9 Best substitutes for sun dried tomatoes !It’s no secret that sun dried tomatoes are packed with umami. You can pretty much incorporate them into any dish and boost its flavor wholesomely! With notes of sweet, savory, and tart goodness, it’s the perfect addition to all of your meals.
However, when was the last time you bought a jar or can? You probably don’t remember because it’s not a regular item on your shopping list. That’s not a bad thing… We know they last quite a bit! The point is, sometimes, life isn’t fair and you’re presented with a wonderful recipe only to be halfway through it and realize you’ve run out. What do you do? We bring you 9 substitutes for it.
The best thing you can use are semi dried tomatoes. We also recommend roasted red bell peppers, tomato paste, and canned tomatoes for different preparations.
“Great for any recipe!”
These are a great sub because they undergo the same process as the sun-dried tomatoes, except their drying stage is shorter. This results in a softer, sweeter and more mellow-tasting tomato that tastes a lot like its intense sibling, making them perfect for substituting in recipes. Best of all, incorporating them won't be rocket science. You can add the same quantity.
"Perfect for sauces!"
Make sure they're peeled, but canned tomatoes are a perfect addition to sauces when you've run out of sun-dried ones. Their less-dramatic taste means you can add them freely into any of your sauces and still get a similar result. It's likely they'll thin down your sauce but just let it reduce a bit more or add some tomato paste to help it thicken.
Use ¾ cup of drained canned tomatoes for every ¼ cup of sun-dried.
Quick tip: using a tomato press will make your life so much easier!
"Great for sauces!"
It might not be the same thing but it's as packed with strong flavor and umami. Unfortunately, it won't add any texture though. For this reason, we recommend it best for sauces that won't suffer from a lack of texture.
"Milder and more watery than tomato paste"
If you need lots of tomato flavor that isn't as intense as tomato paste and sun-dried tomatoes, we recommend tomato puree. Since it's made from cooked, strained tomatoes, it'll add lots of liquid to your sauce. However, if your food doesn't need that much juicy goodness, this might not be the best option for you. For extra tomato taste and texture, swap the water or stock in the recipe for tomato puree too.
"Perfect for salads and sandwiches!"
While we love sun-dried tomatoes, not everyone loves them. For salads or sandwiches, for example, fresh tomatoes might be the best option.
- Nice crunch and freshness
- Add a little bit of lemon to enhance the tomato flavor
- Cherry tomatoes are also perfect bite-sized additions to salads
"Perfect for Asian recipes!"
Sun-dried tomatoes aren't really a thing in Asian cuisine. For whatever reason, if your recipe requires some, tamarind paste is the way to go as far as a substitute! It's a lot more sour but otherwise delivers a similar flavor. However, add a little bit at a time and then go from there.
"Amazing for antipasto!"
Buy it or drizzle olive oil over some bell peppers and roast them… These will provide an unmistakable flavor that isn't as overwhelming as sun-dried tomatoes for all your antipasto.
8. Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes
"DIY but still the best option!"
When you're in a hurry, sun-drying is never an option. Fortunately, you can speed up the process with your oven and still get very similar results. Here's how:
- Preheat the oven to 275 F.
- Use cherry or Roma tomatoes. Halve them and scoop out all the filling, leaving only the shells.
- Place them facing upward on a parchment paper lined baking tray.
- Bake them until they have dried and are rugged-looking. Usually this takes between 20-30 minutes so keep an eye on the oven..
"Quick and easy!"
When your recipe doesn't need any more texture or water, tomato powder is the best option. Mix it into your sauce until it's well dissolved and you're done! It's not that common in supermarkets so you may have to order it online.
Frequently Asked Questions
They're usually in the canned goods or produce aisles.
Let's not forget that they require extra love and care in order to be produced. For example, they have to be carefully dried and someone needs to supervise this. Then, they're canned with olive oil and spices. Thus, there are more costs involved that end up raising the price.
Sun-dried tomatoes come in different sizes so it's hard to be accurate. However, a good rule of thumb is a mix of 25-35 small and medium ones.
Both of them are good, but here are a few things to consider in order to choose the best ones for your recipe and lifestyle. Dried tomatoes tend to be tougher on the outside but chewier on the inside. Oil-packed ones, on the other hand, can be pre-seasoned so consider this when you're adding spices and salt to your dish. If you'd like to use dried tomatoes but think it'll be hard to use them, soften them by soaking them in a little bit of hot water for 10 minutes.
- Pomodori secchi, as they're locally known in southern Italy, were first created there. Sun-dried tomatoes were the solution to their need to extend their crop's shelf life. Simply drying them on their rooftops, they never expected an intensified flavor as a result of the process.
- Sun-dried tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that work well in almost any recipe! Use them for frittatas, crostinis, pastas, and more.
- Make sun-dried tomatoes in the microwave by halving tomatoes, scooping out the filling, and microwaving them on low heat face-down for about 15 minutes. Roughly 10 tomatoes produce 1 oz of sun-dried tomatoes.
With nine potential substitutes, we're sure you've got more than enough options to finish your recipes! If you want a huge flavor punch and texture, use semi-dried tomatoes and canned tomatoes. If you don't want more texture, use tomato paste, tomato puree, or any of the other options we've given you. Sometimes not having sun-dried tomatoes is a good thing!
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