Skip to Content

Enhance Your Dishes: 5 BEST Substitutes for Papaya

Papaya is a beloved fruit that has been enjoyed across the world for centuries.

While this unique and delicious fruit has many uses, it can be difficult to find depending on the season and location.

If you cannot get your hands on any papaya, don’t fret – there are plenty of substitutes available.

From mixing several other fruits together to utilizing other ingredients from around the kitchen, you can craft up dishes that are as close to papaya as possible without actually using the real thing.

Learn more about how to substitute papaya and what are the five best options for getting those distinct flavors.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Papaya in Recipes

Unfortunately, since papaya is not cultivated in many parts of the world, it may be difficult to find at your local grocery store.

If you’re looking for the perfect substitute when papaya isn’t available, here are five of the best options:

1 – Pineapple


Pineapple is widely available in grocery stores throughout the world and is especially abundant in tropical countries like India, Brazil, and Costa Rica.

Not only does pineapple has a similar sweetness to papaya, but it also contains the same enzymes that are beneficial for digestion.

Pineapple can be used as an alternative in recipes where papaya is required, such as marinades or salsa.

However, due to its lack of fiber content, it’s not recommended as an alternative for dishes requiring pureed fruit.

Additionally, pineapple has a slightly different flavor than papaya so you might want to adjust the other ingredients in your recipe accordingly if using it as a substitute.

2 – Mango


Mango is one of the closest fruits you can get to a papaya’s flavor.

It may not have the same deep, sweet flavor but it has enough to make a decent substitute in many recipes.

Ripe mangoes are actually sweeter than ripe papayas, which makes them an excellent substitution when looking for sweetness in certain dishes.

Mango also contains an impressive amount of vitamin A and C and dietary fiber.

When swapping mango for papaya in a dish, blanch the fruit before adding it to the recipe.

Blanching helps remove the distinct taste of mango and mellows out its strong flavor in order to complement other ingredients better.

The most common uses for mango include salsa, smoothies and sauces as well as being eaten plain or mixed into desserts for added sweetness.

3 – Peach


Peaches are a sweet and juicy fruit that can easily be substituted for papaya in many recipes.

Peaches have a slightly tart flavor with a soft, buttery texture, and because they are much sweeter than papayas, you may need to adjust other ingredients to balance the sweetness.

When cooking with peaches try to choose those that are slightly under-ripe as they firm up when cooked which gives the dish more body.

You can also consider adding lemon juice or cider vinegar to recipes containing peaches to give them more of a tangy flavor that is similar to papaya.

4 – Passion Fruit

passion fruit

Passion fruit is an exotic, sweet and tangy fruit native to certain regions of South America that has been enjoyed in many tropical countries for a long time.

It is a small, round or oval-shaped fruit with either yellow or purple rinds, depending on the variety.

The juicy flesh of passion fruit is incredibly fragrant and tastes sour but sweet at the same time.

Just like papaya, it can be eaten raw as well as used in various recipes or desserts such as ice creams, mousse cakes, smoothies and other dishes.

To achieve a taste closest to papaya, opt for the yellow-skinned variety with its tart flavor.

Passion fruit has more seeds than pulp so you need to remove them before mixing into your recipe.

As long as you have passion fruit concentration available in your local grocery store, it is one of the easiest and quickest substitutes for papaya.

5 – Cantaloupe


Cantaloupe is an excellent papaya substitute in recipes.

It’s the most similar in terms of flavor, since both fruits have a combination of sweet and tart flavor notes.

It also contains many of the same vitamins and minerals as papaya, making it a suitable substitute for a healthy diet.

When using cantaloupe as a substitution, be sure to cut into small cubes that are similar in size to papaya cubes.

This makes it easier to evenly incorporate them into recipes like salads, smoothies, or salsas.

substitutes for papaya

The 5 Best Substitutes for Papaya in Recipes

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Pineapple
  • 2 – Mango
  • 3 – Peach
  • 4 – Passion Fruit
  • 5 – Cantaloupe


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

About The Author

Sharing is caring!

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating