substitute for sun-dried tomatoes
Ingredient Substitutes

7 Substitutes For Sun-Dried Tomatoes With A Strong Flavor

Sun-dried tomatoes are essentially fresh tomatoes that are dehydrated in the sun, dehydrator, or oven. They have an intense sweet-tart flavor that makes them far more potent than their fresh counterparts. Sun-dried tomatoes are also slightly chewy in texture, which makes them a fine garnish.

Sun-dried tomatoes can be used in a variety of recipes, but you may need to rehydrate them before being added to dishes with no water content, such as salads. If you want to make a dish with a deliciously tart tomato flavor and don’t have this ingredient on hand, use these amazing sun-dried tomato substitutes to add a punch of tomato flavor to your dish!

1. Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The best way to recreate the same flavor profile, aroma, and texture as sun-dried tomatoes is to make them yourself!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out:

• Cut fresh tomatoes into halves and scoop out the seeds.
• Place the tomatoes on a baking tray, then slide them into the oven.
• Bake the tomatoes at 135°C until they’re dry and have a leather-like texture.

The tomatoes will be done in 20 minutes. Keep in mind that the time it takes to dehydrate the tomatoes varies depending on their size and quantity, so check them regularly to avoid overcooking them.

How to substitute:

You can replace store-bought sun-dried tomatoes with your homemade sun-dried tomatoes in a 1:1 ratio.

2. Canned Tomatoes

Canned Tomatoes
Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are tomatoes that have been harvested when they’re ripest and then peeled and processed by heat before being canned. They have a flavor profile that is similar to sun-dried tomatoes, although they are a lot milder. The only downside of using canned tomatoes as a substitute is that you have to use the entire can once it is opened, or it will go bad.

Thanks to their balanced acidity and sweet flavor, canned tomatoes can be used instead of sun-dried tomatoes in a range of recipes, but they shine best in sauces and soups. However, as they retain more moisture than their dried counterparts, they will produce a thinner consistency. You can remedy that by adding a scoop of tomato paste to the mix.

How to substitute:

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes = 3/4 cup canned tomatoes (drained).

3. Tomato Paste

Tomato Paste
Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a super concentrated form of tomato sauce. It’s very potent, may contain a stabilizer such as citric acid, and is often made with additional herbs and spices. However, as it has an intense tomato flavor similar to sun-dried tomatoes, it makes for a suitable replacement for the original ingredient.

Tomato paste works best in dishes that require a strong flavor and dense texture, such as soups and sauces. You can also use it in dishes that benefit from a thicker consistency, such as curries, by doubling the amount required. Keep in mind that tomato paste won’t help you recreate the texture of sun-dried tomatoes, but it will offer a lot of flavors.

How to substitute:

3-5 sun-dried tomatoes = 1 tablespoon tomato paste.

4. Tomato Puree

Tomato Puree
Tomato Puree

Tomato puree is made by blanching, peeling, and crushing fresh tomatoes. It is thicker in consistency than tomato sauce but thinner than tomato paste. The flavor of tomato puree is quite similar to that of sun-dried tomatoes, so you can easily use pre-made tomato puree (or make your own with this recipe) to replace sun-dried tomatoes in soups, curries, and stews.

When using tomato puree as a substitute, keep in mind that the texture will differ significantly. It will produce a slightly runnier outcome in your dish, so don’t use a lot of water or stock because it will dilute the overall flavor of your recipe. If you find your dish too runny, consider adding canned tomatoes to improve the consistency.

How to substitute:

3-4 sun-dried tomatoes = 1 tablespoon of tomato puree. (Add canned tomatoes if needed.)

5. Tomato Powder

Tomato Powder
Tomato Powder

Tomato powder is made by grounding dehydrated tomatoes. This is why it shares a striking resemblance with sun-dried tomatoes in terms of color and taste. It is essentially a powder substitute for the original ingredient, and it’s readily available in spice specialty stores and through online vendors.

Tomato powder is a great way to give your dish that deliciously yummy tomato flavor of sun-dried tomatoes without compromising its texture. Simply sprinkle it on top of soups, sauces, stews, eggs, smoothies, and even baked goods to elevate their appeal.

How to substitute:

Start with a small amount and adjust to taste. You will likely need to use more than a 1:1 substitute to recreate the sun-dried tomato flavor in your dish.

6. Tamarind Paste

Tamarind Paste
Tamarind Paste

Tamarind paste is made by combining the fruit of the tamarind tree with sugar to produce a pleasant sweet-tart flavor. It tends to have a much stronger tang than sun-dried tomatoes, but it can be used as a substitute in a pinch.

Tamarind paste is often used in Asian stir-fries and Thai cuisine and works well in a variety of sweet and savory recipes. Keep in mind that as tamarind paste has an intensely sour flavor, you’ll want to add a sweetener like sugar or honey. It’s best to start with a small amount and taste test as you go to avoid overpowering the dish.

How to substitute:

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes = 1 teaspoon of tamarind paste. (Add more after tasting.)

7. Roasted Bell Peppers

Roasted Bell Peppers
Roasted Bell Peppers

Roasted bell peppers have a somewhat sweet, charred flavor that can add a wonderful finishing touch to your dish. However, roasted bell peppers can only be used to replace sun-dried tomatoes in a handful of recipes.

While bell peppers are significantly milder than sun-dried tomatoes, they’ll go well with antipasto platters, bruschetta, and other similar dishes. Simply drizzle the roasted bell peppers with olive oil and a sprinkle of seasonings before adding it to crusty bruschetta or in salads or a pizza topping.

How to substitute:

Use roasted bell peppers in a 1:1 ratio to replace sun-dried tomatoes.

AboutRibana Hategan

Ribana is a certified pastry chef and passionate home cook who curates and develops recipes that are high on nutrition. She develops and tests cost effective, nutritious meals using quality ingredients to help people better their everyday eating experiences. She loves Mediterranean cuisine and is an advocate of using fresh, hyper local, and seasonal produce. Ribana’s food philosophy is “Eat a little bit of everything.”

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