Skip to Content

Chayote Substitute

When looking for a chayote substitute, look for unripe papaya. Though these fruits are often hard to find in your local market, they can be purchased online. Another great option is Cucuzza, a type of squash whose mild flavour can be compared to a cross between cucumber and zucchini. Cooked Cucuzza is also a good substitute for chayote.

Chayote Substitute


Chayote Nutrition Fact

What is Chayote?

“Chayote is a Central American squash,” explains Erin Palinsky-Wade, RD, author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies. The Aztecs cultivated the crunchy vegetable long ago. Still, its large vines and flowers have recently made their mark in other tropical and subtropical regions, such as Florida and the Dominican Republic, where the chayote’s shape and colour vary slightly. This squash, however, retains its pleasant mild flavour regardless of where it grows.

According to Polinsky-Wade, because of its high water content, chayote’s flavour is most similar to its gourd cousin, the cucumber or jicama. Its subtle sweetness is milder than that of chayote’s cousin, spaghetti squash, but it’s strong enough for chayote to be eaten raw and alone.

Substitutes for Chayote

1. Kohlrabi

In addition to green papaya, kohlrabi is another popular substitute for chayote, and its mildly sweet flavour and crisp texture make it a good substitute for chayote. The same recipes call for kohlrabi, but you can also try using kohlrabi in salads. You can also substitute yellow crookneck squash with a similar white flesh used the same way as chayote.

This vegetable, also known as kohlradish, is from the cabbage family and is widely consumed in parts of Asia and Europe. The kohlrabi contains antioxidants, supporting a longer cell shelf-life, reducing inflammation, and preventing chronic diseases. Kohlrabi also contains a high amount of fibre and glucosinolates, which help lower the risk of heart disease and other health hazards. It contains vitamin B6, which is essential for forming red blood cells and immunity.

2. Green Papaya

If you’re allergic to green papaya, the closest substitute is the chayote, also known as a vegetable pear. However, chayote is slightly sweeter and has less vitamin A than green papaya. If you’re looking for a green papaya substitute, check out the following alternatives. These fruits are rich in vitamin A and a great choice if you’re vegan or don’t like green papaya.

Apples, pear, and pawpaw are all excellent substitutes. They don’t have the orange colour of papaya, but they’ll provide a similar texture and sweetness. If you’re looking for an alternative that’s not so sweet, try mango or Pepino. Also, consider shredded cabbage, cucumber, or even lotus root. The best substitution for papaya is a similar fruit in colour and texture and reminds you of the original flavour.

3. Cucuzza

If you can’t find chayote in your local market, consider trying cacuzza, a type of squash. It has a mild nutty flavour and can be eaten raw or cooked. However, cooking cacuzza will produce the best results. Another chayote substitute is green papaya, a type of unripe papaya. Its crisp, light green flesh makes it a good substitute for cooked chayote.

Chayote is a native of Latin America and belongs to the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae. Its edible flesh is white or pale green with one seed in the middle. It can be found in grocery stores or in private gardens. It is also a good substitute for Cucuzza since it contains high amounts of vitamin C and folate, dietary fibre, potassium, and magnesium.

4. Yellow Crookneck Squash

If you’re a vegetarian and don’t have access to chayote, there are several suitable substitutes. Green papaya can be purchased online, and kohlrabi has a similar, sweet flavour. You can use kohlrabi in salads and eat it raw or cook it the same way as chayote. Yellow crookneck squash is another alternative.

This summer, squash is one of the most common in the United States. It is similar to zucchini but has a crookneck shape and a bulbous base. The skin is typically smooth, and the flesh is yellow or cream-coloured. This squash is commonly used in stir-fries and soups and is mildly sweet. You can make curried squash soups, but you may want to try a crookneck squash for the extra sweetness.

5. Pattypan Squash

A famous Latin food, chayote is an excellent zucchini substitute, and its small stature and flavour make it an excellent substitute for zucchini in various recipes. Its flavour is mild and similar to zucchini’s, making it a popular choice for vegetable pies. This squash can be eaten raw, cooked, or roasted, and it is also a good choice for vegetarian lasagna recipes.

This spherical, round vegetable can be roasted, grilled, stuffed, or fried. It has a similar flavour and texture to large summer squash. Pattypan squash is not bitter and is excellent in soups, sauces, and stuffing. It also stores well in the fridge and can be frozen for later use. Just cut the ends off or slice it thinly if you don’t want to cook it.

