Substitute For Water Chestnuts

Water chestnut is an edible vegetable that has a crisp and juicy taste. It’s commonly used in Asian recipes; however, it’s sometimes expensive to buy. Water chestnuts are a great source of fiber in the diet, making them ideal for heart health. Substitute For Water Chestnuts shared below are quite useful for making tasty dishes easily at home.

These sweet root veggies are found in nearly all supermarkets, and the most commonly found freshwater chestnuts are in canned form. Water chestnuts are an excellent healthy snack; however, they may not appeal to every person’s tastes. These are commonly used in Asian food, specifically when it comes to Chinese food. China is a major cultivator of water chestnuts.

water chestnut

Alternatives and Substitutes For Water Chestnuts

If you’d like to create a recipe that calls for water chestnuts but doesn’t want to go to the grocery store, there are several options you can try.


Turnip is the root vegetable with white flesh and a purple top. It has a sweet taste, some bitterness, and a crisp texture like carrots. If you are looking to replace water chestnuts, opt for white turnips that don’t have a strong spicy flavor as other varieties.

Turnips tend to be inexpensive, making them an affordable substitute for water chestnuts. Turnip works well if you’re looking for the same texture as water chestnut. They are crispy and have a chewy texture. However, their flavor could be different. 

They are slightly spicy with an astringent spice undertone and raw. The spicy flavor gets more subtle and sweeter after cooking. It is the best substitute for freshwater chestnuts when cooking in Eastern dishes, specifically stir-fry dishes.

Turnips are available throughout the year in grocery stores and are among the most affordable options for water chestnuts. This plant was grown during the warm climate of early times, and the turnips were often associated with beets and potatoes.

White turnips are preferred over other varieties because they do not possess a strong pepper taste. The taste of turnips is subtle and can be used with numerous different flavors in Asian food, and is where water chestnuts are a cult. Beware of large turnips since they could taste bitter. Buy the turnips less than three inches with crisp and green leaves still attached.

When shopping at the supermarket, you should look for turnips that are clean and free of any cracks or blemishes. Cut them into slices and then add oil and water. Add salt before cooking until they become soft. Other recipes you can make with turnips include roasting them, turnip potato puree, glazed turnips and turnip grated turnip and yam mixture recipe.



Jicama is a complete vegetable that makes it an excellent substitute for water chestnuts. It’s also a root plant with a brown and papery outer with flesh that is starchy. The flesh has a juicy, chewy texture with a mild and pleasantly sweet nutty flavor similar to that of water chestnuts.

Peel off the Jicama and slice the flesh into pieces or small cubes. You can substitute water chestnuts with the same quantity of jicama pieces in the same flavor recipe. Jicama is sometimes referred to in the form of Mexican turnip or Mexican Yam bean. 

It is an edible root plant with brown-coloured skin and crisp flesh. It adds a sweet and nuanced flavor to your dishes. Jicama used as a substitute for water chestnuts works excellent in dishes that require a delightful flavor. It is golden brown with a very slim exterior with white flesh that has the highest amount of starch. While raw Jicama is mildly sweet, it’s low in sugar, making it the perfect water chestnut substitute for everyone, particularly those struggling with diabetes.

Once cooked, the sweetness and nuttiness of the jicama pieces blend beautifully with other ingredients to produce stunning, rich flavor profiles. This is why they are utilized in mainly Asian recipes. It is superior to Jerusalem Artichokes used in hot dishes because it keeps the texture for a longer time.

It was initially utilized in Mexico and has since spread throughout Asia. It’s a succulent generally available in warmer countries, and the developing season is extremely long. To sub your food, you can use the same quantities. In any event, you can alter the quantity according to your preferences in food.

jicama image


Pecan is a kind of tree nut packed with numerous important nutrients. It is rich, thick, sweet, and buttery with a nutty flavor and floral undertones. It has a firmer texture than water chestnuts and is a great substitute for recipes. To ensure that the recipe is smooth, make sure to toast the pecans before adding them to the recipe.

Use pecans to get a wonderful flavor that adds a nutty flavor to your dish. Additionally, they’re extremely versatile as their flavor is harmonious with other ingredients like vanilla, maple caramel, and many more. Pecans have a harder texture when compared with water chestnuts.

Pecans are not just multi-purpose, but they are also full of nutrients. Raw pecans are loaded with proteins, healthy fats and fiber to keep you feeling full and happy. They also have calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which aid in lowering blood pressure. If you plan to incorporate pecans into your cooking, it would be recommended to toast them before you cook them. This enhances the aroma and flavor of the pecans.

If your dessert calls for water chestnuts, but they aren’t in your pantry, try Pecans since they give your dish a rich, nutty taste. The taste of Pecans mixes well with other ingredients, like caramel, vanilla, and maple, for example. 



If you’re looking for an alternative to provide the mild sweetness and the crunchy water feel, hazelnut is the best option. Because of their distinctive, nuanced flavor, hazelnuts can be ideal for dessert recipes and delicious sauces. They are also a great ingredient in nutty soups.

They can be used to substitute for water chestnut flour after cutting and mixing the two with a food processor. As the name suggests, hazelnut flour is produced by crushing hazelnuts in their raw state. It’s an excellent alternative to water chestnut flour.

