15 Best Substitutes for Grapefruit (surprising!)

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Grapefruit, with its tangy and refreshing taste, has long been a cherished citrus fruit adorning breakfast tables and inspiring a ton of wonderful dishes.

From its vibrant pink flesh to its invigorating aroma, grapefruit’s appeal extends far beyond its nutritional benefits.

However, there are instances when this zesty fruit might not be readily available or preferred, prompting us to look for delightful grapefruit alternatives to infuse our dishes with fruity goodness.

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Fear not, for the world of fruits presents a bountiful selection of delectable grapefruit substitutes, each offering its unique twist on citrusy flavors and textures.

In this guide, we’ll go through the best grapefruit substitutes.

From the tropical allure of pomelo to the sweetness of clementines, each will take your cooking to the next level even if you’re missing that key ingredient.

1. Pomelo

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What can be used in place of grapefruit?


Often referred to as the “grandparent of grapefruit,” pomelo is a citrus fruit with a similar flavor profile to grapefruit but with distinct differences.

It is larger and milder in taste, making it an excellent alternative for those who find grapefruit too tangy.

The pomelo’s thick rind houses sweet and juicy flesh that has a refreshing quality, making it a delightful addition to salads, smoothies, and fruit platters.

With its slightly floral and citrusy notes, pomelo brings a unique touch to dishes and drinks, making it a compelling grapefruit substitute for those seeking a more delicate and subtly sweet flavor experience.

2. Oranges

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What is a good substitute for grapefruit?

Sweet oranges, a ubiquitous citrus fruit, offer a delightful alternative to grapefruit, especially for those who prefer a milder and sweeter taste.

With their juicy and vibrant flesh, oranges bring a burst of sunshine to any dish.

Whether segmented and added to salads, juiced for a refreshing drink, or zested for a pop of citrusy flavor in desserts, oranges offer endless culinary possibilities.

The absence of grapefruit’s characteristic tanginess makes oranges an approachable option for those who may find grapefruit too intense, while still delivering a delightful and refreshing citrus experience.

3. Tangelos

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A hybrid fruit resulting from a cross between tangerines and grapefruit, tangelos embody the best of both worlds and is a great grapefruit substitute.

They inherit the sweetness of tangerines and the tanginess of grapefruit, striking a perfect balance in flavor.

With their easy-to-peel skin and juicy segments, tangelos offer a delightful snack and a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes.

Their milder acidity makes them a friendly choice for those looking for a grapefruit substitute with a unique twist.

4. Clementines: substitute for grapefruit

Clementines, small and easy-to-peel citrus fruits, provide a sweeter and less acidic option to replace grapefruit in various dishes.

These seedless delights are loved for their bright and juicy segments that are perfect for snacking or adding to salads.

Clementines’ sweet flavor makes them an excellent choice for desserts, baked goods, and even marinades, where grapefruit’s tanginess might be overpowering.

Whether eaten fresh as a quick and healthy snack or juiced for a burst of citrusy goodness, clementines offer a delightful alternative to grapefruit for those seeking a sweeter and more approachable citrus experience.

5. Mandarin Oranges

Want a substitute for grapefruit?

With their delicate and sweet taste, mandarin oranges make a wonderful grapefruit substitute, especially for those looking for a less intense flavor.

These small and easy-to-peel citrus fruits are a delight to enjoy as a quick and refreshing snack.

They can also be used in salads, desserts, and marinades, adding a burst of juicy and citrusy goodness to your culinary creations.

Mandarin oranges’ approachable flavor and gentle acidity make them a versatile option for replacing grapefruit in various recipes, particularly when seeking a more delicate and sweet citrus taste.

6. Blood Oranges

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With their visually striking reddish hue and unique flavor profile, blood oranges offer a fascinating alternative to grapefruit.

They have a sweet and slightly tart taste, with raspberry and berry-like undertones.

Their juice, in particular, features a beautiful deep red color that adds a vibrant touch to cocktails and fruit dishes.

Whether enjoyed fresh, juiced, or used as a colorful garnish, blood oranges provide a visually appealing and flavor-packed grapefruit substitute that is sure to pique the curiosity of your taste buds.

7. Meyer Lemons

Meyer lemons, a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, offer a delightful and mild citrus flavor with less acidity compared to regular lemons.

Their thin, smooth skin is a deep yellow-orange hue, and their juice carries a hint of sweetness.

Meyer lemons can be used in place of grapefruit when a milder and less tangy flavor is desired.

