12 Best Papaya Substitute Will Make You Surprised (Ripe & Green)

Papaya is a fruit commonly used in many dishes, especially for coloring and sweetness. Due to its unique taste, finding a substitute for papaya can be quite challenging for some.

If you are stuck in that situation, then let your hair down as we are about to share with you a full list of papaya substitutes. Stay tuned!

What Does Papaya Taste Like?

We’d describe papaya as a delicate, butter-like fruit with a flavor close to that of cantaloupe or mango. The sweetness of papayas is like a delight for your mouth; it is not as intensely sweet as sugar. The longer you leave it, the more delicious it will be.

However, contrary to ripened papaya, green papaya has no discernible flavor. While some people thought it was bland; some said it has an awful and harsh flavor. Green papaya is often added in salads to make the texture more crunchy.

What Are The Nutrition Factors of Papaya?

Papaya is an extremely healthy tropical fruit because it contains a variety of antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and B. Adding papaya to your diet can boost your cardiovascular health as studies reveal that fruits with a high content of lycopene and vitamin C can help prevent heart disease.

In addition, in this delicious tropical treat, the amount of beta carotene is greater than in other fruits similar to papaya

Beta carotene is a vitamin A precursor that will later transform into vitamin A when entering your body. This micro-nutrient functions as a powerful antioxidant to prevent you from getting dry eyes and help to fight some malignancies.

What Are The Best Substitutes For Papaya?

Due to the different tastes, we will recommend different alternatives to ripe and unripe papaya. This is like a study for “what fruit is similar to papaya”.

#1. Ripe Papaya Substitute

ripe papaya substitute
ripe papaya

1.1 Mango

First, let’s check out a kind of fruit that is a perfect substitute for papaya: mango.

Mango is one of the most consumed fruits globally, dubbed the “king of fruits.” Some of you might be concerned, “is mango a citrus fruit.” Then the answer is no.

In terms of texture, color, and taste, mango is identical to papaya. There are even green as well as refined mangoes of the same taste. They all share the same softness, sweetness, and vivid color of orange. This fruit is sure to be a fantastic choice for housewives who want to prepare cakes or sweet sauces.

1.2. Pineapple

You’re undoubtedly overly familiar with pineapple in a variety of cuisines, such as seafood pizza, aren’t you? This tropical fruit tastes like the perfect combination of sour and sweet, half each. 

If you intend to substitute pineapple for orange papaya, keep in mind that the pineapple has a strong yellow tint, which may impair the final product. And sometimes, the sourness in pineapple can overwhelm the sweetness, so don’t forget to continuously season the dish along the way.

1.3. Peach or nectarine

Another papaya like fruit that we can talk about is peach. This is a delicate, rich, sweet fruit with a striking pink color. Unlike papaya, you should only eat peaches when they are fully ripe; otherwise, you will only feel the bitter taste.

Chefs frequently use nectarine or peach as a moderate sweetness and deodorizer for proteins like meat or fish. However, for some people, it has the potential to irritate the mouth and sting when eating.

1.4. Squash

Believe us; it is worth trying. I know that pumpkin seems to be the better choice in this situation, but pumpkin tends to be overly sweet. But everyone knows although the difference is very small, it is enough to make your dish go astray.

Meanwhile, butternut squash has a fruity, mildly sweet, perhaps not as sweet as papaya. However, it is certainly the perfect hue and overall taste.

1.5. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a fruit that contains many nutrients as an additional source for our body. It does not have a bitter taste but rather a light, cool, and fresh flavor. When the fruit is mature, you will be able to enjoy the distinctive aroma, as well as the soft and delicious taste.

However, there is a minor issue: the texture and color of cantaloupe are not very similar to those of papaya. As a result, to assure the quality of the food, housewives should select the appropriate recipe. 

But this is just a matter of visuals; you can always mix and match a little bit to create a new recipe.

1.6. Canned papaya

We must all accept that canning is a wonderful human creation.

But, many people are still wary of using canned papaya because they believe canned food is less healthful than fresh or frozen food. That, however, is not the case. Most minerals and fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, D, E, and K, are still present in the final product.

As for the taste, it depends on the positioning of each brand. In general, canned papaya will be slightly sweeter and slightly saltier than fresh papaya. Nevertheless, you will need to sample several types to find the best one for you.

1.7. Carrot

You can consider carrots as a fruit similar to papaya. And it can work as a replacement for ripe papaya in many dishes.

This is due to carrots’ distinctive orange color and slightly fruity sweetness. However, you must pay attention that the carrot is crisp and not squishy like the papaya. As a result, it works well in purée recipes with fennel seed substitute and is worth trying.

1.8. Pears

If you have a medical condition and cannot tolerate sugar, pears are an ideal choice for you.

Pears have a high water content and a lot of fiber and vitamins that aid with blood sugar control. People with diabetes can consume one pear per day to boost insulin sensitivity and satisfy sweet desires without causing harm.

However, it lacks a distinct, vibrant orange from that of papaya. But stay calm! You can handle this problem in a blink of an eye by adding a little food coloring.

1.9. Apple

Here comes the last of the ripe papaya similar classifications: apple.

Apples are one of the most popular fruits globally because of their crunchy texture, pure sweetness, and freshness. They contain a lot of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Consuming apples daily can help lower calorie intake and support long-term weight loss.

When using apples as a substitute for papaya, home cooks must pay particular attention to texture and flavor, just as they do with pears, so that the dish does not deviate too much from the original.

#2. Green Papaya Substitute

green papaya substitute
green papaya


Green Papaya can be detrimental to pregnant women, unlike mature papaya that brings many advantages to human health. Therefore, before adding to your diet, consult your doctor.

2.1. Cabbage

Shred cabbage is probably the first one that crosses our mind when it comes to green papaya substitutes.

These are truly an ideal choice as they have the same crunchy texture and refreshing taste. Many people even think that cabbage is better than papaya because they have a mild sweet taste that suits many different recipes.

2.2. Cucumber

Cucumber is certainly the most popular choice for salads. This cool, smooth fruit is very comparable to a smooth, crisp, immature papaya. 

Besides, many studies revealed that cucumber has several advantages to human health. It helps rehydrate, reduces the chance of damaging cholesterol, and lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.

2.3 Zucchini

Zucchini or zucchini substitute has a slightly sweet and bitter flavor, with a slightly bitter feeling. Cooks frequently prepare and cook this ingredient and avoid consuming raw to minimize bitterness. 

If you are seeking an alternative to unripe papaya, you should also employ this procedure.


Here are some of our suggestions in case you want to find an excellent papaya substitute.

Each of the ingredients mentioned above has different characteristics, and you need to be careful to use them in recipes. However, in general, they should be able to meet your needs.

Thanks for your time!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 1 comments
  • Leave a Reply: