12 Delicious Escarole Substitutes (Try These First)

Escarole is a type of vegetable that is often used in salads and soups. It has a green leafy appearance, and its flavor has been described as slightly bitter and nutty. While it is sometimes confused with lettuce, escarole is actually a member of the chicory family.

Escarole is a delicious and nutritious leafy green that is unfortunately not always easy to find. If you’re looking for a substitute when escarole is not available, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’ll discuss a variety of escarole substitutes that will allow you to enjoy your favorite recipes without skipping a beat.

Substitutes For Escarole:

  1. Spinach
  2. Arugula
  3. Iceberg Lettuce
  4. Chinese Cabbage
  5. Radicchios
  6. Kale
  7. Chard
  8. Butterhead Lettuce
  9. Frisée
  10. Mustard Greens
  11. Romaine Lettuce
  12. Endive


Who knew that the lowly spinach, so often relegated to a supporting role as a side dish, could be such a versatile and healthy substitute for escarole?

While it may lack the latter’s slightly bitter flavor, spinach more than makes up for it in nutrient content. Popeye’s favorite leafy green is packed with Vitamins A and K, iron, and potassium, making it a nutritional powerhouse.

And while you might not want to use it as a stand-in for escarole in your Italian wedding soup, spinach can be used in a variety of dishes where its milder flavor will be less noticeable.


If you’re ever in a bind and need a substitute for escarole, fear not – arugula is here to save the day!

Arugula has a peppery and bitter flavor that is similar to escarole, making it a perfect stand-in. Plus, it’s super easy to find – just head to your local grocery store or farmer’s market. When using arugula as a substitute for escarole, just use equal amounts.

So if the recipe calls for 1 cup of escarole, use 1 cup of arugula instead. Easy peasy! And who knows – you might just like the flavor of arugula better than escarole.

Iceberg Lettuce

Looking for a crisp, low-fiber lettuce to use in your next salad? Why not give iceberg lettuce a try? While it’s not typically considered gourmet lettuce, iceberg lettuce can be a great substitute for escarole in many dishes.

Its mild flavor won’t overwhelm other ingredients, and its crisp texture can add a welcomed crunch. Plus, iceberg lettuce is much lower in fiber than escarole, so it’s perfect for those who are watching their intake.

Chinese Cabbage

If you’re looking for a milder, less bitter greens option, Chinese cabbage is a great substitute for escarole.

It has a similar crispy texture, but its flavor is much milder. This makes it a great choice for salads or other dishes where you want the greens to complement, rather than overpower, the other flavors.

Chinese cabbage is also a good source of vitamins K and C, so you’ll be getting a nutritional boost as well.


Radicchio may not be as mainstream as its leafy green counterpart, escarole, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t just as good.

This burgundy-hued relative of the cabbage has a crisp texture and a slightly bitter flavor that can add depth to any dish.


If you find yourself in need of a leafy green but can’t find escarole, don’t worry – kale is the perfect replacement! While the two greens may look similar, kale is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes.

When substituting kale for escarole you can use the same amount of kale as you would escarole. This will give your dish a flavor that is very similar to escarole. So next time you can’t find escarole, don’t sweat it – kale is here to help!


Ok so if you aren’t pleased with the substitutes above, swiss chard is another good option. While it doesn’t have the same level of bitterness as escarole, it does have a slightly more bitter taste that can be reduced by cooking it with garlic, onions, and vinegar.

Swiss chard is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy choice for those looking to add more leafy greens to their diet. So next time you’re at the store, grab some swiss chard and give it a try!

Butterhead Lettuce

Butterhead lettuce has a milder flavor than escarole, making it a good choice for those who find the latter to be too bitter. These leafy greens have a mild butter flavor and round leaves, making them a versatile choice for salads, sandwiches, and more.

Plus, they’re packed with many beneficial nutrients.

In addition, the round leaves of butterhead lettuce add a nice aesthetic to any dish. So, if you’re looking for a milder-tasting green with a softer texture, reach for butterhead lettuce the next time you’re in the grocery store.

Who knows? You might just find that you prefer it to escarole.


Escarole and frisée are both lettuce varieties that are often used in salads. Escarole has broad, dark green leaves, while frisée has frizzy, narrow green leaves.

Both have a crispy texture, but escarole is less bitter than frisée. In addition, escarole is usually more expensive than frisée. For these reasons, frisée is often used as a substitute for escarole in salads.

While it may not have the same flavor profile as escarole, frisée can still add a touch of bitterness and crunch to a salad. And since it’s usually less expensive than escarole, it’s a great way to save money on your next salad recipe.

Mustard Greens

If you’re uncertain about the previous substitutes try mustard greens. They have a pungent flavor that can add some zing to your dish, and they’re easy to prepare.

Just saute them in some olive oil and garlic, and you’re good to go. Plus, they’re packed with essential vitamins and minerals, so you’ll be getting a healthy dose of antioxidants.

So next time you’re at the store, grab a bunch of mustard greens and give them a try. You might just be surprised at how delicious they are.

Romaine Lettuce

Most people think of escarole as a dark green leafy vegetable with a crispy texture. However, did you know that you can use romaine lettuce as a substitute for escarole?

While the two vegetables are similar in appearance, romaine lettuce has a slightly milder flavor that can be a perfect complement to certain dishes. Additionally, romaine lettuce is often more readily available than escarole, making it a convenient alternative.

So next time you’re looking for a dark green leafy vegetable to add to your dish, consider using romaine lettuce as a substitute for escarole. You just might be surprised at how well it works!


Endives and escarole are both members of the chicory family, and they share a mildly bitter flavor. However, endive has a crisp texture, while escarole is more like lettuce in terms of texture.

The crispy leaves of endives also make it a good Garnish for soup and other dishes. In addition, endives can be used as a wrap for sandwiches and other fillings.

So if you’re looking for a milder bitter flavor or a crunchier texture, endive is a good substitute for escarole.

Frequently Asked Questions

What green is closest to escarole?

Swiss chard, spinach, and arugula are all similar in taste and texture to escarole and can be used as substitutes in recipes.

Is collard greens similar to escarole?

Yes, collard greens are similar to escarole and can be used as a substitute in recipes. They have a slightly bitter taste and are thicker than escarole.


So, if escarole is unavailable or you’re looking for a different flavor profile, any of the substitutes listed above will work well. They all have a similar texture and taste to escarole and are easy to prepare.

It’s always recommended that you experiment when cooking, so this is a great opportunity for you to get creative in the kitchen.