I made a pot roast yesterday with potatoes (red fingerlings) in it. I forgot, but potatoes give me incredible heartburn.

For stews, soups, and roasts (among other things), what are good alternatives to potatoes?

Simply Googling "alternatives to potatoes" brings up a bunch of nonsense about cutting carbs, thus why I'm asking here.

  • 1
    Do you have issues with other root vegetables? eg: Yams, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnip, rutabaga?
    – talon8
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 18:18
  • @talon8 Nope! It just seems to be potatoes. Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 19:05

3 Answers 3


If you want a similar texture and flavor, I recommend trying other similar root vegetables.

I use turnips and parsnips in similar applications. They're both dense, white and have a slight sweetness to them and they should hold up relatively well to long cooking times.

You might also enjoy yucca which can have a cooked texture similar to a cross between potato and banana. I've not tried them in this sort of application specifically but I think they should work.

  • It took me a long time, but I did make pot roast again, this time with parsnips and it worked out beautifully. Thanks for the suggestion! Commented May 21, 2017 at 17:25

Apart from "other root vegetables", unripe plantains and hard squash are starchy and substantial like potatoes are, and can be used; for optimal results, the cooking method might need to be adapted. Plantains will be best sauteed or fried before being added. With hard squash one needs to take care not to overcook it, so adding it later in a long-stewing dish might be advantageous.

In some cases, hard fruit (apples, heirloom pears, pineapple etc.) can also work, but will obviously change the result significantly.


Try chayote, it's a great substitute for any starch. It's got a nice crisp to it raw, cooks down to a nice texture, and doesn't really have any taste of its own.1 It takes on the flavors of whatever it cooks with; some even use it as a substitute for apples in desserts after flavoring it because it holds up extremely well (think of those deep fried pies you can get at fast food places).

Roasting along with carrots and other vegetables in a stock would leave it with a very nice taste; it won't alter the flavor or outcome of the dish. I frequently use it in soups because getting a piece of it in a bite really amplifies the taste of the stock. It's also rich in vitamin C.

The drawback is that it doesn't break down as easily as potatoes do while roasting, and won't have that sort of mild thickening / fortifying effect. But you could easily work around that.

Alternatively, parsnips (as others suggested) if you can't find chayote, but parsnips and other roots bring a new flavor to the table.

1If you have a very sensitive palate, you will detect a very mild flavor, but it's very easily overpowered by practically anything.

  • The glorious Tim Post answering one of my questions! Good idea, but I'm not exactly sure where I could possibly find that fruit :P I live practically in the middle of nowhere; I've never seen this at any grocery store around here. Ironically I'm surrounded by farmland, but almost everyone grows corn. Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 18:16
  • @ChrisCirefice I'm not sure if you'd be able to grow it there (perhaps if you had access to some kind of greenhouse). Is there an Asian market anywhere nearby? It's a staple fruit, so I'm sure you'd be able to get it there.
    – user293
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 18:32
  • Indeed there is, I'll have to go there tomorrow to see what they have! Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 19:17
  • Try corn husks. There are a few recipes on the internet for using them in stews and they have the advantage of being essentially free.
    – user23614
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 10:14
  • Isn't chayote a tad... too crisp and too... kohlrabi-ish in texture for the task at hand? Commented Aug 22, 2016 at 16:44

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