13 Best Sun Dried Tomatoes Substitute You Never Know Existed

Aside from their distinct flavor, sun-dried tomatoes offer a lot of nutrition and health benefits. They are commonly used in many dishes such as salads, stir-fries, pasta portions, and stews that require the distinct flavor of tomatoes.

But, what will you do when youre in the middle of preparing your favorite dish, and you suddenly find out you are out of sun-dried tomatoes? Will you leave your unfinished dish and just move on to prepare something else?

The following are some of the finest substitutes for sun-dried tomatoes:

  1. Canned Tomatoes
  2. Semi-Dried Tomatoes
  3. Tomato Paste
  4. Tomato Sauce
  5. Tomato Powder
  6. Diced Fire-Roasted Tomatoes
  7. Tomato Puree
  8. Fresh Tomatoes
  9. Tomato Flakes

Well, theres no need to panic if you still cannot find any alternatives from the list above because there are myriads of sun-dried tomato alternatives that you can use. Some are tomato-based, while others are not.

The good thing is, whichever alternative you prefer, or whichever is available, you can finish your recipe and come up with a satisfactory dish even if there are no sun-dried tomatoes in it.

13 Best Substitute For Sun Dried Tomatoes 

Sun-dried tomato is a regular ripe tomato that has lost a significant portion of its water content because of exposure to the sun for an extended period of time.

The process results in an ingredient that brings an intense sweet-tart flavor burst and a pleasantly surprising chewy texture.

Lets talk about each sun dried tomato substitute in more detail to help you decide which one will work best for you.

Canned Tomatoes


Fresh tomatoes are first heated before they are canned. Canned tomatoes offer a decent alternative to sun-dried tomatoes when used in sauces. The flavor profile would be comparative to sun-dried tomatoes, albeit with lesser intensity.

When using canned tomatoes, you can make the sauce slightly thicker by putting 1 scoop of tomato paste. To substitute for sun-dried tomatoes, use the : substitution ratio.

This means for every cup sun-dried tomatoes required in the recipe, you should use cup canned tomatoes.

However, theres one thing you must keep in mind when using this alternative. Once you have opened a can of tomatoes, you must use everything. Otherwise, it will quickly deteriorate.

Semi-Dried Tomatoes

Semi-dried tomatoes have undergone the same drying process that sun-dried tomatoes went through but only halfway. Thus, you may consider semi-dried tomatoes as one of the best substitutes for sun-dried tomatoes.

Because they are only semi-dried, the tomatoes havent completely dried up. As such, they will tend to spoil faster than completely dried tomatoes. This is because they have retained a certain amount of their liquids.

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When semi-dried, tomatoes are generally sweeter and have a gentler surface because they were not exposed to the drying process as long as the sun-dried variety. Likewise, there is still some liquid left in them.

Semi-dried tomatoes make ideal toppings in pasta, greens, and pizza. Because they do not need much boiling time, they are left with a nice texture.

Tomato Paste


To produce a thick paste, tomatoes are cooked for several hours by steaming or boiling. This process reduces the fruits moisture content. The cooking process is stopped temporarily to remove the tomato skins and seeds. The process is then continued until a thicker paste is achieved.

This method of producing a thick tomato paste is often used in preparing Italian dishes. The paste comes with an amazing flavor, and is best used in curries, soups and various other dishes that need tomato flavor.

Tomato paste is a great alternative to sun-dried tomatoes in dishes that need some thickening. You will not, however, receive the same texture that tomatoes can give. If this is not a problem for you, then this is your ideal substitute.

Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce is another great tomato-based substitute for sun-dried tomatoes. It adds a strong taste to your foods.

However, the sauce comes with artificial flavoring and seasonings. Avoid the substitute if you only prefer natural ingredients.

Tomato sauce is excellent for preparing sauces and salads. Replace sun-dried tomatoes with tomato sauce if you want to add a uniquely sweet flavor to your dish.

