The 6 Best Substitutes For Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Soft, powerful, and full of flavor, sun-dried tomatoes are loved all around the world! 

Whether you add them to pasta, salads, or eat them out of the jar, sun-dried tomatoes can elevate any dishes you add them to. 

If you’re ever making a recipe that needs sun-dried tomatoes but find that you have run out, some ingredients can work in their place. 

These range from different kinds of tomatoes, like cherry or puree, to completely different ingredients, like peppers or mushrooms.

If you’re ever in need, you’ll find 6 of the best sun-dried tomato substitutes in this post. You’ll also find out more about sundried tomatoes below, including some tips to help you find the best substitute ingredient. 

The 6 Best Substitutes For Sun-Dried Tomatoes

More About Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes have an interesting origin story. They were first made out of requisite, as farmers were searching for additional methods to make their crops, their main livelihood source, last longer. 

The farmers began to dehydrate tomatoes on their roofs, but they didn’t foresee the results that would influence the tomatoes’ taste.

The dehydration method gave the fruit its powerful tart, strong, and distinct flavor. 

They also took on a greater sweet flavor, chewy consistency, and unique flavor that’s now characteristic of sun-dried tomatoes.

Since then, the dehydration methods have evolved since tomatoes were left to dry in the sunlight.

Manufacturers use dehydration devices to do this, though some traditional manufacturers use the older, more lengthy method of letting them rest in the sun.

Today, sun-dried tomatoes are very popular and are used to make several types of dishes. You’ll either purchase them dry-packaged or in jars, preserved inside olive oil.

The tomatoes can be enjoyed on their own or as an accompaniment to meat and cheese slices.

Some recipes that involve sun-dried tomatoes are soups, pasta sauces, tacos, and frittatas. This isn’t an extensive recipe list, but it showcases how versatile these tomatoes are. 

Nutrition Value

Other than their distinct flavor, sun-dried tomatoes are also popular for their nutrition profile. 

Tomatoes are full of vitamin C, surprisingly containing more of the vitamin than oranges. They are also packed with additional minerals and vitamins, like iron, magnesium, and vitamin A. 

Sun-dried tomatoes are also higher in vitamins and antioxidants than regular, fresh tomatoes. This is down to the drying process, as it ensures the tomatoes keep more vitamins and antioxidants than they would have originally done.

Reasons For Sun-Dried Tomato Substitutes

Now you know some more about sun-dried tomatoes, we can cover the reasons why you may need a replacement ingredient. 

The main reasons include personal taste preferences, allergies, and convenience.

Personal Taste Preferences

Sun-dried tomatoes have a very distinct taste, which can occasionally cover up different ingredients in a meal. 

Some people may find they taste too strong, so they may [prefer a milder, less noticeable ingredient. 


The decision to use an alternative ingredient may be down to convenience. 

Many of us are guilty of losing track of the products in our refrigerators.

There may be times when you have run out of an ingredient and are unable to go and get more, as well as being unable to find the ingredient at the store.  

If you’re cooking at home, knowing which products you have in your kitchen, as well as which ones can work in place of sun-dried tomatoes substitute, will help you benefit later on. 


Some individuals have tomato allergies, so they’ll need to substitute for a different ingredient, or select a recipe that excludes them completely. 

How To Find A Sun-Dried Tomatoes Substitute

Now that we’ve covered some of the reasons why you may need a substitute ingredient, here is some advice to help you find a suitable substitute ingredient. 

Let’s look at the most significant elements regarding sun-dried tomatoes. These are taste and consistency.


Sun-dried tomatoes are known for their distinctive tart and sweet taste. 

This is very noticeable and sets the tomatoes apart as a unique ingredient. The sun-dried version tastes a lot stronger compared to fresh, regular tomatoes.


Consistency-wise, sun-dried tomatoes are chewy and have a bite to them. 

Their texture is the result of the dehydration treatment, which is another factor that makes this ingredient so unique. 

Remember these two factors when we get into the best sun-dried tomato substitutes. Keeping these in mind will help you decide which ingredient is best to use in your recipe. 

The Best Sun-Dried Tomatoes Substitutes

Here are six of the best ingredients to use in place of sun-dried tomatoes. 

1. Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is a great ingredient to use in place of sun-dried tomatoes, as it has a comparable strong flavor. 

