What is the best sun-dried tomato substitute? 9 Excellent Choices!

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Depending on your degree of fanaticism, sun dried tomatoes may be an item in your kitchen that you don’t use very often. Their taste is powerful, and you’d have to be a devoted fan to use them often enough to have a jar or two on hand.

The difficulty is that when a recipe asks for sun dried tomatoes, it completely depends on them! They are such a distinctive tomato preparation that their taste is difficult to recreate if you find yourself unexpectedly lacking enough to complete the needs of a dish.

Take a big breath, however, since happily, there are several excellent substitutes for sun dried tomatoes in recipes. Continue reading to learn about the finest sun dried tomato replacements!

What Are Sun Dried Tomatoes?


Sun dried tomatoes taste just like tomatoes, with an incredibly concentrated flavor (due to the elimination of virtually all water during the drying process) and a pleasing chewy texture similar to that of other dehydrated fruits such as dried apricots or raisins.

Sun dried tomatoes are available in two varieties: dry packed and oil packed. Dry packed sun dried tomatoes are simply dry tomatoes and may be found in the grocery store’s dried fruit department or bulk food bins. Oil packed sun dried tomatoes vary in that they are packed and sealed into jars with olive oil and occasionally additional herbs and flavorings once the drying process is complete.

Sun dried tomatoes packed with olive oil are ready to use, while dry packed tomatoes benefit from being quickly moistened in warm water before use. Both alternatives have a robust tomato taste, but as you would expect, oil filled sun dried tomatoes add a fatty richness to everything they are blended with.

Sun dried tomatoes are another delicious way to get some nourishment! Sun dried tomatoes are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, and essential antioxidants like lycopene, among other things.

Choosing a Substitute for Sun Dried Tomatoes

While choosing a sun dried tomato alternative, keep in mind the two major uses of this product in a recipe. Some recipes employ sun dried tomatoes as a taste component, while others rely on the textural qualities of sun dried tomatoes as well. Some of these substitutes will provide a lot of tomato flavor, while others will add texture, and still others will contribute both.

The initial round of sun dried tomato alternatives include other tomato-containing items, making them some of the greatest selections available! So, if you’re looking for a non-tomato substitute, continue reading.

9 Sun Dried Tomato Substitute Options! 

Fresh Tomatoes

It should come as no surprise that fresh tomatoes are a great replacement for sun dried tomatoes. Although they don’t have the same amount of taste intensity, they do have enough of tomato flavor and are good for applications where texture (having a piece of tomato to bite down on and chew) is vital to the entire experience of the meal. In sandwiches or platters, use fresh tomato slices (fresh plum tomatoes are wonderful!) instead of full sun dried tomatoes. Instead of sliced or chopped sun dried tomatoes, use chopped cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes.

If you want to use fresh tomatoes instead of sun dried tomatoes, select ripe tomatoes for the best taste. To accentuate the sharpness of the fresh tomatoes, mix them with a little of lemon or lime juice before serving.

How Much to Use:

The quantity varies according on the sort of dish you’re dealing with. Use a 1:1 ratio for substituting whole or half sun dried tomatoes on sandwiches or platters. The taste will be milder, but the experience will be same. Use a 2:1 ratio for substituting sliced or diced sun dried tomatoes in a recipe. For example, if a recipe asks for a cup of diced sun dried tomatoes (approximately 4 whole tomatoes), substitute a full cup of diced fresh tomatoes!

Canned Tomatoes

If fresh tomatoes are out of season, or you just don’t have any on hand and want to save a trip to the grocery store, canned tomatoes are a great replacement for sun dried tomatoes!

There are many different varieties of canned tomatoes to pick from, but canned whole tomatoes are your best choice since you can chop or slice them anyway you want to produce the effect you want in your dish. Use your fingers to scrape off the loose, seedy cores of the tomatoes as you chop them for the best results. This will leave just the tomato flesh, which will have a tougher feel similar to dried tomatoes.

Other canned tomatoes, such as diced or stewed kinds, may also be an acceptable substitute for sun dried tomatoes. In rare cases, such as when added to a sauce or stew, crushed tomatoes may even accomplish the trick.

How Much to Use:

Begin with a 1:2 ratio, substituting cup sun dried tomatoes for cup drained, canned tomatoes. You may always add a little more to boost the tomato taste, or a dash of the really rich canning juice if your recipe can handle a little more moisture!

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste’s highly sour and salty taste is really remarkably identical to that of sun dried tomatoes, and it’s easy to understand why! Since tomato paste is created by dehydrating tomatoes (the primary difference being that the water is removed during the cooking process rather than being dried in the sun or a warm air environment), its taste is concentrated similarly. The primary difference between these two products is that sun dried tomatoes retain their whole tomato form and texture, whilst tomato paste is blended into a smooth, velvety puree.

How Much to Use:

You may use 1 to 1 tablespoon tomato paste for each cup of sun dried tomatoes called for in the recipe.

