Russet Potatoes Substitute: 13 Healthy Alternatives

Russet potatoes are one of the most popular varieties. During my health coaching sessions some clients have asked me about alternatives to them for various different reasons. Let’s take a look at substitutes which can be used in place of russet potatoes.

The following is russet potato substitutes:

  1. Yukon Gold potatoes
  2. Idaho russet potatoes
  3. Red potatoes
  4. Yams
  5. Taro
  6. Sweet potatoes
  7. Turnips
  8. Cauliflower
  9. Kabocha
  10. Acorn squash
  11. Rutabaga
  12. Daikon radishes
  13. Celeriac (celery root)

This article will compare the tastes, textures and cooking methods for each one. In addition, I’ll include a side-by-side nutrient comparison of russet potatoes and the foods on the list.

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.

Russet Potato Substitutes

A picture of russet potatoes taken by Kevin Garce in his local supermarket
A picture of russet potatoes I took in my local supermarket

The first three are potatoes in case you’re looking for a potato substitute.

1. Yukon Gold Potatoes

Yukon Gold and russet have a mild, unsweet flavor. Yukon Gold is less starchy and more buttery. They’re both creamy making them a good option.

Russet is known for having a thick, tough skin. Yukon gold’s skin is thinner and another benefit if the tougher skin is undesirable.

It is also better in soups because they hold together better. Other than that it can be used for:

  • Baking
  • Scalloped
  • French fries
  • Tots
  • Roasting
  • Mashed

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Yukon Gold Potato, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 74
Protein 2.14 g 2.03 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 17.5 g
Fiber 1.3 g 1.4 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.05 g
Sugar 0.62 g 0.68 g

Nutrient Resources 1 2 3

The nutrients are almost identical except for the vitamin C. Yukon Gold contains 18.2 mg per 100 grams while russet contains 5.7 mg. I use Yukon Gold all the time. Below is a picture of some on my counter at home.

Yukon Gold potatoes on Kevin Garce's kitchen counter at home.
Yukon Gold potatoes on my kitchen counter at home

2. Idaho Russet Potatoes

Idaho russet and russet are both russet potatoes. The difference is the Idaho russet refers to russet potatoes grown in Idaho.

Therefore, Idaho russet is the perfect choice for russet if you wish to keep a potato in your dish. I tried this at home and there was no difference in taste, cooking times or quantity.

Idaho’s environment is perfect for growing potatoes which is why Idaho potatoes are considered the best. The climate and soil are ideal for growing potatoes, and the russet variety is the most popular grown Idaho potato.

For these reasons I try to buy Idaho anytime I need potatoes.

A regular and an Idaho russet have a mild neutral flavor and the flesh is creamy. They both have the similar thicker and tougher skin.

They both can be used for:

  • Baking
  • Scalloped
  • French fries
  • Tots
  • Roasting
  • Mashed

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Idaho Russet Potato, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 74
Protein 2.14 g 2.03 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 17.6 g
Fiber 1.3 g 1.4 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.05 g
Sugar 0.62 g 0.68 g

Nutrient Resources 4 5

The nutrients are similar to each other except for the vitamin C. Idaho have more vitamin C than the regular variety.

The video below has some potato alternatives, especially for people who prefer low carb.

3. Red Potatoes

Red potatoes are smaller and rounder. They have a thinner skin, and the flesh is a creamy white. Red potatoes are less starchier but not as creamy.

Using red potatoes allows more versatility because they are better for potato salad and soups. This is so because they hold their shape better. Red potatoes can also be used for the following:

  • Baking
  • Roasting
  • Mashing
  • French fries
  • Tots
  • Scalloping

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Red Potato, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 70
Protein 2.14 g 1.89 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 15.9 g
Fiber 1.3 g 1.7 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.14 g
Sugar 0.62 g 1.29 g

Nutrient Resources 6

The difference in nutrients with red potatoes are a little more than the other options on the list but not large enough to make a considerable difference.

Red potatoes provide a little more fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins and minerals.

Red potatoes on a cutting board
Red potatoes on a cutting board

I often use red potatoes at home and roast them in a pan using avocado oil. If I have them available, I add onion and bell peppers.

4. Yams

Yams often get confused with sweet potatoes but are more like yuka. True yams have a bark-like skin with hairs. The skin is dark and the flesh is light colored.

The flesh is dry, starchy and stringy. They taste slight nutty and sweeter. Yams can be used when cooking for the following:

  • Mashed
  • Baked
  • Roasted
  • Fried

True yams may be a little difficult to find in your typical supermarket. You’ll have a better chance at a local grocery store specializing in products for foreign customers. They can also be found online.

