10 Best Substitutes for Sun Dried Tomatoes

Sun Dried Tomatoes

Tomatoes are ingredients that are very useful in our kitchen and they are usually a staple ingredient in many recipes. They come in all shapes and sizes as well as in all forms. Whether you are looking to use them in liquid form or to add them all dried out, tomatoes will improve your recipe.

Read how you can use these substitutes, in which recipes they will fit. Also, you can find out more about sun-dried tomatoes and the differences between canned oiled and sun-dried tomatoes. Read the article to learn more.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes Substitutes

If you are out of dried tomatoes, you want to use something else or they are too expensive for you to buy, don’t worry our list will help you save your recipe.

I have gathered the perfect alternatives in this list below. Scroll down below to find out which substitutes you can use and get back on track to finish your recipe.

1. Homemade sun-dried tomatoes

sun-dried tomatoes

The best option that is the closest to the sun-dried tomatoes is the option for you to make them at home. Chop off some fresh tomatoes, put them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 135 degrees celsius and get it ready. Slice the tomatoes in half, scoop out the seeds inside and place them on a baking tray.

Cook them until they are dry and leather-like. The cooking process varies depending on the size of the tomatoes, but generally speaking, they should be done in 20 minutes. You have to check them regularly so they don’t overcook.

You can also make them in the microwave. Place them in a large plate and heat on high for 15 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. 10 medium ripe tomatoes can produce one ounce of sun-dried tomatoes.

2. Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are the best option especially if you are making a sauce. These types of tomatoes will provide a very similar flavour but less intensity. They will make your sauce thinner and very similar to adding tomato puree.

You can replace ¼ cup of sundried tomatoes with 4/3 cup canned tomatoes. Make sure to drain them before using them.

3. Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree

Actually, tomato puree has a very similar and intense flavour as the sun-dried tomatoes. This is a very good substitute when it comes to cooking soups or curries. Practically any dish that requires tomato flavour, but without adding the texture that comes by adding whole tomatoes.

You can substitute 1 tablespoon of tomato puree for 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes.

4. Fresh Tomatoes


Fresh is always better, so if you can’t find any dried tomatoes, no need to worry. You can always add freshly picked tomatoes. When you are making a salad it is always better to add a fresh one, because the dried tomatoes simply do not look very appealing and the flavour and texture do not fit very well.

You can always fresh tomatoes in salads which will add additional juiciness. Add a splash of lemon or lime juice to give it additional acidity and you’ll have the perfect salad.

You can substitute 1 tablespoon of tomato paste for 3-5 dried tomatoes.

5. Roasted Bell Peppers

Bell Pepper

These peppers are a good way to substitute sun-dried tomatoes. You can use bell peppers if you are making antipasto or brochettes. This kind of pepper has a lightly sweet, charred flavour. It is very delicious and will add a very nice touch to your food.  A roasted bell pepper drizzled in olive oil will be the perfect ingredient added on top of the crusty bruschetta.

6. Tamarind Paste

Tamarind Paste

A recipe that calls for sun-dried tomatoes especially in Asian cuisine is not that very common. However, this is a very good substitute if one of the recipes calls for dried tomatoes. Tarmin paste has a very sweet and sour taste with a tangy and tart flavour.

If you mix it with sweet ingredients it will take the edge off with its sourness. As a replacement, you can get a very sweet and sour flavour mixed all together.

7. Semi-Dried Tomatoes

Semi-dried tomatoes are a great substitute for sun-dried tomatoes. They are not dried for a long period; therefore, they have a softer texture and are sweeter than sun-dried tomatoes.

Semi-dried tomatoes don’t have an intensive flavor like sun-dried tomatoes, but they are a versatile option that will make your recipes taste better.

You can even make semi-dried tomatoes at home with just a few ingredients: cherry, baby plum, grape tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and herbs like basil and oregano.

Just slice the tomatoes, season, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Put them in the oven and let them cook at low heat for about an hour. Use semi-dried tomatoes as a substitute for sun-dried ones in a 1:1 ratio.

8. Roasted Bell Peppers

Roasted bell peppers are a good substitute for sun-dried tomatoes when you need to top bruschetta or an antipasto platter. Roasted bell peppers have a smoky and sweet taste and can be a pretty good substitute in recipes where sun-dried tomatoes are used as they are.

Bell peppers are rich in vitamins and minerals and have high water content. So you will not get just a great flavor but also some vitamins and minerals to your diet. You can also try other vegetables like cherry tomatoes or zucchini, but olives and mushrooms can also be a good option in certain recipes.

9. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste

Tomato paste can be used instead of sun-dried tomatoes if you want to get a tomato flavor in your recipes. It is made with a reduction of the liquid from the tomato pure and has an intense tomato flavor and thick texture.

Tomato paste has a different texture than sun-dried tomatoes and a similar taste. You can use it in sauces, salad dressings, and other cooked recipes. Because of its thick texture and intense flavor, you can use tomato paste in smaller quantities. Substitute 3-4 sun-dried tomatoes with one tablespoon of tomato paste and add more to taste.

10. Tomato Powder

Tomato powder

Tomato powder is made when dried tomatoes are ground into a powder. Depending on the dish you want to make, you can use tomato powder as it is or rehydrate it with water.

Tomato powder is a versatile product you can use for seasoning, spice, garnish, and base if you want to make tomato sauce and tomato paste.

You can use tomato powder in sauces, stews, soups, fish, chicken, vegetables, spice rubs, and baked goods. To make a tomato paste, you can use two tablespoons of hot water and two tablespoons of tomato powder.

From these amounts, you will get ¼ cup of tomato paste. If you adjust the water and tomato powder quantities, you can make tomato juice, sauce, or soup.

Tomato powder is a good substitute for sun-dried tomatoes with a similar flavor and color. The only bad thing is that tomato powder is difficult to find, so if you can’t find it in your local store, check spice specialist stores or online. Substitute sun-dried tomatoes with tomato powder in all the recipes that call for sun-dried tomatoes.

Related Questions

What are sun-dried tomatoes?

They are a very important ingredient in many cuisines in the world, especially in Italian cuisine. A very common form of tomato among Italians, especially Southern Italians are the dried tomatoes. Actually, Southern Italians are the ones who first created the sun-dried tomatoes or Pomodoro Secchi in Italian.

They are very commonly used with pasta sauces, bruschetta, salads, dips, paninis and many more recipes. They can be very expensive or hard to find in your local markets.  However, what if you don’t have any sun-dried tomatoes, or they are very expensive for you to buy there something that can be used as a substitute for sundried tomatoes?

Actually, the sun-dried tomatoes are made from fresh tomatoes that have been dried in the sun or in a dehydrator. Moreover, they are two forms that can be found. They are sold packed in oil or simply dried packed and can be found in supermarkets. Both packs are equally delicious but require different handling. Both oiled and the dried ones have very good use in the kitchen.

The sun-dried tomatoes have a very tart, concentrated flavour which can be a combination of the sweet and savoury blend. Dried tomatoes have a very chewy texture even when re-hydrated.  You can use dried tomatoes in salads or pasta dishes. Also, you can find out more on the difference between the dried tomatoes vs the oil-packed ones.

Dry vs oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

  • Actually, the main difference between the two is that the oil-packed dried tomatoes are more expensive because the oil adds additional cost
  • The sun-dried tomatoes have a tougher skin and tend to be chewier than the oil-packed ones.
  • The oil pack usually comes with the season and it may need to be taken into consideration most of the time, since it may add additional flavour to your recipe.
  • Dried tomatoes can be turned softer just by adding warm water and a tablespoon of salt. You can put them in the microwave for 2 more minutes to get the perfect softness needed for your recipe.

Do Sun-Dried Tomatoes need to be rehydrated?

Actually, if you buy sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil they can be rehydrated with liquid. The rule of thumb is applied here and you can cover the sun-dried tomatoes with warm water and soak them for additional 2 hours at room temperature.

There is another option, a trick that will add more flavour and that is to add them in wine or broth instead of wine. This will add flavour to your recipe and make it even tastier.

Where can I find sun-dried tomatoes and how many are in a pack?

You can easily find them in supermarkets. They are usually located in the section of canned vegetables in the produce section. Roughly in a pack, there are usually 25-35 sun-dried tomatoes in a cup. The number varies because of the size of the tomatoes.

How do you know if the dried tomatoes have gone bad?

Well, you can check on the package is there an actual expiration date. You can indicate if they have gone bad if there is any indication of mould or contamination. Most dried sun tomatoes packages do not have an expiration date on them, but they usually last for about 2 weeks.

1 comment
  1. Is there any way oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes can be saved long term, like freezing in small batches? I have found a source of large jars (30 or 32 oz) for a reasonable price. I have never used sun-dried tomatoes before but have an Instant Pot recipe that calls for a 8 to 10 oz jar–just too expensive!

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