“Saba Banana Substitute: Discover 5 Tasty Alternatives for Your Favorite Dishes!”

By bobbreich@gmail.com •  Updated: 11/27/23 •  4 min read

Saba Banana Substitute: Discover 5 Tasty Alternatives for Your Favorite Dishes!


Saba bananas are a beloved ingredient in many cuisines, prized for their unique taste and versatility in cooking. However, not everyone has access to these bananas due to geographical limitations or availability issues. In this article, we will explore five delicious substitutes for saba bananas that you can try in your favorite dishes. Whether you are looking to accommodate dietary restrictions or simply want to experiment with new flavors, these alternatives will surely satisfy your cravings.

What are Saba Bananas?

Before we delve into the substitutes, let’s first understand what saba bananas are. Saba bananas are a type of banana that originated in the Philippines and have since gained popularity worldwide. They are shorter and plumper than regular bananas and have a distinctive flavor that is sweeter and starchier than the average banana.

Saba bananas are commonly used in various dishes across different cuisines. They can be boiled, fried, or baked to bring out their unique qualities. Their versatility makes them perfect for both sweet and savory recipes such as turon (banana lumpia), banana fritters, and banana cue.

Why Look for Substitutes?

While saba bananas offer exceptional flavor and texture in cooking, finding substitutes becomes necessary when they are not readily available or accessible to all readers. Geographical limitations may prevent some individuals from finding saba bananas in their local markets or grocery stores.

Moreover, dietary restrictions or personal preferences might call for alternatives to saba bananas. For instance, individuals following a low-carb or paleo diet may need options that align with their nutritional goals.

Alternative 1: Plantains

One of the closest substitutes for saba bananas is plantains. These starchy fruits have a similar appearance but differ slightly in taste and texture from saba bananas. Plantains tend to be less sweet but compensate with a rich flavor and denser texture.

Plantains can be used in various dishes, including traditional Filipino recipes such as ginataang halo-halo (stewed mixed fruits in coconut milk) and minatamis na saging (caramelized bananas). They can also be sliced and fried to make plantain chips or used in savory dishes like mofongo, a Puerto Rican mashed plantain dish.

Alternative 2: Green Bananas

Unripe green bananas are another excellent substitute for saba bananas. These bananas have a starchy texture and a neutral flavor profile, making them versatile for both sweet and savory recipes. Green bananas are commonly used in Caribbean cuisine, where they are popularly known as “cooking bananas.”

Incorporate green bananas into your favorite dishes by boiling or steaming them until tender. Use them as a base for curries or stews, mash them into a dough-like consistency for dumplings, or slice and fry them to make crispy banana fritters.

Alternative 3: Sweet Potatoes

If you’re looking for an unexpected but delicious substitute for saba bananas, sweet potatoes should be on your list. While the taste may differ from saba bananas, sweet potatoes offer a unique flavor profile that can enhance various recipes.

Sweet potatoes bring a subtle sweetness and creamy texture to dishes. Try using mashed sweet potatoes as a filling for empanadas or turnovers, incorporate them into pancake batter for added richness, or roast them alongside vegetables to create a satisfying side dish.

Alternative 4: Yuca/Cassava

Yuca, also known as cassava, is another potential candidate when searching for alternatives to saba bananas. This tropical root vegetable offers its own distinct flavor and has been used traditionally in many cuisines around the world.

Yuca adds a different flavor profile to dishes with its slightly nutty taste. It can be boiled, mashed, or fried depending on the desired texture. Use yuca to make cassava cakes, fritters, or even tapioca pudding for a unique twist on classic recipes.


While nothing can fully replicate the taste of saba bananas, these alternatives can still offer delicious results in your favorite dishes. Plantains, green bananas, sweet potatoes, and yuca can all be used as substitutes depending on your preferences and availability. Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore different recipes using these alternatives. You may just discover a new favorite ingredient or flavor combination along the way!