Potato Alternatives


Not everyone likes, or has available, starchy potatoes. Ask yourself whether you want to substitute a less starchy substance for potatoes in familiar potato-laden dishes or if you want a totally new side. Substitutes for these tubers can be made in your recipes, depending on what you are making. Replacing all of the potatoes in your recipes with a less starchy substitute could change the final flavor of the recipe slightly, but you might discover a new favorite dish. Make adjustments based on your personal preferences for taste and dietary needs.


  • Cooked, mashed potatoes with butter and milk can be made healthier. Instead of high-starch potatoes, replace part or all of the potatoes with cooked, mashed cauliflower. To boost the flavor of the bland vegetable, add plain or roasted garlic to the side dish. The resulting recipe is lower in carbohydrates and overall calories compared to the same recipe made with potatoes. If you are not concerned with the amount of fats, retain the use of milk and butter in the original mashed potato recipe or replace them with enough chicken broth to mash the cauliflower to the desired consistency.


  • A transformation occurs to potatoes when you slice them into thin cuts and deep fry them. Potato chips have a crispy, crunchy texture. Instead of looking for a vegetable substitute for potato chips, try plantain chips. These crispy treats are made with fried plantains. Plantains resemble large bananas, but they have a starchy, rather than sweet, flavor and are used in savory dishes. If you are concerned about the fat content or mess of deep frying plantain slices, bake them in the oven until crisp. Serve the plantain chips salted and with dip as you would potato chips.


  • French fries are readily available at fast food restaurants. Like potato chips, French fries are deep fried. To replace the crunch of French fries, try raw jicama slices. This tuber has a flavor like a cross between an apple and a raw potato. Peel off the skin and cut the jicama into matchstick cuts. Dip the jicama sticks into ketchup or your favorite French fry dipping sauce for a non-fried version of French fries. Use fried polenta instead of potatoes for a new twist. Polenta is an Italian cornmeal dish that can be thin like porridge or thick enough to slice. For a crunchy, fried replacement for potato fries, prepare a pan of thick polenta and cut it into strips the size of French fries. Lightly coat the strips in flour and deep fry until they become lightly browned and crispy.

Now for Something Completely Different

  • Serve pasta salad or a rice salad made with brown rice or another whole grain instead of potato salad. Try baked sweet potatoes or baked acorn squash as a colorful alternative to baked potatoes. Explore whole grain pasta varieties made with whole wheat flour instead of white. If you feel ambitious, try your hand at making a souffle. If possible, bake the souffle right before dinner and serve it hot from the oven so your guests can enjoy it before it deflates as it cools.

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