In West Africa, people often mash yams and add them to soups.

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Yams, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 118
Protein 2.14 g 1.53 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 27.9 g
Fiber 1.3 g 4.1 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.17 g
Sugar 0.62 g 0.50 g

Nutrient Resources 7

If you’re counting carbs or calories, yams aren’t the best option because they contain substantially more of each.

Yams provide less protein but more fiber.

yams
Russet Potato Substitute Yams

5. Taro

Taro is a starchy root vegetable with a rough, bark-like outer skin. The flesh is creamy white or purple.

Taro is slightly sweet and nuttier. It’s mashed the same as mashed potatoes. Taro has a pasty consistency. Some people call it a taro mash and in Hawaii it’s used to make poi.

Taro can also be used for:

  • Baked
  • Mashed
  • Fried
  • Roasted
  • Steamed

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Taro, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 112
Protein 2.14 g 1.50 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 26.5 g
Fiber 1.3 g 4.1 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.20 g
Sugar 0.62 g 0.40 g

Nutrient Resources 8

If you’re counting calories or carbs, taro isn’t the best choice because it contains more of each. Taro provides less protein but three times more fiber. I easily find them in my local supermarket.

Kevin Garce's photo of taro in his local supermarket.
Taking a photo of taro in my local supermarket

6. Sweet Potatoes

The texture of sweet potatoes is similar to russet potatoes. Sweet potatoes also have a rough skin although not as thick.

Sweet potatoes will increase the sweetness of the dish and is less starchy than russets. They can be cooked the same ways including:

  • Baked
  • Mashed
  • French fries
  • Tots
  • Roasting

The raw flesh of sweet potatoes is harder and will probably take a little longer to cook.

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Sweet Potato, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 86
Protein 2.14 g 1.57 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 20.1 g
Fiber 1.3 g 3.0 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.05 g
Sugar 0.62 g 4.18 g

Nutrient Resources 9

Sweet potatoes have slightly more calories and carbohydrates. The major difference between the two is how much more fiber and vitamin A sweet potatoes have.

Sweet potatoes have a little more than 14,000 IUs of vitamin A per 100 grams or about 284% of the suggested daily intake. If you use them, the number of vitamin A will be greater.

I cook sweet potatoes most of the time because they have more nutrients and vitamin A. The picture below shows my last two at home on my counter. It always seems I’m running out of them and need more.

Sweet potatoes on Kevin garce's kitchen counter at home.
Sweet potatoes on my kitchen counter at home

7. Turnips

Turnips are sweeter. When turnips are cooked, their consistency is similar.

You can use a turnip to do almost anything a cooked russet can do including the following:

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

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Turnips, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 28
Protein 2.14 g 0.90 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 6.4 g
Fiber 1.3 g 1.8 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.10 g
Sugar 0.62 g 3.80 g

Nutrient Resources 10

Turnips are a great if you’re counting carbohydrates or calories. In addition, they have more calcium, fiber and vitamin C.

mashed turnips
Russet Potato Substitute Turnips

8. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is more versatile than what people think. A popular way to use them is by mashing them. Mashed cauliflower tastes buttery, smooth and lighter than potatoes.

I’m mashing them up at home more and more lately as they become more popular to use.

Cauliflower can be prepared in the following ways:

  • Mashing
  • Roasting
  • Baking
  • Frying

Let’s take a look at the nutrients.

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Cauliflower, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 25
Protein 2.14 g 1.92 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 4.9 g
Fiber 1.3 g 2.0 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.28 g
Sugar 0.62 g 1.91 g

Nutrient Resources 11

Cauliflower is an excellent option especially if you’re looking for a low-carb substitute or if you’re counting calories.

mashed cauliflower on a plate
Russet Potato Substitute Cauliflower

9. Kabocha

Kabocha taste like a mix between a sweet potato and a carrot. Therefore, it’s sweeter but not as sweet as a sweet potato.

They can be cooked the same ways including:

  • Baked
  • Mashed
  • French fries
  • Tots
  • Roasting

Many people like making small chunks called bites.

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Kabocha, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 35
Protein 2.14 g 1.18 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 8.2 g
Fiber 1.3 g 1.2 g
Fat 0.08 g 0 g
Sugar 0.62 g 0 g

Nutrient Resources 12

If you’re on a Keto or low-carb diet, Kabocha is a great choice containing 10 less grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. It also contains approximately half the calories if you’re looking to lose weight.

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

Kabocha
Kabocha with lentils

10. Acorn Squash

Acorn squash is sweeter but not as sweet as sweet potatoes. It has a nuttier taste, but the texture is more similar to potatoes.

