12 Best Substitutes For Kale (Tasty Alternatives)


Kale is one of the most healthy and nutritious types of greens that you will find on the market.

However, it can also be hard to find in certain regions of the world or you might simply run out of it. If that is the case, there are no reasons to worry. We will introduce you to plenty of kale substitutes that you will simply love to use in your recipes.

The best kale alternative would definitely be collard greens. However, you can use spinach and other greens as well. Let’s see what can you choose instead of kale for your tasty dishes. 

Kale Substitutes 

Here are the most popular substitutes for kale that you can count on every time you run out of this veggie.

1. Collard greens

Collard greens

Collard greens are the best if you need to find a kale replacement. These greens have a similar texture and taste to kale so you can use them in all kinds of recipes. They taste delicious in salads as well as in different cooked dishes. As for seasonings, you can use the same seasonings you would use for kale. 

2. Spinach

Frying thawed frozen spinach

Spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals and it has a great taste. You can use it instead of kale as well in all the recipes you want.

Spinach will go great in soups, salads, or baked dishes. It is easy to cook and even if it has a different taste than kale, it will enrich your dish with a delicious flavor.

3. Baby spinach

Baby spinach leaves

Just like spinach is a good kale alternative, baby spinach makes no difference. It’s smaller than regular spinach but it has the same taste and texture. You can also cook it in the same way you would prepare your kale and use the same seasonings to your food. 

4. Cabbage


Cabbage can also be a great substitute for kale. And there are plenty of types of cabbage to choose from so you will definitely find at least one at your local store.

You can use cabbage in cold dishes as well as cooked ones and expect a great taste. Cabbage is rich in vitamin A too so it is very nutritious too. The taste of cabbage is not so similar to kale but it is compatible with all foods that call for kale. 

5. Romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce can replace kale easily and you will find it almost everywhere. This lettuce has a blander taste so you will need to add extra seasonings to give it the taste you want. It goes best in salads and sandwiches rather than in baked dishes or soups. 

6. Iceberg lettuce

Iceberg lettuce 

When it comes to iceberg lettuce, you can definitely use this one instead of kale as well. It will have a mild taste so you can add all the seasonings you want to enrich its flavor.

Iceberg lettuce has a crunchier texture which will change the texture of your entire dish as well. So, consider that aspect if you choose iceberg lettuce instead of kale. 

7. Tatsoi


A less popular but just as tasty kale substitute is tatsoi. This is an Asian leafy green veggie that is crunchy in texture and has a light taste.

You will notice that it is easier to digest dishes that have tatsoi rather than kale. Also, this veggie is full of vitamins such as vitamin A, C, and K. You can eat it raw or cook it according to your preferences. 

8. Mustard greens

Mustard greens can also replace kale in almost any type of recipe. However, keep in mind that these greens have a spicy flavor too.

Thanks to this aspect, your food will have a richer taste. But a different taste as well. Other than the spicy flavor, mustard greens can be considered similar to kale. 

9. Chard

Swiss chard

If you are looking for a kale substitute, consider chard. You can find chard in different strains from pink to green and they all taste delicious.

This veggie is softer and crispier in terms of texture. Thus, it can be cooked in different ways without getting mushy. You can use chard raw or prepared how you want in order to get the dishes you plan to cook. 

10. Escarole


Escarole is another green veggie that you can eat cooked or raw. Add it to salads, sandwiches, baked dishes, and even soups. And you will obtain a delicious taste every time.

It can replace kale in terms of texture, as well as in terms of flavor. This veggie will not alter the taste of your food much which makes it even easier to use in different dishes. 

11. Arugula


Arugula is a type of green leafy vegetable with a mild peppery taste that you will love to add to almost any type of dish. Since it is a bit spicy you might even like it more than kale.

But be aware of the fact that it will change the flavor of your food. You can use arugula raw or cook it for a short time in different baked or stir-fried dishes. 

12. Brussel sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

If you don’t have kale on hand but you have Brussel sprouts, consider your recipe saved. Brussel sprouts can replace kale in any type of recipe.

They look and taste different. Still, Brussel sprouts can adapt to all types of dishes and you will love their cabbage-like taste so much that you might keep them handy at all times.


Can I substitute lettuce for kale?

If you can’t find kale, you can use any type of lettuce such as Romaine lettuce or iceberg lettuce. However, you can use any type as long as you prepare it correctly. Lettuce can replace kale in all cold dishes such as sandwiches or salads. 

Pay attention to cooked dishes. If you want to make a soup or bake something that has kale, you have to use lettuce that will resist high temperatures without losing its flavor.

Any type of lettuce from the list above will successfully replace kale in any dish. 

What vegetable is better than kale?

The biggest competition for kale in the vegetable world is spinach. It can replace kale just as kale can replace spinach in all dishes you can imagine.

They contain similar types of vitamins and minerals but the quantities differ. You will get vitamin A, C, K as well as folic acid and other nutrients from both but in different concentrations. 

All veggies have their benefits and unique taste. Furthermore, picking one that is better than the rest is difficult. The best way you can approach your diet is through a variety of veggies that you consume regularly. 

Do kale and spinach taste the same?

Kale and spinach have similar but not identical tastes. If you consume them raw, you will notice that kale has a bitter and stronger taste than spinach.

However, if you cook them, spinach is more suitable for creamy recipes and soups as it is easier to blend in with other ingredients. 

The rich flavor of kale makes it ideal for salads and sandwiches. You can even use it in smoothies and you will have a delicious, healthy treat. Spinach will have a milder taste but ultimately, it comes down to individual tastes and preferences. 


As you can see, there is no reason to drop a recipe just because you are missing the kale. You can choose one of the replacements in this guide. And your dish will turn out at least just as tasty as it would if you used kale.

Adjust the seasonings accordingly to obtain the flavor you want. Since kale has a stronger taste you might need to add more spices to a dish that contains a substitute.

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