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Radicchio is a bitter-tasting, green vegetable native to Italy. Several common types, such as radicchio di Treviso, resemble a red variation of Belgian endive.

Since it is often used in Italian cuisine, it is also known as Italian chicory. These plants are not green since they are often planted in dark sheds without sunlight or water, causing them to lose their green hue.

When grilled or roasted, the bitter and peppery flavor of radicchio is softened. So what if you don’t have radicchio yet still want something similar?

Endive, arugula, chicory, free, curly endive, watercress, romaine lettuce, free, and reddish are all suitable substitutions for radicchio in dishes that call for it, and they provide a comparable outcome.

Let’s learn more about radicchio and some alternative ingredients that may be used in its stead!

What is Radicchio?

Radicchio is a member of the chicory family, a leafy vegetable notable for its peppery bitterness. Its veins are white with purple leaves when eaten fresh.

To get a strong sweetness, it is primarily prepared by boiling, roasting, or sautéing.

Best Substitutes for Radicchio

There are several radicchio replacements, which will be described below. Any of the vegetables mentioned will work nicely in recipes that call for radicchio.

1. Endive

This is a delicate vegetable with a milky look and a bitter flavor. It is French in origin and is used in many French dishes.

This is the first vegetable we recommend you try since it goes nicely in salads and has a nice green hue.

Endives may be used for a variety of purposes other than radicchio. It may also be eaten raw, grilled, roasted, or mixed with other recipes to produce that bitter-sweet flavor.

While fresh, it has a sharp and crunchy flavor, but when cooked, it turns mellow with a soft texture.

2. Romaine lettuce

Romaine lettuce is another excellent radicchio replacement. It may be used in salads and has a distinct flavor when compared to the other vegetables on this list.

It has comparable textures and tastes to radicchio, which is great for sandwiches, while romaine lettuce is excellent for salads.

3. Curly endive

Unlike radicchio, this replacement has curled leaves and a green tint. It is often used in salads to lend a nice yet bitter flavor, but when cooked, the texture and flavor soften.

Keep in mind that this leaf is all green, with no other hues visible.

4. Arugula

This is an excellent radicchio alternative in a variety of dishes. This plant has a leafy look and tastes tart, peppery, fresh, and bitter.

It is often used as a topping on pizzas to enhance taste.

When cooked, the flavor changes, giving it a tasty flavoring spice. It goes well with a variety of seafood and salads, almost anything that calls for radicchio.

5. Chicory

The leaves of this plant, like celery, may be eaten raw, but the roots must be cooked before eating. It is used as an additional spice in dishes to enhance taste and scent.

The leaves may look more difficult than radicchio, but they may also be used in salads.

6. Watercress

Watercress is an aquatic plant found mostly in Asia and Europe. It may be eaten raw or cooked in the same manner as radicchio is.

7. Treviso

Treviso is another leafy vegetable that may be used in place of radicchios. It is collected early, then firmly closed before opening and unfolding its leaves.

It has a crisp, light texture with a hint of sweetness. Depending on the meal, it may be eaten either raw or cooked.

8. Free

Free is a good radicchio replacement with short and curly leaves and a harsh flavor. You may prepare them in a variety of ways depending on how you want to use them.

It is mostly consumed raw and may be used to numerous salads or as a topping for sandwiches.

It has a light green leaf with yellow tips and is highly crisp and adaptable, since it can be used in lieu of radicchios in many dishes.

9. Radish

Even though this isn’t the finest deal, it may work as a substitute for radicchio.

How Do I Cook Radicchio?

Raw radicchio in salads is a delicious way to consume it.

The bitterness of radicchio is fairly pronounced, and it is best eaten with a firm and acidic flavor, such as balsamic vinegar, since salty elements assist to decrease its bitterness.

Fatty substances such as bacon and olive oil may also be effective.

One radicchio head, two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of suitable sea salt, and sea salt flakes are all you need to make sautéed radicchio (to taste).