Acorn squash can be used for the following:

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

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Acorn Squash, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 40
Protein 2.14 g 0.80 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 10.4 g
Fiber 1.3 g 1.5 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.10 g
Sugar 0.62 g 2.46 g

Nutrient Resources 13

Acorn squash contains fewer carbohydrates, and calories making it a good option for low-carb or Keto diets. In addition, it contains a good number of vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium.

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

11. Rutabaga

Rutabaga is like a mix between cabbage and a turnip. They are less starchy and sweeter.

They can be used almost any way a russet potato is used including:

  • Mash
  • Roast
  • Bake
  • Soups
  • Stews

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Rutabaga, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 37
Protein 2.14 g 1.08 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 8.6 g
Fiber 1.3 g 2.3 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.16 g
Sugar 0.62 g 4.46 g

Nutrient Resources 14

Rutabaga makes a good choice especially if you’re counting calories or on a low-carb diet. They also contain more calcium, folate and vitamin C.

Rutabaga is also picked in this article. Find out the other 12 in my article, Low Carb Potato Substitutes: The 13 Best Alternatives.

For most Thanksgivings, I boil and mash them in addition to potatoes and sweet potatoes.

rutabaga
Rutabaga

12. Daikon

Daikon is a type of radish very common in Japanese cuisine and other East Asian cultures. It’s usually consumed raw or pickled in Japan.

Raw it tastes like a radish but it tastes surprising similarly to potatoes when baked or boiled. Other popular options are:

  • “Potato” salad
  • Scalloped
  • Mashed

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, baked (100 g) Daikon, cooked (100 g)
Calories 95 38
Protein 2.63 g 0.67 g
Carbohydrates 21.4 g 3.3 g
Fiber 2.3 g 1.5 g
Fat 0.13 g 2.63 g
Sugar 1.08 g 1.80 g

Nutrient Resources 15 16

Daikon is another great low-carb choice. In addition, it contains fewer calories and more calcium, vitamin A and folate. I find them easy to find in most supermarkets as shown in my picture below during my last shopping trip.

Many options for sweet potatoes are different due to flavor. Check those out in my article, Keto Substitute for Sweet Potatoes: 8 Healthy Substitutes.

Kevin garce checking daikon radishes in his local supermarket produce section
Checking daikon radishes in my local supermarkets produce section

13. Celeriac

Celeriac is the root of celery. While it may not look pretty on the outside, once peeled it looks similar to a potato.

Celeriac tastes great when baked in bite-sized pieces. It also makes a great mash and you can do the following:

  • Bake
  • Use in soups
  • Roast

The following video explains to you how to make celeriac.

Let’s examine the nutrients between the two:

Russet Potato, raw (100 g) Celeriac, raw (100 g)
Calories 79 42
Protein 2.14 g 1.50 g
Carbohydrates 18.1 g 9.2 g
Fiber 1.3 g 1.8 g
Fat 0.08 g 0.30 g
Sugar 0.62 g 1.60 g

Nutrient Resources 17

If you’re counting calories or carbs, celeriac contains less.

In addition, celeriac has a good amount of the following: 

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Zinc
celery root or celeriac
Russet Potato Substitute Celeriac Celery root

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 russet potato Substitute?

  • 32% said the best one was Idaho which was the winner of the poll.

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 Food Alternatives Articles!

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Alternatives To Sweet Potatoes: 16 Unbeatable Substitutes

Is It Permissible To Substitute Fruit For Vegetables?

Article Resources: Foods For Anti-Aging follows strict guidelines to ensure our content is the highest journalistic standard. It's our mission to provide the reader with accurate, honest and unbiased guidance. Our content relies on medical associations, research institutions, government agencies and study resources. Learn more by reading our editorial policy.
  1. USDA: Potatoes, russet, flesh and skin, raw[]
  2. USDA: Yukon Gold Potatoes, Yukon Gold[]
  3. USDA: Brookshire’s, Yukon Gold Potatoes[]
  4. USDA: Idaho Russet Potatoes[]
  5. The Idaho Potato Commission: Idaho Potato Nutrition Facts[]
  6. USDA: Potatoes, red, flesh and skin, raw[]
  7. USDA: Yam, raw[]
  8. USDA: Taro, raw[]
  9. USDA: Sweet potato, raw, unprepared[]
  10. USDA: Turnips, raw[]
  11. USDA: Cauliflower, raw[]
  12. USDA: Kabocha Squash[]
  13. USDA: Squash, winter, acorn, raw[]
  14. USDA: Rutabagas, raw[]
  15. USDA: Daikon radish, cooked[]
  16. USDA: Potatoes, Russet, flesh and skin, baked[]
  17. USDA: Celeriac, raw[]

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