Arugula Substitute

Looking for the Best Arugula Substitute? Here Are 12 of Them for 2024

Arugula is a distinctive member of the cabbage family, and it has a lot of health benefits. It helps with blood clotting and bone building, it also gives your immune system a much-needed boost. You’ll find it in salads, pasta, and sometimes on pizzas anywhere a leafy green can go Arugula leaves can go. It’s definitely a leaf green favorite.

Fresh arugula is served both raw and cooked. The best thing about it is that it has a little bit of a spicy taste which can appeal to people who love some seasoning. It adds an exciting yet interesting bitter peppery flavor to most dishes. 

If you’re looking to find the best arugula substitute, you should consider one of the following.

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Can I Substitute Frisée Lettuce For Arugula

Frisée lettuce is a good choice if you feel like substitute arugula. It has a similar bitter taste, but it’s a lot milder. Yet, it has a more tender texture than arugula. Its leaves are soft and its center is super crunchy. This makes it perfect for a cool fresh salad. 

It also doesn’t have that peppery taste that some people don’t like. It’s very low in terms of calories and has a lot of health benefits.

Can I Substitute Watercress For Arugula

Watercress shares the same peppery properties of arugula. It also has the same spicy flavor and bitterness. This is why it makes a really good option for replacement. Yet, once you cook it, the spicy taste will probably fade away.

Unlike arugula, watercress tends to get very soft when it’s cooked. However, it’s used as a garnish and is a very popular one. You could also cut it up with your salad, add some of it to your soup, or add it to a sandwich. If you want some sauce, you could make some pesto out of it, too. The leaves can also be added to soups and stews.

Watercress is a good alternative for Arugula
Watercress is a good alternative for Arugula

Can I Substitute Spinach For Arugula

Spinach is one of the most popular leafy vegetables in the whole world. Like arugula, it can also be eaten both raw or cooked. It’s known for its wrinkled leaves, which are very rich in nutrients. If you’re looking to avoid the bitter taste of arugula, spinach should be your best option.

The good thing about spinach is that you can eat it in a diverse range of meals. You can chop it into a salad, steam or sauté it with some vegetables, add it to some pasta, or even make a healthy smoothie out of it.

Can I Substitute Dandelion Greens For Arugula

Unlike spinach, dandelion greens tend to have a more bitter taste. Yet, like arugula, they have that special pepper taste. You could also make them into special dandelion coffee. They’re available throughout the year and are very easy to find.

They’re also very high in vitamins and proteins. 

Can I Substitute Radicchio For Arugula

Radicchio is a very popular leaf vegetable and is distinguished by its purple leaves and white veins. It shares a lot of similarities with arugula because it has both a bitter and spicy taste. Those flavors can become a lot milder when the radicchio is cooked. 

Radicchio is also known as ‘Italian chicory’ and is found in a lot of shapes and colors. It’s best used in salads and Italian dishes such as pasta and risotto.

Can I Substitute Kale For Arugula

Kales are another type of leafy green vegetable which is a good substitute for Arugula and they widely consumed around the globe. They come in different varieties, but all of them share the same characteristics: their dark green color, their slightly bitter taste, and their crunchy texture.

You can use kale in many ways. You can either boil it, steam it, or sauté it.

Baby Spinach is an alternative
Baby Spinach

Why Is Arugula Bitter?

Arugula can be bitter as a young vegetable but it certainly becomes rather bitter as it gets older.

How do you tell what is an old Arugula in the supermarket?

You can tell an old Arugula when its leaves are over 4 inches. Also at that stage, the plant may start producing flowers. When the Arugula has flowers the green leaves are extremely bitter.

When shopping for groceries, if you see an item labeled “baby” or “young,” buy that one instead of just any old arugula. They’re small leaves, usually no longer than two inches long, and they’re quite fragile. They aren’t just simpler to eat; they taste better because they don’t contain as many bitter flavors.

What Tastes Similar to Arugula

 The most similar tasting alternative for arugula is Frisée. It is probably the best substitute for arugula

Best Substitute for Arugula in Pasta

These are the top three substitutes for Arugula in pasta-

  • watercress, nice a peppery flavor.
  • baby spinach leaves with milder taste
  • dandelion greens

What are some other easily found alternatives for Arugula?

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Chives

that completes our top 12 substitute options for arugula.