Discover the Top 11 Sweet Potato Substitutes for Your Recipes

11 Best Sweet Potato Substitutes

Sweet potatoes are known for their nutritional density and distinct flavor. However, there may be times when you need to find suitable substitutes for sweet potatoes in your recipes. Fortunately, there are several vegetables that can mimic the texture and sweetness of sweet potatoes. In this article, we will explore the 11 best sweet potato substitutes that you can incorporate into your cooking.

Garnet Potatoes

Garnet potatoes, also known as red yams, are the closest substitute for sweet potatoes. They have a similar texture and can be slightly sweeter. Despite having fewer calories, garnet potatoes are just as nutritious as sweet potatoes. With a moist interior, they are readily available in most supermarkets. While they are often a favorite ingredient at Thanksgiving, they can be used in many recipes that call for sweet potatoes. If you like the sweet flavor of sweet potatoes, garnet potatoes are an excellent option. However, if you prefer a less sweet alternative, you may want to consider other substitutes.

Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Japanese sweet potatoes offer both visual appeal and health benefits. These purple potatoes are significantly sweeter than regular sweet potatoes and are popular in Japan, especially during the fall season. With a dry and firm texture, they work well in salads and as a side dish for meaty and spicy entrees. Japanese sweet potatoes can be prepared using the same methods as regular sweet potatoes – boiling, baking, frying or roasting. Their delicious flavor and texture make them a versatile substitute.

Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold Potatoes are an excellent choice for mashed potato recipes because of their creamy, buttery texture when cooked. While they are generally larger than sweet potatoes, they can be compared to garnet potatoes in flavor and texture. Yukon Gold potatoes have a smooth, thin skin with no eyes and bright yellow flesh. They can be prepared by baking, boiling, steaming, frying and roasting. The balanced flavor profile of Yukon Gold potatoes, which is not overly sweet or potato-y, allows for a variety of culinary applications.


Parsnips are similar in appearance to carrots, but can be considered a good substitute for sweet potatoes. These root vegetables acquire a sweet flavor after winter frosts, making them comparable to regular sweet potatoes. Parsnips can be used in much the same way as both regular and sweet potatoes. In addition, they are loaded with micro- and macronutrients, providing similar health benefits to sweet potatoes. The balanced texture, flavor, and nutrition of parsnips make them a preferred alternative.

Jewel Potatoes

Jewel potatoes, a subspecies of sweet potatoes known as yams, are easily found in supermarkets. They have a similar texture and appearance to sweet potatoes, but are less flavorful and sweet. This makes them an ideal substitute for people who do not enjoy the sweetness of sweet potatoes. By adding seasonings and pairing with other flavorful ingredients, the texture of jewel potatoes can be enhanced. They are a versatile option for a variety of recipes.


Despite its outward resemblance to potatoes, taro is a distinct herbaceous vegetable. It is firm in texture and, like sweet potatoes, must be cooked before consumption. Taro can be fried, baked, boiled, or roasted. In Asian cuisine, it is often stir-fried with herbs and spices and served with flatbread. Unlike sweet potatoes, taro has an earthy and nutty flavor that makes it better suited for recipes that traditionally call for regular potatoes. However, taro can easily be used as a substitute for sweet potatoes in many dishes.

White potatoes

White potatoes are a popular choice for people looking for a sweet potato substitute. They are versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes. With a neutral flavor profile, white potatoes provide a blank canvas for various seasonings and ingredients. They can be mashed, roasted, boiled or fried, offering different textures and flavors depending on the cooking method. While white potatoes cannot match the sweetness of sweet potatoes, they are a reliable alternative in many dishes.


Ube, also known as purple yam, is a bright purple tuber commonly used in Filipino cuisine. It is similar in appearance to the Japanese sweet potato, but has a more pronounced purple hue. Ube has a sweet and nutty flavor, making it an excellent substitute for sweet potatoes in desserts and baked goods. It can be boiled, steamed, or mashed to create a variety of delicious dishes. Ube’s unique color and flavor add a visually appealing and flavorful element to recipes.

Golden Beets

Golden beets, with their bright yellow color, are a visually appealing alternative to sweet potatoes. While they have a milder flavor compared to sweet potatoes, golden beets can be roasted, boiled or steamed to enhance their natural sweetness. They are versatile and can be used in salads, side dishes, and even desserts. Golden beets have a slightly earthy flavor that complements a variety of flavors. Their tender texture and vibrant color make them an attractive substitute for sweet potatoes in a variety of culinary creations.


Cassava, also known as yuca, is a starchy root vegetable commonly used in Latin American and African cuisines. It has a neutral flavor and a dense texture that can be compared to sweet potatoes when cooked. Cassava can be boiled, steamed, or fried and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. In its mashed form, cassava can be used as a substitute for sweet potato mash or as a base for cassava cakes and breads. Cassava’s versatility and availability in a variety of forms (fresh, frozen, or dried) make it a convenient option as a sweet potato substitute.


Carrots, with their natural sweetness and vibrant color, can be a suitable substitute for sweet potatoes in certain recipes. While they have a crunchier texture than sweet potatoes, carrots can be roasted, boiled, or mashed to create a similar mouthfeel. Carrots work well in dishes such as soups, stews, and casseroles, where their natural sweetness can complement other ingredients. They are also widely used in baking, where they can add moisture and sweetness to cakes, muffins, and breads. Carrots provide a nutritious alternative to sweet potatoes while adding their own unique flavor profile.

Other Alternatives

In addition to the substitutes mentioned above, there are a few other options to consider when looking for alternatives to sweet potatoes. These include, but are not limited to

  • Pumpkin: With its naturally sweet and creamy texture, pumpkin can be used as a sweet potato substitute in a variety of recipes, especially in desserts and baked goods.
  • Butternut Squash: Known for its slightly sweet and nutty flavor, butternut squash can be roasted, mashed, or used in soups as a substitute for sweet potatoes.
  • Acorn Squash: Acorn squash has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a soft, creamy texture when cooked. It can be used as a substitute for sweet potatoes in both savory and sweet dishes.
  • Kabocha Squash: Kabocha squash, also known as Japanese pumpkin, has a sweet and nutty flavor similar to sweet potatoes. It can be roasted, steamed, or mashed as a substitute.


When sweet potatoes are not readily available or their sweetness is not desired in a particular recipe, there are many alternatives that can provide similar textures and flavors. Garnet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, parsnips, jewel potatoes, taro, white potatoes, ube, golden beets, cassava, and carrots are all excellent substitutes for sweet potatoes in a variety of dishes. These alternatives offer versatility and unique characteristics that can enhance your culinary creations. Experimenting with different substitutes can open up new possibilities and expand your cooking repertoire.


Are sweet potatoes and garnet potatoes interchangeable in recipes?

Yes, sweet potatoes and garnet potatoes can be used interchangeably in most recipes. Garnet potatoes have a similar texture and slightly sweeter flavor to sweet potatoes, making them a good substitute.

Can I substitute sweet potatoes for regular potatoes?

Yes, regular potatoes can be used as a substitute for sweet potatoes in many recipes. While they may not have the same level of sweetness, regular potatoes offer a versatile and neutral flavor that works well in a variety of dishes.

What can I use instead of sweet potatoes in desserts?

If you are looking for a sweet potato substitute in desserts, options such as ube (purple yam), butternut squash, or pumpkin can be used. These alternatives offer a similar sweetness and creamy texture that can enhance your dessert recipes.

Are there low-carb alternatives to sweet potatoes?

Yes, if you’re on a low-carb diet, you can consider using alternatives such as cauliflower or turnips to replace sweet potatoes. These vegetables have a lower carbohydrate content and can be prepared in similar ways to achieve a similar texture and flavor.

Can I use carrots instead of sweet potatoes?

Yes, carrots can be used as a substitute for sweet potatoes in certain recipes. While they have a different texture, carrots offer a natural sweetness that can complement a variety of dishes. They work especially well in soups, stews, and baked goods.