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Watercress is a tasty and healthful green that may be used in a variety of dishes. It has an amazing flavor that adds a new flavor aspect to your dish and is also high in vitamins and minerals.

However, watercress is not found growing wild in every grocery store, so if you like eating this leafy green, you may have to find an alternative.

You may always use Nasturtium leaves, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, dandelion green, purslane, radicchio, spinach, arugula, and cabbage as watercress alternatives. Any of these solutions will satisfy your need for watercress dishes.

Let’s take a brief look at how you may substitute them for watercress in your recipes!

What Is Watercress?

Watercress is a leafy green vegetable that is available all year and has a gently peppery flavor.

It is often used in salads and sandwiches, and it may also be added to soups. Watercress is also strong in antioxidants, such as vitamin C, which is thought to help prevent a variety of ailments.

Watercress initially gained popularity in the United States when it was consumed by pioneers who lacked access to other leafy greens.

Watercress, in addition to being a strong source of vitamins, also includes calcium and iron. As a result, it is a fantastic meal option for vegetarians who do not consume dairy or animal products.

Best Watercress Substitutes

1. Chinese Cabbage

Tired of getting your watercress wet? We too.

That’s why we’re here to help you navigate the world of Chinese cabbage. Chinese cabbage is unquestionably superior than watercress. Chinese cabbage is an excellent option for watercress if you want a crisp, succulent leaf with no harsh aftertaste.

It is delicious in stir fried, pickled, soups and stews, and even as a wrap. It’s also healthful! You can never go wrong with Chinese cabbage as a replacement for watercress. Also, it is more widely available in stores across the globe than watercress.

It’s also less expensive than watercress, so you won’t have to spend more money on something you can obtain elsewhere for less money.

And if you like kimchi, a popular Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, you probably already enjoy Chinese cabbage with your favorite cuisine!

2. Dandelion Green

Every child grows up despising dandelions. Then we discover it’s one of the world’s healthiest green veggies. It’s also a good watercress substitution if you want something that’s simple to get and has a milder taste.

You can even acquire them in bulk at farmers markets at a reasonable price. Apart from that, it is a nutritious powerhouse.

One cup of this tasty leafy green has a lot of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin E, and folate.

3. Nasturtium Leaves

Another leafy green that may be used is nasturtium leaf. The texture and size of watercress varies from those of Nasturtium.

Watercress is tiny and delicate. Nasturtium, on the other hand, is bigger and has thicker stems that may be cooked with the leaves like any other green vegetable.

Never judge a book by its cover, even if it seems appealing at first. You could overlook your blessing.

4. Lettuce

There is no greater ingredient for salads than lettuce. Moreover, you have a plethora of lettuce varieties to pick from.

You may use iceberg lettuce, butterhead lettuce, Batavia lettuce, Lactuca lettuce, celtuce, and other varieties. Surprisingly, you can never go wrong with any of them. All of these are low in calories and high in beneficial nutrients.

Lettuce is most often associated with salads and sandwiches, although it may also be found on pizza, burgers, spring rolls, green beans, garden peas, and seafood such as prawns and shrimp.

It is not as good as watercress in soups and stews, but it may be used in stir-fry recipes with a quick cooking time. Yet, if you want something low in calories but high in nutrients, lettuce is the obvious victor.

5. Spinach

Popeye was correct: spinach is a superfood. You should acquire some if you don’t have any in your fridge. It’s pock-friendly and easy to get fresh at grocery shops or farmers markets. It is very simple to prepare and has high nutritional value.

Spinach leaves may range in size from little to enormous, so don’t get them mixed up. The mild flavor may be simply added to various foods without significantly affecting the taste, whether tiny or large. This superfood may be used to substitute watercress in any side dish, salad, or smoothie.

Not only that, but spinach may assist enhance your health by delivering critical vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, selenium, and others.

6. Water Spinach

To begin, you need understand that water, spinach, and Spinach are not the same greens. These are, however, both healthful alternatives to watercress.

Water spinach is delicious and crisp when cooked correctly. It is wonderful as a snack, salad, soup, or cooked and combined with other vegetables.

Most homeowners deep-fry it, which improves the flavor. Water spinach also contains more iron and vitamin C than watercress and has less calories.

7. Radicchio

Radicchio and watercress are two veggies that most people like. Both have a bitter flavor and may be eaten raw or cooked. Watercress is one of the greatest greens for preparing smoothies and drinks.

Radicchio, on the other hand, is more crisp when eaten raw. It has a taste that is earthy with just the appropriate amount of bitterness.

Radicchio may be used in salads, but it’s also delicious as a pizza topping or as a lettuce alternative in sandwiches. It doesn’t mean you can’t substitute watercress.

8. Purslane

If you can’t get watercress, try purslane as a nutritious green to include in your diet. These greens are well-known for their high protein, vitamin, and antioxidant content.

You’ll receive the same delectable taste profile as watercress, and you can use it in salads, omelets, sandwiches, bruschetta, and pizza, to name a few applications.