Tomato Puree or Tomato Sauce

sauce, such as pizza or pasta sauce, in their refrigerator or pantry. We’ll be honest with you. Tomato puree and tomato sauce aren’t precisely the finest replacements. These goods will always have a considerably weaker taste and a lot thinner texture than sun dried tomatoes or tomato paste. Still, depending on the recipe, they might serve as a good substitute for sun dried tomatoes! The biggest advantage here (and one of the main reasons we chose to include it in our list of sun dried tomato substitutes) is that most people have some kind of tomato puree on hand.

alternatively cook the meal for a longer period of time to compensate for the increased moisture that the tomato sauce will bring. Using tomato sauce or puree as a substitute is great for soups, stews, and sauces, when you won’t miss the textural element that sun dried tomatoes would have given to the table. If you want to use a thinner sauce like tomato sauce instead of sun dried tomatoes, you may want to decrease the amount of other liquids in the recipe.

How Much to Use: 

This one is a little hard since we’re trying to replace a solid component with a liquid. Start with a cup of tomato sauce or puree for every cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes asked for in the recipe, and reduce if it seems that this will result in too much liquid.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

You may be acquainted with basil pesto, but sun dried tomato pesto is also delicious! Since it is created simply from chopped sun dried tomatoes, it is an excellent substitution for sun dried tomatoes in recipes.

Sun dried tomato pesto has the same tart flavor and savory taste as genuine sun dried tomatoes; the only difference is that they are combined with other ingredients in the case of pesto. Here is where you must use your own discretion to assess if the other components in the pesto are complimentary to your food. Like with conventional basil pesto, most store-bought sun dried tomato pesto will include a generous amount of olive oil, as well as cheese and almonds.

How Much to Use:

When using sun dried tomato pesto as a replacement, use caution since it is considerably higher in fat content and will most likely have a more powerful taste owing to the inclusion of extra components. Strive for a 2:1 ratio, so for every cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes called for in a recipe, use a cup (2 tablespoons) of sun dried tomato pesto instead.

Tomato Powder

This is probably an ingredient you don’t have on hand all the time. If you happen to have a bottle or packet of this material, now is an excellent moment to utilize it! Since tomato powder is created from dried tomatoes, it is an excellent substitute for sun dried tomatoes in recipes.

As you would expect, utilizing tomato powder is an excellent method to add tomato flavor to a meal; nevertheless, it will not deliver the same texture as whole fresh or canned tomatoes, nor the same brightness as tomato sauces and pastes.

How Much to Use:

As tomato powder is totally dehydrated and powdered, it may have quite a strong flavor when reconstituted. Replace one teaspoon of tomato powder for every cup of sun dried tomatoes called for in the recipe.

Tomato-Free Substitutes for Sun Dried Tomatoes

The following are tomato-free replacements for sun dried tomatoes if you are looking for a replacement due to allergies, dietary constraints, or just dislike the taste. Always check the label of your individual product to ensure there are no hidden allergies!

Roasted Red Peppers

Roasted bell peppers, with their incredibly vivid taste, are a terrific alternative in recipes that call for whole or chopped sun dried tomatoes, where the look and texture of the tomatoes, in addition to the flavor, play an essential part. Consider them for huge, tasty sandwiches, pizza toppings, or an antipasto board.

Roasted red peppers are juicier and crunchier than sun dried tomatoes, yet having a milder taste. They also have a deep smokey flavor as compared to the sweet and sour flavor of sun dried tomatoes, however roasted red peppers are a great sun dried tomato alternative since they have a comparable look and taste.

To replicate the richness of sun dried tomatoes in bruschetta or as part of a plate or spread, consider roasted bell pepper drizzled with olive oil.

How Much to Use:

The amount you should use as a replacement will be determined by your own taste preferences as well as the exact cuisine in issue. In general, you may use a 1:1 ratio, substituting 1 entire sun dried tomato with 1 full piece of equivalent size roasted red pepper. If the components are to be diced or sliced, measure them out evenly.

Tamarind Paste

While it may seem foreign, tamarind paste is an excellent substitution for sun dried tomatoes, particularly in saucy recipes like stir fries, rice dishes, and stews. Tamarind belongs to the legume family, which means it produces a seed pod. But, in a unique twist, these seeds are surrounded by a thick and sticky paste-like material, which is what people want when making tamarind paste.

While tamarind paste has a silky texture similar to tomato paste, it also has a strongly sweet and tart taste similar to sun dried tomatoes. One of the distinctive tastes of Worcestershire sauce is the strong fragrance and flavor of tamarind!

How Much to Use:

Begin with a teaspoon of tamarind paste for every cup of sun dried tomatoes called for in your recipe! You can always add extra if you think the taste is missing.

Olive Tapenade

In certain circumstances, you may discover that a product that is quite different from sun dried tomatoes can suffice! Olive tapenade is one example.

This is why it works. Olive tapenade, which is naturally rich in oils, may give the same depth of powerful flavor, as well as the somewhat chewy texture supplied by the olives themselves. But, olive tapenade is far saltier than sun dried tomatoes or any of the other alternative possibilities we’ve discussed thus far. If you use olive tapenade as a replacement, you should take care to decrease other sources of salt in the dish.

