Finding some suitable substitutes for arugula may become necessary if you hate the peppery and tangy taste of it.

Also known as Eruca sativa, this leafy green belongs to the Brassica family, along with other greens such as Kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, etc. [1]

Arugula is mostly eaten as raw or cooked, in salads or soups. Researchers have found that this leafy green is rich in phytoconstituents that can provide numerous health benefits. [2]

However, if you don’t like this bitter, peppery taste of arugula, there are some widely available alternatives that you can use in any recipes.

Continue reading to learn about these delicious arugula substitutes and the ways to use them.

substitutes for arugula

Substitutes for Arugula

1. Watercress

Watercress is a semi-aquatic leafy green that is closely related to the radish. It comes with a mustard-like, peppery flavor and can be a delicious and refreshing green to add to your recipe.

Besides its incredible taste, watercress can provide numerous health benefits as it is rich in vitamin K and calcium. [3]

You can use this versatile vegetable instead of arugula in salads, soups, pizza, and even a sandwich. To get most of its nutrients, look for organic watercress when buying.

2. Escarole

Escarole or Batavian endive is a broad-leafed vegetable that belongs to the genus Cichorium. 

It is a hearty, bitter, leafy green that tastes much like its purple cousin radicchio. However, escarole is less bitter can be easily used in salads and stews.

Apart from its delicious mellow taste, escarole also contains a significant amount of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin A, C, and K, which make it a healthy option to use in cooking. [4

3. Baby Spinach

Baby spinach can be one of the best substitutes for arugula if you hate the bitter taste of it.

Compared to other leafy green, baby spinach has a fresh, slightly bitter taste, which has made it an excellent fit for salad dishes. However, you can also use it in your soups, sandwiches, pizzas, and pasta.

Besides, baby spinach is extremely nutritious and a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Use it raw to get most of its health benefits. [5]

substitutes for arugula

4. Frisee

Frisee or curly endive comes with a pale color and slightly bitter flavor. It is a member of chicory family and has frizzy, curly leaves that help you to bring uniqueness to your dish. [6]

It has escarole like flavor that makes it an excellent alternative to arugula. Frisee can be a great addition to salads rather than cooked dishes. You can use it as a side dish with bacon or poached eggs.

5. Radicchio

Radicchio perennial leafy vegetable that also comes from the chicory family. It has red leaves with white vein, meaning that it’s rich in antioxidants. [7]

You may not think of radicchio when it comes to substituting arugula, but it comes with a mildly spicy and bitter taste that mellows when cooked.

Radicchio is loaded with nutrients and can be a delicious and colorful addition to your salads.

Bottom Line

You might find it challenging to find a perfect alternative to arugula, but there are so many delicious leafy green vegetables that you can find in your nearest supermarkets.

Most people avoid arugula due to its tangy and bitter taste. In that case, some mildly bitter option may work correctly. 

The abovementioned substitutes will provide you with many health benefits while saving you from the bitterness of the arugula.

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