Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil: how to make a summer classic at home

Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4-6
By Cookist

If you're a fan of the rich and intense flavor of sun-dried tomatoes, then you're in for a treat! Sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil (also called Pomodori secchi sott'olio) are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can elevate any dish. The recipe starts off by showing you how to make your own sundried tomatoes. Once dried, they’re boiled in a mixture of water, vinegar, and salt. They’re left to dry, then stored with garlic, dried oregano, bay leaf, and of course, olive oil. Whether you use them in salads, pastas, sandwiches, or as a topping for pizzas, their tangy and slightly sweet taste will elevate any dish. It’s a burst of Mediterranean goodness.

What is Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil?

Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil (also called Pomodori secchi sott'olio) is a well-known classic dish made by reconstituting sun-dried tomatoes, and then storing them in oil. This makes them easy to use in other dishes you are making. In Italy, they’re often enjoyed on crusty bread. But they can be enjoyed in many dishes: sandwiches, pasta, pizza, or to enrich a sauce.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil Ingredients

  • Tomatoes – use fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • Salt – kosher salt
  • White vinegar – white vinegar is strong enough for the short boiling time
  • Garlic – use fresh or dried garlic, but make sure to check our safety tips below
  • Oregano – dried oregano
  • Bay leaf – adds flavor


Using fresh herbs and garlic can increase the risk of botulism, a serious food-borne illness caused by a bacterium. To prevent this, it’s best to use dried herbs and dried garlic. The acidity from the vinegar and the tomatoes further helps to prevent botulinum toxins from forming.

If using fresh garlic and herbs, it should not be stored for longer than two days. Store in the refrigerator.

Don’t have time to dry the tomatoes in the sun? You can also dry them in the oven. Simply bake in a preheated oven (at 225°F) for about 10 to 12 hours until completely dry. Leave to cool before using.

How to Store Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Because you’re not sterilizing the jars and canning the tomatoes, you need to store them in the fridge at all times.



2 kg (4.4 lbs)
1l (4 1/2 cups)
White vinegar
180ml (3/4 cup)
dry origano
Bay leaf
Extra virgin olive
350ml (1 3/4 cups)


Wash and cut tomatoes in half.

Transfer them to the baking tray covered with parchment paper.

Season with salt and place them on the balcony, or where they can be exposed to sunlight. Leave them for about 7 days until dried.

Once the tomatoes are dry, transfer them to the pot with water and white vinegar. Let them boil for 5 minutes.

Transfer the cooked tomatoes to a baking pan lined with a clean kitchen cloth.

Cover with another cloth and set aside for 2 hours.

Once the tomatoes have rested for two hours, you can start filling the jars. Fill each jar with garlic and oregano.

Place a few tomatoes on top, then continue to layer tomatoes with garlic and oregano. There should be at least two layers.

Place a bay leaf on top and fill the jar with olive oil to cover the tomatoes.


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