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What Can You Substitute for Sun-Dried Tomatoes in a Recipe?

Sun-dried tomatoes are one of the most popular ingredients in Italian cooking. These tomatoes are typically found in dishes like pasta, pizza, and salad dressing. You can even find sun-dried tomato pesto!

However, what can you do if they’re not in season?

Don’t worry, there are many substitutes for sun-fried tomatoes that will work just as well.

What to Substitute for Sun-dried Tomatoes

1. Canned Tomatoes

canned tomatoes

If you do not have sun-dried tomatoes on hand, but enjoy the taste of tomatoes, then any canned tomatoes are the best replacement option.

Especially when making a tomato-based sauce, using a canned tomato will offer the same essence of tomato but with less flavor intensity as a sun-dried tomato.

Usually, home cooks keep canned tomatoes on hand, while sun-dried tomatoes are considered a specialty item, so using the canned option in a pinch is perfectly fine.

For ¼ cup of sun-dried tomatoes, use 1⅓ cups of drained canned tomatoes. It is an excellent substitute for sun-dried tomatoes.

2. Roasted Red Peppers

roasted red peppers

Roasted red peppers are an excellent ingredient to interchange with sun-dried tomatoes. It can be purchased on the international aisle of your grocery store, usually in a glass container by the sun-dried tomatoes.

For antipasto or bruschetta, red peppers will add their creative flavor and have a similar consistency to sun-dried tomatoes.

The two ingredients also look identical to one another for aesthetic purposes. A roasted red pepper is slightly sweet and has a charred flavor, giving the ingredient a similar depth to sun-dried tomatoes.

At a one-to-one ratio exchange rate, this option is one of the best sun-dried tomatoes replacements.

3. Tamarind Paste

tamarind paste

Tamarind paste is made from a fruit that grows in a pod on a tamarind tree and is usually used in traditional Thai dishes.

It has a sweet and tart taste, a similar flavor profile to sun-dried tomatoes. Using this ingredient as a replacement for sun-dried tomatoes will not impact your recipe.

Notably, tamarind paste is gluten-free, so it is safe for those with celiacs.

Measure cautiously; add a small amount of paste to your recipe, then add more as needed. It is a delicious but sometimes overpowering ingredient.

Except for sun-dried potatoes, tamarind paste can also be a substitute for fire-roasted tomatoes.

4. Fresh Tomatoes

fresh tomatoes

Can you substitute fresh tomatoes for sun dried?

Yes you can! Sun-dried tomatoes have an extra concentrated flavor than fresh tomatoes, but if you have fresh tomatoes on hand, then using them as an alternative to sun-dried tomatoes is a good option.

But be cautious because fresh tomatoes have more water than sun-dried tomatoes do, which could impact your recipe.

Furthermore, the intensity of tomato flavor will be less if you use fresh tomatoes versus sun-dried.

For about one ounce of sun-dried tomatoes, home cooks will need to use about ten ripe plum tomatoes. If you have beefsteak tomatoes, then fewer are required for the conversion rate.

5. Pecans

pecan

While a seemingly untraditional exchange, using pecans instead of sun-dried tomatoes as a topping or unaltered ingredient is a solid option.

Notably, if a recipe calls for one cup of diced sun-dried tomatoes, simply chop pecans and add the nuts in place of the tomatoes.

To further enhance flavors and build a smokier taste, toast the pecans for a few minutes in the oven before adding them to your dish. Pecans and other nuts are often used in vegan cooking recipes and are growing in popularity, particularly as additions to sauces like pesto.

6. Pickled Carrots

pickled carrots

Pickled carrots are a creative and delicious substitute for sun-dried tomatoes. It is a carrot that has been stored in a brine usually made with vinegar.

Pickled vegetables are typically found in the grocery store near the pickles or on the international aisle.

If you search on the international aisle, you can find Italian-style pickled vegetables from brands like Mezzetta or Delallo, making the one-for-one switch between pickled carrots with sun-dried tomatoes even easier.

Using a pickled carrot in sauces or stews instead of sun-dried tomatoes adds a similar tart taste and texture.

7. Mild Sweet Cherry Peppers

mild sweet cherry peppers

Also found on the international aisle of your grocery store by the jarred sun-dried tomatoes.

While this option will not have precisely the same bitter flavor that is a key addition brought by sun-dried tomatoes, the cherry pepper will highlight the sweetness.

