Arugula Substitute: 5 Leafy Greens to Try Instead

Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that is commonly used in salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish. It has a slightly bitter and peppery taste that adds a unique flavor to dishes. However, arugula may not always be available or affordable, and some people may not enjoy its taste. In such cases, finding a suitable substitute for arugula is essential.

There are several substitutes for arugula that can be used in cooking and salads. Some of the most popular options include watercress, spinach, kale, and radicchio. Watercress has a similar peppery taste to arugula, while spinach and kale are milder in flavor. Radicchio adds a slightly bitter taste that is similar to arugula. These substitutes can be used in equal amounts in recipes that call for arugula, and they provide similar nutritional benefits.

Arugula Substitute

Arugula

Arugula, also known as rucola, rocket, or Italian cress, is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassicaceae family. It is native to the Mediterranean region and has been cultivated for centuries. Arugula has a distinct peppery taste that is often described as bitter.

Arugula is a popular ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. It is often used as a garnish or topping for pizza and other Italian dishes. The leaves are typically dark green and have a slightly wrinkled texture.

Arugula is a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. It also contains antioxidants that help protect against cell damage.

While arugula has a unique taste that many people enjoy, some may find it too bitter. In these cases, there are several arugula substitutes that can be used in recipes. These include:

Each of these substitutes has a slightly different flavor profile and texture, so it is important to choose the one that best fits the recipe.

Nutritional Value of Arugula

Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients. It is a low-calorie food that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals essential for good health. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of arugula:

  • Vitamins: Arugula is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K. These vitamins are essential for maintaining healthy bones, skin, and vision. They also help to boost the immune system and prevent chronic diseases.
  • Minerals: Arugula is rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. These minerals are important for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and nerves.
  • Antioxidants: Arugula contains high levels of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
  • Low in fat: Arugula is a low-fat food that is perfect for people who are watching their weight. It is also low in sodium and sugar, making it an ideal food for people with high blood pressure or diabetes.
  • Heart health: Arugula is an excellent source of folate, which is essential for maintaining a healthy heart. It also contains nitrates, which help to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
endive v arugula

Common Uses of Arugula

Arugula is a versatile leafy green that can be used in a variety of dishes. It has a slightly peppery and nutty taste that can add a unique flavor to any dish. Here are some common uses of arugula:

Salads

Arugula is a popular ingredient in salads. Its unique flavor and texture make it a great addition to any salad. It can be used as the base of the salad or as a topping. Arugula pairs well with a variety of ingredients, including tomatoes, cucumbers, and feta cheese.

Soups

Arugula can also be used in soups. It adds a unique flavor to soups and can be used as a garnish. Arugula soup is a popular dish in Italian cuisine.

Sandwiches

Arugula can be used as a topping in sandwiches. It pairs well with a variety of meats and cheeses. Arugula can also be used as a substitute for lettuce in sandwiches.

Pizza

Arugula can be used as a pizza topping. It pairs well with a variety of toppings, including prosciutto, goat cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes. Arugula pizza is a popular dish in Italian cuisine.

Pesto

Arugula can be used to make pesto. Arugula pesto has a unique flavor and pairs well with pasta dishes. It can also be used as a topping for sandwiches and pizzas.

Pasta Dishes

Arugula can be used in pasta dishes. It pairs well with a variety of sauces, including tomato sauce and pesto. Arugula can be used as a garnish or as a main ingredient in pasta dishes.

Garnish

Arugula can be used as a garnish for a variety of dishes. It adds a pop of color and a unique flavor to any dish.

spinach v arugula

Arugula Substitutes in Salads

One of the most common uses for Arugula is in salads; and when it comes to salads, arugula is a popular choice due to its peppery flavor and crunchy texture.

However, if you’re unable to find arugula or simply want to switch things up, there are several alternatives to consider.

