How to Make Tomato Powder

Tomato powder is a handy ingredient to have in your pantry.

How to Make Tomato Powder

Made from dehydrated tomatoes ground into a fine powder, it packs a flavorful tomato punch that adds vibrancy and depth to many dishes.

Here are some key reasons to make tomato powder rather than buying it pre-made:

  • Cost Savings: Store-bought tomato powder can be expensive. Making your own allows you to leverage fresh tomatoes at the peak of season or use tomato skins you'd otherwise throw away.
  • Flavor Control: With homemade, you control the tomato variety, quality, ripeness, and any additional seasonings. This allows you to customize the flavor profile to suit your exact tastes.
  • Versatility: Homemade tomato powder can be used in place of commercial powder in any recipe. But it also conveniently doubles as tomato paste when reconstituted with water.
  • Storage: Powder takes up very little space compared to cans or jars. And it can be stored at room temperature for up to a year when properly dried and kept in an airtight container.

What Tomatoes Work Best?

Any type of tomato can be used to make powder, whether it's cherry, roma, heirloom, beefsteak, or another variety. You can even combine multiple types for a more complex flavor.

However, meatier tomatoes with less moisture like romas will dry quicker than juicier slicers. Fully ripe tomatoes also offer richer, sweeter flavor compared to underripe ones. Cherry tomatoes make especially tasty powder!

The most important factor is starting with quality, fresh tomatoes with great flavor since that will come through concentrated in the powder.

Necessary Equipment

To make tomato powder, you will need:

  • A sharp knife and cutting board
  • An oven or food dehydrator
  • Baking sheets or dehydrator trays
  • Blender, food processor, or coffee grinder
  • Fine-mesh sieve or strainer
  • Airtight jars or containers for storage

With just this basic equipment, you are ready to get started!

Step-by-Step Tomato Powder Recipe

How to Make Tomato Powder

How to Make Tomato Powder - Recipe

Follow these simple steps for flavorful homemade tomato powder:


  • Tomatoes


Prep the Tomatoes

  • Start by washing fresh tomatoes and slicing them about 1⁄4-1⁄8" thick. Thinner slices will dry quicker. For cherry tomatoes, simply cut them in half.
  • You can leave seeds and skins on. But scooping out excess moisture will expedite drying time.

Dry the Tomato Slices

  • Next, spread the cut tomatoes evenly in a single layer on dehydrator trays or baking sheets.
  • If using an oven, bake at the lowest temperature, ideally between 135°F to 170°F, for several hours. Flip halfway through.
  • If using a dehydrator, dry at 135°F to 145°F until completely dry and brittle, around 8 to 48 hours.
  • They are fully dry when hard and brittle, easily snapping when bent. Let cool completely.

Grind into Powder

  • Process the dried tomatoes in a blender or food processor into a fine, even powder. For a super smooth powder, sift through a fine-mesh strainer to catch any remaining chunks.

Store in an Airtight Container

  • Finally, transfer the tomato powder into a sealed glass jar or container. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.
  • And that's it! Now enjoy your homemade tomato powder in recipes.

Key Takeaway: Make tomato powder at home by drying fresh tomato slices until hard and brittle. Then grind into powder and store in an airtight container for up to a year.

Tomato Skin Powder Variation

You can also use this same process to make flavorful powder using leftover tomato skins from when you peel tomatoes for sauce or canning.

Simply dry the skins and grind into powder per the instructions above. Since skins dry faster with less moisture, the tomato skin powder is ready much quicker. They also deliver concentrated flavor and color!

Tip: Having trouble peeling tomatoes? To loosen skins easily, blanch in boiling water for 1 minute before peeling.

How Long Does Homemade Tomato Powder Last?

When stored properly, dried and ground into an airtight container, homemade tomato powder will keep for up to 1 year at room temperature.

For maximum shelf life, consider refrigerating or freezing the powder. This allows it to keep indefinitely!

If you notice any moisture, clumping, mold growth, or other signs of spoilage, it's best to discard the powder.

Tomato Powder Uses

Homemade tomato powder is incredibly versatile:

  • Make tomato paste, soup or sauce by reconstituting with water
  • Add to meatballs, chili, pasta sauce, pizza sauce for color and flavor
  • Use in salad dressings, marinades, scrambled eggs, guacamole, hummus
  • Sprinkle on avocado toast, roasted veggies, sandwiches
  • Mix into ground beef or turkey for tacos and chili
  • Blend into spice rubs and seasoning blends

Really, the possibilities are endless for punching up recipes with tomato powder's dynamic flavor! Start with 1⁄4-1⁄2 tsp and add more tomato taste as desired.

