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12 Delicious Sweet Potato Substitute Ideas

Do you need a sweet potato substitute to switch up your meal routine? Several options can provide a similar rich taste and nutritional value.

Both sweet and savory preparations benefit from the sweet potato’s adaptability. If they’re out of season or unavailable in your local market, don’t worry!

Having personally encountered these limitations, I’ve been on the search for nutritious and flavorful substitutes. Through research and trial and error, I discovered several alternatives to sweet potatoes.

In this article, I’ll go through some of them and provide ideas on how to add them to your favorite meals!

12 Delicious Sweet Potato Substitute Ideas featured image | Girl Meets Food

What are sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a versatile and healthy vegetable loved worldwide. They contribute to the taste, texture, and nutrients of many recipes!

Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and iron. They’re minimal in calories and great for body weight management.

Some popular cultivars of sweet potato are:

  • Beauregard: the most extensively planted variety, has exceptional yields and disease resistance. Its delicious, nutty flesh has a deep orange color.
  • Jewel potatoes: feature brilliant orange flesh and somewhat lighter skin than Beauregard. They’re sweet, moist, and creamy.
  • Garnet potatoes: sometimes called red yams due to their bright red exterior and orange meat. Their flavor is both sugary and nutty.

For a tasty meal, try seasoning some sweet potatoes with your favorite herbs and spices and baking, boiling, or frying them.

Sweet potato fries are an amazing snack, whereas sweet potato casserole is a festive meal in several countries. In pies, muffins, and bread, sweet potatoes are used as healthier substitutes for potatoes.

12 sweet potato substitute ideas

Two raw sweet potatoes and one sliced potato lie on a wooden surface | Girl Meets Food
  • Pumpkin 

Pumpkin, a fall staple, can replace sweet potatoes. Pies, muffins, and bread can use canned pumpkin puree. For casseroles, soups, and mashed potatoes, roasted and purée pumpkin works the best.

It also contains vitamins A and C, making it a healthy alternative.

My go-to recipe for vegan mashed sweet potatoes worked wonderfully with pumpkin. It added an alternative flavor profile while keeping the dish’s creamy texture and sweet taste.

You can also use them interchangeably and substitute sweet potato for pumpkin in many recipes.

  • Butternut squash

Soups, stews, and roasted vegetables benefit from butternut squash’s somewhat sweet taste and similar texture to sweet potatoes. It’s a super nutritious alternative—an excellent source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.

I love butternut squash in a vegan shepherd’s pie. It takes on the same comforting flavor of mashed sweet potatoes!

If you’re interested, I’ve also written about some delicious ideas to replace butternut squash. Check them out!

  • Plantains

In casseroles and mashed sides, plantains can replace boiled, roasted and fried sweet potatoes. Potassium and vitamin C make plantains a very healthy choice for your diet.

It was an intriguing experiment to use plantains in place of roasted sweet potatoes. The plantains added a pleasant touch of variation!

  • Turnips

Turnips, a root vegetable, can replace sweet potatoes in several ways. Turnips can be roasted or mashed for stews, casseroles, and mashed veggie sides. They taste slightly bitter, but that’s nothing additional seasonings can’t fix.

If you can’t get your hands on this less popular ingredient, don’t worry! There are some excellent substitutes for turnips that taste as good!

  • Regular potatoes

Gold potatoes, russet potatoes or white potatoes are common sweet potato stand-ins. Baked, mashed, or roasted, they taste similar to sweet potatoes and have a similar texture.

Regular potatoes also don’t cut back on health benefits. They’re a rich source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.

  • Acorn squash

This winter squash has firm, dark green skin and a ridged form. The yellow-orange flesh has a sweet and nutty flavor like sweet potatoes.

Acorn squash flavors and nourishes casseroles, soups, and stews. For a tasty side dish, you can roast an acorn squash cut in half or slices until caramelized, or mash it with butter, herbs, and cheese.

  • Kabocha squash

Japanese winter squash with rich, delicious orange flesh and green and bumpy skin. Kabocha squash can replace sweet potatoes because of its delicious texture (as can Delicata squash or most Delicata squash alternatives).

Roast whole or wedged kabocha squash till soft and caramelized. Mashed or pureed, it adds sweetness and depth to soups and stews.

Plenty of simple ingredients can replace kabocha squash. Check them out to find the closest substitute!

  • Parsnips

Parsnips resemble white carrots. These root veggies are known for their sweet, nutty taste, and somewhat earthy notes like sweet potatoes.

Roast parsnips whole or sliced till caramelized and soft. Mash them with butter, cream, or garlic to make a wonderful substitute for mashed sweet potatoes.

  • Sweet corn

Sweet corn can replace sweet potatoes due to its natural sweetness. It can be grilled, roasted on the cob, or boiled as a delicious side dish.

Remember that sweet corn has a distinct taste and texture that can’t always substitute for sweet potato. Even so, I find that it greatly enhances many of my favorite recipes!

  • Yams

Starchy yam is a vegetable like sweet potato but with dark, rough skin and thicker, drier white or orange flesh. Yams are a great substitute ingredient in pies, casseroles and roasts, providing a very neutral flavor and similar health advantages.

They’re often referred to as a sweet potato lookalike thanks to their cylindrical shape.

  • Carrots

Carrots, due to their mild sweetness, easily replace sweet potatoes in savory recipes. You can roast them to bring out their natural sweetness or serve them in a casserole.

Carrot fries instead of sweet potato fries really surprised me with their sweetness and texture. It’s an excellent choice for those looking for a lighter and healthier substitute for regular fries.

  • Celery root

This root vegetable has a mild celery flavor and starchy texture. It makes a great substitute for mashed sweet potatoes or roasted, boiled, or baked recipes. Celery root is also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins.

I’ve discussed celery root alternatives in one of my earlier posts. Also have a peek at the substitutes for celery leaves, while you’re at it!

If root vegetables are your thing, you might also enjoy scrolling through these rutabaga replacements!

Sweet potato substitute FAQs

Raw sweet potatoes cubes are in a white baking dish that is on a white wooden surface | Girl Meets Food
How many calories are in sweet potatoes?

One boiled sweet potato (151g) contains 115 calories.

 Are sweet potatoes a good source of antioxidants?

Yes, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants. Carotenoids like beta-carotene and lutein are abundant in them and serve as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E are present as well.

How can I replace sweet potatoes in a potato salad?

You can replace sweet potatoes in a potato salad with regular white potatoes, red potatoes, or Yukon gold potatoes.

Can you substitute butternut squash for sweet potatoes?

Absolutely! You can substitute butternut squash for sweet potatoes. It makes a wonderful low carb sweet potato substitute.

Can you substitute yams for sweet potatoes?

Yes, you can substitute yams for sweet potatoes thanks to their mild flavor and starchy texture.

BOTTOM LINE: You can replace sweet potatoes with pumpkins, different types of winter squash, carrots, plantains, yams, turnips etc. Try these scrumptious sweet potato substitutes!

Which of these healthy ingredients do you like the most as a substitute for sweet potato? Share your thought in the comment!

Are you looking for more nutritional powerhouse ingredients? Check out these kale alternatives and barley replacements for some terrific options!


Thursday 30th of November 2023

Are these alternatives for CKD diet?


Tuesday 5th of December 2023

Hi, Janice! No, I didn't specifically have the CKD diet in mind when compiling these alternatives. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist to ensure they align with the specific dietary restrictions and requirements of the CKD diet :)