How Much to Use:

Begin with a 1:1 ratio and taste for flavor and salt before adding more!

Other Sun Dried Tomatoes FAQs

Just a few more sun dried tomato morsels for you to gnaw on!

What Are Sun Dried Tomatoes Used For?

Sun dried tomatoes’ mild sweetness and slightly sour taste usually adds a punch of acidity to a dish! Here are a few culinary circumstances when you could require sun dried tomatoes or a suitable alternative for them.

  • Sun dried tomatoes are often used in salad dishes, sauce recipes, and in the preparation of the ideal crispy bruschetta.
  • Sun dried tomatoes give your favorite sandwich an immediate boost of energy!
  • Sun dried tomatoes are often used as pizza toppings and are an important component of any antipasto dish or charcuterie board.
  • Sun dried tomatoes (or your preferred substitution!) are common ingredients in delectable pasta recipes like our Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Spaghetti.

Are Sun Dried Tomatoes Actually Sun Dried?

The answer is not that straightforward, but you can guarantee they used to be! With the emergence of culinary machines such as ovens and food dehydrators, many manufacturers have chosen to employ new technologies rather than continue to do things the old-fashioned manner. Yet, some sun dried tomato businesses continue to dry their tomatoes in big, sun-soaked outside enclosures the old-fashioned manner.

The intriguing part is that whether the tomatoes are sun dried or not, they may always be labeled as such. That is, you will never know how that specific bag of dried tomatoes was made at first look.

What’s the good news? Most people agree that no matter how the tomatoes are dried, they all taste excellent!

Finding the Best Substitute for Sun Dried Tomatoes!

As you can see, there are a plethora of possibilities for substituting the distinct taste and texture of sun dried tomatoes in a dish!

Puree, fresh tomatoes, or tinned tomatoes may all be used. If you don’t want to use tomatoes in your recipe, other ingredients such as roasted red peppers, tamarind paste, and olive tapenade can do just well. If you don’t have sun dried tomatoes on hand, or if their taste is too overpowering for you, you may simply substitute another tomato product such as tomato paste or tomato sauce.

The essential thing to remember when using any of these sun dried tomato alternatives (or anything else!) is to taste as you go. Consider your dish’s entire taste profile and if flavor, texture, or both are more crucial to imitate. The wonderful part about cooking using substitutions is that you will constantly learn something new and may discover a new favorite taste combination!


Can I substitute sun-dried tomatoes with canned tomatoes?

Canned tomatoes are an excellent replacement for sun-dried tomatoes, particularly in sauces. They have a similar taste, but canned tomatoes lack the intensity of sun dried tomatoes.

What are the best sun dried tomato varieties?

The finest dried tomatoes are plum, oval, or pear-shaped Italian, Roma, or paste tomatoes.

Can you substitute roasted red peppers for sun-dried tomatoes?

Roasted red peppers have a similar flavor profile and are simple to locate. They won’t have the same chewy texture as sun-dried tomatoes, but they will provide a meaty texture and taste to recipes. Don’t like tomatoes but want something similar? Bell peppers roasted

What’s the difference between sun-dried and semi-dried tomatoes?

What is the difference between semi-dried and sun-dried tomatoes? Whereas sun-dried tomatoes are entirely dried to eliminate all of their water content, semi-dried tomatoes are removed from the heat before they completely dry out, keeping them plump, supple, and somewhat juicy.

What can I use in recipe instead of sun-dried tomatoes?

Roasted red peppers, dried, canned tomatoes, fresh plum tomatoes, tomato paste, or tomato sauce may also be used. These components will give your food a new flavor, so explore until you discover the right mix for your taste buds.

What can I use instead of jarred sun-dried tomatoes?

The sauce will be thinner if you use 2 cups drained canned tomatoes. Use canned plum tomatoes or San Marzano tomatoes from Italy.
Instead, use 4-6 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and diced.
OR – Use 1 tablespoon tomato paste for every 3-5 sun-dried tomatoes.
1 1 substitute for sun-dried tomatoes

Did Trader Joe’s discontinue sun-dried tomatoes?

Unfortunately, products have been discontinued. Some places make it difficult to locate affordable, simple sundried tomatoes (not in oil)!

What is special about sun-dried tomatoes?

Sun dried tomatoes are high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They feature a high percentage of lycopene, a potent antioxidant. There has been a lot of buzz about lycopene’s possible antioxidant properties. According to preliminary study, it may help protect your skin from the sun.

Are store bought sun-dried tomatoes actually sun dried?

Sun-dried tomatoes are ripe tomatoes that have lost the bulk of their water content after drying in the sun for the majority of the time. To enhance color and appearance, these tomatoes are frequently pre-treated with sulfur dioxide or salt before being put in the sun.

What’s the difference between sun-dried tomatoes and roasted tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes are salted and baked at a low oven temperature for 10 hours or longer, until most of the tomato juices have evaporated. They are more flavorful and chewy than roasted tomatoes. You may have stumbled upon the phrase ‘tomato confit’ when looking for roasted tomatoes.

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