11 Nutritious Endive Substitutes for Healthy Meals

Endive is a terrific alternative for an appetizer and a great substitute for lettuce. You may cook it in stir-fry recipes or just grill it. It goes great with poached eggs, green beans, and gratin potatoes.

However, you may run out of endives or be unable to locate any at your local grocery shop. Similarly, some individuals dislike the harshness of endives. That will not be an issue since there are other veggies that can be substituted.

  1. Radicchio
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale
  4. Chicory
  5. Escarole
  6. Watercress
  7. Romaine Lettuce

Many of us are acquainted with romaine lettuce, kale, and Swiss chard, but endives are a lesser-known leafy green. A food publication described it as both a chip and a salad green. Endive is a member of the chicory family, which also includes radicchio, escarole, and frise. [Source]

Did you know there are many types of endive on the market?

11 Best Substitute For Endive 

There are three kinds of endive:

  • The leaves of Belgian endive are pale yellow with somewhat curled edges. It has the shape of a tiny, cylindrical head of lettuce. It’s somewhat bitter. It grows underground like mushrooms. Endive from Belgium is often used in salads and braised meals. It is also suitable as a side dish or appetizer.
  • Frise or chicory are other names for curly endive. It has a bushy, curly green head. Its leaves are lacy in texture. It has a somewhat bitter flavor that is particularly pronounced in the dark green leaves. Salads contain it.
  • Escarole is another name for broad-leafed endive. This one is less bitter than the previous two. Salads make advantage of its pale green inner leaves. Its darker, harder outer leaves are bitter and used in soups and other cuisines. [Source]

Radicchio is our top choice as an alternative for Belgian endive. Here are a few more suggestions to think about.



Radicchio is related to the chicory plant. It is often used in Italian cuisine.

It is the greatest alternative for endive since they both have a somewhat bitter flavor and look similar. crimson radicchio is also known as crimson endive with white veins. Green radicchio is another popular variation, and both may be used in lieu of endive in your favorite vegetable salad. Radicchio may also be braised or roasted.

It has a crisp feel that reminds me of lettuce. To substitute the endive, thinly slice one head of radicchio. Use an equal quantity of radicchio for every cup of endive called for in the recipe.

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Spinach is the greatest endive alternative in soups and salads since it has the same soft feel. Most people prefer the mild taste of spinach over the harsh bitter flavor of endive. It contains a lot of vitamin A and fiber.

Use one cup of baby spinach for every cup of chopped endive called for in your recipe. Keep in mind that one cup of spinach has more calories than one cup of endive, which has just approximately 30 calories.


Kale is another healthy option to endive; however, it must be cooked or seasoned differently. Kale does not taste as bitter as endive. It’s also lacking in taste complexity. However, it is less expensive and more widely accessible in most supermarkets.

It’s a great substitute for endive in soups. It works best when blanched. You may substitute 1 cup chopped kale with 1 cup chopped endive. Kale has a high fiber content as well as protein. It is also a powerful antioxidant.


Chicory and endive are both members of the same plant family. Their tastes are similarly similar, therefore they are often interchangeable. Chicory leaves are softer and more sensitive than endive leaves, which are firmer, crunchier, and crisper.

It resembles arugula in appearance, but the side is more pointed, and it lacks the same taste. Chicory has an earthy taste in addition to being somewhat bitter.

It’s high in vitamin A, B vitamins, and K. Kale has roughly 23 calories per cup. For your recipes, use one cup of chicory leaves for every cup of endive. It is worth noting that chicory leaves cook quicker than endive. They taste better when sautéed rather than baked.


Chicory is a kind of escarole. It tastes harsh and fresh. It is somewhat sweeter than endive and may be eaten by children. Escarole may be prepared similarly to endive. It is often used in pasta dishes and soups in Italian cuisine.

Escarole has a lot of fiber. It’s worth noting that a cup of escarole may have 93 calories.

One cup of chopped escarole to one cup of chopped endive is the optimum ratio.


Watercress is a popular ingredient in salads and sandwiches. While it may not have the same flavor as endive, it is a decent substitute. Some individuals dislike the harsh, bitter flavor of endive.

It’s a tad bitter, but it has a spicy taste. It also has a surprising sweet taste characteristic. It complements tuna salad beautifully.

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It’s a great substitute for endive in salad dishes. However, it has an entirely different feel than endive. It is better eaten raw rather than cooked.

In water, this leafy green plant grows. It is high in vital vitamins including as A, C, E, and B.

Use one cup of watercress for every cup of endive in your recipe.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce resembles endive in appearance. It has the same crunch as endive, but without the harsh bitter flavor. It’s a suitable replacement for folks who don’t like the bitter taste of endive. You can even offer romaine lettuce to your children. Raw romaine lettuce is harsh, while cooked romaine lettuce is gentler.

It is often seen in salads and is popular in Mediterranean cuisine. Supermarkets sell both red and green romaine lettuce. The form ranges from round to pointed. Endive leaves are shorter and darker than Romaine leaves. It is less costly than endives.