  1. Trim or remove a brown section of the stem that is not edible, and if the outside part of the radicchio seems a little painful, you may also eliminate that part and cut your radicchio head into quarters.
  2. Remove the cores from each quarter after cutting it into quarters.
  3. You may now chop the quarters into smaller pieces and leave some big parts out.
  4. Heat your frying pan over medium to high heat, then add your oil and swirl it around to coat the bottom.
  5. When your oil is heated enough, add your radicchio and sprinkle salt on it while stirring to coat all of the leaves with oil.
  6. Cook, stirring often, so that it does not burn. The radicchios would have begun to tenderize in approximately 8 minutes.
  7. When done, move the radicchio to a serving tray and sprinkle with extra salt, but not too much. It may be served hot or cold. Enjoy!!!

What is The Difference Between Radicchio and Red Cabbage?

Red cabbage and radicchio may seem similar, but the taste is distinct. Radicchio is a leafy member of the chicory family, and although it looks similar to red cabbage, its leaves are thinner and more sensitive, while radicchio leaves are solid and wavy.

Both of these veggies have their uses in the kitchen, but one cannot be substituted for the other.

Red cabbage is best utilized in slow-cooked pork and beef portions, but it also tastes great in raw salads.

Are Radicchio and Endive the Same Thing?

Radicchio is a member of the chicory family, while endive refers to the leafy component of any vegetable in the chicory family.

As a result, referring to radicchio as endive is incorrect. Endives are classified into three types: Belgian, curly, and broad-leafed.

1. Belgian endive

This endive is often known as a compact, cylindrical head of lettuce with light yellow leaves and curled edges.

It is somewhat bitter and grows under the soil as black mushrooms to keep it light and delicate in taste. As a side dish, it may be used in salads, roasted, or braised.

2. Curly endive

It has a thick crown of curly green leaves and is sometimes called frisee or plain chicory. It is somewhat bitter and has a more powerful taste than other vegetables with darker green hues.

It may also be used to add texture and taste to salads.

In the United Kingdom, it is just referred to as endive, which might cause some confusion, therefore be precise with the nomenclature when looking for a specific variety of endive.

3. Broad leaf endive

It is related to the curly endive and is sometimes referred to as escarole.

It is less bitter than the other two and may be used in salads as well as chopped in soups and cooked foods.


Can you replace radicchio with red cabbage?

Radicchio has a more bitter flavor than cabbage and thinner, less waxy leaves. Red cabbage is softer in flavor and has thicker, crunchier leaves that have a more uniform purple hue. In raw and cooked dishes, you may occasionally substitute one for the other, but the taste will be noticeably different.

What vegetables are related to radicchio?

Belgian endive, curly endive, escarole, frisée, and radicchio are all members of the chicory vegetables family of leafy greens. Each variety has an attractive hint — or more than a hint — of bitterness and is accessible all year.

Is radicchio red cabbage?

While it resembles a little red cabbage, radicchio is a member of the chicory family. This little, vibrant vegetable delivers a flavorful punch, with a chewy texture and somewhat bitter taste.

Is radicchio similar to chicory?

They are, in fact, quite closely related, belonging to the same genus. Both are short-lived perennials with bitter leaves that are often planted as annuals.

What can I swap for radicchio?

rocket. Pears – We used hard green pears here for color contrast, but if you are using a green bitter green, you may want to use a red kind. Radicchio is known for its vivid color and harsh flavor. You may substitute other bitter greens, such as endive or arugula.

What can you sub for radicchio?

What Is the Best Replacement for Radicchio?
Endive from Belgium. Belgian endive is another excellent replacement for radicchio. Arugula is another green vegetable that may be used in place of radicchio in recipes. Arugula is still another option…. Watercress…. Romaine Lettuce…. Radish…. Red Cabbage…. Frisée.
More to come…
•Dec 13, 2022

Why is radicchio so expensive?

Several varieties of radicchio are costly to produce because some are deprived of light as they develop.

What is the flavor of radicchio?

How does radicchio taste? Radicchio belongs to the chicory family, which consists of cabbage-like, green plants recognized for their peppery bitterness. Radicchio is no exception. Its white veined, purple leaves have a wonderfully biting and bitter taste when eaten fresh.

Is radicchio a cabbage or lettuce?

In any event, the issue isn’t so much why radicchio as it is which radicchio. The Italian word for a large clump of red chicories is radicchio (pronounced rad-EE-key-o). They aren’t lettuce or cabbage, which can’t match the meaty, somewhat bitter chewiness of radicchio.

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