Keto Substitute for Sweet Potatoes: 8 Low Carb Substitutes

Sweet potatoes are a healthy choice but if you’re thinking about a Ketogenic diet, they are carbohydrate heavy. For this reason many of my health coaching clients will ask me, what can I substitute for sweet potatoes in the Keto diet?

Here are Keto low-carb substitutes for sweet potatoes:

  1. Pumpkin
  2. Butternut squash
  3. Acorn squash
  4. Kabocha
  5. Turnips
  6. Rutabaga
  7. Carrot
  8. Jicama

This article will include a side-by-side comparison of each low-carb foods carbohydrate and net carbs. In addition, I’ll discuss their textures, tastes and how you may want to cook them for your meals.

In addition to coaching clients about them, I’ve purchased, researched and used the alternatives in this article prior to, during and sometimes after writing this article.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Keto Tip: Good news! You don’t have to give up your favorite bread, pizza and sandwiches to follow a 100% Keto Diet. Find out here, Keto Breads.

squash in a bowl.
Squash as a Keto sweet potato substitute Pin to Pinterest

Keto Substitutes for Sweet Potatoes

1. Pumpkin

  • Pumpkin has 6.5 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 9.2 grams fewer.
  • Pumpkin has 6.5 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 10.6 grams fewer.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Pumpkin, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 26
Protein 1.57 g 1.00 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 6.5 g
Fiber 3.0 g 0.05 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 6.5 g

Nutrient Resources 1 2

If you’re counting carbs, pumpkin is a good choice because it contains 164% less net carbs.

Pumpkins are 90% water but have a little more iron. Pumpkin is also a good source of vitamin A.

Pumpkins are typically used for:

  • Soup recipe
  • Pies
  • Bread
  • Pumpkins taste great mashed also.

Mashed pumpkins are more like sweet potatoes for taste and texture.

For better results I use small sugar pumpkins instead of the large ones.

In addition to mashed, they can be cooked for the following:

  • Fries
  • Tots
  • Roasting
  • Baking recipe

The video below describes how to make low-carb mashed pumpkin.

2. Butternut Squash

  • Butternut squash has 11.7 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 8.4 grams fewer.
  • Butternut squash has 9.7 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 7.4 grams fewer.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Butternut Squash, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 45
Protein 1.57 g 1.00 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 11.7 g
Fiber 3.0 g 2.0 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 9.7 g

Nutrient Resources 3

If you’re counting carbs, butternut squash is a good choice because it contains 76% less net carbs. The first time I tried butternut squash I was more than happy and its become my favorite.

Butternut squash is lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate
  • Iron

It can be used for the following:

  • Mash
  • Roast
  • Air fry
  • Soup recipe
  • Potato fries
  • Tots

Similarities when using butternut squash:

  • Cooking time
  • Texture
  • Flavor profile

It has a very similar flavor to pumpkin, but is slightly sweeter. In the stores, butternut squash can be found pre-cut for various different foods.

mashed butternut squash
Mashed butternut squash

3. Acorn Squash

  • Acorn squash has 10.4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 9.7 grams fewer than sweet potatoes.
  • Acorn squash has 8.9 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 8.2 grams fewer.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Acorn Squash, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 40
Protein 1.57 g 0.80 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 10.4 g
Fiber 3.0 g 1.5 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 8.9 g

Nutrient Resources 4

If you’re concerned about low-carb, acorn squash is one of the better sweet potato alternatives because it contains 92% less net carbs.

Acorn squash is lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
  • Iron

Lower carb acorn squash can be used for the following recipes:

  • Mash
  • Roast
  • Bake recipe
  • Air fryer
  • Fries
  • Tots

Acorn squash has a similar cooking time, flavor and texture. They have a sweet, nutty taste although not as sweet. Remove the seeds from the center before cooking.

The video below shows you how to make mashed acorn squash.

4. Kabocha

  • Kabocha has 8.2 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 11.9 grams fewer.
  • Kabocha has 7.0 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 10.1 grams fewer.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Kabocha, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 35
Protein 1.57 g 1.18 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.0 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 8.2 g
Fiber 3.0 g 1.2 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 7.0 g

Nutrient Resources 5

If your goal is low carb food, kabocha is a good alternative because it contains 145% less net carbs.

In addition, the lower-carb kabocha is lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Folate

Kabocha makes a good recipe option because it tastes like carrot and sweet potato mixed together. It’s sweet but not as much as a sweet potato.

It can be prepared the same way as sweet potatoes although they are typically unused for pies. Kabocha can be used in casseroles or cut into fries or strips.

They can be:

  • Baked
  • Steamed
  • Roasted
  • Stewed
Kabocha
Kabocha with lentils

5. Turnips

  • Turnips have 6.4 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 13.7 grams fewer.
  • Turnips have 4.6 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 12.5 grams fewer.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Turnips, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 28
Protein 1.57 g 0.90 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 6.4 g
Fiber 3.0 g 1.8 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 4.6 g

Nutrient Resources 6

If your goal is low carb for a keto diet, turnips are a good alternative because it contains 270% less net carbs.