Purslane is the greatest, most underappreciated veggie that grows wild along the roadside! It’s succulent, tasty, adaptable, and reasonably priced.

9. Arugula

When you hear the name arugula, you may think of a pricey vegetable available exclusively at a farmers market. Nonetheless, arugula is found worldwide, and many other names simply refer to it. Arugula and watercress have comparable properties, although they are not identical.

Arugula is a leafy green vegetable with a peppery flavor and a somewhat bitter taste, similar to watercress. It may also be used in salads, as a garnish on foods such as pizza or pasta, or cooked with other vegetables.

Nonetheless, you should avoid eating it raw unless you are certain it is safe. Some individuals may get stomach distress if they eat them directly from the garden without first preparing them!

10. Cabbage

Don’t worry if you can’t locate your watercress! Cabbage is an excellent replacement. Simply grab some and you’re ready to go!

Watercress isn’t as common or inexpensive as cabbage, so if you’re searching for a cheap and easy-to-find green vegetable, opt for cabbage! Cabbage is not only cheap, but also easy to care for, diverse, and tasty.

Like watercress, you may enjoy its sharpness in salads in the summer and add it into soups in the winter. It’s one of those veggies that you can always depend on to be there when you need it and never disappoint.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Watercress Best Eaten Raw Or Cooked?

Watercress is a leafy vegetable that may be eaten raw or cooked, therefore it is a matter of personal choice and taste. Yet, most people prefer to eat it raw since the nutrients in the veggies are depleted during the cooking process.

Watercress loses much of its nutrients when cooked, including Vitamin C and folate. Eating watercress raw allows you to retain more of its health advantages.

Why is Watercress A Superfood?

You know how eating your vegetables is healthy for you; watercress is in a league of its own. Watercress is a superfood because it includes a variety of vitamins and minerals that are vital for maintaining and boosting overall health.

For example, it is high in vitamin K, which assists in wound healing and the formation of blood clotting components. It’s also abundant in vitamin C and vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), which assist to protect your cells from free radicals.

Is Watercress Bad For Your Gut?

Watercress, a lush green vegetable rich in nutrients, is one of the most effective natural diuretics and laxatives. It may aid in the improvement of your digestive system, gut health, and the removal of toxins from your body. So consume watercress on a daily basis. You will not be sorry!

Is Watercress Poisonous?

Watercress is a common water plant found in rivers, streams, and along roadsides. It is delicious to eat and is not hazardous to people. A big dose, on the other hand, might produce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


To summarize, watercress is one of those unusual foods that requires a certain mindset to appreciate.

It is popular as a sandwich topper and in salads. Besides from that, you may use them in a variety of dishes. But, watercress is not always simple to get at your local store, and it is not always easy to grow.

Hence, for both impatient chefs and those who may not have everyday access to clean watercress, watercress replacements come in handy.


What can I use in place of watercress?

Watercress Replacement Arugula is the most likely substitute for watercress. It has a similar mild and peppery taste and will offer you with a comparable nutritious boost.
Nasturtium leaves. Radishes sprouts. Kale. Spinach.
Feb 10, 2023

Can you replace watercress with spinach?

Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable that may be used in place of spinach in a hurry. Watercress has a mildly peppery taste while raw, although it is milder when cooked. As a result, watercress may be an excellent substitute for cooked spinach in recipes such as egg dishes, pastas, and soups.

What can I use instead of watercress or arugula?

Maybe kale with watercress. They may also add arugula for a more spicy flavor. And the list goes on. If some individuals dislike arugula, they may replace lettuce, baby spinach, watercress, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, basil, and other vegetables.

What vegetables are watercress related to?

Watercress is an ancient green that may have been a mainstay of Roman soldiers’ diets. It belongs to the cruciferous family, which includes kale, broccoli, arugula, and Brussels sprouts.

Can I substitute cilantro for watercress?

Watercress may be used in lieu of cilantro in any dish. Your cilantro-averse relatives and friends will thank you, and that bowl of guac will go before it has a chance to turn brown.

What is watercress called in America?

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale), generally known as cress, is a perennial aquatic plant native to Eurasia and naturalized in North America.

Is kale better than watercress?

Watercress receives a perfect score of 1000, placing it in equal first position with kale, right at the top of the crops and much ahead of blueberries, edamame, broccoli, and spinach.

Is watercress the same as baby spinach?

Watercress has a stronger flavor than spinach or kale, but it may be utilized in the same manner. Prepare a salad using solely watercress or a combination of watercress and other greens. Watercress may be used to sandwiches or pureed into creamy soups. Fruit, nuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, leeks, and maize all pair nicely with watercress.

Is water spinach same as watercress?

This vegetable thrives in moist subtropical climates and is known by numerous names in English, including water spinach, water convolvulus, Chinese watercress, and morning glory.

What are the variations of watercress?

Cress varieties
Watercress: This kind has the most pungent taste and texture since it grows freely in water.
Garden cress is cultivated in soil and has a peppery taste similar to horse radish.
Upland Cress has thinner stems and a milder taste.
Watercress from Korea is more crunchy and bitter.
Jun 13, 2021

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