The Ultimate Kale Substitutes in Soup List: We Found 29

Kale, like cauliflower and broccoli, is a member of the brassica family. It is a nutrient and fiber-rich leafy green vegetable. There are four types of kale: curly kale, purple kale, baby kale, and Tuscan kale (also known as lacinato kale, cavolo kale, or dinosaur kale).

Kale is simpler to find in the colder months but more difficult in the summer. If you can’t locate kale in your local grocery shop, we’ve compiled a list of options for you.

  1. Collard Greens
  2. Spinach
  3. Baby Spinach
  4. Cabbage
  5. Iceberg Lettuce
  6. Romaine Lettuce
  7. Mustard Greens
  8. Tatsoi
  9. Escarole

Before we get into the whole list of kale alternatives, let us first learn about the many kinds of this vegetable.

29 Best Kale Substitutes

The most popular kind is curly kale, which is the same color as broccoli. When eaten uncooked, it tastes sour and spicy.

Purple kale is sweeter than curly kale and has beautiful purple leaves. Baby kale leaves are harvested from young kale plants and are best consumed uncooked. The leaves of Tuscan kale are smooth and dark green, with a milder taste. [Source]

When creating kale soup, we suggest collard greens as the finest kale replacement. However, you may also use spinach, cabbage, lettuce, and other vegetables.

Let’s take a closer look at the whole list of options.

Collard Greens

Collard greens are the greatest kale alternative since they have a comparable texture and flavor. You may use them to substitute kale in salads in addition to preparing your favorite soup.

Collard greens are closely related to broccoli and cabbage. They provide a variety of health advantages, including the reduction of elevated cholesterol levels. They are high in glucosinolates, which aid in cancer prevention. Collard greens are also high in protein, calcium, potassium, and other nutrients. [Source]


Spinach may also be used in lieu of kale in a variety of recipes, including soups, salads, and baked goods. Although spinach may not have the same flavor as kale, it can nevertheless improve the flavor of your soup.

Spinach is also less difficult to prepare. It contains several vitamins and minerals.

Baby Spinach

Baby spinach contains smaller leaves than conventional spinach, but it tastes and feels the same. Baby spinach may be cooked in the same manner as kale is. It works well in soups and salads.


Cabbage is widely accessible at local supermarkets and grocery stores. It may taste different than kale, but it is still suitable with all kale-required dishes, including kale soup. It is high in vitamin A and may be used in both hot and cold recipes.

Iceberg Lettuce

Although iceberg lettuce has a milder flavor than kale, adding additional ingredients helps to enhance the flavor of your food. Take aware, though, that it has a crunchier texture that may alter the texture of your meal.

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Romaine Lettuce

Also easily accessible is romaine lettuce. This lettuce has a mild flavor, so add additional ingredients to acquire the flavor you like. It may be used in soups, but it is finest in sandwiches and salads.

Mustard Greens

In practically any cuisine, mustard greens may be used in lieu of kale. However, keep in mind that mustard greens are rather peppery. Though fuller in taste, most chefs compare these greens to kale.


Tatsoi is not as prevalent as cabbage, but it is an excellent substitute for kale in soup. It is high in vitamins, including A, C, and K. It is simpler to digest than bulky greens.


Escarole is another green vegetable that may be used in lieu of kale in your favorite soup recipe. Escarole also improves the taste of sandwiches, salads, and baked goods.

The textures and taste characteristics of escarole and kale are comparable. Using escarole does not significantly alter the taste of your food. It is easy to include it into a variety of meals.

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is another green leafy vegetable that may be used in place of kale. It is crisper than kale, so it does not go mushy when used in soup. When used in lieu of kale, it should shorten cooking time in half.

Rainbow chard and silverbeet are other names for Swiss chard. It has huge stems that may be used in another recipe. The stems are also cooked separately since the leaves cook quicker.

Brussels Sprouts

You’ve begun making kale soup when you discover you forgot to purchase kale. You’re in luck if you have Brussels sprouts in your pantry. It may be used in lieu of kale in any meal.

Even though Brussels sprouts appear and taste different from kale, they may be used as a substitute. It has a mild taste profile that is comparable to that of cabbage.


Arugula is another green leafy vegetable that may be used in place of kale. It has a taste characteristic that is moderate and spicy. Arugula, which is somewhat peppery, increases the taste of your soup recipe.

Take notice that it may alter the taste of your food, so cook it for a shorter period of time.

Beetroot Leaves

Because they both contain Vitamins A and C, beetroot leaves are a decent kale alternative. They also have very identical taste characteristics.

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Turnip Greens

Some chefs think turnip greens are a decent substitute for kale. These greens are really more delicious than kale. Aside from soups, turnip greens may also be used in stir-fry meals.

They are also delicious when blanched in boiling water with salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Turnip greens that have been roasted have a deeper and richer taste with undertones of earthy flavor, making them an ideal side dish.

Dandelion Leaves

Spring grass gets a subtle touch and taste from dandelion leaves. These greens are crisper than kale and add richness and flavor to soups. They may also be used to make delicious sweets and salads.

Broccoli Rabe

Few people are familiar with broccoli rabe, often known as rapini. It is a fantastic kale alternative because to its earthy and bitter flavor, which is comparable to mustard greens. These greens may be used in both sweet and savory meals.

Season your soup dish with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil, and you have the ideal meal. Broccoli rabe may be used in pasta meals, stir-fries, and egg dishes such as frittatas and omelets, in addition to soups.