In addition, the lower-carb turnips are lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

You can use the turnips for almost anything including the following recipes:

  • Bake them
  • Mash them
  • Fry them
  • Blend them into soups
  • Tots
  • Fries 

Turnips is a good choice in meals like stew because of their hearty nature. They easily absorb flavor and help balance out dishes too salty or strong.

Make sure to boil the turnips beforehand, so they end up with a potato consistency.

mashed turnips
Mashed Turnips

6. Rutabaga

  • Rutabaga has 8.6 grams of total carbs per 100 grams, 11.5 grams fewer.
  • Rutabaga has 6.3 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 10.8 grams fewer.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Rutabaga, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 37
Protein 1.57 g 1.08 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.16 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 8.6 g
Fiber 3.0 g 2.3 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 6.3 g

Nutrient Resources 7

If you’re counting carbs, rutabaga is a good choice because it contains 172% less net carbs.

In addition, the lower-carb rutabagas are lower in calories and contains more of the following:

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C
  • Folate

Rutabagas taste like a combination between a turnip and cabbage. They can be used in any of the following recipes:

  • Stews
  • Soups
  • Casserole recipe

Use them any way you would use a sweet potato. Rutabagas can be diced, baked, roasted or mashed. For almost all Thanksgivings at home, I mash them up in addition to potatoes and sweet potatoes.

Some options differ for their cousins. Check out more substitutes for regular potatoes in my article, Low Carb Potato Substitutes: The 13 Best Alternatives.

rutabagas
Diced Rutabagas

7. Carrots

  • Carrots have 10.3 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 9.8 grams fewer.
  • Carrots have 9.4 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 7.7 grams fewer.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Carrots, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 45
Protein 1.57 g 0.94 g
Fat 0.05 g 3.10 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 10.3 g
Fiber 3.0 g 0.9 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 9.4 g

Nutrient Resources 8

If you’re counting carbs, carrots are a good choice because it contains 82% less net carbs.

In addition, carrots contain approximately half the calories and more of the following:

  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Riboflavin

Carrots are keto sweet making their flavor similar. Mashed carrots is a great option for mashed sweet potatoes. Carrots can also be roasted, sautéed, grilled and baked.

They’re great in stew and soup recipes.

Some are different for Yukon Gold potatoes. Find out how in my article, Yukon Gold Potatoes Substitute: The 13 Best Alternatives.

mashed carrots
Mashed carrots

8. Jicama

  • Jicama has grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, 11.3 grams fewer.
  • Jicama has 3.9 grams of net carbohydrates per 100 grams, 13.2 grams fewer.

Let’s examine the carbohydrates and nutrients side-by-side:

  Sweet Potato, raw (100 g) Jicama, raw (100 g)
Calories 86 38
Protein 1.57 g 0.72 g
Fat 0.05 g 0.09 g
Carbohydrates 20.1 g 8.8 g
Fiber 3.0 g 4.9 g
Net carbs 17.1 g 3.9 g

Nutrient Resources 9

If you’re counting carbs for a keto diet, jicama is a good choice because it contains 338% less net carbs.

Jicama is low in calories and better for weight loss.

What is jicama? Jicama is a tuberous root in the bean family. It’s not a root vegetable but many treat it as one due to the similarities. Some nicknames include yam bean, Mexican turnip and Mexican potato.

It has a thick brown skin with a white flesh inside. Jicama tastes like an apple but it’s not as sweet.

Jicama is often sliced into strips and eaten raw. It can be roasted or pan fried. The cooking process will soften up the flesh, so the texture becomes less crunchy and more towards a sweet potato.

Jicama can be added to soup or stew recipes.

If you’re having a difficult time finding it in your local supermarket, visit a specialty market selling foreign foods. I typically find it in my local Stop and Shop as shown in the picture below.

Find out the best russet potato substitutes in my article, Russet Potatoes Substitute: 13 Healthy Alternatives.

A picture of jicama taken by Kevin garce in his local supermarket.
A picture of jicama I took at my local supermarket

Sweet Potato Low Carb Substitute Poll

To conduct some original research and get the opinions of real people, I polled my readers, clients and members of some food groups. I asked them what was the best keto substitute for sweet potatoes?

  • 31% said the best one was butternut squash and was the winner of the poll.

The video below explains potato options for you on a keto diet.

Have you ever wanted another choice for Gatorade? If so, find out the best ones in my article, 17 Best Gatorade Substitutes.

If you have any questions about this article don’t hesitate to email us. You can find an email on our contact page.

Read Next – More Sweet Potato and Potatoes Articles!

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8 Healthy Sweet Potato Flour Substitutes

Alternatives To Sweet Potatoes: 16 Unbeatable Substitutes

Is It Permissible To Substitute Fruit For Vegetables?

Mashed Potato Substitutes: 15 Healthy Alternatives

  1. USDA: Pumpkin, raw[]
  2. USDA: Sweet potato, raw, unprepared[]
  3. USDA: Squash, winter, butternut, raw[]
  4. USDA: Squash, winter, acorn, raw[]
  5. USDA: Kabocha Squash[]
  6. USDA: Turnips, raw[]
  7. USDA: Rutabagas, raw[]
  8. USDA: Carrots, mature, raw[]
  9. USDA:Yambean (jicama), raw[]

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