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Escarole is one of the most flavorful greens, somewhat bitter yet with a pleasing crunch. You’re undoubtedly accustomed to preparing escarole soup, which is fantastic. However, what if you can’t locate any escarole?

You may always use romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, kale, Chinese cabbage, rocket salad, butterhead lettuce, radicchio, frisee, swiss chard, mustard green, and spinach for escarole.

They are wonderful backup greens that may be used in place of escarole in soups, salads, grilled dishes, sauces, stews, or sautéed dishes.

Best Escarole Substitutes

1. Iceberg Lettuce

Iceberg lettuce is 96% water, providing it unrivaled hydrating potential. Its crisp and silky texture makes it ideal for salads, sandwiches, wraps, and even as a base for other meals.

Spinach also has less fibers than other greens, making it ideal for finicky eaters with delicate stomachs.

If you can’t acquire escarole for any reason, iceberg lettuce is a better substitute.

2. Kale

There are a few factors to consider when deciding between kale and escarole.

First and foremost, how will you consume it?

Kale is a kind of cruciferous vegetable (part of the cabbage family). Meanwhile, escarole belongs to the chicory food category. They have distinct flavors, textures, and nutritional profiles.

Kale has a sweet, earthy flavor with a sharp, spicy edge. Escarole has a somewhat bitter taste, similar to endive or arugula.

It’s also less bitter than kale and doesn’t dominate other tastes. While fresh, kale has a crisp bite, whereas cooked escarole wilts. If you’re searching for something to add to salads or as a garnish, try escarole.

Kale is preferable for boiling or sautéing since it does not wilt as rapidly. Finally, although kale is a nutritional powerhouse, strong in fiber and vitamins A, C, and B6, escarole has a lot to offer in terms of health.

It provides fiber to help keep your digestive system operating properly, among other things.

3. Chinese Cabbage

People who use escarole in stir-fry, noodle meals, dumplings, and salads are aware that Chinese cabbage may substitute for escarole in all of these recipes. The crunchy texture and mild taste of Chinese cabbage add dimension to these dishes.

And since its mild flavor grows sweeter when cooked, it is a vital element in many Asian cuisine recipes. Chinese cabbage is a better option than Romaine lettuce and a better substitute for escarole.

Most people consider Chinese cabbage to be the greatest vegetable in the world. What about kale, you may wonder? NO. You are aware that kale is a bitter green that is better discarded than consumed.

If you try a piece of Chinese cabbage, I guarantee you’ll never go back to escarole again.

4. Arugula Or Rocket Salad

A life without arugula is like a night without stars. Arugula is an excellent complement to any dish. It’s great with salads, tomato recipes, sautéed veggies, egg dishes, pasta, and on top of pizza.

Because of its harsh taste, it is often combined with strong tastes such as garlic, lemon, blue cheese, parmesan, or olive oil.

Arugula is also delicious when eaten fresh in a salad with olive oil, salt, and pepper, or with grilled chicken, walnuts, cherry tomatoes, or combined into a spread.

There are several wonderful ways to prepare arugula, but the most important thing to remember is that it is really nutritious for you. Arugula is high in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, K, and folate. It also has calcium and iron in it.

Thus, if you’re searching for a healthy salad option, arugula is the way to go.

5. Butterhead Lettuce

If you don’t have escarole on hand and want to add a light and delicate accent to your dishes, use butterhead lettuce. Its oval sweet leaves are gentle and buttery, melting beautifully in your tongue.

It goes nicely with roasted pork or blue cheese, but it also works well in tacos, burgers, and wraps.

Its gentle crisp and refreshing taste will appeal to you!

It’s also simple to cultivate in your yard and doesn’t need any specific conditions.

6. Radicchio

Radicchio and escarole are often mistaken because they appear similar and are both members of the chicory family.

Radicchio’s leaves are red-purple with white veins and have a bitter, peppery taste. Radicchio may be eaten raw like any other lettuce. Yet, since it is so crisp, it is usually consumed cooked.

Apart from that, you may roast, grill, sauté, or throw it with hot pasta to add another layer of flavor to your cuisine. Radicchio is a multipurpose vegetable that has a beautiful color and a great bitter taste.

It’s great in salads, but it’s also delicious roasted, grilled, sautéed, or added to pasta or a hearty stew.

I like topping pizza or bruschetta with roasted radicchio slices.

7. Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce is a long-leaf lettuce with a crisp texture that is ideal for a traditional salad with a contemporary touch. It is somewhat bitter in flavor and may be grilled or sautéed.

Romaine lettuce was used to make the first Caesar salad, thus it has an excellent pedigree.

Thus, whether for sandwiches, soups, or stir-fries, you can use it to make a range of intriguing meals that will give your visitors something to talk about.

8. Spinach

Why cook using escarole when spinach would suffice?

Nobody is mentioning water spinach.

But we should be since they are less bitter than escarole and may be used in soups, smoothies, salads, fried, and cooked as a side dish in lieu of escarole.

There are numerous forms of spinach, but water spinach is a vegetable that we can all get behind since it is flexible, forgiving, and simple to prepare.

9. Swiss Chard

Swiss chard and escarole have many similarities: they are both leafy green vegetable members of the same family, taste similar, and may be used interchangeably in recipes.

