10 Nutritive Spinach Substitutes for Salad, Cooking, Soup

If you’re looking for a substitute for spinach in your cooking, you’ll be happy to know that there are many options available. 

From other leafy greens to vegetables and fruits, there are plenty of ways to get the nutrients your body needs without using spinach. 

Keep reading for some of our favorite substitutes for spinach in various dishes. Scroll down for ideas that will make your taste buds sing!

What is a good substitute for spinach? (11 Healthy Spinach Alternatives)

1. KALE is a Good Substitute for Spinach In Soup

Kale is a leafy green vegetable that comes from the cabbage family. It has curly leaves and thick stems. The flavor is extremely subtle, and the texture is chewy rather than crunchy.

There are many ways to prepare kale (sautéed, raw in salads, cooked with other veggies, etc.) Kale tastes best when it’s cooked. 

You can mix kale with stronger flavored veggies like garlic or onions to make it easier to eat raw. Kale also makes an excellent addition to most recipes that call for other greens.

Here are some recipes that I have tried using kale as an alternative for spinach: potato kale curry, kale pasta, basil pesto, and garlic marinara sauce.

Although, Kale can replace spinach in almost all recipes: soups, casseroles, pasta, omelets, etc. The best replacement is to use half of the recipe’s called for spinach with kale.

In the refrigerator crisper, cut from the leaves from the stems. Store in a paper or plastic bag for up to 5 days.

2. Substitute ARUGULA For Spinach Leaves

Arugula is a loose, delicate, and slightly spicy-looking green available all year round. This leafy green is known by many names. 

arugula is a popular substitute for spinach leaves.

It’s also known as rocket or rucola. Some people call it lettuce, but it isn’t really lettuce; I guess this is just an alternative name for it. Whatever you want to call it, arugula is delicious!

It’s great in salads for it has this unique peppery taste that makes the salad more alive and fresh. I add arugula to my breakfast salad, pasta salad, couscous salad, chicken salad …etc. I simply love its unique taste!

Arugula has a milder, more peppery flavor than spinach which is why I choose it over spinach when substituting for it in recipes like salads or omelets

1 cup of arugula = 1/2 cup of spinach

Most people who choose arugula over spinach do so because they prefer the flavor or look for a healthier alternative.

You need to keep the leaves in a plastic bag with a damp cloth to store the arugula. This way, they can remain fresh for up to 4 days. 

To achieve this effect, put a few drops of water inside a zip lock bag with greens, squeeze the air out and store it in the refrigerator.

Read More- TryBest Arugula Alternatives 

3. COLLARD GREENS – Similar to Spinach

Collard greens are large, dark green leaves of the collard plant, a close relative of cabbage that is grown for its large, slightly bitter leaves.

The flavor of the collard-green leaf is mild in cooking, with a mucilaginous texture that can be used in soups. 

You can often steam or be served raw (and sometimes eaten in salads). When lightly cooked for 20 minutes, collard greens turn an olive drab color, losing most of their bitter flavor.

While substituting spinach, use double the amount of collard greens as you would spinach! Collard Green is easy to store; keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

4. SWISS CHARD – Substitute for Spinach in Cooking 

Swiss chard is one of the most common vegetables in the Mediterranean diet. It is also known as spinach beet, or silverbeet is a wonderful leafy green vegetable widely used in cooking. 

Swiss chard tastes very similar to spinach but slightly more bitter aftertaste.

Swiss chard, which can be green or rainbow, is a vegetable grown for its broad, dark green leaves and stalks. 

It is very well sautéed with garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes and served as a side dish or with an egg on top.

You can substitute Swiss chard for spinach in most dishes, but it may need to be cooked longer because it is thicker. 

Since Swiss chard is available throughout the year, it’s often placed on the side of the plate for decoration purposes rather than to be consumed. 

The first way to store Swiss chard is to simply place it in the refrigerator. Just like lettuce, your Swiss chard can be stored this way for up to five days without losing its appealing texture and flavor. 