6. Fuzzy melon

A common and tasty alternative to chayote is fuzzy melon, an edible tropical gourd. This plant is native to Southeast Asia, where it is commonly grown. Its mild flavour and texture make it an excellent substitute for chayote in many dishes, such as soups and stir-fries. It can also replace winter melons.

Fuzzy melon has a blotchy, green skin and soft, fluffy texture. Its interior flesh is white and mild-flavoured, and the seeds are edible. It can be found year-round in Asian markets, and you can grow it yourself in your backyard. To make a tasty dish out of fuzzy melon, purchase a firm fruit at least three inches in diameter. Avoid purchasing a bruised or wrinkled melon because it will soften over time.

7. Zucchini

It is an excellent first choice for replacing chayote in your cooking. They have a mild, slightly bitter, and sweet flavour. Although they can be eaten raw, they are better when cooked because the flavour sweetens and the mouthfeel becomes richer. Zucchinis act as a blank canvas, absorbing the flavours of the other ingredients in the dish.

When compared to chayote, zucchini has a few subtle differences. It has a more robust flavour, a softer texture, and a higher water content. If you’re following a recipe, keep in mind that zucchini needs to be cooked for a few minutes longer than chayote.

Chayote Recipies

1. Tomato and Green Chilies Chayote Squash

This spicy recipe only takes 45 minutes to prepare, but it’s the ideal summer side dish.

It includes a variety of Tex-Mex favourites, including red chiles, tomatoes, garlic, and more.

It’s very flavorful, and the squash has a beautiful, tender texture.

There’s a lot of spice in it but not a lot of heat, making it ideal for those who cannot tolerate spicy foods.

You’ll also add a little Monterey Jack cheese for a cheesy, buttery flavour that’s hard not to love.

2. Chayote Squash, Spicy Pan-Roasted

This spicy 20-minute side dish is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

The squash and onion are the only solid ingredients you’ll need, and everything else is either oil or some kind of spice.

Still, because the vegetables have a texture similar to roasted potatoes, they’re pretty filling.

This is delicious or as a side dish to Applebee’s Fiesta Lime Chicken.

Make tacos, burritos, or loaded nachos with it.

3. Chinese Stir-Fried Chayote

Chayote is a Central American vegetable frequently used in Latin American cooking.

You’ll make something a little more Eastern for this recipe.

This stir-fry may not appear to be typical. However, once you taste the soy sauce, ginger, and garlic, you’ll recognize the Asian flavour profile.

The recipe calls for dried shrimp, but mushrooms can be used instead for a vegan option. In that case, you’ll also want to skip the chicken bouillon.

4. Herbed Roasted Chayote Squash

Another delicious and nutritious roasted chayote recipe.

This one appears to be a pan of roasted green apples. But it’s chayote and not much else.

There are only six ingredients in this recipe: chayote, oil, onions, and various herbs. It has a beautiful, delicate flavour that is slightly herby and earthy without overpowering.

It’s the ideal partner for any lean protein.

It’s also delicious with eggs and bacon for breakfast. (If you think of it like roasted potatoes, it’s not so strange.)

5. Dried Shrimp and Chayote Squash

This one is also a chayote stir-fry with shrimp recipe, but it looks a little more like the stir-fry you’re used to.

This is because it has a more traditional stir-fry base of carrots, glass noodles, and other vegetables.

This one is also milder and less spicy, though you can increase the heat by adding ginger.

This quick and easy lunch option only takes 25 minutes to prepare.

6. Chayote Slaw with Cilantro and Lime

This vibrant 10-minute dish is full of vibrant flavours.

It also doesn’t require any cooking. Instead, simply prepare and combine all of the ingredients.

The jalapeos add a kick, while the lime juice cools it down and adds zing. The sea salt adds a saltiness, while the other vegetables add a garden-fresh flavour.

It’s completely vegan and requires minimal effort to prepare. You can use it as a side dish, taco filling, or BBQ slaw. It’s highly adaptable!

7. Salad with Chayote Squash and Pickled Onions

This sweet-and-sour pickled onion salad is not for everyone.

However, if you like pickled okra and other sour and tangy greens, you’ll love it.

It has a zesty, bright flavour. The vinaigrette stands out, and the sugar doesn’t do much to tone down the onions.

It’s a light and refreshing dish that’s perfect for summer cookouts. Just don’t be surprised if it doesn’t appeal to many children.

