Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

For a taste of summer come winter, put aside summer tomatoes now, by slow-roasting the tomatoes for a long time – yes, a long, long, LONG time, no measly couple of hours. After testing many batches of slow-roasted tomatoes, I finally fixed upon the perfect combination of time and temperature, oil and herbs, a collection of tips and techniques. Slow-Roasted Tomatoes are something really special ... don't let the tomato season pass by without a batch or two or three. Or four.

Fresh & Seasonal. Vegan. Weight Watchers Friendly. Whole30 Friendly. Low Carb. Great for Meal Prep.
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes ♥, roast low and slow for concentrated flavors, so rich and intense.

  • "... they are so wonderful and rich ... they should shine in something." ~ Marjorie

"Low and Slow."

Good cooks know the formula works for summer barbecue and Thanksgiving turkeys. But tomatoes?

Easy-to-find recipes for other roasted tomatoes range from 200F to 400F and 45 minutes to eight hours. But two years ago, I became obsessed with discovering the perfect time and temperature for roasting tomatoes. Truth be told, it took 17 batches to fix on 200F and 12 hours.

Yes, I roast tomatoes at 200F for 12 full hours. That's indeed slow-roasting tomatoes.

How low and how slow???

You read that right, I slow-roast tomatoes at 200F, a very low oven.

You read that right, I slow-roast tomatoes for 12 hours, a full half day.

What's Needed to Slow-Roast Tomatoes?

  • MEATY TOMATOES The right tomatoes are important. Only a meaty tomato can withstand a long roast.
  • DRIED HERBS ARE BETTER THAN FRESH HERBS Herbs are important but dried herbs are preferable. My favorite blend is Italian seasoning and fennel seed.
  • OIL, SALT & PEPPER A touch of oil encourages caramelization. Salt boosts flavor and pepper adds a measure of heat.
  • MOST OF ALL? But without question, the only requirements are temperature and time. Low and slow. Low and slow. Low and slow.

And Then?

Once a few pounds of tomatoes are put aside, the real magic is in the cooking. Every single dish I’ve made with slow-roasted tomatoes has been a stand-out. Think tomato soup, spaghetti sauce, lamb stew, eggplant Parmigiana, homemade pizza, fast pasta suppers and rich lasagna.

Think delicious. Think low and slow. Good cooks now know, it is, indeed, the way to go.

Meet the "Tomato Man"

Craig Sanders from CJ's Produce at the Kirkwood Farmers Market in St. Louis, Missouri ♥

My "Tomato Man" is Craig Sanders from CJ's Produce at the Kirkwood Farmers Market in Kirkwood, Missouri, my home town. St. Louisans, visit CJ’s Produce for locally grown Cascade and Roma tomatoes, they're perfect for slow-roasting.

Not Ready to Roast Tomatoes Sloooooowly for Up to Twelve Hours?

Roasted Roma Tomatoes ♥, how to turn supermarket tomatoes into something special.

LOL, not everyone's so crazy!

Slow-Roasted Tomatoes are extra- extra-special. They're deep and dusky and earthy, really rich with tomatoes and herbs. But they do need an extended period in the oven.

And Slow-Roasted Tomatoes become an ingredient, you're probably not going to just one – well, again LOL, except for the one or two or three or more you're going to taste, warm, right off the baking tray. Might you swoon? You just might.

But some times you want roasted tomatoes that roast more quickly and can be eaten, all on their own. Enter Roasted Roma Tomatoes, whose superpower is to turn so-so supermarket tomatoes into something special.



Summer providence for winter meals
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Oven time: 10 - 12 hours
Makes about 2 cups
How to Photos
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons mixed dried herbs (Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, sage or thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed
  • 4 pounds meaty tomatoes (Cascade or Roma)
  • Unpeeled cloves of garlic, optional
  • Freshly ground pepper

Set oven to 200F/100C. Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and seasonings.

Halve the tomatoes lengthwise, leaving the stem socket on one side of the cut rather than cutting through it. Why? After roasting, the skins slip off more easily!

Rub each tomato half's cut side in the oil and herbs, then arrange cut-side down in a single layer, butted together. Tuck garlic cloves if using. Lightly sprinkle the tomato tops with salt and pepper.

Roast for 10 to 12 hours. If roasting two trays at once in the same oven, swap racks after 6 to 8 hours.

