Alternatives to potato based sides

Try these tasty spud substitutes to take a break from potatoes.

Two hands washing potatoes.

It is hard to imagine meat without potatoes. Many of us grew up eating potatoes at most meals, and we likely continued the tradition when we started cooking for ourselves. However, due to change in taste, health or family preferences, we might be searching for alternative side dishes to serve. When you are looking for a side dish as a substitute to potatoes, you can search online for endless new side dish recipes to try such as jicama, which can be baked and served in place of a baked potato. Jicama has just 11 grams of carbohydrates per cup versus the white potato, which has 26 grams per cup.

Use these ideas from the American Diabetes Association to stir up healthy alternatives to potatoes.

  • Grate squash in place of potatoes for a new take on hash browns. A cup of butternut squash has only 16 grams of carbohydrates.
  • Mash cauliflower (only 5 grams of carbohydrates per cup) makes for a delicious substitute to your traditional mashed potatoes side dish.
  • Use a whole grain such as quinoa, bulgur, couscous or brown rice in place of your potato. You can also add a whole grain roll where your potato would normally be. Whole grains contain fiber, which can help you feel full, lower blood sugar levels and may help lower cholesterol.
  • Cook two different types of vegetables for your meal, and use one as a substitute for your potato. Cannot afford fresh vegetables? Frozen and canned are good for you too!

Variety is the key to a well-balanced diet, so try a new side dish as an occasional replacement for potatoes with your meals. There are many delicious and nutritious Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables, like potatoes, you can try.

Michigan State University Extension offers nutrition workshops throughout Michigan that can help you plan and prepare healthier meals for you and your family. Find your county on the drop down list under events. You can also find an expert in your area by visiting, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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