Tomato Powder: How to Make It, Store It, and Use It

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Spoon rests in stainless steel bowl containing tomato powder. Whole and cut tomatoes surround bowl.

Tomato powder is hands down one of my very favorite products to have in my food storage. In its most basic form, it’s simply dried tomatoes ground to a powder. However, there’s so much one can do with it. It enhances soups, adds zip to sauces and stews, adds intense flavor to sauteed onions or mirepoix. Gosh! Now I’m getting hungry.

What’s so great about tomato powder?

I love it because it’s:

  • Inexpensive – especially when compared to things like tomato paste or tomato sauce
  • Pure – just 100% tomatoes with no additives or preservatives
  • Healthy – check out all these health benefits of tomatoes
  • Versatile – so many tomato-based dishes from one simple powder
  • Space Saving – more tomatoes in a smaller space than canned or fresh

If you make tomato-based recipes then tomatoes are an important ingredient for your food storage pantry. Storing tomato powder gives you another way to keep on hand this delicious vegetable (Per the Supreme Court. Let’s not fight, folks.)

Now that we know how wonderful it is, let’s talk about how to make it yourself.

How To Make Tomato Powder

Making homemade tomato powder is a simple process.  Thoroughly dry thinly sliced tomatoes using a food dehydrator. You can even leave seeds in and skins on. While some people find the seeds lend a bitter flavor, it’s a personal preference. Experiment to decide yours.

Once they’re brittle, grind them into powder using a food processor or blender for a flaky texture. For a finer powder, use a coffee grinder. To make a spicy version, dry jalapenos and grind them up with the tomatoes.

Next, we’ll look at how to properly store that red gold you’ve made.

How To Store Tomato Powder

Store the powder in airtight containers or something with a tight-fitting lid, in a dry part of the refrigerator or in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.

If the powder hardens, chip it out and run it through the coffee grinder. To prevent the powder from hardening, add a brown sugar saver to the container.

As with any other food item, proper storage will extend the life of tomato powder. Up to a year or two is not unheard of. 

Now that you know how to make and store it, you can add it to your food storage recipe planning.

How To Use Tomato Powder

This is where it gets really fun because uses for tomato powder abound. Here are just a few:

Tomato sauce

2/3 cup powder + 2 cups water = just a bit more than one 15 oz can

Tomato paste

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

Tomato juice from scratch

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

Marinara sauce

Combine together in a large pot:

  • 1 tbsp freeze-dried or fresh onion
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup tomato powder
  • 1.5 tsp freeze-dried parsley
  • 1.5 tsp freeze-dried basil
  • 1.5 tsp freeze-dried oregano
  • 1.5 tsp freeze-dried Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 – 2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Bring to a simmer and cook on Low for an hour.

Red meat sauce

Add some sausage or ground beef (fresh or freeze-dried) to the marinara sauce above. You might also consider mushrooms (fresh or freeze-dried) and tomato dices (fresh, canned, or freeze-dried).

Enchilada sauce

Mix the following ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup tomato powder
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp freeze-dried onions (or use fresh)

Full recipe and instructions here:  Homemade Enchilada Sauce.

Tomato soup (just like Campbell’s)

Combine the following ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp water plus 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup water plus 3 tbsp instant milk powder (or 1/4 cup whole milk)
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup tomato powder
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt

See the full recipe and instructions here: Copycat Cambell’s tomato soup

If you like soup, check out this No-recipe soup!

Spanish Rice

Add a tablespoon or two of tomato powder plus some onion, garlic, and a bit of green chili (I use freeze-dried) to a pot of regular rice before you cook it. You’ll end up with some yummy Spanish rice.

Ketchup

Mix the following ingredients:

  • 6 tbsp tomato powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ¼-1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp mustard powder

Barbecue sauce

Combine the following ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tbsp tomato powder
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp pepper

Veggie Dip

Blend with sour cream or plain greek yogurt to taste.

Where can I buy it?

Maybe you’d rather purchase tomato powder instead of making homemade. No problem! Read Survival Mom’s recommendations about the best food storage company to use and why.

What is your favorite way to use tomato powder?

 

This post was updated 9/28/2021.

27 thoughts on “Tomato Powder: How to Make It, Store It, and Use It”

  1. Laurie, I had tomato powder open for a year. It still mixed okay. The problem I found was it hardened in the jar it was stored in and I had to scrape off the amount I wanted. Now I have stored it in a plastic bag and it is not getting hard.

  2. >Inexpensive — especially when compared to things like tomato powder or tomato sauce

    Guessing you meant “tomato paste or tomato sauce”.

  3. Laurie,

    Cheryl is spot on. It will last for a year or two after opened, but can get hard like brown sugar. Keeping it well sealed solves this problem

  4. beprepared.com has a group special this month for tomato powder. 12 #10 cans for $16 each. Best price I have ever seen!

  5. Bobbie sue Sanders

    My son bought campbell dry tomato soup just like you see chicken noodle cup a soup in a box. That was 15 years ago. He add them to flour and shake chicken in and fried them. Taste so good. Wonder what happen to campbell tomato soup mix in a box.

    1. When that happened to mine, I chipped it out and then ran it through my mini food processor (or you could use a spice mill or a coffee grinder). Now I store it in a jar with plastic wrap under the lid, and it’s less likely to get hard as a rock.

  6. William Kennison

    Do you have a recipe for powdered V8 juice. I want to make some in bulk to mix up as needed and maybe use for other things by just adding warm water to reconstitute it.

    1. The Survival Mom

      I’ve never seen a recipe for this but it sounds like an interesting project. I would look at the ingredients in V-8 and then assemble the various vegetables — either dehydrated or freeze-dried. Then, I would put each veggie in a blender until it was a fine powder. At that point, you would have several different veggies in powder form and you could combine them with water in varying amounts until you arrive at a flavor close to V-8.

  7. When making the marinara or anything else with lots of spices should they be bloomed before using? Would this technique or process help the tomato powder any? Today on the Savory Spice website is the first I’ve ever heard of Tomato Powder. I’m excited about discovering this product, I can see it being used in numerous ways, I’m just trying to find what processes will produce the best flavors.

  8. I use tomato powder to enhance vegetable soup, add to sautéed onions or mirepoix.
    This could be instead of adding chopped tomatoes, or addition to tomatoes in soup. It makes the flavor more intense. I never thought about adding it to the water used to cook rice. See above, but it’s a good idea.

  9. If you can your own tomatoes, save the peels!
    Dehydrate or set in oven lowest temperature (170F) a few hours…keep an eye on them!
    Once TOTALLY DRY, powder them…magic bullet, coffee grinder etc.
    I usually place them back in the oven to insure there are super dry. Store in a glass bottle.

  10. TH Russell-Zapata

    I usually make my own powder and store it in a small canning jar with an oxygen removal packet. I also keep it at the front of my seasonings so I can give it a shake every time I see it. I had bought some previously and it hardened into a clump.

  11. The link to the directions for Instructions for Homemade Enchilada Sauce seems to be broken. Is there a way to get the directions for making this recipe? Thanks.

  12. After giving up canned tomato soup due to the excessive sodium content, I’ve made soup using fresh tomatoes, canned, puréed and paste. By far, I like the soup I made last night using tomato powder from Savory Spice. The taste and smell are right on point! The deep red color is nice too. Doesn’t hurt that it’s also the easiest to make. Will definitely make again!

  13. I have tomato powder that I ground in 2020 that is still going strong. Not clumped, good flavor, and I use it often. I will definitely be trying some of these recipes. Thank you for sharing!

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