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7 Tasty Kumquat Substitutes: Transform with Zing

There’s something magical about kumquats. They’re tiny fruits that pack in so much flavor.

But let’s be real, how many of us can actually find kumquats at our local store? Not many. We get it.

We’ve been there, craving that tart explosion only to come up empty-handed.

No worries! We’ve tried different substitutes that do the trick. They work just as well and maybe even better. We’re talking ingredients you might already have in your fridge or pantry.

So, sit back and don’t stress. Let’s uncover some versatile and tasty alternatives to kumquats.

7 Easy Substitutes for Kumquats

As with most things, there are no perfect substitutes for kumquats. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and have a little fun with it.

Here are 7 options to try:

1 – Mandarins

Mandarins are a solid substitute for kumquats. They’re often easier to find and bring a nice, sweet taste. Mandarins are less tart than kumquats but have a juicy, refreshing flavor. If you’re missing that tart punch, you can easily add a bit of lemon juice.

We’ve swapped kumquats for mandarins in salads and desserts. It worked perfectly. Swap using a 1:1 ratio, and you’re good to go. Their sweetness balances well with savoury dishes too.

Pro tip: Try them in jams or marmalades. Simple to use and tasty as heck.

2 – Clementines

One of our favorite substitutes for kumquats is clementines. They’re easy to find and super sweet. Clementines are less tart but still offer a refreshing citrus flavor.

We love using them in salads and desserts. The ratio? Simple – just swap 1:1 with kumquats. Got a favorite savory dish? They balance it out beautifully.

Pro tip: Add a bit of lemon juice if you miss the tartness. Want more ideas? Check out our guide on clementine substitutes for more inspiration!

3 – Tangerines

Tangerines are another great option. They’re easy to find and bring a mix of sweet and slightly tart flavors. They’re similar to kumquats but less intense on the tart side.

Their juiciness works wonders in salads and desserts. You can swap tangerines for kumquats using a 1:1 ratio.

We’ve tried them in savory dishes too, and they add a nice balance. Pro tip: Squeeze a little lemon juice if you need a bit more tartness.

Check our guide on tangerine substitutes for more options!

4 – Oranges

Oranges are a classic stand-in for kumquats. They’re much easier to find and equally juicy. Their flavor is sweeter and less tart than kumquats.

We’ve used oranges in salads and desserts, and it’s always a hit. Use a 1:1 swap with kumquats.

Pro tip: Add a splash of lemon juice for more tartness. We’ve even tried them in savory dishes, and they complement very well.

Oranges are versatile and reliable. Delicious and easy.

5 – Lemon

Lemons, easy to find and punchy in flavor. They bring a sharp, tangy taste that adds excitement to dishes. Lemons are way tangier than kumquats. That’s the deal. Use them with care in salads and desserts. They deliver a bright zing, perfect for lifting flavors.

We like to use a 1:2 ratio here. So, if your recipe calls for one kumquat, go with half a lemon. A squeeze of lemon wakes up any meal. We’ve done it in savoury dishes and desserts. It works every time.

6 – Limes

When we needed a sharp, tangy hit, limes were our go-to. Their bright flavor gives food that extra zing. Limes are way tangier than kumquats, so use them wisely.

A 1:2 ratio works best—one kumquat equals half a lime. This keeps the balance just right. We’ve used them in everything from salads to desserts.

Add lime juice to a savoury dish, and it just pops. We loved it in salsa and marinades. They’re easy to find and bring a unique taste twist.

7 – Grapefruits

We like grapefruits as a substitute. They’re easy to find and come loaded with juicy goodness. Grapefruits are more bitter and slightly sweet compared to kumquats. You get a distinct tanginess that really stands out.

Swap at a 1:1 ratio. One grapefruit for one kumquat. It’s a game changer in salads and desserts. Add a bit of honey if it’s too bitter for your taste. We’ve used grapefruits in our salads, and it gave an amazing twist.

Pro tip: Great in savory dishes too. Squeeze on seafood for a zest that pops.