Key Takeaway: Thanks to its versatility, tomato powder can amplify flavor and color in sauces, dressings, meats, veggies, and more. A little bit goes a long way.

How Much Tomato Powder Yields from Fresh Tomatoes?

It takes roughly 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes to produce 1 cup of powder. But yields can vary greatly based on tomato size, variety, moisture content, and other factors.

As an example, here are some tomato powder yields to expect:

Fresh TomatoesTomato Powder Yield
3 lbs cherry tomatoes~1 cup
2 lbs Roma tomatoes~3/4 cup
6 large slicer tomatoes~1/2 cup

Don't worry about getting exact measurements. Just keep dehydrating and grinding batches of tomatoes into powder until you end up with as much as you want!

The effort is definitely worthwhile to have homemade tomato powder on hand year-round.

Tomato Powder vs Tomato Paste: What's the Difference?

While tomato powder and paste are both intensely flavored tomato products, there are some notable differences:

Tomato paste starts as cooked tomato puree that's simmered until thick and concentrated. It has a thicker consistency akin to thick paste.

Tomato powder is made by dehydrating tomatoes into a dried, crisp form and then grinding to a powder. In powder form it is loose and granular.

However, tomato powder can easily be turned into tomato paste simply by reconstituting with water! Similarly, tomato paste can be dehydrated and ground to make tomato powder.

So they are quite interchangeable and can serve as a substitute for one another in recipes. Both deliver big tomato taste!

Tips for Making the Best Tomato Powder

Follow these tips for ensuring your homemade tomato powder turns out perfectly:

  • Use ripe, flavorful tomatoes - the riper and tastier, the better the powder!
  • Cut slices evenly for even drying
  • Ensure tomatoes are completely dry and brittle before grinding
  • Process into a fine powder using short blending intervals to prevent heat buildup
  • Sift powder through a fine-mesh strainer for a silky smooth powder
  • Let powder cool before transferring to storage containers

By taking a bit of care through the dehydrating, grinding, and storage process you'll end up with wonderful tomato powder to use in recipes.


How long does it take to dehydrate tomatoes into powder?

Drying times vary enormously based on your equipment, tomato size, slicing thickness, and other factors. But expect fresh tomatoes to take 8 to 48 hours to fully dehydrate. Skins may dry much faster.

Can you use an air fryer to make tomato powder?

Possibly, but air fryers typically don't get low enough temperatures for optimal drying. You'd have to experiment based on your particular model. We'd recommend using the oven or a dehydrator instead.

What's the best way to store tomato powder?

Keeping tomato powder in an airtight glass jar in a cool, dark place is best for storage at room temperature for up to a year. For indefinite storage, freeze or refrigerate the powder.

Can you substitute tomato powder for tomato paste?

Yes! Tomato powder and paste are very easily interchangeable in recipes. To use powder in place of paste, simply reconstitute by mixing the powder with a little bit of water until reaching a thick paste-like consistency.

Does tomato powder need to be refrigerated once opened?

An unopened jar of commercially canned tomato powder can safely be stored in the pantry. However, for maximized shelf life of homemade powder, consider keeping it sealed in the refrigerator or freezer after opening.


Making your own tomato powder is simple and rewarding. In just a few easy steps, you can transform fresh ripe tomatoes from the garden or farmers market into a handy homemade seasoning that keeps for up to a year.

Tomato powder makes an exceptionally versatile pantry staple. It adds lovely tomato essence, color, and sweetness to countless savory recipes. So don't hesitate to double or triple batches of this recipe!

Sarah Cortez
Sarah Cortez

My name is Sarah and I'm a baker who loves trying out new recipes and flavor combinations. I decided to challenge myself to use a new spice or ingredient powder in my baking each week for a year. Some successes were the cardamom sugar cookies, vivid turmeric cake, and beetroot chocolate cupcakes. Failures included the bitter neem brownies and overwhelmingly hot ghost pepper snickerdoodles. Through this experience I've discovered amazing additions to spice up desserts while learning how to balance strong flavors. Follow my journey as I push the boundaries of baking with unique powders!

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