Remember that you should never wash your Swiss chard before storing it because this will cause it to spoil more quickly.

5. BOK CHOY- Healthy Spinach Substitutes

Bok choy is a vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous family of vegetables, including broccoli, kale, cauliflower. 

Bok Choy has long green leaves with white stems and has somewhat of a peppery flavor. Although native to China, bok choy is now grown in many Asian countries and California in the United States. 

bok choy is a healthy spinach substitute.

Although bok choy is most commonly found in the grocery store in its mature form, baby bok choy or poi sai are slightly milder and more tender.

Bok choy is often used as a substitute for spinach in Asian dishes. It has crunchy, succulent stems and dark green leaves that are mildly sweet with just a hint of pepperiness. 

6. Try LETTUCE instead of Spinach in Salad

Lettuce is an excellent alternative to use instead of spinach in your salads, soups, and even in meat dishes.

Even if you don’t like Lettuce, as long as you use it as a part of other ingredients, such as salads and soups, you will have a lovely result. 

Lettuce itself has a bitter taste, but when mixed with other ingredients, you won’t taste the bitterness of Lettuce.

For example, you can mix lettuce with cucumber, tomatoes, or carrot in a salad or soup. It will completely cover the flavor of Lettuce, and it will make your dishes very tasty and healthy.

In meat dishes, you can replace spinach with Lettuce as well. You need to mix shredded Lettuce with meat and some other ingredients. This way, it will make your meal tasty, healthy, and easy to cook.

– Put the wrapped lettuce in a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator. Keep it dry, and don’t wash it before storing it.

The easiest approach to keep lettuce fresh is to store it in the refrigerator unwashed until you’re ready to eat it.

7. ROCKET- Replacement for Spinach in Quinche

Rocket leaves are leafy green, in the same family as mustard, cabbage, and broccoli. They have a distinct flavor and are often used in salads and soups.

Rocket leaves, also called arugula, are a leafy garden green with a distinctive pungent flavor. This vegetable belongs to the mustard family, and its scientific name is Eruca sativa.

In most markets, you will find this green to be sold as baby greens – meaning it is young and tender with tiny dainty leaves. 

Rocket leaves are delicious when eaten raw in salads, but they can also be steamed, sautéed, or stir-fried.

8. WATERCRESS – A Perfect Substitute for Spinach in Japchae

Watercress leaves are the young, edible shoots that grow in bunches at the base of watercress plants. They have a peppery taste, which is more intense than regular cress. 

Watercress leaves used as ingredients are not confused with regular cress leaves. You serve watercress leaves alternate for spinach fresh upon salads and sandwiches and Japchae.

Watercress leaves are rich in vitamins A, B, and C. They also contain calcium, iron, and folic acid. That’s why these green leaves can be used in cooking in various ways: salads, soups, egg dishes, stir-fry meals…

9. BEET GREEN- Alternative to Spinach in Salad

Beet green leaves are a type of green that has been eaten in Mediterranean countries for centuries. Such as Moroccan Beet Green Salad is one of the many recipes from Morocco.

In some countries such as the USA, Beet green leaves are being used as a substitute for spinach, either cooked or eaten raw; they taste like a beetroot, with a slightly bitter flavor. 

10. ROMAINE LETTUCE- Alternative of Spinach

Romaine lettuce is a kind of lettuce with a long leaf, slightly thick and a bit crunchy. You can blindly use it instead of spinach in various salads.

Romaine lettuce leaves are one of the most popular cold salads globally. To make a cold salad, you can use chicken or shrimp as the primary material, mix with other vegetables, and add some dressing sauce.

Romaine lettuce leaves have a fresh taste of lettuce but are slightly thicker than ordinary Lettuce.

This kind of lettuce is also very good raw; we can make salad rolls and make delicious Vietnamese spring rolls. We also use this type of lettuce as an ingredient in the summer. 

