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Let’s face it, when it comes to cooking a beautiful dinner, we all have a big list of veggies to pick from. It might be daunting at times, particularly when attempting to cook with fresh veggies and herbs.

I’ve previously blogged about the distinction between endive and chicory. This time, I decided to take it a step further by comparing escarole with spinach.

Yet, before we go any further, you should be aware that the most significant difference between these two leafy greens is their nutritional value, appearance, and flavor. Escarole has a fresh, vegetal flavor with a faint bitterness, while spinach has a mild, somewhat sweet flavor.

Let us now study more about escarole and spinach and observe how they vary!

What Is Escarole?

Escarole is a leafy green vegetable that is often used in Italian cuisine. It tastes somewhat bitter and has a texture comparable to romaine lettuce, endive, and radicchio. Escarole’s outer leaves are dark green, whilst the interior leaves are lighter in color and have a softer feel.

Escarole is also delicate and has a moderate, somewhat bitter taste. The bitterness of an escarole is proportional to its size.

Blanching escarole before using it is the greatest approach to decrease bitterness.

Salads, soups, and stews may all benefit from escarole.

What Is Spinach?

Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that originated in ancient Persia, akin to cabbage or kale. It is abundant in vitamins A and C, iron, folic acid, calcium, and magnesium and has a subtle, earthy taste.

While spinach is often served cooked, it may also be consumed raw in salads, smoothies, or as a sandwich filler. It may be used in soups and stews, with pasta, or as a side dish with meat or fish.

Apart from that, you may get fresh, frozen, or canned spinach. It may be kept in the refrigerator unwashed for up to three days.

While there are two types of spinach:

Flat-leafed and Savoy. The color and texture of the two are what distinguishes them.

Flat-leafed spinach, for example, has dark green leaves, while Savoy spinach is lighter in color and has smooth edges rather than curling edges like other spinach varieties such as curly kale or Swiss chard.

Also see: Endive vs Escarole

Escarole Vs Spinach: Their Differences

Comparison escarole spinach
Appearance Leafier, with wide, short, wavy-edged leaves. And it is usually sold in bunches Spinach looks super–cold-hardy, leafy green. It looks slimy, wilted, and dark green
Taste Escarole taste fresh and vegetal with light bitterness Spinach is a mild, slightly sweet taste 
Nutritional value Escarole has about 2.4x as much calcium, 2x as much potassium, and 5.8x as much bone-building magnesium Has more protein and fiber

Although both spinach and escarole are rich in vitamin K and folate, spinach has much more iron than escarole.

Spinach also contains twice as many calories as escarole, so if you’re trying to lose weight, escarole is a healthier choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Substitute Spinach for Escarole?

You may always use spinach instead of escarole. In pasta preparations, spinach may be used in place of escarole.

What Can You Use Instead Of Escarole In Italian Wedding Soup?

Endives from Belgium! When seeking for a replacement for escarole in Italian wedding soup, Belgian endives are the finest choice. It is a suitable substitute since they are members of the same family and share similar traits.

Belgian endive leaves may be used in lieu of escarole. The flavor is comparable to escarole but more bitter. This isn’t always a negative thing in soup! You may also substitute spinach, kale, chard, or cabbage.

Is Chicory The Same As Escarole?

Chicory and escarole are two very distinct plants. Chicory is a herb, while escarole is a variety of lettuce. Chicory is also used as a coffee replacement on occasion. Its taste and look are also fairly distinct.

Yet, both may be eaten raw as a salad or cooked in a variety of dishes, and they can be used interchangeably.

How Do You Get The Bitterness Out Of Escarole?

Blanching escarole is the greatest approach to remove its bitterness. Bring a big saucepan of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Remove the escarole’s root and chop the head into quarters.

While the water is boiling, add the quartered escarole and cook for approximately 30 seconds. Remove from the boiling water and chill fully in an ice bath. Blanching will eliminate the majority of the bitterness from your escarole!


Escarole versus spinach is one of the most contentious debates in the vegetable world: I hope this article has helped you grasp the distinctions between escarole and spinach by emphasizing their key characteristics.

What counts in the escarole versus spinach debate is what you like. Both are leafy greens that may be used in a variety of cuisines, and in most circumstances, they can be used interchangeably.

But, if you prefer one over the other, or if you have a recipe that calls for either spinach or escarole, feel free to replace one for the other.

You could discover that the food tastes even better than you anticipated!


Is escarole similar to spinach?

Escarole and Spinach Distinctions

Spinach contains higher Vitamin K, Vitamin A RAE, Folate, Vitamin C, Iron, Manganese, Magnesium, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E than Escarole. Spinach provides 226% more Vitamin K daily needs coverage. Spinach has 13 times the amount of Vitamin B5 as Escarole.

How to tell 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.

How do you identify escarole?

Escarole, also known as wide-leaved endive, Bavarian endive, Batavian endive, and scarole, is a green vegetable with broad, curly leaves and a somewhat bitter taste. The outside leaves are darker and more bitter, whilst the interior leaves are tenderer.

What’s the benefits of eating escarole?

Escarole belongs to the endive family. It has a lower bitterness than kale or chard and is abundant in folate, fiber, and vitamins A and K.

What is the closest vegetable to escarole?

Escarole is an endive that has a somewhat bitter taste yet a robust texture. It resembles green leaf lettuce but has thicker leaves. Sautéing reduces the bitterness. If you can’t get escarole, use curly endive or kale instead.

What’s the best substitute for spinach?

Arugula is one of nine delicious spinach substitutes. Depending on the kind, arugula, also known as rocket, may taste spicy or mild.
Butterhead lettuce is a kind of lettuce. If you were going to make a fresh salad using spinach, you may want to try other varieties of lettuce instead. Watercress. Kale. Swiss chard. Beet greens. Bok choy. Mustard greens.
Additional details…•March 11, 2022

What is escarole also called?

Escarole is also known as scarola, scarole, broad-leaved endive, grumolo, Batavian endive, and Bavarian endive. It is a green and leafy vegetable that is widely used in salads, much like other endives.

Can you eat escarole raw?

Escarole is adaptable.

Escarole may be eaten raw or cooked; braise, broil, or sauté it.

What does fresh escarole look like?

What Exactly Is Escarole? It looks like lettuce, but it’s a somewhat bitter green of the chicory family, along with endive, frisée, and radicchio. Like kale, the leaves are robust and have raggedy edges. They are light green on the exterior with a pale yellow core on the inside.

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