I was in the middle of making a delicious dish that called for mustard greens and realized that I had run out.
Panic started to set in as I tried to think of a substitute.
I didn’t want to waste time running to the store, so I started looking through my refrigerator and pantry for something that would work. I finally found a few vegetables that would work as a substitute and thought I would share my findings with you.
Believe me, I know mustard greens are a flavorful, leafy green that can be used in many dishes.
However, sometimes they can be so hard to find or you may just not like them.
Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered with a roundup of substitute vegetables that will give your dish the same flavor profile as mustard greens.
As promised, here are a few vegetables that make great substitutes for mustard greens.
Substitutes for Mustard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- English Spinach
- Fenugreek leaves
- Chinese Broccoli
- Collard Greens
- Chinese Mustard Greens
- Baby Spinach Leaves
- Dandelion Greens
Swiss Chard… what a leafy, greens powerhouse! This oftentimes understated ingredient has so much to offer.
As a mustard green substitute, Swiss chard shines in its ability to be a little stronger in taste while still offering the same benefits. Also, mustard greens are a good source of flavonoids and fiber, and so is Swiss chard.
It is stronger in taste, so you won’t need to use as much to get the same flavor. In my experience when choosing Swiss chard, opt for the mature leaves as they’ll be more flavorful.
And, if you’re concerned about the color, don’t be! When cooked, Swiss chard takes on a beautiful yellow hue.
As a general rule of thumb, 1:1 or less is a good ratio. So, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of mustard greens, use 1 cup or less of Swiss chard instead.
There are endless dishes you can prepare using Swiss chard as a mustard green substitute. One of my personal favorites is sautéed Swiss chard with garlic. So yum!
Another great substitute for mustard greens is Fenugreek leaves.
And here are some cases where you can use this nut-like, sweet-tasting leaf as a replacement.
First, Indian cuisine often uses these leaves as a stand-in for mustard greens, as they share a similar flavor profile. This unusual 1:1 alternative can be used in Indian cuisine as well as many other dishes including Curried Chicken and Vegan Stir-fry.
Fenugreek leaves are packed with nutrients like folic acid and thiamin, which help boost testosterone levels.
English spinach can easily be mistaken for its sibling, mustard greens. They are both leafy greens that are great swapped into any dish – but there are a few key differences.
English spinach has a milder flavor than mustard greens, so it’s less likely to overpower a dish. Additionally, English spinach is a good source of carotenoids and folic acid, which are important nutrients for overall health.
Finally, English spinach contains more iron than mustard greens, which can help to lessen oxidative stress in the body.
Just be sure not to eat them raw as cooked English spinach is much more palatable
Next, is Chinese broccoli, also known as gai lan, which is a suitable 1:1 trade for mustard greens in many cases. The two vegetables are similar in taste and texture, although Chinese broccoli has a slightly earthier flavor.
Mustard greens are often used in southern-style cooking, while Chinese broccoli is more common in Asian cuisine. However, both vegetables can be used in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries and soups.
Equally important, when substituting Chinese broccoli for mustard greens, it should be noted that the vegetable does have a slightly bitter taste.
And while Chinese broccoli can be eaten raw, I find that it has a more pleasant flavor when cooked.
For this reason, it is recommended to cook Chinese broccoli using methods such as stir-frying or steaming. When prepared properly, Chinese broccoli can be a delicious and healthy addition to any meal.
Here is another of my favorites. Kale has a similar texture to mustard greens, so it makes a great 1:1 replacement in salads and other dishes. Plus, it’s packed with nutrients like vitamins A, B, C, and K, manganese, and calcium.
So not only will your dish taste great, but it will also be super healthy!
And if you’re feeling extra creative, you can even use kale to make a Frittata or even some Baked Kale Chips.
This leafy green has a similar taste to mustard greens, with hints of bitterness that make it a perfect match for many dishes as well as a great replacement for mustard greens.
Escarole can be boiled or steamed and is often used in soups and stews.
One popular dish that features escarole is Escarole and Beans. This hearty dish is packed with flavor and makes a great winter meal.
In addition to its delicious taste, escarole is also a great source of fiber and vitamins. Plus it stimulates appetite and aids in bowel movement.
Chinese Mustard Greens
Asian cuisine is known for its use of strong flavors and unusual ingredients, and Chinese mustard greens are no exception.
These pungent greens have a sharp, peppery flavor that is reminiscent of mustard but without the characteristic heat. As a result, they make an excellent 1:1 substitute for traditional mustard greens in stir-fry or pickled dishes.
In addition, Chinese mustard greens are known for their high nutritional value. They are an excellent source of vitamins as well as calcium and iron.
Collard greens make a great stand-in for mustard greens. Not only do they have a similar taste when cooked, but they’re also available all year round.
Plus, they’re packed with vitamins making them a great choice for those looking to up their nutrient intake.
And did we mention that collard greens can also help to boost your blood clotting ability?
My favorite dishes using this substitute are, Instant Pot Collard Greens, and Collard Green Melts
Baby Spinach Leaves
It’s a great day in the kitchen when I can open the fridge, see a bunch of fresh baby spinach leaves, and know that I have the perfect substitute for mustard greens.
There are so many dishes that call for mustard greens, but sometimes you just don’t have them on hand. That’s where baby spinach leaves come in and they make a superb 1:1 alternative.
They’re packed with nutrients like potassium and nitrates, which are great for heart health, and they also provide bone-supporting calcium.
Plus, they’re versatile!
You can add them to smoothies, use them as a pizza topping, or even just eat them straight up as a salad.
Dandelion greens are a great substitute for mustard greens. They have a similar spicy flavor, but they’re not as easily sourced.
They’re also highly nutritious, making them a good choice for those looking to improve liver health. When substituting dandelion greens for mustard greens, use a 1:1 ratio. This will ensure that the dish has the same flavor and texture.
Notwithstanding, there are many dishes that can be prepared using this substitute, such as sautéed greens, salads, soups, and even pesto.
Are Chinese mustard greens the same as mustard greens?
No, they are not the same. Chinese mustard greens are a type of Brassica juncea, while mustard greens belong to the Brassicaceae family.
Is Chinese mustard greens good for you?
Yes, they are packed with vitamins and minerals. They are also a good source of fiber.
What is the best substitute for mustard greens?
The best substitute for mustard greens depends on what you’re looking for.
If you want a similar flavor, then escarole or dandelion greens would be a good choice.
If you’re looking for a substitute that is more readily available, then collard greens or baby spinach leaves would be a better option.
Mustard greens are not always available and can be expensive. So when you can’t find them or don’t want to spend the money, try one of these substitutes.
Each substitute has a similar flavor and texture, so your dish will still be delicious.
Now that you know some good substitutes for mustard greens, get cooking!
Try out a new recipe or experiment with an old favorite.