8. Chayote Gratin with Cream

This cheesy, creamy chayote gratin is unlike anything you’ve ever had before.

It has a texture that is similar to grits but thicker and creamier.

The flavour is also tricky to describe. Of course, there are butter and cheese notes, but the chayote takes on an odd flavour in this one.

Perhaps it’s the chayote and herbs combination, but the end result is difficult to describe. Don’t get me wrong: it’s delicious, and it’s just difficult to put into words.

Let’s just say you’ll like it if you like Gruyere cheese and herbs.

9. Soup with Chayote Chile

Looking for a vegan-friendly brunch or lunch that’s both nutritious and tasty? If that’s the case, you’ve just discovered it!

The health benefits of chayote chile soup are numerous and taste delicious.

It has a rich, fresh vegetable flavour, and it’s also silky and creamy to the touch. It’s one of those foods that makes you feel better after consuming it.

You also have a lot of options for how to make it!

It can be prepared on the stovetop, in a pressure cooker, or Instant Pot, and it’s difficult to argue with such convenience.

10. Chayote Squash with Beef from Vietnam

This Vietnamese dish isn’t the most attractive option on our menu. But don’t let that stop you from trying it because it’s delicious.

Thinly sliced, well-seasoned, and juicy steak. The crunch and flavour of the chayote are retained.

The whole thing is dripping with umami goodness.

It takes less than an hour to make and is filling enough to serve independently.

Of course, you can serve it with rice or noodles on the side. But it’s certainly not required.

Is Squash the same as Chayote?

Chayote (Sechium edule) is a squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family of gourds. It is native to central Mexico and parts of Latin America, but it is now grown all over the world. Mirliton squash or choch is another name for it.

Is it Necessary to Peel Chayote?

Chayotes have a mild cucumber flavor and can be cooked or eaten raw in the same way as summer squash. The skin of the chayote is edible, but it is not as tender as the flesh, so peeling is usually recommended.

Is Chayote good for lowering Uric Acid?

The uric acid-lowering effect of Sayote could be attributed to chemicals called flavonoids, according to the study. “Chayote is one of the promising herbal medicines that people will be able to use in the near future that has potential health benefits,” researchers said.

Chayote’s Interesting Facts

Chayotes are thought to have originated in Central America, and the Mayans and Aztecs were the first to cultivate them.

  • Chayotes have smooth or hairy light green skin and are usually pear-shaped or round.
  • Chayote is commonly regarded as a vegetable rather than a fruit. It’s frequently found in savoury dishes.
  • Chayote is a climbing vine that can now be found in almost all tropical and subtropical climates. Small white flowers bloom on the plant as well.
  • Miltilon, custard marrow, Choko, chocho, chow-chow, christophene, and vegetable pear are all names for chayote.
  • It’s most commonly found in Caribbean, African, Latin American, and Asian cuisines.
  • Chayote’s mild flavour complements a wide range of ingredients. It goes well with fatty foods like butter, cheese, bacon, and coconut milk.
  • Chayote is a popular keto ingredient because it can be used to replace meat in vegan dishes.
  • Chayote can be prepared similarly to summer squash or cucumbers. Chayotes can be thinly sliced,
  • julienned, or diced and added to salads, slaws, salsas, or pickled. Chayotes stay crisp and juicy when cooked quickly in sautés and stir-fries (recipe below), but they can also be deep-fried, stewed, mashed, roasted, or stuffed and baked like potatoes.


Chayotes have a mild cucumber flavour and can be prepared in the same way as summer squash, either raw or cooked.

The skin of the chayote is edible, but it is not as tender as the flesh, so peeling is usually recommended. The fruit’s seed in the center is also edible. It has a slightly nutty flavour and is firm, not crisp like the surrounding flesh; you can leave it in or remove it by quartering the chayote and cutting it out or halving the fruit and spooning it out.

Chayote can be prepared similarly to summer squash or cucumbers. Chayotes can be thinly sliced, julienned, or diced and added to salads, slaws, salsas, or pickled. Chayotes stay crisp and juicy when cooked quickly in sautés and stir-fries (recipe below), but they can also be deep-fried, stewed, mashed, roasted, or stuffed and baked like potatoes.

Subscribe to Blog Chef for the easiest recipes and cooking tips. Signing up gives your consent to emails and personalized ads. See privacy policy.