How To Make Tomato Powder and Use It, Too

How to make tomato powder and use it from
Knowing how to make tomato powder and use it is one of the keys to getting your time and money’s worth from the tomatoes in your garden. If you’ve ever made homemade tomato sauce from your garden’s bounty, or even canned homemade ketchup like I did earlier today, you’ve probably looked at that pile of tomato skins, seeds and pulp and felt just a little ripped off.

Well, no more. Rather than tossing those parts of the tomato away, turn them into tomato powder! It’s astonishingly easy.

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How To Make Tomato Powder

1. Squeeze the tomato peels dry in a clean towel then scatter them on a dehydrator tray. If you don’t have a dehydrator (though, really, they’re great investments!) scatter the peels in a single layer on a baking sheet.

drying tomato skins from

2. Line another dehydrator tray with a fruit roll sheet, or cut parchment paper to fit. Again, if you don’t have a dehydrator (buy one already!) just use a non-reactive baking sheet. Spoon the tomato pulp onto the sheet and spread it thinly.

drying tomato pulp via

3. Turn your dehydrator to 135°F/57°C, or pop the baking sheets into a 180°F/82°C oven, and check the trays regularly. For dehydrators, you’ll want to peek every hour or so and rotate the racks each time. If using an oven, check it after an hour, and then every 30 minutes or so. The skins are usually the first to dry — around 4 hours in my dehydrator — followed an hour or two later by the pulp. You’ll know when the skins are dry because they’ll be papery, whereas the pulp will look like dried cat yack. (Really.)

4. Remove the trays from the dehydrator or oven and allow the skins and pulp to cool completely, ideally overnight. Not only will this help dry any remaining moisture, but it will keep your tomato powder from clumping during storage.

5. Once completely cooled, tip the skins into a blender or food processor and whir them until they’re powdery. Dump that into a bowl and repeat using the tomato pulp. Mix the two together, and transfer it to air-tight storage containers or vacuum seal small bags of the stuff.

How To Use Tomato Powder

Once you know how to make tomato powder, you’ll find it an amazingly versatile addition to your pantry. I often stir it into soups or stews, sprinkle it on scrambled eggs, and even use it to jazz up a homemade vinaigrette. Here are some other uses for it:

Tomato paste: Only need a tablespoon or two of tomato paste? Don’t open a can. Mix 2 parts powder to 1 part water to make as much or as little tomato paste as you need.

Tomato sauce: Combine 1 part tomato powder to 6 parts water to make tomato sauce. To make the equivalent of a 15-oz can, use 1/3 cup tomato powder and 2 cups of water.

Tomato juice: Stir 2 tablespoons tomato powder into 8 ounces of cold water for a refreshing tomato juice without all the nasty sodium and preservatives of the store-bought stuff.

Instant tomato soup: Stir 2 tablespoons of tomato powder into 8 ounces of boiling water. Add a pinch of onion and/or garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mmmm, good!

Pizza sauce Combine 1/2 cup tomato powder and 1 1/2 cups water in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon each of garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Add 1 tsp. of sugar or a few drops of stevia to counter the acidity, and simmer until the sauce is thick.

Now that you know how to make tomato powder and use it, don’t let those peels and pulp go to waste! Just like other kitchen scraps you can save and reuse, making tomato powder is a great way to stretch your food dollar.

Equipment I Use For This:


  1. Felix T. Katt says

    Let’s say you purchase 16oz. of whole tomatoes from your local big-name supermarket. You steam them, ice ’em, and peel the skins; remove the seeds, and make them into 12oz. worth of tomato sauce that you’ll use later. At $1.49 a pound for tomatoes, that’s a bit more expensive than the $0.99 15oz. can of store-brand plain tomato sauce.
    Would you get enough tomato powder from the scraps of making the 12oz. tomato sauce that if you turned it all into paste, and compared it to a like amount of generic canned paste, it would make/exceed the cost deficit?
    I suppose the bottom line is – Can this still be cost effective with purchased tomatoes as opposed to gardened ones?

    • says

      I wouldn’t bother doing such a small amount, personally. I make tomato powder from the scraps left after making ketchup or tomato sauce. The juice gets canned as tomato juice. So, basically, I’m getting three products out of any tomatoes I buy, which is what helps make this more economical.

      As for the price of tomatoes, I pay $0.99 a pound at our green grocery, but in about 3 weeks the grocery stores will be running tomatoes at $0.50 a pound. Local farmer’s markets also have tomatoes very cheap this time of year, too.

      Where I live it’s pretty common to see local gardeners selling home-grown tomatoes out of the back of pickup trucks or lemonade-style stands at the gas station or garden center. I often wait until they’re getting ready to close up then offer to buy whatever they have left. Doing that, I’ve managed to get tomatoes as low as $0.30 per pound because they don’t want to haul them home.

      So to answer your ultimate question: it’s cost-effective if you’re a good shopper, and if you’re using the tomatoes for more than just converting them into powder.

  2. says

    Woah. And another woah. I have never heard of doing this before but it’s brilliant!!! How long do you think the powder will last in a mason jar? I’m wondering too if I could freeze the powder. The last time I grew tomatoes I wept at the amount of stuff that was wasted.

    • Katie Berry says

      Providing you completely dry the stuff, it should last at least a year. You could always toss one of those moisture-absorbing packets (the kind you find in new handbags or shoe boxes) and it’ll last even longer.

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