Romaine lettuce is high in vitamins K and A, as well as a good source of vitamin C.

Simply substitute one cup of romaine lettuce with one cup of endive in your favorite salad recipes.

Napa Cabbage

Napa cabbage is widely accessible in supermarkets and hence a decent substitute for endives if you cannot locate them. When compared to endives, it has a wonderful crunch and a fairly faint flavor. It resembles endive in appearance. It is also a less expensive alternative to endive.

It’s crisp and tender, and it lends just the right amount of crunch to dumplings, salads, and stir-fries. It’s also a tasty endive substitute for soups. It’s also delicious as kimchi, slaw, or packed in a wrap with a meaty filling. You may also put them in sandwiches.

To substitute one cup of chopped endive, cut one cup of Napa cabbage.

Curly Lettuce

Curly lettuce may be used in place of curly endive in salads and other raw foods. They both have curled leaves. Use one cup of chopped curly lettuce for every cup of curly endive called for in your recipe.


Arugula is another good substitute for curly endive. It has a similar bitter, somewhat peppery flavor. Many individuals prefer the softer flavor of arugula over the harsher flavor of endive.

It resembles endive in look and feel. Arugula, like curly endive, is best served cold.

It contains a lot of vitamin B6, A, and C. Use one cup of arugula for every cup of endive.

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Collard Greens

Collard greens are a member of the cabbage family. In terms of taste profile, it has some similarities with endive. Endive leaves, on the other hand, are more sensitive. Collard greens are a bit tougher and work well in stews, soups, and slow cooker meals.

Endive Substitute Related FAQs

Can endives be eaten raw?

Yes, raw endive may be added to salads. It’s also a tasty snack on its own. Endive leaves are bitter and chewy when uncooked.

Its strong taste softens and turns mild, sweet, and nutty when cooked. This is why many people prefer cooked endives in soups and stews over raw endive greens in salads.

Is endive expensive?

Yes, endives are fairly pricey since the plant only produces a single 5 inch diameter by 6 inch long head. This solitary head will never grow again if it is plucked.

The only method to develop new endive plants is to transplant each harvested plant’s root.

It requires time and effort. As a result, most farmers are unwilling to go through all the bother for a low yield. Growing them is also very costly.

What are the benefits of eating endives?

Endives are good for you. It is rich in fiber and low in calories. It aids digestion, builds stronger bones, and aids in the reduction of cholesterol levels.

It is also high in folate, which is beneficial to brain function. Endive also includes vitamin A, which is beneficial to the eyes.

What is the best use for endives?

Endives are often used in salads, especially curly endive, which is less bitter than Belgian endives. Salads seem more appealing with those curled leaves.

They are also often included in soup recipes. Endive leaves wilt when cooked, imparting a strong chicory flavor to the meal.

There are additional recipes for filled endive leaves since the boat-shaped endive leaves are ideal for forming little bowls.

Saute some endive leaves for a healthy side dish. Grilled endive pairs well with roasted meats.

What is the best substitute for Belgian endive?

Belgian endive produces short elongated heads with pale green to white leaves. They are often cultivated in gloomy environments such as boxes and barrels.

Radicchio, which has the same bitter flavor as arugula, is the finest alternative for Belgian endive. In your recipe, substitute one cup of endive with one cup of radicchio or arugula.


What can you substitute for endive?

Cabbage from Napa Valley.
Chicory Leaves.
Lettuce Romaine.

What vegetables are related to endive?

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 endive anti inflammatory?

It contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant effects. It may also protect against heart disease and diabetes. Endive has a lot of potassium.

What type of food is endive?

Endive is a vegetable produced for its nutritionally dense leaves. The Belgian endive is a classic dish in many European nations, although it has only lately achieved favor in the United States. Endives are also known as Cichorium endivia, Cichorium intybus, and Cichorium pumilum, among other names.

What is endive called in America?

It is also known as chicory in the United States and chicorée frisée in France. The fact that frisée also refers to greens delicately wilted with oil adds to the confusion. Escarole (var. latifolia) has large, light green leaves that are less bitter than the other types.

Is endive a lettuce or cabbage?

Belgian endive is a tiny, cylindrical head of lettuce (approximately 6 inches long) with densely packed pale yellow leaves with somewhat curling edges.

Which vegetable is the queen of all vegetables?

Broccoli – Queen of Vegetables!

What is the queen of green leafy vegetables?

Kale is sometimes referred to as “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” It makes sense—kale is one of the most popular leafy greens, and many people praise it for its high nutrient content and helpful vitamins.

What can I substitute for endive or escarole?

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

Which vegetable is best anti-inflammatory?

Foods that are anti-inflammatory

Spinach, kale, and collards are examples of green leafy vegetables. Almonds and walnuts are examples of nuts. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines are examples of fatty fish. Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges are examples of fruits.

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