Green parsley on table

Most of us think of parsley as a garnish, but it may also be the star of your cuisine. In soups, parsley is an excellent alternative for kale. It also improves the taste of your salads and other prepared meals.

It may not be as dark green as kale, but it is just as flavorful. Not only that, but it also adds a delicious aroma to your food.

Beet Greens

Beet greens, a relative of kale, are a lesser-known superfood. This delicious plant has a lot of calcium. This is also a nutritious substitute for kale.

Bok Choy

In Asia, bok choy is plentiful. It works well as a kale alternative in soups and stir-fry recipes. Unlike kale, you may eat the white stalks since they provide texture and taste to any recipe.

Kale stems are rather woody, which makes them unappealing to consume. Vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium are all abundant in bok choy.


Cauliflower is a healthier and less costly alternative to kale. It works well in soups, pasta dishes, and casseroles.

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Its soft texture when cooked allows it to be served as a side dish similar to mashed potatoes. It is also often used to substitute rice in most people’s diets.


When you want to increase the fiber in your diet, you normally go for kale. For those who dislike greens, carrots are a wonderful source of fiber, as well as other necessary vitamins and minerals.

Carrots may be eaten as a snack or used to soups and stir-fry recipes.


Endive contains crisp, boat-shaped leaves that are beneficial to your interior organs. These bitter greens season soups, stir-fries, and other foods.

To balance off the strong taste, add apple slices and blue cheese to your salads.


Another low-cost and healthful alternative to kale is artichoke. Simple artichoke soup or an all-veggie soup with chunky artichokes are also options.

Its mild nutty taste is comparable to that of Brussels sprouts and asparagus, making it an excellent substitute for kale.


Celeriac adds a rich taste to soups and other foods. It tastes like potatoes but is less starchy, and it adds creaminess to your recipes.

Celeriac is the celery plant’s root. It has an earthy flavor and the texture of a potato or turnip. Celeriac leaves, chopped, are ideal for soups and stocks.


This kale alternative imparts a strong flavor to soups, salads, and sandwiches. Watercress leaves are crisp and soft, with a distinct peppery taste that complements any cuisine. It is also reasonably priced.


Kohlrabi adds a crisp texture to soups and salads. It is a root vegetable with lush greens on top that you may use to season your recipes. This cabbage family member tastes sweet with a tinge of spiciness.


Another healthy alternative to kale is asparagus. It tastes sweet and bitter with a dash of earthy grass flavor. Fresh asparagus is seasonal, but jarred variations are available all year in grocery shops, albeit they are fairly pricey.


Mache leaves taste milder than kale leaves. It may be used in lieu of kale in salads, smoothies, and soups. Mache pairs nicely with baby spinach.

Gai Lan(Chinese Broccoli)

Gai Lan is also known as Chinese broccoli. It’s a tasty substitute for Asian-style stir fry and soup recipes. It has a similar taste to broccoli, but it is increased when sautéed with garlic.

They are available in Asian supermarkets and other specialist retailers.


What can you substitute for kale in soup?

Tops of Kohlrabi. Broccoli is sprouting.
Rainbow Turnip Chard (Silverbeet)…
Greens with mustard.
Broccoli from China.
Raab Broccoli Collard Greens are the best Kale substitutes. Collard greens are the closest flavor and texture match to kale and may be used interchangeably.
Spinach from England.
Spinach leaves, baby.
Chard (Swiss Chard)

Can you sub spinach for kale in soup?

In a soup recipe, can spinach be substituted for kale? Yes, you may use spinach instead of kale in soup recipes. As a consequence, the soup will be softer in taste, sweeter, and creamier in texture.

Can I use arugula instead of kale in soup?

Can you use arugula instead of kale in soup? In soups, arugula is a great alternative for kale! When replacing, use a 1:1 ratio and normal arugula (rather than baby arugula) since it holds up better in soups.

Can I substitute bok choy for kale in soup?

Choy sum. Bok choy (also known as pak choi) looks nothing like kale, yet it’s an excellent substitute for a leafy green as a side dish. Both the stems and the leaves of bok choy may be eaten. It has a subtle celery flavor, but you may easily enhance it with a dressing.

What vegetables are better than kale?

10 Greens That Are Healthier Than Kale Chard.
Green beets.
Lettuce leaves. Dwight Sipler’s lettuce tiny heads | CC By 2.0.
Parsley. Cookbookman17 | CC BY 2.0.
Lettuce Romaine. Romaine | Liz West | Creative Commons 2.0.
Greens from the cabbage family. Foods of Glory Glory Foods | CC By 2.0.

What vegetable has the same nutrients as kale?

Great Kale Substitutes (That Aren’t Expensive)

Watercress was named the number one powerhouse vegetable by the Centers for Disease Control in the United States!

What’s better in soup spinach or kale?

“I prefer to use spinach in recipes because I want to reap the benefits of eating the green without overpowering the flavor of the dish.” Schweinshaut, on the other hand, recommends incorporating kale into soups or marinating in salad dressing for a bit longer.

How do you cut the bitterness out of kale in soup?

Place the kale in a large mixing basin. Just a few drops of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice can help to cut through the bitterness.

What can I substitute for spinach or kale?

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.
Chard from Switzerland.
Green beets.
Choy sum.
Greens with a mustard flavor.

Which bitter green leafy vegetable is used in soup?

Wedding Soup with Minimal Effort. Escarole is a member of the chicory family, which means it has a similar flavor to endive, radicchio, and other bitter greens. Yes, escarole is bitter, as the family name “bitter greens” implies.

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