9 Great Substitutes For Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Substitutes For Sun-Dried Tomatoes

What’s not to like about great sun-dried tomatoes? It is a delicious healthy snack that can be added to recipes or enjoyed on its own. Sun-dried tomatoes are incorporated with umami hence you can pretty much incorporate them into any dish to boost the flavor.

No doubt that sun-dried tomatoes are wonderful ingredients to have and they can last quite a bit. But there are days you would run out of them or want something else and this is why you need to know handy substitutes.

Sun-dried tomatoes are simply gotten by removing water from fresh tomatoes using the oven or sun. The result is a chewy, intensely flavored fruit. Whether it is plain, seasoned, or in olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes are perfect for adding a nice flavor to your dish and it’s also packed with lots of health benefits.

People generally love sun-dried tomatoes; they add them to pasta salads and other meals to get a burst of sweet flavor. The store-bought version of sun-dried tomatoes is considered too expensive hence many people often choose to make it themselves. So, it can be pretty annoying when you run out of it on days they are needed.

Sun-dried tomatoes are easy to make, but what happens when you can’t get your hands on them? Luckily, there are sun-dried tomato substitutes, and most are easy to get your hands on. So, to ensure you still get that excellent sun-dried tomato flavor in your dish, we have compiled a list of the best substitutes.

9 Great Substitutes For Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes let you make a delicious recipe with tomato tart flavor so it works in a variety of dishes. We know that those sun-dried tomatoes last quite a bit but they will come a time when you might find yourself without them and when that happens, it will serve you well to know a substitute that can give you the same flavor. Although substitutes for sun-dried tomatoes often depend on the recipe you are making. However, we have the perfect replacements below.

1. Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes
Image: Karen and Brad Emerson // Wikimedia Commons

If you are looking for an ideal replacement that works for practically any recipe that requires sun-dried tomatoes. Canned tomatoes are tomatoes that have been harvested when they are ripe, peeled, and processed before being canned so they are similar to that of sun-dried tomatoes. Since they are made with tomatoes, they have the same flavor profile and are more effective when used in sauce recipes.

Also, canned tomatoes have balanced acidity and sweet flavor so they work in a wide range of recipes but are more suitable for soups and sauce recipes. Canned tomatoes are less intense in flavor but they do retain moisture more than sun-dried tomatoes.

2. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste
Image: KVDP // Wikimedia Commons

The next recommendation is tomato paste and it is a lot similar to canned tomatoes but thicker and more sour. Tomato paste might not be the same as sun-dried tomatoes but it is also very potent and packed with a strong umami flavor although it won’t add enough texture so it is best used for sauces that do not have enough texture.

Tomato paste works in soups and sauces that require strong flavor but has a dense texture. Tomato paste won’t exactly recreate the texture of sun-dried tomatoes but it is a great substitute for your curries, soups, and sauces although you would have to double the amount required.

3. Tamarind Paste

Tamarind Paste
Image: Netha Hussain // Wikimedia Commons

Tamarind paste is the ideal option when you needed sun-dried tomatoes substitute for Asian recipes. Tamarind paste is made by combining the tamarind fruit with sugar which produces a sweet-tart flavor.

If you have a thing for Asian cuisine, tamarind paste is the perfect substitute for sun-dried tomatoes, it’s a lot more sour but delivers the same flavor. Also, in order not to end up with an overpowering flavor, it is best to start with small amounts then you can taste test as you go.

4. Roasted Bell Pepper

Image: LulE79 // Wikimedia Commons

Roasted bell pepper does not have any overpowering flavor like tamarind paste or sun-dried tomatoes. Roasted bell pepper has a so whether sweet charred flavor that can add a wonderful finish to a handful of recipes that require sun-dried tomatoes. Roasted bell pepper is milder than sun-dried tomatoes so they are amazing for antipasto, bruschetta, and other similar dishes.

5. Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh Tomatoes
Image: THOR // Wikimedia Commons

Need a basic substitute for sun-dried tomatoes? Fresh tomatoes will provide an unmistakable delicious flavor that won’t be overpowering either and also, fresh tomatoes are the best substitute for sun-dried tomatoes in many recipes. You can substitute with a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes and you can use this in sauce or tomato salad.

6. Quick Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Do you have to refrigerate sun-dried tomatoes?
Source: Little Vienna

This is also regarded as homemade sun-dried tomatoes. Quick oven-roasted tomatoes are another perfect substitute as they would still give you sun-dried tomatoes but not dried for too long and it has a softer texture too. This has also been declared to be sweeter than regular sun-dried tomatoes, it has a less intense flavor and it works in many recipes.

To make sun-dried tomatoes at home in the oven, cut the tomatoes in half and place the tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes. Bake the tomatoes at 135⁰C until they are dry. This is an excellent replacement to try.

7. Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree
Image: Bill Ebbesen // Wikimedia Commons

Need a substitute that has a similar flavor? Tomato puree is made by blanching, peeling, crushing, cooking, and straining tomatoes. Tomato puree is thicker in consistency compared to tomato sauce but still thinner than tomato paste and it will add lots of liquid to your sauce. The texture will differ significantly when replacing sun-dried tomatoes with tomato puree so it’s best to keep that in mind.

8. Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce
Image: Dennis Klein klein2 // Wikimedia Commons

While tomato puree works as a great substitute for sun-dried tomatoes, tomato sauce is also excellent. But tomato sauce is not so concentrated like tomato paste and it is often made with additional herbs and spices. Tomato sauce is available in most supermarkets and it can be found in the pasta aisle close to the canned tomatoes.

9. Tomato Powder

Tomato powder
Image: Homestead and Chili

Tomato powder is an easy recipe to get your hands on and it’s the best option for its various benefits. Tomato powder is gotten from grounding dehydrated tomatoes which is why it is very similar to sun-dried tomatoes in taste and color. You can easily get this substitute in spice specialty vendors and online stores but it’s not common in supermarkets. This does not need water or more texture.

Tomato powder comes in handy when you want to elevate your dish with the sun-dried tomato yummy flavor and do not want to compromise on the taste and texture.

Wrapping Up

Sun-dried tomatoes are not always going to be lying around which is why it would serve you well to be able to think of a substitute that can give you similar results fast. The best substitutes for sun-dried tomatoes in any recipe are options such as canned tomatoes, tomato paste, or tomato powder. But if you are looking for non-tomato options, go for roasted red peppers or red peppers.

Not having sun-dried tomatoes sometimes is a good thing as it lets you experiment with other flavors. Sun-dried tomatoes are loved for their intense and unique flavor, no doubt but if you want a huge flavor punch and texture, you might prefer the canned tomatoes.

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