Sun-dried tomatoes are the one ingredient we all use in almost every other recipe. Whether it’s American Cuisine, French Meals, or Mexican food, adding sun-dried tomatoes to salads, soups, sauces, and pasta is a norm!
Since these tomatoes remain so much in use, there may come a point where you might run out of them. If you ever get stuck in such a scenario, then there are some pretty simple hacks to replace them quickly.
Sun-dried tomatoes have many suitable substitutes, which mainly include fire-roasted tomatoes, homemade sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato paste, fresh chopped tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and tamarind paste.
The list is quite diverse, and it is difficult to figure out which substitute is suitable for which recipe. And here you are going to find just the right answers regarding sun-dried tomatoes and their substitutes!
What are Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
Are sun-dried tomatoes dried in the sun? Well, Yes! As the name indicates, sundried tomatoes are ordinary tomatoes that are dried. The fresh tomatoes are dehydrated in the sunlight or in a dehydrator for a long time and then packed in oil or other liquid to store for a long duration in a can. Sun-dried tomatoes come in packed cans of different volumes. The 14 ounces can of sun-dried tomatoes is the most suitable for any household.
Uses of Sundried Tomatoes in Cooking
Sun-dried tomatoes are an everyday use ingredient. Whether you are making salads, soups, pasta, sauces, paninis, dips, chicken parmesan, bread, piccata, and tacos, etc., you will need some amount of sun-dried tomatoes for them.
There are endless uses of sun-dried tomatoes in our everyday meals, and you cannot imagine not using them in your cooking. The versatility of sun-dried tomatoes makes them a must-have for every menu.
What is Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto?
Pesto is a popular green sauce that is often used to season meaty delights and to spread over bread and pizza crusts etc. The Sun-dried tomato pesto is prepared with a combination of fresh herbs, almonds, garlic, and olive oil, along with sun-dried tomatoes. It is great to season pasta and to add on top of crostini.
Top 9 Substitutes For Sun-Dried Tomatoes
If you are thinking to get a sun-dried tomato substitute then there are a few alternatives that you should definitely consider for your recipes.
1. Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
Are fire-roasted and sun-dried tomatoes the same? Not really! Fire-roasted tomatoes are the tomatoes that are charred over a flame, and then they are diced and canned. You can see the blackened flecks on these tomatoes. Roasting on the flame brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes and gives them a distinct smokiness. This strong smokey taste in the fire-roasted tomatoes makes them a good replacement for sundried tomatoes. You can replace sundried tomatoes with an equal amount of fire-roasted tomatoes in a recipe.
2. Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes
The most convenient replacement for sun-dried tomatoes is to make your own homemade sun-dried tomatoes using fresh tomatoes. The method is pretty simple. All you need is some fresh tomatoes and a system to dehydrate them. You can either dry them in the sunlight or dehydrate them in a dehydrator.
How to Make Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes?
Cut the tomatoes in half, remove their seeds and place them on a suitable baking sheet. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Then bake the tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can keep these tomatoes in the direct sunlight for a few hours until they appear dry. Then transfer the dried tomatoes to a jar. Add some cooking oil to the jar for longer preservation. To make 1 ounce of sun-dried tomatoes, you will need 10 medium-sized ripe tomatoes. Alternatively, you can also dehydrate them in a dehydrator at low temperature for two to four hours until the tomatoes look dehydrated.
3. Canned or Crushed Tomatoes
Another good alternative for sun-dried tomatoes are canned tomatoes. They have a soft and chunky texture, just like sun-dried tomatoes. They are good to make sauces and toppings. But they do not have similar intensity and concentration of flavor as the sun-dried tomatoes have. They are less intense and sweeter in taste. So, you will need one cup of canned tomatoes to replace 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes.
4. Tomato Puree
If you are looking for a replacement for sun-dried tomatoes to cook some soup or curry, then using the tomato puree would be a good option. Tomato Puree has a similar flavor and aroma with a thick texture, which is good for making sauces. You can make this puree by yourself or buy it from the market. One tablespoon of tomato puree is enough to replace three to four sun-dried tomatoes.
5. Fresh Tomatoes
When you can’t find any other substitute on this list, then you can substitute sundried tomatoes for fresh tomatoes. The good thing about fresh tomatoes is that you can use them according to the requirement of the recipe. You can add chopped fresh tomatoes to substitute sun-dried tomatoes in salads, or puree them to add to the sauce and curries, etc.
How to substitute?
Since fresh tomatoes are pulpier and juicier than sun-dried, they can replace sun-dried tomatoes in a 1:2 ratio, which means you can use 2 fresh medium-sized fresh tomatoes to replace 4 medium-sized sun-dried tomatoes in a recipe.
6. Charred Bell Peppers
Can I substitute roasted red peppers for sun-dried tomatoes? If you want to enjoy the chunky texture in a certain recipe that the sun-dried tomatoes have, then Yes! You can definitely use roasted or grilled red bell peppers. They are a good substitute to make bruschetta and antipasto. Bell peppers have a sweet taste, but when charred, grilled, or smoked, they get this smoky flavor which is much like the taste of the sun-dried tomatoes. You can mix the roasted bell pepper with some oil and then add it as a topping to bruschetta or salads.
7. Artichoke Hearts
It may come as a surprise, but artichoke hearts can also be used as a good substitute for sun-dried tomatoes, especially when you are making salads. The artichoke hearts are also good to make pizza toppings. Artichoke hearts come in canned and fresh forms. It is best to replace sundried tomatoes with canned artichoke hearts and use them in your recipes according to your own taste preference.
8. Tomato Sauce
Another great replacement for sun-dried tomatoes is a tomato sauce. The sauce usually has artificial flavors and seasonings, which does give it an intense flavor. It is good to make dressings and sauces.
9. Tamarind Paste
Tamarind paste is another good choice to replace sun-dried tomatoes in a recipe. Even though tamarind belongs to a completely different family of ingredients, but it does resemble the taste of sun-dried tomatoes. The tamarind paste is sweet and sour. So, you can use a small amount of this paste to replace sun-dried tomatoes in sauces, dips, soups, and curries.
Sun-Dried Tomatoes Substitutes in Cooking
Sun-dried tomatoes are used for different reasons in different recipes. So, now, I will recommend you the perfect substitute for these tomatoes.
Substitutes for Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Appetizers
If you want to replace sun-dried tomatoes in appetizers or antipasto, then there are some options that you can consider, such as cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, cherry peppers, and fresh tomato slices. These ingredients have the similar strength of flavors that are required in appetizers and antipasto recipes.
Sun-Dried Tomato Substitute in Sauces
However, if you want to replace sun-dried tomatoes in sauce recipes, then you would need a different sort of substitute. Tomato puree and tomato paste can be used as a perfect substitute in this regard. They have a good taste and texture to complement any tomato soup recipe.
Substitute for Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Salads
Salads are entirely different from the recipes we have discussed above. Salads are chunkier, and they have vegetables and solids. So, using tomato purees and paste would not work for salads. So, in case if you want to replace sun-dried tomatoes in salad recipes, then you will definitely need cherry tomatoes or fresh chopped tomatoes. To make up for the intense, strong flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes, you can add a splash of lemon or lime juice to the salad, along with the fresh chopped tomatoes.