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Craving the sun-dried touch but missing the ingredient? Find the best substitute for sun dried tomatoes, waiting to add depth and flavor to your recipe!

Substitute for sun dried tomatoes
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Making a recipe that calls for sun dried tomatoes and don’t have it? Sun dried tomatoes are a popular Mediterranean ingredient that adds a burst of concentrated flavor and chewy texture to dishes. They’re ripe tomatoes that are dried, allowing the moisture to evaporate leaving behind an umami-rich chewy fruit. The drying process intensifies the tomato’s natural sugars but also preserves it naturally, making it a valuable pantry staple.

Sun dried tomatoes are available in jars at the grocery store, or sometimes in vacuum-packed packages. Don’t have time to shop for it, or cooking a recipe and just realized you don’t have it? Here are some alternative substitute ideas.

Best substitute for sun dried tomatoes

Before you start, keep in mind: sun dried tomatoes are a very unique ingredient! They are hard to truly substitute and we recommend buying the real thing if at all possible.

When substituting, consider the key features of sun-dried tomatoes you want to replace: flavor or texture. Adjust the quantity of your chosen substitute and experiment to find the perfect fit for your recipe. Also, don’t substitute them in recipes where they are the star ingredient, like Sun Dried Tomato Pasta or Sun Dried Tomato Pesto.

1. Roasted red peppers

A decent substitute for sun dried tomatoes? Roasted red peppers have a burst of sweetness and smokiness that can complement the dishes where sun-dried tomatoes shine. Use jarred red bell peppers and thinly slice them. Then add a bit of salt and a pinch of sugar to emulate the flavor of sun dried tomatoes.

2. Kalamata olives (in some recipes)

Kalamata olives are an unexpected substitute for sun dried tomatoes that mimics their texture and flavor. Thinly slice these olives and they provide a pop of salty, savory flavor and a chewy texture. This substitute could work depending on the recipe, like in Tuscan Chicken or Tuscan Salmon, though of course it gives the dish a different flair.

3. Tomato paste

You also can use a little tomato paste as a sun dried tomato substitute, though it’s not an ideal substitute. You also may want to add a few pinches of sugar, since tomato paste can have more bitter undertones. Remember that this alternative won’t add pops of flavor and texture like the red peppers or olives.

4. Oven roasted tomatoes

You can make your own sun dried tomatoes at home, if you’ve got the time and access to fresh tomatoes! Go to Oven Sun Dried Tomatoes.

What not to use

Sun dried tomato substitutes we don’t recommend? Avoid canned tomatoes: they don’t have the right texture and might end up adding compromised flavor or texture to the recipe.

Good luck and let us know if any of these sun dried tomato alternatives worked in your recipe!

Here are some recipes featuring sun dried tomatoes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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