Sun-dried tomatoes have an intense, sweet and tangy flavor with a soft texture. They are perfect for adding to dishes such as pasta, stir-fries, stews and salads.

If you need a substitute for sun-dried tomatoes, check out our nine alternatives that will allow you to make any recipe without sun-dried tomatoes. We’ve summarized it all in a clear infographic further down the page, in case you don’t have time to read the whole guide.

What can I use to replace sun-dried tomatoes?

The best substitute for sun-dried tomatoes in this recipe are semi-dried tomatoes, which are similar but have a milder flavor and softer texture. Canned tomatoes or tomato paste can also be used in sauces and stews. For antipasti or bruschetta, roasted peppers are a good option.

We tested each substitute to decide which was the best.

1. Semi-dried tomatoes

A universal option, suitable for all recipes.

Semi-dried tomatoes are a good substitute for dried produce. They have not been dried as long, so they are sweeter and have a softer texture. But they come pretty close, and some people will appreciate their less intense flavor more than the original.

Other than making your own sun-dried tomatoes, semi-dried tomatoes are the best substitute you can find. You can use similar amounts in the recipes.

2. Canned tomatoes

Less intense flavor, but excellent for sauces.

Canned peeled tomatoes are a good option for sauces. They have a similar but less intense flavor profile. You will also find that they make a thinner sauce that can easily be thickened by adding a handful of tomato paste.

Replace ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes with ¾ cup drained canned tomatoes.

Quick tip: Have you ever thought about making your own tomato sauce? A tomato press will make your life so much easier. Read our article on the best tomato presses currently on the market.

3. Tomato paste

Intense flavour, ideal for curries, soups and sauces.

Tomato puree has a rich flavor, similar to that of dried tomatoes. It’s a great choice for curries, soups, or any other dish that requires tomato flavor.  While pasta is great for thickening dishes, it doesn’t give them the texture you’d get if you used whole tomatoes.

The 3 best options if you don’t have time to make them yourself.

4. Tomato paste

A less intense and continuous option than tomato paste.

If your recipe uses a dense tomato-based liquid, you can use puree. It is made from cooked tomatoes that have been strained.

The puree doesn’t have the same intensity of flavor as a sun-dried tomato, and you’re adding a lot of extra liquid to the dish. Keep this in mind if the recipe calls for water or supplies.

Use the puree in any dish that requires tomato flavor without the texture of whole tomatoes.

5. Fresh tomatoes

A delicious and fresh alternative for salads and sandwiches.

Sun dried tomato salad is not for everyone. If this is the case for you, use a fresh tomato as a substitute ingredient.

  • You get a more subtle flavor with the added bonus of juicy freshness.
  • Adding a squeeze of lemon or lime juice will increase the acidity of your salad.
  • Half a pound of plum or cherry tomatoes is a good choice for salads.

6. Tamarind paste

Ideal for Asian stir-fry dishes in which sun-dried tomatoes are used.

Recipes with sun-dried tomatoes in Asian cuisine are not that common. But if you are cooking fries that cause this, use tamarind paste. You get a similar sweet and sour taste, although the tamarind paste has a more intense sour taste.

We recommend using a small spoonful and testing the taste before adding more.

7. Roasted peppers

Good broth for antipasto and bruschetta.

Are you having guests over and are you looking for side dishes for antipasto? Maybe you need another ingredient to complement the crispy bruschetta? Roasted peppers (Capsicum) marinated in olive oil are an excellent addition to the plate. This option is much gentler than using sun-dried tomatoes.

Pepper or paprika is ideal for bruschetta and antipasti.

8. Do it yourself

The best option if you love sun-dried tomatoes but can’t get them.

Drying tomatoes in the sun can take too long. Therefore, we recommend using an oven to speed up the process. Follow the simple steps below.

  1. Preheat toaster oven or conventional oven to 135°C.
  2. Start by choosing a mild variety of fresh tomatoes, such as. B. Grape tomatoes. Roma tomatoes are also a good choice because they have a lower water content than most other common varieties.
  3. Cut each tomato in half, remove the seeds and soft flesh, and place cut side down on the baking sheet. Cook until dry and tough.Dehydrating tomatoes on a tray takes less than 30 minutes.

The cooking time depends on the size of the tomatoes, but as a rule of thumb, it should take 20 minutes. Check them regularly to make sure the fruit is not overcooked.

9. Tomato powder

A quick and easy option if you can find them in the store.

Tomato powder is a great ingredient to add a strong tomato flavor without the moisture and texture. Sprinkle into soups, sauces, stews and baked dishes.

Tomato powder can be hard to find. If it’s not available at your local supermarket, try spice shops or online sellers.

Related reading:
How many tomatoes are in a pound? We removed the scale so you wouldn’t have to.

Infographic overview

Here are the nine backup options in one handy image.


In which aisle of the grocery store can you find sun-dried tomatoes?

Sunday tomatoes can usually be found in the canned vegetable section and, in some stores, in the vegetable section.

Why are sun-dried tomatoes so expensive?

Sunday tomatoes are relatively expensive compared to fresh tomatoes. This is due to the combination of labour, packaging and, in some cases, the use of extra virgin olive oil.

How many sun-dried tomatoes are in a cup?

There are about 25-35 sun-dried tomatoes in a cup; it’s hard to give an exact number because tomatoes vary in size.

Dried tomatoes vs sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

Tomatoes packed in oil are more expensive than the dry variety because of the extra cost of the oil. A dried and packaged tomato has a harder skin and is more viscous.

Butter packs often come with extra spices, which you should consider when using them in a recipe. Dried tomatoes can be softened by soaking them in a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of salt, then heating them in the microwave for 2 minutes.

In brief

  • Southern Italians were the first to make dried tomatoes, known as pomodori secchi. They wanted to extend the life of their crop by drying the tomatoes on the roof. What they didn’t expect was the increased sweetness and flavor of the sun’s rays.
  • Sunday tomatoes are a popular appetizer, as well as a healthy ingredient in pasta sauce, bruschetta, frittata, paninis, salads and sauces.
  • If you often cut tomatoes, you should buy a tomato knife.
  • You can cook sun-dried tomatoes in the microwave. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them cut side down on a large plate. Low temperature for about 15 minutes. Make sure they don’t catch fire while cooking.
  • 10 medium ripe tomatoes yield one gram of sun-dried tomatoes.

Interesting reading: How do peperoncini taste?


If you need to substitute dried tomatoes, it’s best to use semi-dried tomatoes, canned whole tomatoes, or tomato paste. All alternatives will have a different texture and the intensity of flavor will differ. For those who don’t like sun-dried tomatoes, this may be a good thing. Your soups and sauces will taste sweeter.

frequently asked questions

Can I replace roasted red peppers with sun-dried tomatoes?

Roasted Peppers These peppers are a great substitute for sun-dried tomatoes.

Can I use tomato puree instead of dried tomato puree?

Can you replace one with the other? Non-modified products cannot be used interchangeably. You can dilute tomato paste with water or tomato juice to make a DIY tomato paste, but you can never make tomato paste from tomato paste.

How to make dried canned tomatoes?

Tom’s Oven solar dryer…

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