Do you love sweet potatoes?
If so, you’re not alone.
Sweet potatoes are a popular choice when it comes to side dishes and main courses alike.
But what happens if you run out of sweet potatoes or can’t find them in your local grocery store?
Don’t worry – there are plenty of other options that can make for a delicious meal!
In this article, I’ll be exploring seven of the best substitutes for sweet potatoes, from yams and carrots to squash and rutabagas.
Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, these alternatives will help satisfy your cravings without sacrificing taste.
Read on to learn more!
What Are Sweet Potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable that belong to the morning glory family.
They come in many varieties, with orange-fleshed sweet potatoes being the most popular.
The plant sprouts heart-shaped leaves and grows an edible tuber underground that is usually long and tapered with pointed ends.
The skin of a sweet potato can range from light brown to reddish-purple in color, while the flesh inside may be yellow or white, but more often than not it’s orange.
This vibrant hue comes from beta carotene which gives them their unique sweetness when cooked.
Sweet potatoes can be boiled, roasted, mashed, fried, or baked and make for an excellent side dish or main course meal depending on how you prepare them.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great addition to many meals, but sometimes you may find yourself without them.
Don’t worry though, as there are several substitutes that can be used in their place.
Here we look at the 7 best substitutes for sweet potatoes:
1 – Garnet Potatoes
Garnet potatoes are a great alternative to sweet potatoes.
They have a similar flavor and texture but with a slightly different nuance that sets them apart.
Garnet potatoes are creamy while still maintaining their fluffy texture, due to the presence of natural starches within each variety.
The skin may be white or purple in color and the flesh is usually yellow or orange.
These features make garnet potatoes perfect for boiling, mashing, roasting, and baking as you would with most sweet potato variants.
However, when substituting these two ingredients it’s important to note that garnet potatoes take less time to cook than your typical sweet potato varieties — so adjust accordingly!
2 – Pumpkin
Pumpkin is a great substitute for sweet potatoes, as they share many similarities in terms of taste and texture.
They even look very similar!
For most recipes, you can swap pumpkin and sweet potatoes 1:1 with no significant changes.
Pumpkin has a milder flavor than sweet potatoes so you may need to add additional seasoning to your dish for more flavor.
Roasted or baked pumpkin can achieve that perfect combo of juicy sweetness found in sweet potatoes and tastes delicious when seasoned with cumin, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon or herbs like thyme, oregano and sage.
Mashed Pumpkins are also an excellent side dish option to serve alongside roasted meats.
Simply peel the skin off before boiling them until tender then mash them with butter as desired.
They also make a really yummy addition to soups or stews instead of sweet potatoes!
3 – Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is a great substitute for sweet potatoes in many dishes.
They both have creamy, orange flesh with a sweet taste.
Butternut squash has a slightly nuttier flavor and creamier texture than sweet potatoes.
It also cooks faster, so it’s important to keep an eye on it when adding butternut squash to your recipe instead of sweet potatoes.
You can use butternut squash in place of the same amount of shredded sweet potato in recipes like pancakes, muffins and breads.
You can also use it as mashed or cubed chunks in place of sweet potato cubes or puree in soups and stews.
When substituting butternut squash for cooked sweet potatoes like mashed ones, you may need to add extra seasoning like butter, salt, and spices as butternut squash doesn’t naturally have as much sweetness as a cooked sweet potato does.
4 – Acorn Squash
If you’re looking for an alternative to sweet potatoes, acorn squash is a great option.
It has a similar texture and flavor profile to that of sweet potatoes.
Acorn squash is high in Vitamin A and fiber, making it a nutritious substitute for the traditional starchy spud.
You can bake or roast it just like with sweet potatoes, cutting them in half and scooping out the seeds before seasoning them with your favorite spices.
You can also dice or slice acorn squash into cubes and add them to soups and stews for added flavor and nutrition – just as you would when using sweet potatoes.
5 – White Potatoes
White potatoes are a great substitute for sweet potatoes when it comes to replacing them in recipes.
White potatoes can be boiled, mashed, baked, or used as French fries or chips.
Their flavor is neutral but very starchy and salty if cooked with salt.
As an added bonus, white potatoes usually cook faster than sweet potatoes!
When substituting white potato for sweet potato in recipes, you may need to adjust the amount of butter and seasoning used.
White potato has less natural sweetness than a sweet potato so more sugar or seasoning may be needed to get the desired flavor profile.
6 – Carrots
Carrots can be used as a substitute for sweet potatoes in many recipes.
The main difference when using carrots instead of sweet potatoes is that the former has a sweeter taste than the latter.
This can affect the sweetness level of your finished dish – if you need to reduce it some more, try adding more savory ingredients like onion or garlic to balance out the sweetness.
Additionally, carrots take slightly less time to cook than sweet potatoes do – so adjust your cooking time accordingly for the best results.
The texture is also quite different between these two vegetables – raw carrots offer much more crunch compared with sweet potatoes’ softer texture.
In cooked dishes like soups or casseroles where this matters less, either vegetable works perfectly well as an alternative to each other depending on what kind of taste you’re looking for in your final product
7 – Rutabagas
Rutabagas are an excellent alternative to sweet potatoes.
While they do have nutritional differences, the flavor and texture can be substituted in your recipes.
Rutabagas are slightly sweeter than sweet potatoes, although not as sweet as yams.
They tend to have a more earthy taste and firm texture when cooked, making them ideal for roasting or frying.
Rutabaga has a vibrant yellow-orange color that can bring some unique color to dishes where you’d normally use sweet potato.
When substituting rutabagas for sweet potatoes in your recipe, keep in mind that rutabaga takes longer to cook than sweet potato due to its firmer texture.
You also might want to add more spices and seasonings compared to what you’d use with regular sweet potatoes since they lack the sweetness of yams or traditional orange-fleshed variety of Sweet Potato.
In conclusion, sweet potatoes are a great addition to many meals.
However, if you find yourself without them, there are plenty of delicious substitutes available.
Garnet potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash, white potatoes, carrots, and rutabagas can all be used in place of sweet potatoes in a variety of recipes.
These substitutes are sure to provide the same level of flavor and texture as sweet potatoes, while providing a unique twist on a favorite dish.
The 7 Best Substitutes For Sweet Potatoes
- Garnet Potatoes
- Butternut Squash
- Acorn Squash
- White Potatoes
- Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
- Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.