This ingredient looks like a condensed paste. It has a concentrated flavor that works well in a variety of dishes, including soups, casseroles, and sauces.

Its paste form means that it won’t change a dish’s thickness or texture. The paste won’t add extra liquid to a meal, so you won’t need to change any other ingredients in the recipe. 

Just like sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste is often used in Italian dishes, so you can use it as an alternative in many Italian dishes. 

One tablespoon of tomato paste is generally enough for every four to five sun-dried tomatoes. 

2. Tamarind Paste

This deep, powerful paste comes from fruit from tamarind trees. Tamarind paste is often used in Asian cuisine, especially Chinese and Vietnamese dishes.

You may also see the ingredient crop up in Caribbean and Mexican recipes. 

Tamarind paste has a powerful citrus-like, sour flavor, along with smoky, sweet underlying notes. It has a unique taste, just like sun-dried tomatoes, that is hard to find elsewhere.

If you’re making a Caribbean, Mexican, or Asian recipe that needs sun-dried tomatoes, tamarind paste will work well as an alternative. 

One tablespoon of tamarind paste is usually enough for every four to five sun-dried tomatoes. 

3. Pecans

Pecans may not seem like a good sun-dried tomato substitute, but they can work very well in some dishes. They have a distinct flavor and a nutty consistency that will stand out in different recipes. 

If you want to give the pecans a smokier flavor, you can oven-roast them for a few minutes. This will bring out some of the nut’s sweeter notes as well as give them a light smoky taste.

Pecans can be used in place of sun-dried tomatoes in a 1:1 ratio. For instance, one cup of pecans in place of a cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes. 

4. Roasted Bell Peppers

Bell peppers don’t taste as strong as sun-dried tomatoes, but they have a noticeable flavor that works in several recipes.

The advantage of roasted bell peppers is that you can add different ingredients to enhance a certain recipe.

For example, a squirt of olive oil, a little sea salt, or a sprinkle of lemon juice can all elevate the peppers’ flavor.

Roasted bell peppers are ideal for pizza toppings, bruschetta, aand side dishes, thanks to their mild, sweet, and slightly smoky notes. 

You can substitute every sun-dried tomato for one roasted pepper.

5. Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes are ideal for when you’re making a sauce recipe. They have a comparable taste to sun-dried tomatoes, except canned tomatoes don’t taste as potent.

If you want to mimic the noticeable notes within sun-dried tomatoes, in addition to thickening your recipe, you can add some flavor-enhancing ingredients to the mix. 

A tablespoon of tomato puree can easily thicken up canned tomatoes, as well as sharpen their flavor.

Worcestershire sauce also works well, as it gives the tomatoes an umami, slightly meaty taste.

Every ¼ of sun-dried tomatoes can be swapped with ¾ cup of canned tomatoes. 

6. Fresh Tomatoes

If you’re not a fan of the way sun-dried tomatoes taste, fresh tomatoes may be the substitute you need. 

As the fresh version is the base ingredient that makes sun-dried tomatoes, they can work in their place for some recipes, without the noticeable sharp flavor.

This may be preferred if you’re not after a powerful-tasting recipe. Sun-dried tomatoes may not suit everyone’s taste, particularly if they are not cooked in a recipe. 

If you ever need a substitute ingredient to use in toppings, salads, or just on the side, fresh tomatoes could be the way to go. 

Use fresh tomatoes straight from the grocery store. Look for full-flavored options, like plum, cherry, grape, or Roma tomatoes. 

If you want to add a little depth to your recipe, a little lemon juice can add some acidity that cuts right through the dish. 

The number of fresh tomatoes you use in place of sun-dried tomatoes will vary based on your recipe. Use your best judgment, taste the dish, then add more as necessary. 

The Bottom Line

Now you know some more information about sun-dried tomatoes, as well as the ingredients that can work well in their place! 

If you’re looking for an ingredient that rivals the intense notes in sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste and tamarind paste can work very well. 

If you’re after an ingredient that isn’t as strong as the dried version, but still has some tomato flavors, fresh tomatoes and canned tomatoes can work very well.  

We hope you have fun trying out some of these substitutes in your recipes at home!

The 6 Best Substitutes For Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Tomato Paste

  • Tamarind Paste

  • Pecans

  • Roasted Bell Peppers

  • Canned Tomatoes

  • Fresh Tomatoes


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy

Recipe Video

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