One option is spinach, which has a similar texture and mild flavor that pairs well with a variety of ingredients. Kale is another option that offers a slightly bitter taste and a hearty crunch. Endive, watercress, and dandelion greens are also good substitutes that provide a slightly bitter taste and a crisp texture.

Radicchio and escarole are other options to consider, as they offer a slightly bitter taste and a crunchy texture. Romaine lettuce, radishes, and frisée are also good substitutes that provide a mild flavor and a slightly crunchy texture.

If you prefer mixed greens, look for a blend that includes some of the above-mentioned options for added flavor and texture. Parmesan cheese can also be added to any salad for a salty kick that pairs well with most greens.

Mustard greens and microgreens are also good substitutes that offer a sweet flavor and a crunchy texture.

Arugula Substitutes in Cooking

When arugula is not available, there are several substitutes that can be used in cooking. Some of these substitutes are raw or cooked, while others are leafy vegetables from the chicory family or brassica.

Raw Substitutes

For raw preparations, baby spinach or curly endive can be used as an arugula substitute. Both of these leafy vegetables have a mild flavor that can complement salads or sandwiches. Baby kale is another option that can provide a similar peppery taste to arugula.

Cooked Substitutes

When arugula is used in cooked dishes, cabbage or cauliflower can be used as a substitute. These vegetables can be grilled or sautéed to provide a nutty flavor that can complement sauces or pasta dishes. Broccoli is another option that can be used as a substitute for arugula in cooked dishes.

Raw or Cooked Substitutes

If a substitute is needed for both raw and cooked preparations, chicory can be used. This leafy vegetable from the chicory family has a slightly bitter taste that can complement salads or pasta dishes. It can also be grilled or sautéed to provide a nutty flavor that can complement sauces or roasted meats.

Other Flavorful Additions

To add more flavor to the substitute, lemon, garlic, and herbs such as rosemary or parsley can be used. These ingredients can enhance the nutty or peppery taste of the substitute and provide a more complex flavor profile.

Frequently Asked Questions

What greens taste like arugula?

Some greens that have a similar taste to arugula include watercress, radicchio, and endive. These greens have a slightly bitter and peppery taste that is similar to arugula.

Can you replace arugula with spinach?

Yes, spinach can be used as a substitute for arugula in most recipes. However, spinach has a milder taste and lacks the peppery flavor of arugula.

Can I substitute kale for arugula?

Kale can be used as a substitute for arugula in some recipes, but it has a much stronger taste and a tougher texture. It is best to use baby kale or to massage the kale before using it as a substitute for arugula.

What is a good substitute for rocket salad?

Rocket salad, also known as arugula, can be replaced with other greens that have a similar taste and texture, such as watercress, radicchio, and endive.

What are some greens that look like arugula?

Some greens that look like arugula include mizuna lettuce, mustard greens, and frisée lettuce. These greens have a similar leaf shape and size to arugula, but may have a slightly different taste.

What are some alternatives to mizuna lettuce?

If mizuna lettuce is not available, other greens that can be used as a substitute include arugula, watercress, and baby kale. These greens have a similar taste and texture to mizuna lettuce.

Can Arugula be substituted for spinach?

Yes, arugula can be substituted for spinach in many recipes. However, there are some important differences between the two greens to keep in mind:

  • Flavor – Arugula has a much sharper, spicier, more pungent flavor than spinach. Spinach is more mild and versatile. So substituting arugula will add a peppery punch to salads, pastas, pestos, etc.
  • Texture – Spinach is more tender, whereas arugula has crisp, sturdy leaves with a little bite to them. So arugula might change dish textures in things like smoothies or dips.
  • Cooking time – Because arugula is a heartier green, it stands up to cooking better than delicate spinach. Arugula won’t wilt or break down as quickly as spinach when sautéing or stir frying. So adjust cooking times slightly longer.
  • Appearance – The narrow, lobed shape of arugula leaves looks quite different than round spinach leaves. So the visual impact will change.

Why Not Try These?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *