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5 Best Blood Oranges Substitutes to Consider

Have you ever been stuck in a pinch and wondered what other fruit could be used as a substitute for blood oranges? Look no further.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the five best substitutes for blood oranges and how to use them.

You’ll be surprised to find out how easy it can be to get the same zesty flavor without ever having to buy a single blood orange.

What’s Blood Orange?

Blood oranges come from a species of the orange family, Citrus x sinensis, that has reddish-purple fruits.

Their flavor profile is similar to a regular orange, but with raspberry and cranberry undertones.

They have a delightful sweet-tart flavor and make an excellent addition to summer salads or dessert recipes.

The term “blood orange” can also refer to an artificial fruit-flavoring compound derived from the essential oils of lemons, limes, sweet oranges, tangerine and bergamot.

This compound is most commonly used in beverages, but can also be found in foods like pastries and ice cream.

How to Eat and Serve Blood Oranges?

Blood oranges are a type of orange variant that belongs to the citrus family.

It’s best known for its deep reddish hue and flavor, which makes it an ideal home-cooked treat during winter.

In addition, blood oranges boast several health benefits including the potential to reduce bad cholesterol levels, protect against oxidative damage, and enhance digestion.

Although blood oranges aren’t usually eaten raw, there are many delicious ways to enjoy them.

Here are some delicious ways to serve and eat blood oranges:

  • Chop into wedges or slices for easy snacking on its own or mixed with other citrus fruits like clementine or grapefruit.
  • Make a salad with mixed greens, olive oil, salt and pepper; top off with some chopped up segments of the fruit for a tasty meal full of fiber from the greens and antioxidants from the orange slices.
  • Squeeze fresh juice out of the segmented fruit using a juicer or food processor; mix with other juices such as pomegranate or pineapple for added sweetness and flavor variation. Enjoy your juice right away or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to two days before consuming.
  • Grill sliced bits of blood orange over a hot fire on skewers; drizzle some olive oil first so they don’t stick too much and voila. An interesting twist on campfire cooking that adds a touch of elegance to outdoor dining options.
  • Boil chopped pieces of this ripe red fruit until soft consistency is reached; blend with cinnamon or nutmeg for an easy yet delicious Syrup substitute for sweetening toast, pancakes & waffles. Last but not least – you can also try roasting whole Segments in your oven 400°F (200°C) for 15 minutes per side until caramelized & fragrant – perfect side dish alongside cooked meats such as lamb & fish dishes.

5 Best Blood Oranges Substitutes to Consider

Due to their special flavor profile and vibrant colors, blood oranges make for great ingredients in many recipes – from salads to sorbets to cocktails.

They can also be used to give dishes an extra color punch like this Blood Orange Meringue Tart from Epicurious.

But if you don’t have access to ripe blood oranges or they’re not in season at your local market, don’t worry.

Here are five great substitutes you can use when you need that unique sweet-tart taste of a blood orange:

1 – Cara Cara Oranges

Cara Cara oranges are a natural cross between two varieties of sweet oranges and they get their name from the Spanish word for “fleshy”.

While it is unrelated to the blood orange, it still has some of the same characteristics.

Cara Cara oranges have a unique pink flesh that resembles that of a grapefruit in its pigment and flavor, but with an added sweetness.

These oranges are less acidic than regular oranges and can be used in recipes as a substitute for blood oranges.

They’re most commonly found during the winter months, so make sure to keep your eyes out for them at your local grocery store or farmer’s market.

The milder sweetness combined with the pinkish hue make them great additions to salads or cocktails, providing an oh-so-tempting splash of color along with subtle hint of flavor.

2 – Valencia Oranges

Valencia oranges are the most commonly available variety and probably the type of orange you buy most often at your local grocery store.

They are medium-sized, juicy, sweet oranges that range from a light yellow to orange, depending on how ripe they are.

Generally speaking, Valencias tend to be less tart than blood oranges.

The peel also tends to be a bit thicker and harder to peel than that of other varieties.

Valencia oranges are great for juicing or baking and add wonderful flavor to salads and main dishes.

3 – Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruit juice is a great substitute for blood orange juice because it has a similar color and flavor profile.

It is slightly more tart than orange or blood orange juice, which is what gives it the signature punch of flavor.

Grapefruit juice pairs well with other citrus juices such as orange or lemon and can be used to create an interesting mix of flavors.

If substituting grapefruit juice for blood oranges, you may need to adjust the amount of sweetener you’re using in the recipe to balance out the tartness.

When buying grapefruit juice, look for 100% pure fruit juices without added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

4 – Pink Grapefruit

Pink Grapefruit is a great substitute for blood oranges in recipes.

This citrus fruit is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, with a slightly sweeter flavor than the traditional orange fruit.

It can be used to replace blood oranges in soups, salads, desserts, or even smoothies.

Plus, it pairs perfectly with spices like cumin and chili powder to give your dishes a unique flavor profile.

When looking for pink grapefruit at the grocery store, make sure you select ones that are firm and have no grey soft spots on them — this is an indication that they’re not at their peak ripeness.

Due to its tangy flavor and juicy texture, pink grapefruit makes for an excellent replacement for blood oranges in various recipes.

5 – Navel Oranges

Navel oranges are one of the most common and popular substitutes for blood oranges.

They have a very similar flavor profile, albeit with a sweeter taste.

Navel oranges are easy to identify due to their prominent, navel-like shape at the top of the fruit.

These oranges can be eaten fresh or used in baking, salads and other recipes that call for blood oranges.

The exact proportions will depend on your recipe but generally substituting navel for blood oranges will result in a much sweeter dish.


In conclusion, blood oranges are a unique variety of citrus fruit known for their deep red flesh and sweet-tart flavor.

They can be used as an interesting alternative to regular oranges in a variety of recipes, from salads and desserts to juices and cocktails.

However, due to their limited availability and short seasonality, blood oranges can be challenging to find at certain times of the year.

Depending on the desired outcome of the recipe you’re making, you might want to adjust the amounts used accordingly but these are all solid options if you’re looking for a tasty substitute.

5 Best Blood Oranges Substitutes to Consider

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Cara Cara Oranges
  • 2 – Valencia Oranges
  • 3 – Grapefruit Juice
  • 4 – Pink Grapefruit
  • 5 – Navel Oranges


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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