6 Best Substitutes for Chicory You Can Find (Try These)

I remember the first time I ever tried chicory coffee. I was visiting my grandparents in Louisiana and my grandpa made me a cup. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised! The chicory gave the coffee a unique flavor that I loved.

Since then, I’ve become a big fan of chicory. I love the way it adds flavor to coffee and tea, and I especially love how versatile it is in that it can reduce the need for sugar. Sadly, there comes a time when you might need a replacement for chicory.

So I’ve put together a list of substitutes for chicory that I’ve found after a lot of trial and error. I’ll explain the differences and similarities between each one, as well as give you the exact ratios to use when substituting chicory.

By the end of this blog post, you’ll be able to easily swap for an alternative that tastes the same or similar!

Substitutes for Chicory:

  1. Kola
  2. Chocolate
  3. Yerba Mate
  4. Escarole
  5. Frisee
  6. Arugula


Kola is a fantastic chicory substitute that doesn’t alter the taste of your food or drink. It is often used as an additive to enhance the flavor of foods and beverages.

It has a mild bitterness and contains caffeine, which can give you a boost of energy. It is also rich in antioxidants and has been shown to have numerous health benefits.

If you’re looking for a chicory substitute that won’t change the taste of your favorite food or drink, kola is a perfect choice.


Chocolate can be used as a substitute for chicory. It is a special additive for coffee and a decent substitute for chicory, as it can complement the taste of coffee while being a healthy substitute option.

When used correctly, chocolate can make an excellent stand-in for chicory, so don’t hesitate to give it a try the next time you’re looking for a substitution!

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate is a South American herb that can be used as a chicory substitute. It has a similar earthy flavor and it also contains caffeine, so it can be used for the same purpose as chicory – to add a bit of bitterness and depth of flavor to coffee.

However, Yerba Mate does have a slightly different flavor profile than chicory, so keep that in mind when using it as a substitute. Just use a pinch – too much can make your coffee taste more like Yerba Mate than coffee!


Escarole, a leaf vegetable related to endive, is often used as a substitute for chicory. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is commonly used in salads, apart from also being a popular ingredient in many cuisines, including Italian, French, and Chinese.

Escarole has a bitter flavor, which is often balanced by other ingredients in a dish. When cooked, it has a tender texture that makes it a delicious addition to soups and stews. It is also a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber.


Frisee is a type of chicory that is often used as a substitute for traditional chicory. It has a similar crispy texture and bitter flavor to chicory, but it is less pungent and has a slightly sweeter taste. Due to its crunchy texture and flavor profile, it is popular in salads and soups

It also contains many of the same nutrients and health benefits as chicory, including high levels of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C, apart from being a good source of calcium and iron. However, it does have slightly less dietary fiber than chicory.

In addition, Frisee is more expensive than chicory. Overall, it is a good substitute for chicory in salads and soups because of its similar flavor and texture but is less bitter and more nutritionally dense.


Arugula is a leafy green vegetable that is often used as a substitute for chicory. It has a less bitter taste than chicory, with hints of a peppery taste. Also, it is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine, particularly in salads.

Additionally, arugula is a good source of vitamins A and C, apart from calcium and iron. It can be eaten raw or cooked, and it can be used in soups, stews, and casseroles.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are chicory substitutes?

Chicory substitutes can be any type of herb or vegetable that has a similar flavor profile and texture to chicory. Some of the most popular substitutes include kola, chocolate, yerba mate, escarole, frisee, and arugula. All of these substitutes have unique flavors and textures that make them good alternatives to chicory.

What is the difference between chicory and other substitutes?

Although chicory shares some similarities with other substitutes, it has a unique flavor and texture that makes it stand out from the rest. Chicory is often described as earthy, bitter, and pungent, while other substitutes are typically less strong in flavor. Chicory also has a crispy texture that other substitutes lack.

What are the health benefits of chicory substitutes?

All of the chicory substitutes listed above have various health benefits. Chicory is a good source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. It also contains calcium and iron. These nutrients make chicory a healthy addition to any diet.

Other substitutes, such as arugula and frisee, are also good sources of vitamins A and C, as well as other important nutrients like calcium and iron. They are also a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against disease. Frisee is high in fiber, which can help improve digestion.

Each chicory substitute has its own unique set of nutrients that make it a beneficial addition to your diet. Choose the substitute that fits your needs and enjoy the health benefits it provides!


When looking for a chicory substitute, it’s important to consider the flavor and texture of the herb or vegetable.

Some substitutes have a stronger flavor than chicory and can overwhelm a dish. Others have a more subtle flavor that can be complementary to coffee or other dishes.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which substitute is best for your needs!