Sun Dried Tomato Spread

Sun Dried Tomato Spread is a vibrant red, garlic and herb packed, quick and healthy way to add a taste of summer to sandwiches, dips, crackers, pastas, and more. Whip up a batch of Sun Dried Tomato Spread today and explore the possibilities!

Sun Dried Tomato Spread is the a quick and healthy way to punch up any sandwich but is also great on crackers and in dip.

I saw my blogging compatriots ‘In Sock Monkey Slippers‘ and ‘Farmgirl’s Dabbles‘ whip up versions of Sun Dried Tomato Spread (or Sun Dried Tomato Jam) a couple of weeks ago and knew instantly that I was going to be making some in my house pronto. It was one of those things that I felt -beyond a shadow of a doubt- would be right up my food alley.

I tinkered around until I found the perfect blend for my crew and I’m happy to present to you today the stuff that’s going to be making an appearance in many meals at my house from this day forward because WHOA BABY, you haven’t had a sandwich until you’ve had a sandwich with Sun Dried Tomato Spread.

Grilled Chicken Melt with Sun Dried Tomato Spread and Pesto from

Just how badly do you want to chomp down on that sandwich right about now? I don’t know about you, but I might elbow a small child out of the way to get to it.

It’s hard to explain precisely WHY the brick red Sun Dried Tomato Spread is so stinkin’ wonderful, because it’s not just foodstuffs, it’s a PRESENCE in food. It’s the aroma of summer: tomatoes and herbs in the hot sun. It’s the concentrated taste of those warm tomatoes and herbs made fragrant with a little garlic and a hint of red wine vinegar smoothed with olive oil. All this with a touch of sweetness to set it all off and simmered gently to thicken then pulsed with a stick blender or in a food processor or blender just until it’s spreadable. This is the stuff on which food dreams are made. My word. Sun Dried Tomato Spread is the full eating experience: texture, visual, scent, taste… You need this in your refrigerator!

Sun Dried Tomato Spread is the a quick and healthy way to punch up any sandwich but is also great on crackers and in dip.

Cook’s Notes:

  • For this recipe, you use jarred sun dried tomatoes packed with herbs in oil. There are several great brands out there from which you can choose. Keep in mind that the jarred tomatoes are not interchangeable with the dry ones in bags.
  • While recipes normally suggest NOT allowing onions and garlic to brown, in this recipe, it’s actually desirable to get a little brown around the edges of the onions and garlic. You don’t want to FRY the whole works, mind you, just get those edges a little golden brown. It intensifies the flavour in the end product.
  • Sadly, this is not a good candidate for canning -whether boiling water bath or pressure canning- because of the thickness of the product. It’s just too viscous to be recommended for home canning. Please store this in the refrigerator for up to a month or freeze in ice cube trays then transfer to re-sealable plastic freezer bags for longer storage.

How would YOU use this Sun Dried Tomato Spread?

Sun-Dried Tomato Spread
  • 1 yellow cooking onion, peeled, trimmed of the ends, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 jar (8.5 ounces) Julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes with herbs in oil, drained, oil reserved
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil over medium heat in a 2 quart saucepan with a heavy bottom and tight fitting lid. When the oil is shimmery, add the onions and garlic. Cook them, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the onions begin to soften and the edges have lightly browned. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, water, red wine vinegar, dried thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir until everything is evenly combined. Bring to a boil, drop the heat as low as it can go, put the lid on the pan and let it simmer for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and let the mixture simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat, stir in the balsamic vinegar, and let the mixture cool for 30 minutes. Scrape the contents into a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender to pulse until you have a thick, spreadable paste that still has good texture. Transfer to a jar with a tight fitting lid, level the contents, and drizzle olive oil over the top before fitting the lid in place. Store in the refrigerator. For best flavour, use within 2 weeks. If you'd like to store it longer than that, freeze in ice cube trays until solid then transfer to a zipper top bag and keep frozen for up to 4 months.
  2. For best taste, use within 1 month.