Many dishes require us to pick suitable vegetables such as Pork Dry Noodle Soup, Caramelized fish with pineapple, or ground beef salad.

What can I substitute for spinach in lasagna?

Lasagna is a baked Italian dish made of wide flat pasta such as lasagna noodles, sauce, and cheese. 

The pasta can take many forms, such as sheet or tube form. Lasagna typically includes different cheeses such as ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella mixed with the pasta sheets.

Some common alternatives to spinach in lasagna include but are not limited to eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini. 

This vegetable will create a similar flavor to the dish without drastically changing it. 

You should take care when using these alternatives, though, because they have varying levels of moisture that will bring into the lasagna. 

You will have to adjust the amount of cheese and sauce in your recipe to compensate for this moisture, potentially altering your dish.

What can I substitute for spinach in a smoothie?

  • · Kale
  • · Broccoli

What can I Substitute for Spinach in Cooking?

  • · Watercress 
  • · Collard greens
  • · Broccoli
  • · Escarole
  • · Kale
  • · Beet Greens
  • · Swiss Chard
  • Romaine Lettuce

Replacements for Spinach in Salad

  • · Collard greens
  • · Watercress 
  • · Iceberg lettuce
  • · Escarole
  • · Romaine lettuce
  • · Beet Greens
  • · Lettuce

Spinach Substitutes in Soup

  • · Kale
  • · Beet Greens
  • · Swiss Chard
  • · Broccoli

Alternative for Spinach In Pasta

  • · Kale
  • · Arugula
  • · Swiss Chard
  • · Watercress

Wrap Up On Substitutes For Spinach

Spinach is popular because of its many health benefits and applications.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and found it helpful in searching for a Spinach substitute.

Please leave me a comment on which Spinach replacement you like the most. 

If any alternates are not mentioned in this list, please mention them below and share your favorite one with us.

FAQs Related to Spinach & Its Alternatives 

Q1. What vegetable is comparable to spinach?

Spinach is a leaf vegetable with edible leaves. It is usually boiled or steamed but can be eaten raw as well. 

In other words, it’s very rich in vitamins and minerals and has a high nutritional value – just like Kale! So you could say that they’re comparable to each other.

Q2. Can I use Broccoli instead of Spinach?

This is a frequently asked question while discussing smoothies.
As it turns out, it isn’t just spinach that can be used. There are actually more than 50 vegetables and fruits you can add to your smoothie recipes, including some surprising solutions like pumpkin or even sweet potato! 

Broccoli is excellent, too – it’s just not as common and might require a bit more preparation.

But suppose you want a quick answer (without testing all possible combos). In that case, we recommend that you stick with spinach or kale, which offer similar nutrition and taste – plus they’re both green! 

Q3. Can I Substitute Lettuce for Spinach?

Lettuce can be substituted for spinach in many recipes, but keep in mind that the two have different flavors. 

If you want to substitute lettuce for spinach in a dish, look for types of lettuce that are milder in flavor than spinach, such as iceberg lettuce. Iceberg has a very mild taste, so it won’t overwhelm the other flavors in your dish.

They also have slightly different textures and cooking times, so they are not interchangeable in all recipes. 

Because lettuce does not wilt when exposed to heat like spinach, it is generally much harder to cook into a dish without ruining its texture.

The flavor of spinach is much less bitter than that of most types of lettuce, so it’s often used in dishes where an incredibly mild flavor is desired. 

Lettuce has less liquid than spinach can also be an advantage when cooking because you won’t have to drain the lettuce before adding it to your recipe.

Q4. Sour Cream substitute for spinach dip! Good or Bad Idea?

I am not really sure whether this is a good idea or a bad one. If you are planning on eating spinach dip, then it’s a good idea to eat dairy sour cream as part of the meal. 

However, suppose you avoid dairy because your body does not digest lactose well. In that situation, it could be a good idea to look for other ways to get calcium into your body.

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