What Can I Use in Place of Sun-Dried Tomatoes? (8 Great Substitutes)

what can i use in place of sun-dried tomatoes

You might run out of sun-dried tomatoes at some point. If it happens, you’ll need to think quickly.

After all, any seasoned home chef will tell you that sometimes you just have to make do with what you have on hand.

What can you use in place of sun-dried tomatoes? You can use tomato paste, tin tomato, and semi-dried tomato instead of sun-dried tomato.

Tomatoes are a versatile component that may be used in various dishes. They come in many shapes, sizes, and forms.

Tomatoes will enhance your recipe whether you use them in liquid or dried form. Read this article to find the solution to “what I can use in place of sun-dried tomatoes.”

So, first and foremost, we must examine sun-dried tomatoes. But, to be more specific, we must first define sun-dried tomatoes.

After all, we need to know exactly what they add to the dish before answering the question, “what can I use in place of sun-dried tomatoes.”

Related: How Good Is Pasta Sauce After Opening

History of Sun-Dried Tomatoes 

Sun-dried tomatoes have a fascinating backstory. First, they were a result of need, not want.

Farmers were looking for new ways to extend the life of their crops, which were their principal source of income. To do so, they began drying tomatoes on their roofs.

What they didn’t expect was the impact on tomato flavor. Sun-dried tomatoes are known for their intensely acidic and concentrated taste, aided by the dehydration process.

They also have a distinct sweetness, chewy texture, and flavor. Of course, since tomatoes have initially been dried out in the sun, there has been substantial progress.

Most manufacturers nowadays use a dehydrator to perform the job, although some purists still employ the old way of drying them in the sun.

Why Use Sun-Dried Tomatoes Instead of Fresh Tomatoes?

Now that we know what sun-dried tomatoes are and what they add to a recipe, the next logical question is why to replace them.

Some of the most common reasons for substituting this component by home cooks are listed below.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes Have a Strong Flavor Character

This can occasionally dominate other ingredients in a meal, as stated in the previous section.

However, some people may find this a little too powerful, and they will prefer something more mild and edible.


Using alternatives for specific items is often necessary due to time constraints. After all, we tend to lose track of our possessions.

The decision to utilize alternatives for particular products is sometimes motivated by pure convenience. After all, we frequently lose track of what’s in our refrigerator.

As a result, a home chef must be able to improvise and think on their feet. Knowing which products you already have on hand can substitute sun-dried tomatoes in various recipes gives you a significant advantage.

Improper Storage

We sometimes buy sun-dried tomatoes to only use them once and then store them in the wrong place for too long.

They’re forgotten until we stumble across a tasty-sounding recipe and recall having some on hand.

So we skip it on our shopping excursion, only to discover that they’ve gone bad since we didn’t keep them in the refrigerator.

Before we get started, it’s crucial to realize that sourcing sun-dried tomato replacements is more complex than it appears.

Characteristics of Sun-Dried Tomatoes


There is just one way to describe sun-dried tomatoes’ robust, sweet, and tangy flavor. This flavor is very distinct and one-of-a-kind. Sun-dried tomatoes have a more robust flavor than fresh tomatoes.

Sun-Dried Tomatoes Have a Chewy Texture When It Comes to Texture

This is a product of the dehydration process, and it is one of the characteristics that distinguish this tomato from others.

It also explains why most salad recipes that call for tomatoes need to be hydrated first, as eating them raw may be uncomfortable for some.

Read: How to Thicken Mashed Cauliflower

What Can I Use in Place of Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Here is the list of alternatives for sun-dried tomatoes

Semi-dried Tomatoes

Semi-dried tomatoes are a great alternative to sun-dried tomatoes. They’re sweeter and have a softer texture because they’ve not been dried as long.

However, they’re very similar, and some individuals may prefer the milder flavor to the original.

Semi-dried tomatoes are the most significant substitute you’ll find until you make your sun-dried tomatoes.

Then, recipes can be made using similar amounts. Semi-dried tomatoes are great solutions to the problem of “what can I use in place of sun-dried tomatoes.

Canned Tomatoes

Sauces can be made with canned peeled tomatoes as a fallback. They’ll have a similar flavor profile but not quite as strong.

They also make a thinner sauce, which may be thickened easily with a scoop of tomato paste.

Tomatoes Paste

The flavor of tomato paste is comparable to that of sundried tomatoes. It goes well in curries, soups, and any other recipe for tomato taste.

While the paste is suitable for thickening dishes, it lacks the texture that whole tomatoes provide.

Pureed Tomato

A puree can be utilized if your recipe calls for a thick tomato-based liquid. It contains strained cooked tomatoes.

A purée won’t have the same depth of flavor as sun-dried tomato, and you’ll need to add more liquid to the meal. If the recipe calls for water or stock, make adjustments for this.

Fresh Tomatoes 

Not everyone will enjoy a salad with sundried tomatoes. If that’s the case, a fresh tomato will suffice.

You get a milder flavor with the added benefit of freshness.

Increase the acidity of your salad by squeezing in a squeeze of lemon or lime. Salads can be made with half a pound of plum or cherry tomatoes.

Tamarind Paste

In Asian cooking, sundried tomatoes are rarely used. However, tamarind paste will suffice if you’re making a stir-fry that asks for them.

The sweet and sour flavors are comparable, while tamarind paste has a more substantial sour explosion.

Tomato Powder 

Tomato powder is an excellent way to enhance tomato taste without adding liquid or texture. Soups, sauces, stews, and baked items all benefit from it.

If you can’t find tomato powder in your local grocery, consider spice specialty stores or online sellers.

Bell Peppers

Sun-dried tomatoes can easily be replaced with these peppers. When cooking antipasto or brochettes, bell peppers are a good option. This pepper has a faint, roasted sweetness to it.

It’s pretty tasty and will complement your food nicely. On top of the crusty bruschetta, roasted bell pepper drizzled in olive oil will be the ideal topping.

Read: How Long Does Lasagna Last in the Fridge


Sun-dried Tomatoes are versatile. However, you might not have sun-dried tomatoes handy, so your following action would be to look for an alternative.

Tomatoes paste, bell peppers, and puréed tomatoes are such options. Do you know any more answers to “what can I use in place of sun-dried tomatoes” of sun-dried tomatoes? I will like to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

This piece was written with the intent to not only answer the question of what can I use in place of sun-dried tomatoes but also give you in-depth knowledge on the subject matter.

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