While both are bitter, Swiss chard has earthier flavors than escarole, which is somewhat sweeter with a trace of spice.

The look and texture of Swiss chard and escarole vary significantly.

I’m not being dramatic, but Swiss chard is a vegetable that can completely transform your life.

It’s more versatile, richer, and healthier than spinach and kale.

Swiss chard is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, antioxidants, and fiber.

Moreover, it possesses anti-inflammatory effects. All of the wonderful stuff keeps you healthy and helps you recuperate quicker from injuries.

10. Frisee

Frisee is a word you’ve undoubtedly heard of. It’s a frilly lettuce with a romaine-like crisp texture and a mild, bitter taste.

It’s fantastic in salads, particularly sliced up and combined with other lettuces, with some spicy cheese to spice things up.

This chicory relative is similar to escarole in that it has the same leaf shape, overall taste profile, and is recommended for use in salads.

But, there is one significant difference: its leaves are curly.

Frisee seems to need more effort than escarole, however this is not the case! It’s less difficult to chop up than escarole.

You may cut it as you like, throw it into your salad bowl, top with your favorite vinaigrette or creamy dressing, and go about your business.

This is your vegetable if you want to experiment with different foods.

11. Mustard Greens

Since mustard greens are more delectable than escarole, why not swap them whenever you run out?

Both greens have many characteristics. Mustard greens, on the other hand, are linked to cabbage, kale, and collard greens, but taste less bitter and more like arugula.

They’re also quite adaptable. They may be eaten raw with oil and vinegar, sautéed with oil and herbs, or added to soups.

Therefore, the next time you want to spice up your salad, try mustard greens instead of escarole. Your taste senses will be grateful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Another Name For Escarole?

Escarole is also known as Bavarian endive, scarole, and broad-leaved endive. All of them are greens with wide, curly leaves and a somewhat bitter taste.

What Does Escarole Taste Like?

Escarole has a green and somewhat bitter flavor, similar to dandelion or radicchio green. Yet, the outer leaves are more bitter than the softer and more sensitive interior leaves.

Is Escarole The Same As Chicory?

Chicory is not the same as escarole. While their names are often used interchangeably, they are two distinct plants from separate families.

The leaves of escarole are smooth, rounded, and wide. Chicory’s leaves are curled with jagged edges. Escarole is a bitter vegetable that may be consumed raw or prepared. Chicory is only eaten cooked, and it isn’t very tasty.

How Can You Mellow Escarole’s Bitterness?

Escarole is a leafy green vegetable that is often used in soups, stews, and salads. Nevertheless, if the dish is not properly cooked, serving might be difficult.

Escarole may be prepared in a variety of ways, but the most popular technique for removing bitterness is to submerge the escarole in hot but not boiling water for 2 minutes.

Take it and place it in a dish of cold water. Then set it aside for five minutes. The change in temperature will assist to lessen the bitterness, making it gentler and more agreeable to taste.


Therefore, in summation, I’ve explained why I use the Escarole Replacement.

I’ll leave you with a challenge: try growing your own from seed to harvest. You may never want to return to the shop to repurchase.

Additionally, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or go shopping every time you go out. You may look around your backyard and select a few ingredients to cook your favorite cuisine.


What can I use in place of escarole?

Escarole Fundamentals

If you can’t get escarole, use curly endive or kale instead.

What is a substitute for escarole in Italian wedding soup?

If you don’t like bitter greens, use bunched or baby spinach instead of the customary escarole or kale in Italian wedding soup. Since spinach only takes a few minutes to cook, add it later in the cooking process. In a pinch, thawed and diced frozen spinach will suffice.

Can you use romaine lettuce in place of escarole?

If escarole is unavailable or too costly, other leafy greens such as chard, romaine lettuce, and butter lettuce are also suitable substitutes.

What’s the difference between escarole and green leaf lettuce?

Although escarole resembles butterhead lettuce in appearance, you can tell them apart because escarole has wide, green leaves with somewhat jagged, crumpled edges that cluster into a rosette, while lettuce’s broad leaves are wavy and smooth ( 1 , 2). In contrast to lettuce, escarole has a nice bitterness and adaptability.

Why is escarole so expensive?

Since it is considered a speciality item, it is more costly than lettuce. This vegetable takes minimum preparation before cooking, usually simply a brief rinsing.

What is the flavor of escarole?

Escarole in 3 Ways

Escarole’s large leaves and mild, peppery taste make it a favorite raw and prepared food.

What can I substitute for endive and escarole?

What can you substitute if necessary? Chicory or endives are your best options, although they aren’t always readily available. — Arugula and spinach are suitable bitter replacements. Any dark leafy green would do.

What is the English equivalent of escarole?

endive or chicory (= a plant with a somewhat bitter flavor that is eaten raw in salads or as a vegetable) with broad, curly green leaves: I ordered an escarole salad with goat cheese and walnuts.

What is the Italian name for escarole?

Escarole is called as “scarola” in Italian, although my family pronounces it “shkah-ROLL-ah” in Neapolitan. It’s great whatever you name it!

Does escarole taste like romaine?

Indeed, escarole is bitter, as the family name “bitter greens” implies. Escarole’s broad leaves have a sharpness to them, not quite as much as radicchio, but certainly more than romaine. Escarole is a chicory that looks like lettuce, so it’s easy to overlook at the grocery store.

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