Whether zested to add a citrusy note to desserts or juiced for a subtly sweet and tangy dressing, Meyer lemons offer a unique and flavorful alternative to grapefruit that is sure to enhance your culinary creations.

8. Pineapple

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Sweet and tropical, pineapple can add a refreshing and juicy element to dishes as a grapefruit substitute.

This tropical fruit’s vibrant and juicy flesh lends itself well to salads, fruit platters, and smoothies.

With its delightful combination of sweetness and tanginess, pineapple can complement savory dishes as well, adding a burst of flavor to grilled meats, salsas, and stir-fries.

Whether enjoyed fresh, grilled, or blended into tropical beverages, pineapple’s luscious taste makes it an exciting grapefruit replacement that brings a touch of the tropics to your culinary endeavors.

9. Kiwi

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Kiwi’s sweet and tangy flavor profile makes it an interesting and unexpected grapefruit replacement in various dishes.

With its vibrant green flesh and tiny black seeds, kiwi adds a visual and textural appeal to salads, fruit bowls, and desserts.

The balance of sweetness and tanginess in kiwi pairs well with other fruits, making it a delightful addition to fruit salads and smoothies.

Whether sliced and layered in a fruit tart or blended into a refreshing kiwi sorbet, this exotic fruit can bring a zesty and invigorating twist to your recipes as a grapefruit substitute.

10. Peaches

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Ripe and juicy peaches can provide a sweet and flavorful replacement for grapefruit in certain dishes.

Their soft and velvety flesh adds a delicate sweetness to salads, desserts, and even savory recipes.

Whether sliced and grilled for a delightful accompaniment to meats or pureed into a luscious peach sauce, peaches offer a delightful alternative to grapefruit, particularly for those who prefer a sweeter and less tangy taste.

When in season, peaches’ natural sweetness can add a delectable twist to your culinary creations and bring a touch of summertime joy to your dishes.

11. Strawberries

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While strawberries alone may not fully replicate grapefruit’s taste, combining them with other citrus fruits can mimic the flavor and tanginess of grapefruit and make for a grapefruit alternative.

Strawberries’ natural sweetness pairs well with the tartness of other citrus fruits, creating a balanced and flavorful combination.

Whether blended into a citrusy strawberry smoothie, incorporated into fruit salads, or used as a garnish for citrus desserts, strawberries can add a delightful touch to your dishes as part of a grapefruit substitute blend.

12. Guava

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What can you substitute for grapefruit?

Guava’s unique flavor profile offers a sweet and tropical taste that complements many grapefruit recipes.

This exotic fruit has a sweet and slightly tangy taste, with a hint of tropical flair that sets it apart from more common citrus fruits.

Whether enjoyed fresh as a delightful snack, blended into guava nectar for a refreshing drink, or incorporated into fruit salads, guava can add a delightful and unexpected twist to your dishes as a grapefruit substitute.

Its distinct taste and enticing aroma make it an exciting option for those looking to infuse their culinary creations with tropical vibrancy.

13. Pomegranate: best grapefruit substitutes

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The juicy and tart seeds of pomegranate can add a burst of flavor to dishes in place of grapefruit.

The seeds’ bright red color and sweet-tart taste make them a visually appealing and flavorful addition to salads, desserts, and grain bowls.

Whether sprinkled over a citrusy salad, stirred into yogurt for a refreshing treat, or juiced for a vibrant and tangy dressing, pomegranate seeds provide a delightful and nutritious grapefruit alternative.

Their versatility and eye-catching appearance make them a favorite among food enthusiasts looking to elevate their dishes with a burst of fruity goodness.

14. Watermelon

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The juicy and refreshing nature of watermelon can be used as a substitute for grapefruit in certain applications.

While watermelon’s flavor is not as citrusy, its natural sweetness and high water content make it a delightful addition to fruit salads, beverages, and summer-inspired dishes.

Whether cubed and tossed with mint for a refreshing watermelon salad or blended into a hydrating watermelon cooler, watermelon offers a cooling and sweet alternative for those seeking a different fruit experience from grapefruit.

15. Nectarines

Ripe and sweet nectarines can provide a similar fruity sweetness as grapefruit in some dishes.

With their smooth skin and juicy flesh, nectarines are perfect for enjoying fresh as a snack or incorporating into fruit salads.

The absence of grapefruit’s tanginess makes nectarines a suitable option for those who prefer a more straightforward and sweet citrus flavor.

Whether sliced and added to yogurt parfaits or used as a topping for tarts and cakes, nectarines offer a delightful and juicy grapefruit substitute for a range of culinary creations.

Need more food substitution ideas? Check these out!

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