After roasting, let the tomatoes cool. With your hands, slip off and discard the tomato skins. Use within 2 to 3 days or freeze.

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per 1/4 Cup: 57 Calories; 2g Tot Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 0mg Cholesterol; 11mg Sodium; 9g Carb; 3g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 2g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 1 & PointsPlus 1 & SmartPoints 2 & Freestyle 0 (but careful, 1/2 cup = 1 Freestyle point)

How to Slow-Roast Tomatoes

[left/top] [center] [right/bottom]

It's really easy to prep the trays of tomatoes for roasting.

  • [left/top] Use a meaty tomato, such as a Cascade or Roma. Figure out how many fit your baking sheet, mine is +/- 4 pounds. To maximize the oven time, I roast two trays at a time.
  • [center] Drizzle baking sheet(s) with olive oil and dried herbs. I've tested more oil, it really isn't necessary for the slow-cooking time releases so much flavor. Dried herbs stand up better to the long time in the oven. To my taste, fennel is essential.
  • [right/bottom] Halve the tomatoes, cutting beside not through the stem socket. This makes it easier, after roasting, to remove the skins.
[left/top] [center] [right/bottom]

It'll take just a few minutes to prep an entire trayful.

  • [left/top] After cutting a tomato in half, rub the cut side down in the oil and herbs, then begin to arrange tightly in a single layer.
  • [center] Fill the tray. Tuck in unpeeled garlic cloves if you like. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • [right/bottom] This photo was taken after only 7 hours. The first time you roast tomatoes, check them every hour or so since oven temperatures (and tomato moisture) do vary. I've never had trouble but know people who've burned their first batches. I usually roast tomatoes overnight, putting them on at supper, pulling them out of the oven before starting work in the morning. The house will smell like a tomato factory!

  • More - Slip off the skins, this is slightly easier when they're warm. Be sure to work over something to collect the roasted tomato flesh and the juices. I pack each tray's yield into a freezer bag, squeeze out the air and then freeze flat.
  • Now the fun part! On my food blog for vegetable recipes called A Veggie Venture, see all the many tomato recipes, including a special section on slow-roasted tomatoes. Just scroll down a bit.

More Tomato Specialties

(hover with a mouse for a description; otherwise click a photo to view the recipe)

Red Rice with Tomatoes Tomatoes & Fresh Mozzarella for a Crowd Roasted Eggplant Salad with Tomato-Caper Salsa
~ more tomato recipes ~
~ more recipes for jams, pickles & preserves ~

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~ tomato recipes ~

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2007, 2009 & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Alanna,
    The other cool thing is they freeze well so you have have that same wonderful taste in January.

  2. For sure, Kevin, I freeze all the slow-roasted tomatoes because, well, for only another month, the fresh ones simply must be enjoyed!

  3. Anonymous8/24/2007

    Looks delicious. I may have to make this my weekend project.

  4. Sound delicious! I really hope by next year I'll have enough space to have a little veggies garden so I can eat things like this!

  5. I've already started making these to stockpile in the freezer. My version is slightly different -- I use fresh thyme from my garden. I've learned that my half-sheet pan, or jelly-roll pan, holds exactly five pounds of halved plum tomatoes.

  6. Thoroughly enjoyed this column, Alanna. Low and slow, always gives such depth...

  7. I can imagine they have that intense taste of sun-dried, but w/out all the oil and salt. So good, so easy. Set the timer and forget about them. Thanks!

  8. Aaaa! I wish I'd seen this sooner! I roasted some tomatoes yesterday and I felt totally lost with the recipe I was using. I put the tomatoes face UP. They were still pretty wet after 14 hours. Is this normal?

    Glad to know I can freeze them!

  9. Hi Katherine ~ Hmm, 14 hours. You've tested your oven temp? But yes, moist is normal, especially if you've used a lot of olive oil for roasting. Remember, these aren't 'dried' tomatoes, like the sun-dried ones we're familiar with, they're roasted.

    If they taste good, go for it. But I'd be a little concerned that even with moistness, they might taste a little scorched. You'll still find a way to use them but it won't be as tomato-ey as ones full of real tomato essence.

  10. If anything, I didn't have the temp high enough. I had it at 170, the lowest setting for my oven, for the first 10 hours, per my recipe. I upped it to 200 for the last two, and then up again to 220 for about two hours. They're not all scorched. I think I was looking for that dried look, since the recipes was for dried tomatoes.

