Best Substitutes For Arugula

Many people agree that arugula is the perfect addition to salads and sandwiches. In fact, we think it’s quite good for a wide variety of healthy dishes. Arugula is well-known for its balanced bitter taste. But it’s arugula’s powerful taste that makes it the green leafy vegetable of choice for most people.


The advantage of this leafy green is that you can enjoy it either cooked or raw. What’s more, it can complement any dish that needs to provide health benefits in your daily meals. If arugula isn’t available in your area, you can replace it with many other types of leafy vegetables.

And that’s what we’re sharing with you today. If you’re unable to get your hands on arugula for any reason, you will find these alternatives to work in a pinch. So whether you’re craving arugula or you have a recipe that calls for it, turn to our top replacement picks instead.

What Is Arugula?

Ever since being cultivated and used in ancient Rome, arugula has been used as a medicinal herb and aphrodisiac. Leafy green vegetables are now very popular in Italian cuisine and are grown and eaten all over the world.

The leaves are often dark green with deep scores on both sides. Some leaves have full round ends, while others are more pointed. Arugula is often eaten raw as a green salad, but it can also be cooked and eaten in a variety of dishes.

Although arugula often appears in spring salad mixes, it is actually a member of the cabbage and mustard family. This explains its iconic pepper flavor, which is well received by chefs and home chefs alike.

Also known as rocket, rucola, or roquette, this green can be found year-round but is in peak season in early spring and autumn. It is quick and easy to prepare, and although it is more expensive than ordinary lettuce, it is still rather affordable.

Dandelion Green

The greens from dandelions resemble arugula quite a bit due to the shape of their leaves. This tiny leafy vegetable is rich in protein, minerals, iron, and calcium. In addition, the nutritional value provides incredibly huge health benefits.

It is the perfect supplement to maintain your health and well-being and replenish the essential nutrients your body needs. If you don’t like the bitterness that often comes from leafy vegetables, be sure to choose young leaves instead of old leaves. Enjoy dandelion greens in your salads, soups, and stews.


Spinach has long been associated with Popeye, the legendary sailor-man with forearms the size of barrels. Back in the day, kids everywhere were convinced that eating their greens would help them grow to become big and strong.

There was certainly truth in Popeye’s message, as spinach is actually a high-value leafy vegetable that will most certainly fortify your health. Unlike arugula, though, spinach’s taste is far more mellow. And there isn’t a hint of the bitterness found in Popeye’s favorite veggie, either.

If you are attempting to transition away from junk foods in an effort to eat healthier, eating vegetables like spinach is a great place to start. Whether raw or boiled, spinach tastes welcoming and accessible, and you can use it with a combination of dishes.


Do you love the taste of arugula? Purslane is about the closest substitute in terms of flavor. It has the same mustard-like flavor as arugula, so you’re sure to love it. However, the leaves provide more succulence in each bite, with a bit of juice to complement the taste. And unlike arugula, purslane isn’t dry or as leafy.

But there are some similarities. Purslane is suitable either cooked or raw, just like you get from arugula. You can also put purslane in a soup or stew. And if you want to be sure to get plenty of magnesium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, purslane is a wonderful source of all three.


Another leafy vegetable with a bitter taste like arugula is a veggie known as watercress. In addition to the bitterness you will get, you will enjoy just a touch of spicy flavor in each and every bite. In case you don’t have arugula available, the uncannily similar taste of watercress is why it’s such a notable substitute.

In fact, the similarities between these two leafy greens are so incredible that you likely won’t even be able to tell the difference once you add them to your salad.

And if you wish to add watercress to a cooked soup or stew, be sure to do so at the end of the cooking time. This will help prevent your watercress from becoming too mushy.


If you’re looking to liven up your dishes and change things up from traditional green leafy vegetables you always eat, use this unique alternative instead. Radicchio resembles lettuce but has red leaves with white veins instead.

It has exactly the same flavor profile while being both spicy and bitter all at once. If you want to change the appearance of your dishes without changing their taste, radicchio is the alternative to try. It’s perfect in stir-fries and salads, but not so much in soups and stews.


Kale is an alternative that has a vibrant flavor that arugula can’t offer. However, the nutrition it provides is very beneficial. Kale is actually a very close relative of cabbage, which explains why the two have nearly the same taste.

Please note that kale isn’t very suitable for salads. However, it is quite suitable for stews and soups. A fan favorite is kale chips, allowing you to enjoy delicious snacks without feeling guilty. And the more kale that you add to your meals, the more health benefits you will enjoy.


Never tried this substitute? Then now is the time. You will find the same bitter taste as that found in arugula. Endive resembles that of a small cabbage.

In addition to the slightly bitter taste, endive also provides a crunch and full-bodied flavor, which is perfect for sandwiches and salads that need some extra crunch.

Visit Cook Gem for More Great Substitutes

We have many more wonderful food substitutes that are sure to come in handy in your cooking ventures. We also regularly discuss vegan-friendly ingredients and food options to help you maintain your vegan diet.

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