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Looking for a substitute for mango that actually works? Here are 9 of the best mango substitutes that have been tried and tested. If you’re making a recipe that calls from mango and you have no mango on hand, then there are a few alternatives worth considering.
What are mangoes?
Mango, which is among the most consumed fruits in the world, is a tropical stone fruit from the drupe family that is native to India. Mangoes can be identified by their fleshy, creamy, bright yellow flesh, their thin green, yellow/orange/reddish outer skin, and their sweet, fruity aroma that fills the room once they’re ripe.
The entire mango fruit is edible, however, the seed and skins are usually discarded while the sweet and soft flesh is eaten.
Mangoes are high in sugar, but they’re also high in vitamin C and A and potassium and low in calories.
When ripe, mangoes are soft, creamy, juicy and very sweet with hints of pine and floral notes.
When green, mangoes can be either slightly sweet, sour or tart with flesh that is a light yellowish green. Green mangoes also have a tougher, drier flesh compared to the ripe ones which makes it less appealing.
Mango is popularly consumed on its own. Just grab the fruit, peal off the skin and bite into it for a delicious sweet soft snack.
Mango is also often used in other food preparations like in smoothies, margaritas, cocktails, in chutney, salsas, fruits salads, vegetable salads, ice creams, popsicles and more.
In this section, the focus will be on outlining the substitutes for ripe mangoes which include, other varieties of mango, frozen mango, mango puree, canned mango, nectarines, peaches, papaya and mango juice.
Best substitute for mango
Other varieties of mango
There are at least 500 different varieties of mangoes in the world. So, if you can’t find a particular type, there are countless other types of mangoes that you can search for and find.
Take a simple drive to a farmers market to pick out some other varieties of mango for your dish. This will help you to keep the original flavor of the recipe or dish intact.
Another great sub for fresh mango is frozen mango. If your recipe calls for fresh mangoes, but, you can’t find them, substitute with frozen mango chunks on a 1:1 ratio. You can use frozen mango in almost all recipes that call for fresh including smoothies, popsicles, drinks and more.
Other mango substitutes to consider
When it comes to making certain mango recipes, I always advocate for waiting until you have this ingredient before making it. The original ingredient is always best.
However, sometimes you just can’t find the ingredient and the show must go on. In cases like these, you need a stand in that at least has some similarities with the original ingredient. For this the top best alternatives for mangoes are peaches, papaya, apricots, nectarines, mango puree and mango juice.
Peaches are stone fruit just like mangoes. Peaches are sweet, juicy, fleshy and have a thin yellowish, reddish outer skin. Peaches even have a similar yellow color and have a similar sweetness to mango. All of this makes peaches a great substitute for mangoes in terms of color and texture in many recipes.
So, if you’re allergic to mango, or you cannot find it in the stores, grab some peaches and use them to replace mangoes in almost all recipes that calls for mango such as salsa, chutney, margaritas, popsicles, and even to add in fruit salads and vegetable salads.
Peaches can also be chopped up and added to sauces like you would mango, or pureed and added to drinks like cocktails.
The flavor will be slightly altered, but still good. Use one a 1:1 ratio.
Another good substitute for mango is the ripe papaya. This tropical fruit is sweet, soft, buttery and fleshy like mangoes. Unlike mangoes however, papaya has a flavor that is more reminiscent of peaches and apricots compared to the flavor of mangoes.
Nonetheless, in recipes like salsas, sangria, smoothies, fruits salads, papaya can easily replace mango on a 1:1 substitute ratio.
Nectarines are another great stone fruit that can be used as a replacement for mango.
Nectarines have a very similar color and texture to mango and they’re more easily accessible. While nectarines do have a different flavor than mango, it is a fruit with similar sweetness as mango and so it can be used has a great mango alternative in recipes like cocktails, salads, cakes, muffins, crumbles, tarts, pies and more.
Another alternative for mango is the apricot. This stone fruit is less juicy than mango and peaches, however, it can be used as a substitute for mango in recipes like smoothies, salads, in chicken recipes, chopped and stewed in sauces and so much more.
This is another good substitute for mango in a pinch. It is quite easy to find in most local grocery stores and can replace mango in recipes that just need some mango flavor but not the texture.
If you can’t find mango in the grocery stores try out some mango purée. Mango purée has a flavor that is an almost exact match for mango and can work well in recipes like smoothies, mango pudding, mango ice cream, mango flavored drinks, cocktails, sorbets, cakes and any other recipe that needs the flavor of mango, but not the texture of the fresh mangoes or the mango chunks.
Substitute for green mango
While green mango isn’t used as much as ripe in cooking, it does sometimes make an appearance in certain recipes. Here are the best substitutes for green mangoes when you can’t find them anywhere:
Made by drying and grinding green mango into a powdered spice, this green mango substitute is easy to find in grocery stores or from online retailers like Amazon and can be used to replace green mango in chutney’s, sauces, vegetable recipes, curries and other Indian recipes.
Mango substitute in specific recipes
Substitute for mango in graham cake
Graham cake is a dessert made by layering graham crackers, sweetened cream and slices of ripe mangoes to make a delicious cold dessert. If you have no mango on hand, you can use other fruits like peaches or even fruit cocktail in your graham cake recipe.
Substitute for mango in chutney
Green or under-ripe mangoes are often used to make chutney. If you can’t find mangoes and you need to make a chutney recipe, some good substitutes for mango in chutney include, apricots, nectarines and peaches.