Tomato Sauce Leather

Tomato sauce leather is my secret ingrediente italiano per deliziosi pasti. I use it to make Italian-style backpacking meals such as Unstuffed Peppers, Seafood Raminara, Spinach & Bean Raminara, and Macaroni with Cheesy Tomato Sauce.

Run Sauce Through a Blender

Start with your grandma’s homemade tomato sauce recipe or buy a jar of Marinara Sauce. My favorite brand is Barilla® Spicy Marina. Run the tomato sauce through a blender to a smoothie-like consistency. Blending any chunks of tomatoes or other vegetables in the sauce thickens the sauce so it will make better leather. You will add back more dehydrated vegetables to these recipes later.

Not too Cheesy!

A little olive oil in the ingredients won't cause early spoilage, but avoid drying cheesy sauces like Vodka Sauce or Three-Cheese Sauce. The cheese adds fat which may shorten the shelf life of the leather. Cheesy sauces can be dried for short term use. The end product will feel greasier and more crumbly than cheese-less dried marinara sauce. A safer bet is to add cheddar cheese powder or parmesan cheese to the meal rather than to the leather.

Spread Thinly

Spread the sauce thinly on dehydrator trays covered with non-stick Paraflexx® sheets, parchment paper, or the fruit-roll sheets that came with your dehydrator. Don't use wax paper because the wax melts. I pour about eight fluid ounces onto each Excalibur Dehydrator tray and spread uniformly to the edges.

Dry It

Dehydrate at 135° for six to eight hours or you may dry at 125° for eight to ten hours with equally good results. Dehydrating times may vary depending on dehydrator model and humidity.

Flip It

After about five hours, the sauce should be solidified enough for you to peel it off the trays and flip it over for the duration on the drying time. Remove the non-stick sheets during the latter drying stage so both sides of the leather are exposed to the hot air. If you start the drying process before going to bed or work, the leather will turn out fine if you don’t flip it. It just may take a little longer to dry and you can always flip and dry it for an hour or so to finish the job when you get to it. The finished product will be leathery and dry to the touch, not sticky.

Pack It

Allow the leather to cool and then tear it into pieces. Store leather in a jar with a tight fitting lid until you are ready to pack it in plastic bags for a backpacking trip. I have packed sauce leather in mail drops for month-long hikes and it retained its full flavor and quality, although my daily rations were vacuum sealed. Leather which I have stored at home in jars in a cupboard was still in great shape when I ate it after six months. The color turns a little darker over time.

When combined with an equal part of hot water, leather will turn back into tomato sauce.

Salsa Leather

Blend and dry salsa the same way as tomato sauce. Create a tasty Mexican-style meal with rice, chicken and/or black beans, vegetables such as bell peppers and corn, and salsa leather.


Recipes with Tomato Sauce Leather


Unstuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup dried or instant rice
  • ¼ Cup ground beef, dried
  • ¼ Cup bell peppers, dried
  • ¼ Cup tomato sauce leather, tightly packed
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1¼ cups water

At Home:

Pack parmesan cheese and tomato sauce leather separately in small plastic bags. Enclose in a larger plastic bag with rice, ground beef, and peppers.

On the Trail:

Combine all ingredients except parmesan cheese in pot with water and soak for five minutes.

Light stove, bring to a boil, and continue cooking with the lid on for one minute.

Remove pot from stove and wait ten minutes. Insulate pot if possible. Stir in parmesan cheese before serving.


Seafood Raminara

Ingredients:

  • ½ Cup ramen noodles (half package)
  • ¼ Cup dried shrimp and/or crabmeat
  • ¼ Cup dried vegetables – peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes
  • ¼ Cup tomato sauce leather, tightly packed
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 Cup water

At Home:

Break noodles into small pieces. Pack parmesan cheese and tomato sauce leather separately in small plastic bags. Enclose in a larger plastic bag with noodles, seafood, and vegetables.

On the Trail:

Combine all ingredients except parmesan cheese with water in pot and soak for five minutes.

Light stove, bring to a boil, and continue cooking with the lid on for one minute.

Remove pot from stove and wait ten minutes. Insulate pot if possible. Stir in parmesan cheese before serving.


More Recipes with Tomato Sauce Leather



Salsa Rice & Beans

Spinach & Bean Raminara

Pasta & Cheesy Tomato Sauce

You will find the recipes on this page plus these additional recipes and the instructions for how to make tomato sauce leather in Recipes for Adventure.






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