11 Best Substitutes for Pumpkin 

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Whether you have run out of pumpkins or want to experiment with flavors, here is an exhaustive list of all the best possible pumpkin substitutes you can use in your cooking. 

So, let’s dive right in. 

11 Best Substitutes for Pumpkin 

1. Butternut Squash 

If you are looking to replace pumpkin in any recipe without having to give much thought about changes in texture, color, or even taste then there is no better alternative than butternut squash.

This winter squash can work just as well in recipes from pies to roasts.

How to Substitute? 

You can use butternut squash in the same ratio as you would have used pumpkin in any of your recipes. 

Check out these four great ways to make the most of your butternut squash when you don’t have pumpkins to work with – 

2. Acorn Squash 

Acorn squashes last longer into winter than pumpkin and is great as a substitute in any recipe that you can think of.

Acorn squashes are especially great if you like sweeter flavors and baked goodies.

It offers more or less the same color and texture. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use the acorn squash in more or less the same measure as you use pumpkin in any recipe you like. 

If you would like to roast some acorn squash instead of pumpkins, check out this YouTube tutorial – 

3. Hubbard Squash 

Another squash that works all year round and for most recipes that you can think of, Hubbard squash is a nutty and sweet alternative to pumpkin.

You can find both green and yellow-colored Hubbard squash that can work for both sweet and savory recipes. 

How to Substitute? 

You can go with a 1:1 ratio substitution of Hubbard squash for pumpkin in any recipe that you like, though it may be sweeter. 

For a simple and easy Hubbard squash soup recipe, check out this video –

4. Buttercup Squash 

Just like butternut squash, sweet and creamy buttercup squash works great in almost any recipe that calls for pumpkin in it.

It is especially great in soups, where you want the creamy texture to stand out.

You could also steam and bake it.

How to Substitute? 

Buttercup squash can be used in the same measure as pumpkin would be used in any recipe that you like. 

Here is a lovely buttercup squash soup recipe that you can try at home – 

5. Sweet Potato 

When looking for pumpkin substitutes in puree form, sweet potatoes are a great alternative.

Although the flavors can vary, sweet potatoes offer the same texture and color and if done right you will not be able to make out the difference.

How to Substitute? 

You can use a 1:1 ratio substitution of sweet potato for pumpkin in puree form, although in other cases you might want to experiment with the ratio. 

Here is a sweet potato muffin recipe to try instead of a pumpkin recipe – 

6. Calabaza

If you have Calabaza to work with or want to try it in some new form, you can always use it instead of pumpkin in your recipe.

It is nutty and sweet and works well in both sweet and savory recipes.

So, you can go ahead and substitute it in any recipe that you like.

How to Substitute? 

Calabaza can be used in the same portions that you would have used pumpkin in your recipe. 

Check out this video for a quick and easy calabaza soup recipe –

7. Carrot 

Carrots also work just as well as pumpkins in your recipe, especially if you want to replace pumpkin in the puree form.

It is great for both sweet and savory recipes and can be used for baking or cooking.

How to Substitute? 

In most cases, you can use the same measure of carrots pureed as pumpkin puree is called for in the recipe though the flavors may vary. 

Here is a great garlic roasted carrots recipe that you can try instead of pumpkins the next time you want to switch things up a bit – 

8. Zucchini

For savory recipes like roasts or salads, you could always use zucchini to replace pumpkins.

They offer the texture that you are looking for with more or less the same notes of sweetness.

You could also use pureed zucchini as a substitute in savory recipes, though not in sweet ones.

How to Substitute? 

Zucchini can replace pumpkin in a 1:1 ratio in most savory recipes that you like, though there may be some flavor differences. 

If you want to try a zucchini bread instead of your go-to pumpkin baked goodie, check out this recipe – 

9. Apple Sauce 

If you are baking and want a quick-fix solution to pumpkin in your recipes, then apple sauce is your best bet.

It gives you the same texture and also gives sweeter flavors.

Though the recipe might lack the signature pumpkin taste, it will still taste yummy. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same ratio of apple sauce as pumpkin is called for in the recipe but take care to adjust the sweetness level of the overall recipe. 

If you want to make some applesauce from scratch and keep some in stock, check out this recipe video – 

10. Bananas

Bananas are yet another great baking quick-fix solution to pumpkin in your recipes.

They bring out a whole other range of warm flavors and make your cakes, muffins, or bread just as great as your pumpkin-based recipe.

How to Substitute? 

A cup of pumpkin puree is around 3 bananas but you might want to play around with the ratio to get the texture and balance you are looking for. 

Here is a super easy banana muffin recipe that you can make at home – 

11. Peanut Butter

If you have peanut butter lying around and want a quick-fix solution to pumpkin in your recipe, then you can go ahead and make the swap for your cakes or muffins.

It is slightly thicker in consistency, but with the right ratio gives great results.

How to Substitute? 

A cup of peanut butter would be more or less a cup and a half of pumpkin puree. You might want to experiment with the ratios to find the balance you prefer. 

Bottom Line

I hope this article has given you the best alternatives to pumpkin in your cooking and baking. 

We hope you found this article helpful!

If you have any experience using substitutes for pumpkins, let us know in the comments below.

And be sure to share this article with your friends and family who love pumpkins as much as you do!

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About Pooja Jain

Pooja is a foodie who likes experimenting with different cuisines every day. Cooking for Pooja is not just about following recipes, but also adding something of herself into it making each dish unique as well as delicious!

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