3. Let stand 10 minutes. Divide dough into halves. Roll out each half, cut strips with pizza roller.
  4. Cook in boiling water until tender.


Some Other Recipes on the Internet you may be interested in:

DIY Instant Tomato Bell Pepper Soup
Unstuffed Peppers
Seafood Raminara
Tomato Basil Bruschetta Dip
Tomato-Cheese Bread

©2015, 2016, 2017 21st Century Simple Living www.21stcenturysimpleliving.com

21 thoughts on “If You Powder Nothing Else, Make Tomato Powder

  1. I am so curious about this! It seems so versitile. Thanks for sharing at the #WasteLessWednesday Blog Hop!

  2. Bev says:

    What do you grind the dehydrated tomatoes with? A meat grinder? A blender? ???

    1. Admin says:

      Grind into a powder with a mortar and pestle, coffee grinder, or high-powered blender like a Vitamix, Blendtec, or NutriBullet.

      1. Bev says:

        Thanks. I have a coffee grinder and a Blendtec. Seems like a mortar and pestle would be very labor intensive.

        1. Admin says:

          lol…well yes it is. But it is an option for those who do not have electrical means.

  3. Monika says:

    i have a bunch of tomato skins left from canning how long would it take to dry these to powder state in my convection oven?

    1. Admin says:

      I have never used a convection oven to dry skins, but you would dry until crispy then grind.

  4. Valerie Stevens says:

    Can they be oven dried?

    1. Admin says:

      I don’t recommend oven-drying tomatoes. They just have too much water to be successful without ending up being cooked.

  5. jamiemarie2003 says:

    Very informative, thanks for sharing with us on the homesteader hop!

  6. Mary says:

    Great info. Thanks!

  7. Kristin says:

    I have a few pounds of San Marzano tomatoes I want to dh and I’m not clear on what temp I should use. In the “how to dehydrate” section, step 3, you say “I process paste tomatoes at 125°F/50°C because they have less water. Slicing tomatoes I process at 135°F/55°C. Additionally, with low-acid tomatoes or high humidity (above 60%), I also turn the temperature up to 135°F/55°C to prevent any molding or blackening that may occur at the lower temperatures.” San Marzanos are both paste tomatoes and low acid. Should I use the lower or higher temp, or split the difference? Thanks!

    1. Admin says:

      Kristin, my apologies. You are correct in your statement about San Marzanos. I am a big fan of them and process at 125F/50C. I should have stated the difference being “low-acid” slicing tomatoes as that is where the problem using lies because of their higher water content. Thanks for pointing this out !!!

      1. Kristin says:

        Thanks. San Marzanos are in the dh right now at 125.

        I don’t understand this sentence – “I should have stated the difference being “low-acid” tomatoes as that is where the problem using lies because of their higher water content.” It sounds like you’re saying all low acid tomatoes have a higher water content and that’s why you use the higher temp, but what I read about the SMs is they’re low acid and low water.

        1. Admin says:

          Low-acid SLICING tomatoes

  8. Ingrid says:

    Absolutely loving this. Thank you.

    1. Admin says:

      Enjoy !!!

  9. Sandi says:

    Where can I buy powdered tomatoes and get the recipes. It is hard to download or copy from Facebook. I do not have a dehydrater as I live in a fifth wheel. I also live in BC.

    1. cebohrer46@yahoo.com says:

      Hi Sandi,
      If you have Pinterest this article can also be accessed there: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/535506211920818576/

      There are several brands of Tomato Powder on the Market: Honeyville, Thrive, Augaston Farms, etc. You can go online and purchase through these companies sites or Amazon.com, WalMart.com, and Sams Club.com. Hope that helps. Don’t hesitate to reply to this if you have more questions.

  10. Cookin Mum says:

    Fantastic article and information, thank you

    1. cebohrer46@yahoo.com says:

      Thank you for the kudos Mum…high praise coming from you !!!

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