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Home / Easy Dinners for the Family (and Summer Gatherings) Featuring Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Easy Dinners for the Family (and Summer Gatherings) Featuring Oven-Dried Tomatoes

oven dried tomatoes penne pasta
  There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like a sensational bowl of pasta. When you think of “family style” food pasta surely must be among the top 5. And it’s simple to prepare; making it the perfect star attraction when trying to come up with easy dinner recipes for the family. One of the things I particularly love about pasta is that by using very simple but ultra-fresh ingredients and basic cooking techniques you can create a meal with tremendous depth of flavor without a whole lot of hassle. Slow roasting tomatoes is a basic cooking technique that surely must be the easiest way to coax tremendous flavor with the least amount of hands-on work, which is right up my alley on lazy summer nights…

Oven-Dried Tomatoes Are a Perfect Pasta Topper…Not to Mention Summer Essential

Cooked for hours at a low temperature, oven dried tomatoes develop the concentrated flavor of sun-dried but retain the juiciness of the fresh-off-the-vine kind. And, because oven-dried tomatoes are sweeter than the sun-dried kind, even picky kids who say they don’t like tomatoes still love them. Oven-dried tomatoes are incredible in pasta but they are also delicious in salad, bean dishes, whole grain dishes, soups and as a puree for an instant sauce. The two pasta recipes below both use oven-dried tomatoes so here’s the basic recipe…  

How to Make Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Note: Oven-dried tomatoes do take a bit of time to cook but they require less than 10 minutes of actual hands-on cooking time. If you absolutely do not have time to make the oven-dried tomatoes you can substitute sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (but I’m telling you, they won’t taste nearly as good!)   1.      Preheat oven to 300 degrees and position the rack in the middle of the oven. 2.      Pour the oil onto a very sturdy, large, rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes cut side down on the baking sheets. Make a tiny slit on each tomato. 3.      Bake the tomatoes for about 45 minutes, until skins begin to wrinkle. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and carefully pinch off the skins. Using a spatula, very gently flip each tomato over. 4.      Place the tomatoes back into the oven and roast for another 2 hours, or until desired doneness. Remove tomatoes from oven and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool. P.S. If you are not ready to use your oven-dried tomatoes immediately you can layer the tomatoes in a Mason canning jar, adding enough olive oil to cover the tomatoes by at least 1 inch and refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months.


Easy Dinner Recipes for the Family (and Summer Gatherings)….

Featuring Oven-Dried Tomatoes


Whole Grain Pasta With Oven Dried Tomatoes – Two Ways

Note: Both Recipes Serve 6

* please, please do not omit the anchovies. Even if you think you don’t like anchovies I promise you will like them in this recipe—once sautéed they develop a rich, nutty but mellow flavor with no fishy “aftertaste” whatsoever. The anchovies really are essential to giving this dish a savory, complex umami quality and must not be left out! By the way, I use anchovies a lot and find anchovy paste the most convenient way to cook with anchovies on a day to day basis. Look for anchovy paste in the supermarket right next to the anchovy tins.

oven dried tomatoes penne pasta
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Version 1


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place the cooked pasta in an 8 x 13-inch casserole. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil and anchovies in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and sauté 6 to 7 minutes, or until onion caramelizes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the onions to the casserole with the pasta and gently toss to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper.
  4. Add the oven-dried tomatoes and lemon juice to the casserole and gently toss. Mix in the fresh parsley and toss again. Sprinkle the walnut crumbs on top.
  5. Cover the casserole with foil and warm in oven for 10 minutes, or until warm. Serve at once.

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Version Two:


• 3 pounds oven-dried tomatoes (recipe above)

• 4 cloves chopped garlic

• Cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, to taste

• 4 cups cooked gluten-free penne

• 2 cans (15 ounces each) cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained

• “Real” salt or Himalayan salt, to taste

• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• ½ cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place the oven-dried tomatoes and garlic in a food processor and pulse to process (be careful not to over-process as you want the sauce to be a bit chunky.) Add olive oil to taste and pulse again.
  3. Add the penne and cannelloni beans to an 8 x 13-inch casserole. Pour the sauce on top and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the casserole with foil and warm in oven for 10 minutes, or until warm. Remove casserole from oven and stir in basil. Serve at once.

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Ivy Larson

In 2010, Clean Cuisine was launched because Ivy Larson wanted to share her anti-inflammatory lifestyle and delicious recipes using ingredients in their most natural and nutrient-rich state. In 2020, Ivy passed the website to Aimee and Madison. Since then, they have been adding new recipes and nutrition posts while updating old recipes and articles. Thanks for visiting Clean Cuisine!

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Ivy Larson

Thursday 9th of June 2011

sure! you could always just use sundried tomatoes (packed in extra virgin olive oil) as a substitute for the oven-dried---I have done this before and it's still very tasty!

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