  1. Daina says

    I used to have an addiction to grilled chicken and spinach salads that included sun dried tomatoes (I’m in recovery, but subject to relapse at any time). How would I use this Sun Dried Tomato Spread? I might see if I could toss it with bread cubes (homemade of course- ciabatta bread maybe?) and toast them in the oven for Sun Dried Tomato Croutons. Which I could then toss into my grilled chicken and spinach salads when I relapse.

    Rebecca – I have to say, cooking was always something I had to do, but since I’ve found your site, I’m really inspired to try different things, just because (and often, just for me!). Thank you in spades! (or, um in sundried tomatoes or something)

  2. Rie says

    NOT a fan of your run-of-the-mill-oil-soaked-sundried-tomatoes. BUT when I blend them up – OMG…….Will be trying this recipe for sure.

  3. Robby says

    Looking at Daina’s comment makes me think Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette from this would be just fab. I’ve been looking for a Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, but I think the vinegar rules this out in some instances. I do see this on the menu very soon.

  4. Sam says

    I was having out-of-town guests over for a late afternoon lunch (linner?) today, and when I got the email with this recipe this morning, I knew I HAD to make it, so I scrapped my original plan and made a quick zip over to my neighborhood Italian grocer. My guests left an hour ago, and the dishes are still piled in the sink, but I just had to post what a success it was.

    I’ve had a huge bag of the dried tomatoes lying around for far too long, so I did sub them in, but I soaked them in boiling water first before cooking with the rest of the ingredients and they softened up nicely. I also added a little Italian seasoning. I served it warm, spread over baked ricotta (ricotta, garlic, egg, and parmesan cheese mixed together and baked till golden on top) and then drizzled with a little olive oil. I put it on a big platter with bowls of Italian olives, julienned basil leaves, shaved parmesan, crispy fried raviolis and a pile of crostini. It was PHENOMINAL! My guests ate so much of it that they almost didn’t have room for the main course. Good thing I quadrupled the recipe, I had enough to pack up a jar for them to take with them. I’m going to make it again (STILL have a load of those dried tomatoes left!), and use it as part of a layered terrine with cream cheese and pesto to serve as a cracker spread for a potluck I’m going to next week. Thanks for the fabulous recipe!

  5. Ellen Renee says

    I just found a turkey meatloaf recipe that uses jarred sun dried tomatoes put through a food processor and then use it in the loaf and to top it as you would typically use ketchup. She calls for 1 1/2 cups of the tomatoes though – I can only find small jars and they are very pricey where I live. My question…do you think your spread would work…do you see yourself using it in meatloaf? It would give me plenty of spread and only having to buy 1 jar. The vinegars are what was making me second guess whether it would work.

    • says

      Hmmmmmmmmm. I think it might be tasty in there! Here’s an idea: make a batch of the spread and taste it. Make your decision based on how you like it. I don’t think the vinegar is a pronounced presence, but everyone’s tastebuds are different!

  6. says

    I made this tonight for topping our sliders. Do you ever make/eat something and then hug yourself because you’re just so darn happy? Ok, me too. Thanks for the recipe.

  7. says

    i would love to make this as a gift I need to ship. Do you think that would be ok? It would take about 3 days to get there. Thanks!

    • says

      Ooooh, Faye… You’re putting me between a rock and a hard place. Strictly speaking -food safety-wise- it’s a bad plan unless you’ve processed it properly. As for how to properly process it, I’m not sure what type of pounds of pressure and timing we’d be looking at. Would I personally eat it if it accidentally got left out for three days? Maybe. It depends on how hot it is outside and inside. :) I’m sorry, but I just can’t recommend it unless you’ve frozen it and sent it with dry ice!

  8. Mike says

    I’m a little confused . Are you selling this spread? If so where/how ? I’ve been all over your site and see no order form.


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