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5 Guava Paste Substitute Options

Guava paste is sweet and flowery and is commonly used in desserts and entrées alike. Although popular in Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, guava paste is hard to find. Using a guava paste substitute, like fruit preserves, fig jam, or apple paste will work in most recipes calling for guava paste.

Brazilian dessert goiabada with fresh guavas.

Popular in both Spanish and Portuguese cuisine, guava paste is a staple in many meals. The sweet taste gives food a unique flavor, mixing sweetness with floral undertones. Guava paste is popular in sweet dishes but is making a more prominent appearance in savory dishes also. While guava paste is becoming more popular at the grocery store, it can sometimes be hard to find.

Luckily, plenty of other sweet and floral pastes can work as a guava paste substitute. Below, let’s take a look at some comparable options if you do not have guava paste for your next meal.

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What Is Guava Paste?

Goiabada with guava fruits on wooden chopping board.

Guava paste is a common ingredient used in savory dishes or served alongside cheese as an appetizer. Due to its sweet taste, guava paste is also commonly used in desserts or used as a filling inside cookies, tarts, and Danishes. The ingredient is made from guava puree. Guava is a sweet fruit that is purred and sometimes mixed with sugar to create an even sweeter taste.

The guava and sugar are cooked together to remove excess moisture, making them thick and spreadable. The paste may vary in consistency between brands, with some brands drier and others more like a guava jam or guava jelly. The sweet and floral flavor of guava paste can be strong, so it is important to remember that a little goes a long way.  

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What Is a Good Guava Paste Substitute?

Quince Paste

Quince bread and fruits

Quince paste is a common substitute for guava paste and is sometimes referred to as membrilloNot only is quince paste sweet and similar in taste to guava paste, but it is also thick and easily spreadable. Like guava paste, quince paste can be sliced and used in desserts, savory entrees, or appetizers.

This paste is often more readily available at the grocery store, but you may have to look in the European food section to find it.  

Fig Paste

Although similar in taste and consistency, fig paste is not a perfect substitute. This alternative paste will essentially work well in many recipes that call for guava paste to give the meal some sweet flavor, but it has a fairly different consistency. Fig paste has very tiny seeds still included in the paste, whereas guava paste does not, which could impact the texture of the final meal.  

Apple Paste

A bowl of apple puree with slices of fresh apples.

Apple paste may be tricky to find in the grocery store but can work as a suitable replacement for guava paste. The sweet and floral tones of apple paste work well to mimic the unique flavors of guava paste. Apple paste can be used in stuffing, desserts, paired with cheese, or used to highlight pork and chicken meals.

Apple paste has a similar texture to guava paste. 

Fresh Guava

Fresh guavas in a bowl.

If you live in an area where you can access fresh guava fruit, you can use the fresh fruit as a perfect paste substitute. Using fresh guava fruit can pair nicely with cheese as an appetizer. Or, try cutting up fresh guava and include it in puff pastry desserts or pies.

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Fresh guava will give you the authentic taste of guava but will have a much different texture.  

Fruit Preserves

Bowls of fruit jams in a wooden tray.

Adding a different type of fruit preserve, such as plum, strawberry, or grape, will give you a similar taste as guava paste. Fruit preserves can add natural sweetness to your dish in a paste form. Be careful using different fruit preserves that have seeds, though.

Adding seeds to your recipe can drastically change the texture of your meal.  

What Meals Commonly Use Guava Paste?

Desserts

Corn cake with guava paste.

Because of its sweet nature, guava paste and guava paste substitutes can make an excellent ingredient in desserts. Guava cake is a popular dessert option that highlights the floral taste of guava paste. Guava paste muffins and guava turnovers are other popular dessert options that highlight this fruity flavor.

Guava paste pairs quite nicely with other fruits and is often featured alongside mango, pears, or apples. Or, use guava paste to make a guava glaze to cover your favorite cookie or cake recipe. It is also possible to make a guava cheesecake using this delicious paste. 

Savory Meals

Spanish sandwich with fresh cheese and membrillo.

More recently, guava paste and guava paste substitutes have been included in savory meals, giving fruitful undertones to an otherwise heavy meal. Try including guava paste or guava paste substitute in your next entrée. Guava paste is excellent when used to stuff chicken or paired with pork meals.

Guava BBQ sauce is a wonderful sweet and savory addition that can be added to pork or chicken wings.  

Appetizers

Desserts with goiabada jam.

Guava paste and guava paste substitutes pair well with cheese and are often used alongside baked brie cheese. Guava is commonly featured in guava empanadas and can be used in many other bite-sized appetizers. Try pairing guava paste or guava paste substitute with a cheese and cracker display.

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The sweet nature of guava counteracts the salty and robust cheese flavor to make a delicious appetizer.  

FAQs

Using guava paste in your Spanish or Portuguese meal is a great way to introduce a sweet flavor into a savory dish. Luckily, many guava paste alternatives can easily work as a substitute for this traditional Spanish ingredient. Using a guava paste substitute can be tricky and challenging if you have never used one before for your meal.

Below, let’s look at some commonly asked questions surrounding guava paste and guava paste substitutions so you have a better understanding of how to introduce this flavorful ingredient into your next meal.  

What is guava paste made out of?

Guava paste is made from guava fruit. It is cut down, pureed, and then combined with sugar. The mixture is heated to remove as much moisture as possible. The heating process used to draw out the water also helps to create a paste-like consistency. 

What can you use to replace guava paste?

Replacing guava paste is easy to do in most recipes. At its core, guava paste is just a fruit-based paste. Substituting other fruit paste, like apple paste or fig jam, can work quite well.

Quince paste is a popular guava paste alternative, as is using fruit preserves. Be careful to watch what type of fruit paste you are using. Some fruit pastes that have seeds can drastically change the texture and consistency of your final meal.

What does guava paste taste like?

Guava paste has a very sweet taste, derived from the natural sweetness of the fruit combined with sugar in the dehydration process. Guava also has hidden, floral undertones, which give the paste a unique and naturally earthy flavor. 

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Can you use guava paste as a substitute for guava puree or guava juice?

Using guava puree or guava juice in your meal may bring the same guava paste flavors and change the consistency. Guava paste has a uniquely thick texture, making it moldable. Alternatively, guava puree is thinner and more liquid.

Guava juice is primarily liquid, aside from some guava pulp, and will not give you the same texture and consistency in your recipe. 

Can you make your own guava paste?

Yes! It is possible to make your own guava paste using just a few simple ingredients. All you will need is plenty of fresh guava fruit, sugar, and water. You will need to cut the guava, remove the seeds, and cook over medium heat to reduce the fruit.

Process the fruit to create a puree, add it together with sugar, and continue to heat until a thick paste has formed.