Tomato Powder


Like sun-dried tomatoes, tomato powder has gone through exposure to the sun, after which it is ground to produce a fine powder.

Thus, it can also be considered as one the best alternatives to sun-dried tomatoes in dishes that need tomatoes in powdered form or sauce.

To achieve the same flavor and taste of sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkle a little more of the powder than the amount of sun-dried tomatoes called for in the recipe. Tomato powder is best used in smoothies, sauces, and soups. It’s also delicious with eggs.

Diced Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Sprinkle a bit more powder than the quantity of sun-dried tomatoes asked for in the recipe to attain the same flavor and taste. Tomato powder is most often seen in smoothies, sauces, and soups. It’s also delicious with eggs.

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The process of roasting brings out the tomatoes sweetness, and gives the distinct smoky flavor. The smokiness is what makes fire-roasted tomatoes a great substitute to sun-dried tomatoes.

When used as a substitute, use an amount equal to the amount of sun-dried tomatoes required in the recipe. Adjust the amount of fire-roasted tomatoes depending on the taste you want to achieve.

Tomato Puree


Another tomato-based alternative, tomato puree is a good alternative to sun-dried tomatoes in various dishes. Tomato puree is the thick fluid that results from cooking and straining tomatoes, a process that is similar to making tomato paste.

If the recipe youre preparing needs a viscous, tomatoey liquid, then you can use tomato puree. It is often used in tomato soups and pasta sauces.

Even if tomato puree does not provide the same amount of flavor that sun-dried tomatoes offer in dishes, it can bring lots of additional fluid that your dish may need. For best results, use tomato puree in dishes that need tomato flavor, but not necessarily the texture of whole tomatoes.

Fresh Tomatoes

To most people, adding sun-dried tomatoes to a fresh mix of greens may not be an appealing and appetizing idea. As a result, fresh tomatoes should be used instead of sun-dried tomatoes.

Using fresh tomatoes as a substitute would bring a more subtle flavor, as well as a fresh succulent feel. If you want your salad to be a bit more acidic, you can sprinkle some lime or lemon to get the acidity level you want.

One not so good thing about using fresh tomatoes as a substitute for sun-dried tomatoes is when you intend to use it as a pizza topping. For one, its damp nature may ruin your pizza; you are better off using a dry alternative instead.

Tomato Flakes


Even if youre not an experienced cook, you can easily incorporate tomato flakes in your dishes to add color and flavor. You can use tomato flakes to replace sun-dried tomatoes, and lend a sweet taste to your salads and omelettes.

Tomato flakes are also widely available. They are widely available in most grocery stores.

Tamarind Paste

The first of the non-tomato-based substitutes on this list is tamarind paste. To produce the ingredient, you need to use the dull, tacky and sharp fruit of the tamarind tree.

While it is widely-used and very common in Thai cuisine, only a few western recipes use tamarind paste. Nevertheless, you can use tamarind paste as an able substitute for sun-dried tomatoes in some dishes such as Asian pan-fried recipes.

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Tamarind paste will bring a sharper and more severe burst of flavor to your dishes. If you have tried Thai dishes before, you will find the flavor profile familiar.

Artichoke Hearts


You may find this a bit surprising, but artichoke hearts can likewise be a good non-tomato-based substitute for sun-dried tomatoes. The substitution will work well in some recipes like salads. The ingredient is also ideal for use in pizza toppings.

You can get artichoke hearts either fresh or canned. But as a substitute for sun-dried tomatoes, it is recommended that you use canned artichoke hearts instead of the fresh variety.

When using artichoke hearts as a sun-dried tomato substitute in recipes, you can use the 1:1 substitution ratio. Make small adjustments to achieve the flavor you prefer.

Roasted Bell Pepper

Known as a vegetable that provides a burst of spicy flavors in food, bell pepper is less impactful compared to other types of pepper. This is the reason the veggie is used more often as a side dish.

When roasted, bell pepper brings a delightful, smoky flavor. It will elevate the flavor of any dish you add it to.