It’s nothing more than the taste of nutty; however, there’s no smooth surface. The flour made from hazelnuts is gluten-free and could be used to bread fish, chicken, or added to smoothies. It’s a nut that is grain-free flour, making it a great ingredient in baking. It is gluten-free but rich in fat and lacks a coarse texture like water chestnuts. This gives an extra-thick consistency to your meals.


Celery root

Celery is not a good alternative to water chestnuts in taste and color; however, it’s readily available at any supermarket. Water chestnuts are utilized in small quantities in some recipes to give a bit of crunch and create the basis of a dish.

Utilizing the lower section on the stalk is recommended when using Celery as an alternative to Water Chestnuts. As you cook, Celery will get softer; however, that’s not a problem. It can also be beneficial to cut or dice the Celery thin and incorporate it into your dish when it is nearing the end.

If you’re planning to use Celery to replace Water Chestnuts, cut Celery in a cross-wise manner instead of lengthwise. Celery contains tough fibers that span across the length of each rib. If you cut this fiber it will be cut into smaller pieces that are less impressive.

Celery comes from the Apiaceae family, is mostly found in marshlands and has been used as a food item in the past. There must be a few Celery stems in your home if you like green juices. This celery stem is of a similar texture, and it cooks more quickly. If, however, you’ve got a recipe that calls for water chestnuts, you don’t want to taste it and should instead opt for Celery. You can also look for radishes and turnips if you want to spice things up without the sweetness.

Celery root

Bamboo Shoots

The next option for replacing chopped water chestnuts is bamboo shoots. Their texture is similar to water chestnuts, which are crispy and crunchy. But their taste is distinct as they possess a fibrous and bitter flavor. Therefore, you can preferably use them for certain Asian foods.

It is important to note that raw bamboo shoots are a source of the toxin that causes cyanide in the intestine. It is important to cook bamboo shoots correctly before eating them; otherwise, you may suffer from health problems.

Bamboo shoot is a good substitute for water chestnuts since it has a similar crunch and crispness. The flavor is similar to Bamboo Shoots and is pretty different because they have bitter and fibrous flavors. But canning bamboo shoots are not the best option since they’re very fragile.

The reason that water chestnuts are often used in recipes is because of their fascinating surface. If you plan to use bamboo shoots instead of water chestnuts, we recommend using fresh shoots since they have a better flavor and a more attractive surface when compared to dried bamboo shoots. However, fresh bamboo shoots could be difficult to find in many American stores. 

Bamboo Shoots

Canned Water Chestnuts

Canned chestnuts should be the most suitable option for substitutes for freshwater chestnuts. They bear the closest resemblance to the texture of fresh chestnuts since they’re all quite chewy. However, the taste of canned chestnuts can be rather dull compared to fresh ones.

If you plan to add fresh water chestnuts to the food you prepare primarily for texture, the canned version is the most suitable and affordable option. In the marketplace, two types are available: the whole or sliced. We recommend buying the whole chestnut since it has a softer texture than the water chestnuts.

Canned water chestnuts have quite a similar texture to fresh ones; however, the flavor of canned chestnuts is more mellow than fresh ones. If you plan to use freshwater chestnuts as a texture in your dish, canned varieties of water chestnuts would be the most suitable alternative.

They are rich in ferulic acid. As a result, canned and cooked chestnuts are crispy and can be utilized as a substitute. After you’ve opened the water chestnuts, consuming them within a couple of days is recommended. Replace their water regularly as long as it is practical for you, and store them in a cool location.

If you’ve got a sliced can of water chestnuts, cook them for longer than two minutes. After completing the cooking process, add the canned water chestnuts, so they won’t lose their crunch. Boiling water chestnuts give you a silky texture to soups and purees as well as an oven can help make the most of the taste of the water chestnuts.


Almond Flour

Almond flour is an almond meal made with ground sweet almonds. It’s a great alternative to water chestnuts. There are two types of almond flour available: blanched and unblanched almonds. Blanched almond flour is softer in texture and lighter in color, while unblanched almond flour is coarser and darker in hue. Almond flour is a slight sweetness and nutty flavor that can be a fantastic water chestnut substitute, use it with almond butter for best flavor in the dishes.

It’s low in carbs, brimming with vitamins, and has a slightly better flavor. When you cook delicious meals, try choosing almond flour. It’s like magic without the need to manage gluten and has higher calories. Almond flour is usually made using whitened almonds, and almond flour dinner may be prepared with whole or whitened almonds. If you’re looking for a gluten-free diet or just trying to adhere to a healthier eating routine, almond flour is good.


Frequently Asked Questions about water chestnuts

What are other names for water chestnuts?

The water chestnuts belonging to the genus Trapa (family Trapaceae) are native to Europe, Asia, and Africa and are sometimes referred to by water caltrops. The term water chestnut is usually used to refer to their edible nut-like fruits.

Do water chestnuts count as fruit?

The water chestnut, called singhara in Hindi, is a popular winter and autumn fruit that grows underwater. Although they are called chestnuts, they aren’t nuts in any way. They are classified under the fruits category.

Can water chestnuts cause gas?

Water chestnuts have very few antioxidants. They’re not just cold (as cooling agents) but also diuretic in nature. If consumed in a excess moderate amount these water chestnuts can cause stomach gas and a bloated stomach.

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