This study presents the effects of process parameters on the energy demand for drying and quality indices of dried tomato slices. The experiment was designed and analyzed with the Box‐Behnken method of Design Expert and conducted for drying 1800 g batch of a local variety of tomatoes with a solar‐electric dryer. The study examined the impact of varying process parameters: air temperature (50°C, 60°C, and 70°C), sample thicknesses (10, 15, and 20 mm), and air velocities (1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 ms−1) on the total and specific energy requirements, drying time, lycopene content, ascorbic acid, nonenzymatic browning index, brightness, and ratio of redness to yellowness of dried tomato samples, with emphasis on process optimization and drying time. The prediction of the optimal process condition is obtained using the desirability index technique. The results obtained show that the total and specific energy requirements for a batch of tomato varied from 7.82 to 125.48 kJ h and 6.70 to 179.83 kJ h g−1. The results of the analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicate that all the studied process parameters were significant with P > .05; with the maximum (40.21%) and minimum (19.82%) percent energy contribution by air temperature and air velocity, respectively. The energy of activation varies between 20.26 and 39.35 kJ mol−1. At the optimum process conditions of 57.28°C, 14.08 mm, and 1.3 ms−1, the specific energy requirements, lycopene content, ascorbic acid content, nonenzymatic browning index, brightness, redness to yellowness ratio, and drying duration are obtained as 103.313 ± 2.35 kW h kg−1, 58.7 ± 2.19 mg/100 mg dry matter, 2.9 ± 0.26 mg/g, 0.51 ± 0.033 absorbance unit, 60.074 ± 1.44, 0.77 ± 0.021, and 61.88 ± 8.93 minutes, respectively. The results of the study are of immense benefit to the food drying industry, as it provides food industries with improved drying parameters for enhancing dried tomato quality, as well as increasing dryer energy efficiency and cost‐effectiveness. Sugestions on prospects for further studies were given. This article presents the influence of process parameters on drying energy requirements and quality indices of dried tomato slices using a solar‐electric dryer. The prediction of the optimal process condition is obtained by using the desirability index technique. The research reports the results of the total and specific energy requirements, analysis of variance, percent energy contribution by air temperature and air velocity respectively, activation energy, as well as the values of the specific energy requirements, lycopene content, ascorbic acid content, nonenzymatic browning index, brightness, redness to yellowness ratio, and drying duration at the optimum process conditions.