To substitute for sun-dried tomatoes, sprinkle roasted bell peppers with olive oil. This will be the ideal fixing to add on top of dried bruschetta. While it will bring the same flavor profile of sun-dried tomatoes, it would be a little milder.

DIY or Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes


When looking for sun-dried tomato alternatives to use in your recipes, DIY or homemade sun-dried tomatoes would obviously be your last recourse. Why? This is because drying tomatoes under the sun will take a lot of time.

If you are in immediate need of a substitute for sun-dried tomatoes, there are effective ways to fast-track the process. For one, you can use an oven or a toaster to dry tomatoes on your own.

  1. First, preheat your toaster or oven to around 275 F.
  2. After that, cut fresh tomatoes in half. Get rid of the seeds, and dispose of the flesh.
  3. The next step is to lay down the tomatoes on an iron tray or a lined baking sheet, face down.
  4. Turn the heat on, until the tomatoes achieve a leather-like texture.

The cooking time will be determined by the size of the tomatoes. On average, the cooking time for your homemade sun-dried tomatoes should be around 20 to 25 minutes, at the most. Just make sure to check the progress of the tomatoes from time to time to avoid overcooking.


What is the best substitute for sun-dried tomatoes?

Top Substitutes for Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Quick Oven Roasted Tomatoes.
Pureed tomatoes.
Tomatoes, fresh.
Tamarind Paste.
Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes.
Bell peppers roasted.
Canned Tomatoes.

Can you substitute real tomatoes for sun-dried tomatoes?

Yes, you can use regular tomatoes instead of sun-dried in specific recipes like salads. You will not find a tangy taste like what the sun-dried version offers. But the taste of tomatoes is present in fresh tomatoes, too. This makes them a good substitute for sun-dried tomatoes.

Are store bought sun-dried tomatoes actually sun-dried?

Sun-dried tomatoes are ripe tomatoes that lose most of their water content after spending a majority of their drying time in the sun. These tomatoes are usually pre-treated with sulfur dioxide or salt before being placed in the sun in order to improve colour and appearance.

Are there different types of sun-dried tomatoes?

Traditionally, sun-dried tomatoes were made with red-ripe plum tomatoes, but they can be found in varieties ranging from red to yellow.

What is special about sun-dried tomatoes?

They’re a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, lycopene, niacin, fiber, riboflavin, and antioxidants. Like fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes are used in so many recipes, adding a gluten-free additive to give a meal taste and texture.

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

Sun-dried tomatoes are a type of dehydrated tomato that has been dried by slicing it in half and leaving it to dehydrate in the open. Specific varieties are used for this. Dehydrated tomatoes will have been dried in a factory, with hot air blown over them, or in a low temperature oven.

Why are sun-dried tomatoes so expensive?

Because of the labor required to prepare them and the cost of the oil they are packed in, sun-dried tomatoes are expensive, especially if packed in extra virgin olive oil or in fancy jars. They cost about $13 a pound in bulk and $10 for a 7-ounce jar. Wash the tomatoes.

Can you use cherry tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes?

Our easy recipe will yield flavorful tomatoes that you can use in your pizzas, pastas, sauces, salads, or anywhere else you’d use sun-dried tomatoes. These cherry tomato halves shrink to about three-fourths their original size, become a deep red in color, and have an intense real-tomato taste.

Can you use roasted red peppers instead of sun-dried tomatoes?

roasted red peppers can bring a similar vibe to dishes and they are easy to find. They won’t have quite the same chewy texture that sun-dried tomatoes do, but can add a similar hearty texture and flavor to dishes.Roasted bell peppers

Don’t like tomatoes but want something similar? Roasted bell peppers

Should sun-dried tomatoes be refrigerated?

Unopened packages of commercially dried tomatoes will be fine without refrigeration for six to nine months, but you should refrigerate or freeze them after opening. Once they’ve been opened, try to use them within a couple of weeks.

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