Blackberries are my favorite substitute for blueberries, but I’ll show you some other top-notch alternatives and replacements that will keep your taste buds happy and your recipes on point.
They might be out of season, too pricey for the weekly grocery budget, or maybe you’re dealing with an allergy that puts these berries on the no-go list. Whatever the reason, there’s no need to hit the panic button when your recipe calls for blueberries, and you’ve got none on hand.
Rating The Best Blueberry Substitutes
I compared twenty potential substitutes for blueberries but ended up with seven that I think are the best. The larger the bar and percetage, the better the match with whole blueberries.
The similarity in blueberry taste is one of the most important factors that I considered. However, texture, visual similarity, and general availability were also heavily weighed in my ratings.
Blackberries share a similar deep, sweet-yet-tart flavor profile with blueberries and have a nearly identical juicy burst when bitten into—making them almost indistinguishable in many recipes. They also maintain their structure well during cooking, which is perfect for baked goods like muffins or pies where you want that berry integrity to shine through without turning to mush.
- Use them in a 1:1 ratio for cooked dishes like pies, jams, or sauces. They’ll give you that berry vibe you’re after without missing a beat.
Raspberries have a more pronounced tartness that can add an exciting twist to your dish. They shine in recipes where blueberries are raw or lightly cooked—like in fresh salads or toppings on your morning yogurt bowl. Be careful when using raspberries because they are more delicate and can fall apart if overmixed or cooked too long.
- Use equal parts raspberries for blueberries in cold dishes or, when baking, gently fold them at the last minute to maintain their shape.
Strawberries are larger and sweeter than blueberries but don’t quite match that distinctive blueberry tang. Still, they can be used chopped up for salsas or sliced for garnishing desserts and drinks. Strawberries work wonders in smoothies where you’d normally use blueberries, and their flavor profile is robust enough to stand out even when blended with other ingredients.
- Substitute strawberries by chopping them up to match blueberry size for better distribution in baked goods—this helps keep everything consistent!
Mixed Berry Blend
A mixed berry blend typically consists of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. I often pick up a frozen bag at Costco to keep on hand. The taste of the blend makes it so that no single berry outshines the others. So, it’s a fantastic choice for fruit salads or as a topping on cereals and oatmeal.
- Use them as much as you would blueberries.
Blueberry jam has the essence of blueberries in a spreadable form, making it an excellent stand-in for recipes where the fruit’s shape isn’t important, think swirls in cheesecakes or thumbprint cookies. The jam comes packed with sweetness and a concentrated berry flavor for simple toast or glazes for meats.
- When replacing with jam, remember it’s sweeter and wetter than fresh berries, so reduce other liquids and sugars accordingly.
Blueberry Juice Concentrate
Let’s talk about blueberry juice concentrate—the flavor powerhouse. This thick syrup captures the quintessential blueberry taste in a more intense form. It’s ideal for beverages, dressings, or marinades where you want that bold blueberry punch without adding bulk. It works great in smoothies or iced teas as well.
- To substitute with concentrate, use sparingly since its flavors are more potent than fresh berries. Start with half the amount and adjust to taste.
Sweet black cherries don’t mimic the subtle complexities of blueberries but can still be delicious in many dishes where you’d normally use blueberries. Think cherry turnovers or a cherry sauce drizzled over vanilla ice cream!
- For baking, pit them and use them whole or chopped up. If you’re making something like a pie or muffins, cherries can step in at a 1:1 ratio for blueberries.