Traditionally, the sweet cherry peppers are great for stuffing with goat cheese or provolone, but the peppers can be cooked, diced, or blended in the same way sun-dried tomatoes can be used.

For recipes that call for sun-dried tomatoes, home chefs can use an equal amount of mild sweet cherry peppers.

8. Roasted Purple Beets

roasted purple beets

More and more diets are incorporating “nomato” sauce recipes, and the most popular ingredient to use instead of tomatoes in these recipes is roasted purple beets.

Before using a one-to-one ratio of beets to sun-dried tomatoes, the beets need to be roasted.

Buy purple beets and slice them into one-fourth inch sections; line them on a baking tray and cover with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Once roasted, the beets will become caramelized and take on a more intense flavor that will offer a smoky depth to your recipes originally calling for a sun-dried tomato.

9. Dried Mango

dried mango

As you probably know, tomatoes are fruit! So using dried mango in lieu of sun-dried tomatoes offers a similar texture and will enhance the flavor of your recipe.

Mangoes have a sweet and creamy taste that replaces the natural sweetness of tomatoes.

While dried mangoes do not have the same level of acidity as sun-dried tomato, the drying process will concentrate the mango’s flavors which offer similar qualities in recipes for soups or sauces.

When using this alternative, use fewer than the outlined measurement for sun-dried tomatoes to reduce the amount of natural sugars in your dish, which could otherwise impact the taste.

10. Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes

If you seek an alternative to sun-dried tomatoes because you cannot find them in your local store, you can easily make them from fresh tomatoes at home.

Homemade sun-dried tomatoes are the perfect answer if you simply cannot find prepared options locally.

sun dried tomatoes

How to Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Oven

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Make your own sun-dried tomatoes at home!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Campari tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil

Instructions

    1. Slice fresh tomatoes in half and line them on a baking sheet, cut side up.

    2. Heat your oven to 275 degrees and cook the tomatoes for twenty to thirty minutes until they appear drier.

    3. Let your homemade product cool, then use your sun-dried tomatoes in any pasta, sauce, or appetizer recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 34Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

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FAQs About Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomato paste vs tomato paste, what’s the difference?

Sun-dried tomatoes are made from fresh, ripe tomatoes that have been peeled and halved. They’re usually not cooked in any way before they’re dried out in the sun or by a machine.

Tomato paste is made from ground-up tomato chunks that have been cooked down with herbs and spices to make a thick sauce.

You can use 1 tablespoon tomato paste to substitute for 4 sun-dried tomatoes.

Are sun-dried tomatoes healthy?

Are sun-dried tomatoes good for you?

Sun-dried tomatoes are a great food to add to your diet and they’re healthy for you too.

They contain antioxidants and lycopene which is beneficial in reducing the risk of cancer development. The flavor also has been shown to help improve moods! Consider incorporating sun-dried tomatoes into your everyday routine!

What are sun-dried tomatoes used for?

Sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious and healthy addition to any dish. They can be used in sauces, salads, soups, pizzas or even on their own as an appetizer.

What is a good substitute for sun-dried tomatoes in pasta?

While sun-dried tomatoes may be a great addition to pasta, they are not the only option. A variety of substitutes can be used in place of those dried ones for an equally tasty meal:

  • Canned Tomatoes (1 cup of sun dried tomatoes = 3 cup of drained canned tomatoes)
  • Tomato Puree (4 cup of sun dried tomatoes = 1 tablespoon tomato paste)
  • Fresh Tomatoes (1 ounce of sun-dried tomatoes = 10 ripe plum tomatoes)

What is a good substitute for sun-dried tomatoes in salads?

You can also use fresh tomatoes or cherry tomatoes to replace sun-dried tomatoes in salads.

When making salads, using a 1:1 ratio.

What can I substitute for sun-dried tomatoes in oil?

Homemade sun-dried tomatoes will be your best sun-dried substitute in oil. A 1:1 ratio is enough.

Recipes That Call for Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried Tomatoes Rice


Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken


Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

Final Words

Sun-dried tomatoes are a delicious, healthy snack that is great with pasta or on top of your favorite sandwich.

However, some people find them too expensive to buy and others don’t have access to them at all.

Fortunately, there are many substitutes you can use in their place! If you happen to love the taste of sun-dried tomatoes but not so much the price tag or availability issue, try to use one of the above sun-dried tomatoes substitutes. Each of them will bring you an amazing experience!

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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