Skip to Content

From Sun to Savory: 5 Great Substitutes for Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes pack a punch of concentrated flavor, turning any dish from blah to wow with just a sprinkle.

They’re like little sunshine bombs, adding depth and a tangy kick to pasta, salads, and more. Now, imagine you’re all set to whip up your favorite recipe, and boom—you realize the sun-dried tomatoes are missing from your pantry. It sounds like a kitchen nightmare, right?

Well, hold up before you toss aside that recipe. We have some fantastic substitutes that can save your dish and maybe even improve it.

These alternatives are easy to find and might already be sitting in your fridge or cupboard, waiting for their moment to shine. Ready to explore these culinary lifesavers? Let’s get into it.

1 – Fresh Tomatoes

Alright, hear me out: fresh tomatoes are your go-to when sun-dried tomatoes are off the table.

Why? Because they’re juicy, they’re tangy, and heck, they’re tomatoes too! They bring that fresh-from-the-garden vibe that can seriously brighten up any dish.

Using them is a breeze. Just chop them up and toss them into your dish. If you’re aiming for that concentrated flavor, you should roast these tomatoes before adding them. 

For every bit of sun-dried tomato, your recipe calls for, swap in about one to two medium-sized fresh tomatoes. It depends on how tomatoey you want your dish to be. 

And hey, if tomatoes are your jam and you’re looking for more ways to swap them in and out, check out this treasure trove of options over at this article. You won’t be disappointed.

2 – Canned Tomatoes

Canned tomatoes? Yes, please! These are great for when you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes around. They’re super versatile and bring a nice, mild tanginess to your dish.

Plus, they’re softer and juicier, which can be awesome in sauces and stews. Here’s how to use them: open the can, drain the juice (or keep it for extra flavor in soups), and toss them into your dish. Easy peasy.

Now, when swapping, use a cup of canned tomatoes for every half cup of sun-dried tomatoes your recipe needs. This ratio works like a charm, keeping things balanced in flavor and texture.

Looking for other clever swaps? Pop over to this article on canned tomato substitutes. It’s a goldmine for quick kitchen fixes!

3 – Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is the thick, rich buddy you’re looking for when sun-dried tomatoes are a no-show. It’s got a deep, concentrated tomato flavor that’s perfect for giving your dishes an intensity boost.

Think of it as the essence of a tomato packed in a tiny can. To use it as a sub, start small—a tablespoon of tomato paste for every quarter cup of sun-dried tomatoes should do the trick. You can always add more if you’re craving that extra tomato punch.

This Paste works wonders in anything needing a tomato flavor hit. Just stir it into your sauces, soups, or stews until it’s well blended. The best part? It’s probably hanging out in your pantry right this second.

And if you’re out of tomato paste or simply curious about other options, swing by this article on tomato paste substitutes. Who knows? You might find your next kitchen hack!

4 – Tomato Puree

Tomato puree is like the middle sibling between tomato paste and canned tomatoes. It’s not as thick as Paste but not as chunky as canned tomatoes.

It’s smooth and has a nice, mild tomato taste that’s not too overpowering. It’s perfect for dishes where you want a tomatoey flavor without the bits and pieces.

Now, why use tomato puree? It spreads easily in dishes, blending in without a fuss. Plus, it’s great for when you want your dish to have a smooth texture. 

Here’s how to swap it in: use a half cup of tomato puree for every quarter cup of sun-dried tomatoes. This keeps things balanced, giving you enough tomato flavor without watering down your dish.

Tomato puree is a champion in soups, sauces, and stews. Just stir it right in, and you’ll barely notice it’s not sun-dried tomatoes. It’s simple, seamless, and saves the day when you’re in a tomato pinch.

5 – Tamarind Paste

Tamarind paste is your secret weapon when you’re out of sun-dried tomatoes. It’s sour, a bit sweet, and brings a unique tangy zip to your dishes.

Why is it a great swap? Because it adds a depth of flavor that’s similar to the tanginess of sun-dried tomatoes. It’s made from tamarind fruit and is a staple in many cuisines around the world, especially in Southeast Asia.

To use it as a sub, try mixing a tablespoon of tamarind paste with a cup of water for every half cup of sun-dried tomatoes. It’s a simple swap that keeps your dishes flavorful. Tamarind paste works best in soups, stews, and marinades. Just mix it in and taste the magic happen.

And hey, if you’re running low on tamarind paste or just curious about other cool swaps, check out these slammin’ options in this article on tamarind paste substitutes. Trust me, there’s a whole world of flavors waiting for you there.