Arugula is such a perfect ingredient for salads, sandwiches, and for just anything about healthy dishes. It’s known for its perfectly bitter but much peppery taste making it a go-to leafy vegetable for most.
The great thing about this leafy vegetable is it’s best eaten either raw or cooked. It complements any dish that calls for a healthy twist for that everyday meal. If arugula is not your best bet or just unavailable in your area, you can substitute it with other leafy vegetables instead.
Substitute arugula with dandelion green, spinach, purslane, watercress, radicchio, kale, endive, radish sprouts, nasturtium leaves, and cabbage.
We’re pretty sure you’re excited about how to use these arugula substitutes in your next healthy dish, so let’s get right into it.
1. Dandelion Green
Dandelion greens quite resemble arugula in physical form because of those sharp side ridges from its leaves. Apart from that, the nutritional value offers unbelievably great health benefits. This tiny leafy vegetable is packed with proteins, iron, minerals, and calcium.
It’s the perfect addition to keep up with a healthy lifestyle and level up all the nutrients that your body needs. If you’re not a fan of the bitter taste of leafy vegetables, you can instead get the younger leaves rather than the older ones. Enjoy it with stews, salads, and even soups.
If you watch a lot of Popeye episodes, you should probably know the reason why popeye is such a strong lad. It’s that power from the spinach that he eats regularly.
Joke aside, spinach is in fact one of the high valued leafy vegetables that you can ever get to step up your health game. Unlike arugula, spinach has a more mellow taste and no hint of any bitterness.
Some people who are trying to transition into eating vegetables usually start with spinach as it’s flavor friendly and can be used with any dishes.
If you really like arugula’s taste, the closest you can get is purslane. It has that same mustard taste just like arugula that you’ll surely enjoy.
The leaves however are more succulent to the bite with a little hint of juices. Unlike arugula where it’s more leafy and dry.
Just like arugula, purslane works well with either raw or cooked dishes. Get it in your soups or stews, better yet enjoy it as an appetizer with a bomb salad.
Take a daily dose of your purslane stash to take advantage of a supply of Vitamins A & C as well as magnesium.
Another bitter-taste leafy vegetable just like arugula should be watercress. Other than the bitter flavor that you’ll get, you’ll also enjoy a hint of spice in every bite. The flavor itself is the very main reason why this is an ideal substitute when you don’t have arugula on hand.
The resemblance of both leafy vegetables is so uncanny, that you won’t even notice the difference once added into that bowl of salad.
If you want to add it in a cooked stew or soup, just make sure to add it during the last part of your cooking time to avoid the watercress from being mushy.
If you prefer some vibrance in your dish rather than the regular “green” leafy vegetable that you always get, take this unique substitute, radicchio. It resembles the shape of lettuce but with red-colored leaves and white-colored veins on it.
It has the same exact flavor profile which is bitter and spicy at the same time. If you like to change it up without having to change the flavor, radicchio it is! Best for salads and stir-fried dishes, just not the stews and soups though.
Kale has such a dynamic flavor that you can’t get from arugula itself. But, the nutrients that it offers are highly unimaginable. Kale is a close relative to the cabbage which makes sense why it has that quite the same taste profile.
This leafy vegetable is not only perfect for salads but is also great for soups and stews, too. But my personal favorite is the kale chips where you can enjoy a delicious snack without having that guilt. Add more kale to your dish and enjoy the health benefits.
If you haven’t tried endive yet, now is about the time to try it. Enjoy the same bitterness taste to it just like arugula. Endive looks like more of a small Chinese cabbage.
Aside from that slightly bitter flavor that you’ll get, it also offers that crunchy and tangy flavor to it that is excellent for salads and extra crunch for your sandwiches. Enjoy this crunchy treat on your next dinner plans while still getting the same health benefits from arugula.
8. Radish Sprouts
This might be an unlikely substitute at first but microgreens can actually go a long way. Consider trying out these cute but nutrition-packed radish sprouts. The taste is really different from arugula and no hint of any bitterness from it.
It’s perfect for those who like to stay healthy but without having to deal with such bitter vegetables. Try to add this up in your favorite salads and vegetables next time.
9. Nasturtium Leaves
Nasturtium leaf also known as the Indian cress is another perfect substitute for arugula.
At first glance, it might look not edible because of how it looks like just a regular leafy plant but look closely because this is one of the healthiest leafy vegetables you can get.
In truth, all parts of this plant can be eaten and enjoyed in any style of cooking. It doesn’t have that bitter taste but it offers a still peppery taste to it just like arugula.
Then last but totally not least, is cabbage. If you don’t like that peppery and bitter taste from arugula, then stick to cabbage instead. That’s better than not having vegetables at all.
You can still enjoy a dose of your leafy vegetables without having to struggle with that bitter taste. Perfect eating raw just like the coleslaw and even in soups with meats.
Are arugula and spinach the same?
They might be used by the same style of cooking but both are completely different. Arugula has some sharp ridges on the sides while spinach has elongated round leaves.
Is arugula expensive?
Compared to other leafy vegetables, arugula is quite pricier because of how it’s being farmed. It doesn’t grow all year long and can be sensitive to changes in temperature.
Is it good to eat arugula every day?
Yes, in fact, it’s advised to have a daily dose of three cups of arugula to get a good source of Vitamin K that your body needs.
Being healthy is crucial to get a fitter and highly immune body. Meaning, it’s also great to try different leafy vegetables other than arugula. Change it up sometimes and enjoy its great health benefits.