    With yours, do you have to reconstitute them? I'm thinking my tomatoes are somewhere in-bewteen roasted and dried.

  11. Ah yes, the temperature, that's the key. And honestly, I'm not sure you had the temp high enough to do anything other than harbor bacteria over many hours. I'd be careful about consumption ...

    And no, no reconstituting is required. They're roasted, not dried, and are completely moist and fat, more like sun-dried tomatoes soaked in oil except fatter and deeper-still taste-wise.

  12. People set tomatoes out in the sun to dry all the time so I'm not worried about the temp. The recipe (which is from "Homegrown Pure and Simple: Great Healthy Food from Garden to Table") actually said the temp could be as low as 150 degrees, but mine doesn't go that low. I actually tasted a piece at it was delicious! So they're now chopped and frozen in my freezer. I think they'll be good in soups.

  13. Marjorie via Facebook9/01/2014

    Last night I made the slow roasted tomatoes, my intention was to make tomato soup, but again, they are so wonderful and rich I am not sure I want to to that. They should "shine" in something. I lined the sheets with parchment but I am not sure I would have needed to, they are so juicy. I did take my bench scraper to get all that wonderful juice, oil and herbs in the bowl with the tomatoes.

  14. Anonymous8/23/2020

    Do you remove the seeds before cooking in the oven? I have been doing a similar method but at at higher heat (350 degrees) for 30 to 50 minutes depending on the size the tomatoes I'm using. I cut them in half and then remove as much of the seeds/juice in the pockets as possible over a bowl and strainer. Once they are cooked, I remove from the parchment lined tray and put them in bags with the strained juice so they can be processed for canning. No oil and anything else is added during this particular cooking process. When I have enough tomatoes to can, I add some chopped onion, garlic, red bell pepper, the tomatoes and their juice (sans seeds) and simmer on the stove. I use a stick blender once the veggies have softened and then begin the canning process. The tomatoes are so concentrated and rich using this method and I avoid having a lot of seeds in the batch. I also roast cherry tomatoes in the oven with a bell pepper, onion, chunks of garlic, and olive oil if I plan on making a sauce whether for immediate use or for freezing. They are so sweet and concentrated using these methods. You can add various spices before baking if you know what kind of dish you plan to make with the cherry tomatoes. You can eat that sauce without any spices, though, and it is delicious without any Italian, Mexican, or whatever spices you want to use. Sungolds are yummy used this way and my cherry tomatoes don't go to waste anymore. For years, I would just give them away because I had way too many. This works great to save some of those large yields of cherry tomatoes and it is delicious!

    You didn't mention whether you removed the seeds so I wanted to check since I'm going to try your method asap. Thanks!

    1. Dianna ~ I don’t remove the seeds because the tomatoes I use are generally quite meaty and have very few seeds. But. I’m not sure I’d remove them anyway. That’s because the seeds and the stuff around them are so full of flavor. To say nothing of the fact that basically I’m lazy this way.

      BTW I’m so honored that a fellow roasted-tomato fanatic is going to try this low’n’slow method. I also so appreciate your notes on how you do it too, definitely inspiring and useful both. I’m off to the farmers market today for tomatoes myself ...

    2. Anonymous8/24/2020

      Yes, there aren't that many seeds in paste tomatoes. I've just put a huge tray of them in the oven a few minutes ago but I have a ton more to process. Should I add that extra oven rack back in and roast two trays at once? The one I put in is in the middle rack so the second tray would on the next higher rack. Would that be okay? I have 3 raised beds full of tomatoes and have been frantically trying to can what I can but now all my paste tomatoes are coming in. This will be my last garden so I! I have a sungold that fell over and is laying on the ground (it got to over 7 feet tall). It is too heavy to try and stake back up but I haven't had the energy to deal with that plant since I'm overwhelmed with tomatoes now. My brother told me I wasn't adding enough blood meal and bone meal to my boxes. He said I should be adding about 7 lbs each for each box...well, it worked! I can't believe how many tomatoes I have been harvesting this year! It's making all of my garden neighbors jealous since I don't think they add much to their boxes. I also found out that tomato plants are voracious feeders and need regular supplementation with tomato/veggie food. Too bad it will be my last garden since I've learned so much this year!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna