Tomato Week

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11 Substitutes for Sun Dried Tomatoes – Easy Alternatives

Sun-dried tomatoes can elevate the flavour of almost any dish that calls for tomatoes. Their intense, tangy, and robust flavour profile is difficult to match.

That said, they can be challenging to find in stores, and they’re relatively expensive. In addition, some sun-dried tomatoes are heavy in sodium content, which might not meet your dietary needs.

Let’s discuss eleven substitutes for sun-dried tomatoes – accessible alternatives that will save you time in the kitchen. Whether your sun-dried tomatoes are past their prime or you don’t have any on hand, these substitutes will help get dinner on the table fast.

What substitutes can you use for sun-dried tomatoes?

Missing the sun-dried tomatoes needed for your recipe or looking for a low-sodium alternative to sun-dried tomatoes? Take a look at these eleven substitutes for sun-dried tomatoes.

1. Oven-dried tomatoes

How to substitute: 1:1 ratio

Oven-dried tomatoes are an excellent substitute for sun-dried tomatoes. To make them, simply slice some tomatoes in half and place them on a baking sheet. Then, bake them in a low oven (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit) for several hours until they are dried out.

Making your own dried tomatoes at home instead of buying store-bought sun-dried tomatoes allows you to customise the amount of salt and oil in your food. And you can create custom herb and spice blends to experiment with your homemade dried tomatoes.

2. Air-dried tomatoes

How to substitute: 1:1 ratio

Air drying is another option for drying tomatoes. To air-dry tomatoes, slice them in half and then place them on a wire rack or cheesecloth to dry. Place the rack or cheesecloth in a well-ventilated area and allow the tomatoes to dry for several days.

3. Dehydrated tomatoes

Dehydrated tomatoes

How to substitute: 1:1 ratio

A dehydrator is a small appliance that can be used to dry food. To use a dehydrator to dry tomatoes, slice the tomatoes and place them on the dehydrator racks. Turn the dehydrator on to its lowest setting and allow the tomatoes to dry for 12-18 hours, depending on your dehydrator. The tomatoes should be fully dry before you attempt to store them.

4. Tomato paste

Tomato paste

How to substitute: 1:1 ratio (1 tablespoon of paste per 3 sun-dried tomatoes)

A standard and less expensive product used in place of sun-dried tomatoes is tomato paste. This thickened, reduced tomato product is made by boiling and straining tomatoes to remove the water content.

Tomato paste is highly condensed and carries a more intense flavour than tomato sauce or diced tomatoes. Tomato paste is not quite as potent as sun-dried tomatoes are, but it will work as a substitute in a pinch. It works well as a substitute in curries, soups, and sauces.

If you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes on hand and need to use tomato paste instead, use a 1:1 ratio.

5. Fresh tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes

How to substitute: 1:1 ratio

If you have fresh tomatoes on hand and are in a bind, they can be used as a sun-dried tomato substitute. However, keep in mind that they will not taste exactly the same. Fresh tomatoes are more delicate in flavour than sun-dried tomatoes.

Using fresh tomatoes will add more moisture to your dish than sun-dried tomatoes would. So, if you’re using fresh tomatoes as a substitute, you may need to remove some of the liquid from your recipe or cook the dish for a longer amount of time.

Fresh tomatoes work well as a substitute in salads, sandwiches, and wraps. I don’t recommend substituting fresh tomatoes for sun-dried ones in curries, soups, or pizzas. For a more intense flavour profile, try dehydrating your fresh tomatoes using either sun drying, air drying, or oven drying.

6. Tomato powder

Tomato powder

How to substitute: Make a paste with it, then add it to your dish in a 1:1 ratio (1 tablespoon of paste per 3 sun-dried tomatoes)

Tomato powder is an ideal substitute for sun-dried tomatoes because it’s highly concentrated. It’s about 20 times more concentrated than a fresh tomato! You can easily customise the intensity of the tomato flavour in your cooking with tomato powder.

Tomato power carries a heavy amount of umami in its flavour, making it one of the better substitutes for sun-dried tomatoes. It works as a substitute for sun-dried tomatoes in curries, sauces, soups, stir-fries, and some pasta or chicken dishes.

One of the most common ways to use tomato powder is to make tomato paste and then use it in your cooking. This may be preferable to using store-bought tomato paste because you can customise the intensity of the flavour in your tomato paste when you make it from tomato powder.

Additionally, tomato powder takes up less storage space than canned goods and has a long shelf life if stored correctly. It’s actually a common ingredient for disaster peppers to stock up on and add to their long-term food storage.


7. Roasted red bell pepper

Roasted red bell pepper

How to substitute: 1:1 ratio

Roasted red bell peppers are a great sun-dried tomato alternative because they have a similar sweetness and umami flavour. They’re also just as versatile as sun-dried tomatoes, so you can use them in all the same dishes.

To roast red bell peppers, place them on a baking sheet and roast them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes. Once they’re done, place them in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to steam for about 10 minutes, then remove the skin.

You can then use the roasted red bell peppers in any recipe that calls for sun-dried tomatoes. Alternatively, you can use canned or jarred roasted red peppers. Just remember to chop them up into small pieces before adding them to your dish.

Roasted red peppers are a good alternative for sun-dried tomatoes in sandwiches, sauces, pizzas, blended into soups, or as a topping for bruschetta.


8. Canned tomato sauce

How to substitute: Use 3/4 cup of sauce for every 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes since tomato sauce is less concentrated. (Keep in mind that this will add more liquid to your recipe, so account for that by adding a thickening agent of some kind or reducing the sauce).

Tomato sauce is a decent sun-dried tomato alternative because it’s already flavoured and seasoned. This makes it ideal for busy weeknight meals when you don’t have time to fiddle with many ingredients.

Additionally, canned tomato sauce is a great pantry staple to have on hand for quick and easy meals. It’s versatile and can be used in various recipes, from pasta to pizza.

Canned tomato sauce generally works well as an alternative to sun-dried tomatoes in sauces and soups. This won’t be an adequate replacement for sun-dried tomatoes as a textural element, but adding flavour to different dishes can work.

9. Artichoke hearts

How to substitute: 1:1 ratio

Sun-dried tomatoes are more intense in flavour, while artichoke hearts have a milder taste. They are both used for similar purposes, such as being put on pizza.

Artichoke hearts have a different flavour than sun-dried tomatoes, but if cooked in specific ways, can have a similar chewy texture. You can amp up the flavour of artichoke hearts by seasoning them with oregano, basil, a bit of salt, olive oil, and garlic.

Sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts are undoubtedly complementary to each other. They frequently appear together in the same recipes, as with this Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichoke Hearts dish.

These won’t provide tomato flavour, but they can be a good substitute for sun-dried tomatoes on pizzas or in wraps and paninis. Definitely an option worth experimenting with!


10. Homemade sun-dried tomatoes

Homemade sun-dried tomatoes

How to substitute: 1:1 ratio

If you have the time, making your own sun-dried tomatoes will always be the best option. This way, you can control the level of salt and spice added. Plus, you’ll know they’re fresh and haven’t been sitting in a jar for long.

To make sun-dried tomatoes in the oven, slice fresh tomatoes thinly and lay them out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and any other herbs or spices you want to use. Then, bake them in a preheated oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 hours or until they’re dried out.

If you want to add them to oil, use your sun-dried tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge and use them within a couple of weeks. To store them for a more extended period of time, store them dry to avoid a botulism risk. When you know you’ll be using some of your sun-dried tomatoes, you can grab the portion you need from the dry jar and transfer them to a jar of oil in your fridge. They’ll be ready for use.

Homemade sun-dried tomatoes are ideal for salads, pasta dishes, pizzas, and more. They’ll provide a fresh, intense flavour you can’t get from store-bought sun-dried tomatoes.

11. Tamarind paste

Tamarind paste

How to substitute: Use one tablespoon of tamarind paste for every 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes

Tamarind paste can be used as a substitute for sun-dried tomatoes because it has a similar sweetness and tanginess. Additionally, it’s often used in Indian cooking as a souring agent, so it can add a nice depth of flavour to your dishes.

Tamarind paste works as a sun-dried tomato alternative in curries, sauces, soups, and stews. Just keep in mind that a little goes a long way, so start with less and add more to taste.


What are sun-dried tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes are a type of tomato that has been dried in the sun or in a dehydrator. They are often found in Mediterranean cuisine, as they pair well with the flavors of that region. You can generally find sun-dried tomatoes canned or jarred with oil and sometimes with herbs.

Sun-dried tomatoes are versatile because they can be used in many different dishes. They can be added to salads, plates of pasta, pizzas, bruschetta, chicken dishes, dips, paninis, and more. Their intense flavour can really add something special to a dish.


What are some popular recipes using sun-dried tomatoes?

What are some popular recipes using sun-dried tomatoes

One of the best things about sun-dried tomatoes is their versatility. They can be used in so many different dishes. Here are a few recipes that are great candidates for using sun-dried tomatoes:

  • Mediterranean Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes: This recipe pairs sun-dried tomatoes with olives, feta cheese, and more. It’s perfect for a summer barbecue or potluck.
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta: This pesto pasta dish is a great way to use up any leftover pasta you might have. The pesto is made with sun-dried tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pizza: This pizza is loaded with flavour. The sauce is made with sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs. The toppings include mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and black olives.

If you’re looking to adapt one of these recipes to include sun-dried tomatoes, all you need to do is add in the desired amount of this ingredient.



FAQs about sun-dried tomatoes and their substitutes

What can I use if I don’t have sun-dried tomatoes?

If you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes, you can use fresh tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tamarind paste, artichoke hearts, or homemade sun-dried tomatoes.

How can I make homemade sun-dried tomatoes?

To make homemade sun-dried tomatoes, you will need to slice some fresh tomatoes thinly and then place them on a rack in a dehydrator. Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and let the tomatoes dry for 12-24 hours. Once they are done, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

What is the difference between sun-dried tomatoes and regular tomatoes?

Sun-dried tomatoes are a type of tomato that has been dried in the sun or in a dehydrator. They are frequently sold dry packed or in a jar with oil.

Regular tomatoes are, well, regular tomatoes. You can find them fresh, canned, or jarred. They are a staple in many cuisines and can be used in a variety of dishes.

How can I make sun-dried tomatoes in an air fryer?

To make sun-dried tomatoes in an air fryer, you’ll need to slice the tomatoes thinly and then place them in the air fryer. Make sure that they are not touching each other. Set the air fryer to a low temperature (around 200 degrees Fahrenheit) and let them cook for about eight hours. Check on them periodically to make sure they’re not burning. When they’re done, they should be dried and slightly shrunken in size. Let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.

How do you store sun-dried tomatoes to keep them fresh?

Sun-dried tomatoes should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They will stay fresh for up to two weeks. If you want to store them for longer than that, you can freeze them. Just place them in a freezer-safe container, and they will stay good for up to six months. The best option to store homemade sun-dried tomatoes for many months is to store them dry in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber.

What are the best tomatoes to grow for sun-dried tomatoes?

The best tomatoes to grow for sun-dried tomatoes are cherry, grape, or plum tomatoes. San Marzano, Russo Sicilian, and Galina Yellow Cherrys are a few options. Almost any cherry tomato will work for making sun-dried tomatoes, however.


Sun-dried tomatoes are supremely tasty little ingredients that can be used in many different dishes. However, if you’re running low on them or simply can’t find them at the market, this list above can provide some substitutes that will work just as well in your recipes.

Pay attention to the recommended ratio of the substitute – most are 1:1, but a couple of them require different measurements. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your cooking and explore different alternatives for sun-dried tomatoes. Have fun in the kitchen and enjoy your delicious food!

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