11 Substitutes For Kale – Best Options to Use Instead

I used to be a kale addict. I would eat it every day, in every way possible. But lately, I’ve felt like I need some substitutes for kale. I’m not quite sure what it is, but something about kale just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

So, I’ve started experimenting with different substitutes over the past few months and compiled a list of my favorites. Here they are, in no particular order:

List of Substitutes For Kale

  1. Collard Greens
  2. Spinach
  3. Cabbage
  4. Swiss Chard
  5. Chinese Broccoli
  6. Lettuce
  7. Mustard Greens
  8. Tatsoi
  9. Escarole
  10. Arugula
  11. Brussel Sprouts

Collard Greens

In many cases, collard greens can be used as a substitute for kale. Both greens have a similar texture and are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.

One benefit of using collard greens as a substitute for kale is that they are generally more affordable and tend to be more widely available than kale. When choosing a green to use as a substitute for kale, it is important to select one with similar nutritional value.

Collard greens are an excellent choice for those looking for a healthy and affordable alternative to kale.


If you’re like me, you love kale. It’s delicious, nutritious, and versatile. But sometimes, you just can’t find kale at the store. That’s when spinach comes in handy as a substitute.

Spinach has a flavor similar to kale and can be used in all the same dishes. Plus, spinach is just as nutritious as kale, so you don’t have to worry about sacrificing any health benefits.

So what do you do when you can’t find kale? Don’t despair. Just grab some spinach and enjoy your favorite dishes with a delicious new twist.


Cabbage makes an excellent substitute for kale. Cabbage is similarly nutrient-rich, and it is much more affordable and widely available.

Plus, it can be used in many of the same dishes as kale, from salads and sautés to soups and stir-fries. So next time you’re looking for a healthy leafy green, don’t hesitate to reach for cabbage.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a delicious and versatile vegetable that can be used as a substitute for kale in most recipes.

Like kale, Swiss chard has a crispy texture and is packed with nutrients. However, Swiss chard is also sweeter than kale, making it a great choice for salads and other dishes where you want a little bit of sweetness.

In addition, Swiss chard is less likely to bitterness than kale, so it’s a good option if you’re looking for a more mild-tasting green. We highly recommend that you try swiss chards if you’re looking for a kale substitute.

You might just be surprised by how much you like it.

Chinese Broccoli

While kale and Chinese broccoli may look similar, they have quite different flavor profiles.

Chinese broccoli is a bit more bitter and earthy, while kale has a strong, earthy taste. However, you can use them interchangeably in many recipes.

Both greens have flat leaves and a crunchy texture that holds up well to cooking. However, when substituting Chinese broccoli for kale, you may want to add a bit more other flavorful ingredients, such as garlic or lemon, to balance out the flavor.

In many recipes, Chinese broccoli is a versatile vegetable that can be used as a healthy and delicious substitute for kale.


Lettuce is a good option if you’re looking for a milder-tasting green to use in place of kale. While it doesn’t have the same nutrient density as kale, lettuce is still a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Its bland taste makes it versatile enough to use in sweet and savory dishes. Ultimately, if you’re looking for a kale substitute that won’t change the flavor of your dish, lettuce is a good choice.

Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are a great option if you’re looking for a greens substitute that won’t leave you feeling short-changed. Packed with nutrients and spicy flavor, you can use these leafy greens in various dishes. Kale may be the current trend, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only green worth eating.

Mustard greens have a similar nutrient profile to kale but offer a unique spicy flavor. They work well in smoothies and can also be used raw in salads. Just be sure to remove the tough stems before chopping.


Tatsoi is an Asian Brassica rapa variety with a mild mustard flavor with hints of sweetness and earthiness. It’s dark green in color and can be eaten raw or cooked. I’ve personally used this one in dishes to replace kale because it has a similar flavor profile and can be used in the same dishes.

I recommend this one since it’s a versatile vegetable that can be used in soups, stir-fries, salads, and smoothies. It’s also a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. When substituting Asian Tatsoi for kale; I suggest using a 1:1 ratio.

The major distinction is that Tatsoi has a more delicate texture and greater water content, so it does not require as long of a cooking process.

One downside of using Asian Tatsoi is that it wilts quickly, so it’s best to use it within a day or two of buying it. Asian Tatsoi is also not as widely available as kale, so you may have to go to a specialty grocery store to find it.

Overall, Asian Tatsoi is a good substitute for kale if you’re looking for something with a similar flavor profile that is more tender and easier to cook.


Escarole is a leafy green vegetable that can be used as a substitute for kale. Escarole has a similar taste and texture to kale, making it a good choice for sandwiches, soups, and salads. Escarole is also high in vitamins A and k, and it contains antioxidants that make it a great leafy green to add to your diet.

The easiest way to substitute kale with escarole is to use a 1:1 ratio. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of kale, you may replace it with 1 cup of escarole. You can also use escarole in place of spinach or collard greens.

When substituting escarole for kale, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, escarole is more delicate than kale, so it should be cooked for a shorter amount of time. Second, escarole may have a slightly bitter flavor, so you may want to add more seasonings to your dish.

Overall, this alternative is a healthy and versatile substitute for kale.


Arugula is a wonderful substitute for kale. It has a peppery taste that can be eaten raw or cooked. Arugula is also a source of vitamins B6, C, magnesium, as well as calcium, and iron. To replace kale with arugula, simply use the same proportions.

For example, if a recipe calls for one cup of chopped kale, you can use one cup of chopped arugula instead. You can use arugula in any dish that calls for kale, including salads, soups, and stir-fries.

The only downside to arugula is that it wilts faster than kale. To prevent this, add the arugula to dishes at the last minute or cook it for a shorter time. With these tips in mind, you can easily substitute arugula for kale in any recipe.

Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts make an excellent substitute for kale. Brussel sprouts have a somewhat similar nutrient profile to kale, providing plenty of vitamins C and K. They also contain fiber, potassium, and thiamin(b1). You can use Brussel sprouts in the same way as kale, such as in soups, stews, and salads.

When substituting Brussel sprouts for kale, it is best to use a 1:1 ratio. However, there are some pros and cons to using Brussel sprouts as a substitute for kale.

Brussel sprouts are often more expensive than kale, but they are pretty easy to find in stores. However, Brussel sprouts are less likely to spoil and have a longer shelf life than kale. When substituting Brussel sprouts for kale, it is important to cook them properly to achieve the best results. Overcooking Brussel sprouts will make them mushy and decrease their nutrient content.

To prevent this, you can try blanching them in boiling water for two to three minutes before adding them to your dish. This will help preserve their nutrients and texture.

Wrapping Up

There are so many healthy and nutritious replacements for kale on this list that you’re sure to find one that you love. Kale is a great leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients, but it’s not the only option out there. Each of these substitutes brings its own unique flavor and nutrient profile to the table. So, don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect kale substitute for you.