13 Substitutes For Radicchio In Your Recipes

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Radicchio is a leafy vegetable with a bitter flavor that is often used in salads.

While it can add a unique flavor to a dish, it is not always easy to find.

If you cannot find radicchio, there are a few substitutes that can be used in its place.

Let’s find out right away what they are!

13 Substitutes For Radicchio

Here are my top picks for substituting Radicchio. 

1. Belgian Endive

Belgian Endive is a native French sub-type of lettuce used in endless salads in its raw form or grilled and baked.

It tastes much like Radicchio itself. 

The only noticeable difference between Radicchio and Belgian Endive is that the former has bright red layers while the latter has pale yellow leaves. 

How to substitute

Belgian Endive and Radicchio can be equally substituted when added raw to salads. When grilled, baked, or braised, a lesser quantity is suggested as they tend to be bitterer.

Healthy and tasty salad with Belgian Endive.

2. Arugula

Arugula is one of the closest alternatives to Radicchio with its refreshing, spicy, peppery, slightly tart, and bitter taste that works best as a topping or a garnish. 

It is important to note that, although Radicchio and Arugula may taste alike, they do not look alike as the latter has smaller green leaves. 

How to substitute

Equal or slightly more amounts of whole or chopped Arugula leaves can be used to replace Radicchio for any dish that calls for Radicchio.

3 delicious Arugula salads.

3. Curly Endive

Curly Endive is different from regular endive as it has smaller and curled-up leaves with a slightly bitter taste, much like that of Radicchio, that pairs well with most salads. 

It is advisable to use curly endive in their raw form as they lose their flavor and crunchy texture if cooked.

Radicchio and curly endive also differ in appearance. 

How to substitute

Nearly twice the quantity of Curly Endive is needed to efficiently substitute for the required quantity of Radicchio.

Italian Endives with garlic and chili recipe.

4. Watercress

Watercress is a nutritious aquatic plant that grows in parts of Asia and Europe and is frequently added to salads for its crunchy and juicy texture and healthy values. 

Remember that watercress leaves are much smaller than Radicchio leaves and have a grass-green color, making them visually different from Radicchio. 

How to substitute

Radicchio and Watercress leaves should ideally be substituted in a 2:1 proportion due to their difference in size and texture.

Easy Watercress and kale salad.

5. Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce has a unique taste that goes well with most salads and also sandwiches and pizzas.

Its taste is comparable to that of Radicchio. 

The most noticeable difference between Radicchio and Romaine lettuce is in their color.

Romaine lettuce leaves are light green and slightly smaller compared to Radicchio. 

How to substitute

Equal quantities of Romaine lettuce and Radicchio can be substituted for one another for most salads and other dishes.

Chinese recipe for Romaine Lettuce.

6. Chicory

Chicory leaves are a unique and aromatic addition to any dish that requires a crunchy and chewy leafy vegetable.

It can well replace Radicchio with its slightly spicy taste. 

Do note that it is quite a challenging task to extract the leaves of this plant and should be carefully cut from the stem. 

How to substitute

Since Radicchio and Chicory leaves are alike in size, they can equally and safely be substituted for each other for most recipes.

Delicious sautéed Chicory.

7. Radish

Radish is a common vegetable found in most parts of the world with a sharp and peppery flavor that can replace that of Radicchio. 

Remember that the sharpness of the radish and radish greens is diminished significantly once cooked. It can be eaten raw for the best match. 

How to substitute

Depending on the dish where the radish is included one radish should efficiently substitute for one whole Radicchio.

Refreshing Radish and cucumber salad.

8. Treviso

Treviso is another great veggie alternative to Radicchio, with a texture much like lettuce. It has a comparatively milder taste and crunchy layers. 

When using Treviso, do remember that being on the milder side, it has a slight sweetness that is prominent when it is eaten raw in a salad or pizza topping. 

How to substitute

Radicchio and Treviso leaves should ideally be substituted in a 1:1 proportion due to their similarity in size and texture.

Italian Treviso dish.

9. Red Cabbage

Another close substitute for Radicchio is Red Cabbage. They are identical in size, color, and even taste, making them efficient replacements for each other. 

However, it is to be kept in mind that Red Cabbage is not easily found in all parts of the world and in all seasons and may not be the best option. 

How to substitute

With similarity in nearly all characteristics, Red Cabbage and Radicchio can easily be substituted for equal amounts of one another.

Red Cabbage stir-fry.

10. Frisee

Frisee or French Endive is another similar alternative to Radicchio with its sharp and bitter taste that can replace Radicchio in most dishes. 

A small note: It is rather difficult to find Frisee outside of Europe, making it an inaccessible option when used as an alternative. 

How to substitute

Since Frisee has shorter leaves than Radicchio, it is best to substitute one Radicchio leaf for two Frisee leaves for the best match.

Classic Frisee salad.

11. Mustard Greens

Mustard greens are an easily found alternative to Radicchio with bitter leaves and a slightly peppery and spicy aftertaste. It can be enjoyed both cooked and raw. 

Do keep in mind that although they have similarities, Mustard greens tend to be milder in comparison to Radicchio.

They are best used as a thickening agent in Asian recipes. 

How to substitute

Since Radicchio and Mustard greens are alike in size, they can equally and safely be substituted for each other in most recipes.

Southern-style Mustard green recipe.

12. Escarole

Another highly efficient and convenient substitute for Radicchio is Escarole.

It is a crunchy, juicy, curly, and similarly bitter leafy veggie often added to winter soups and pasta. 

It is necessary to cook Escarole to achieve the perfect crunchy yet chewy texture, as it cannot be consumed raw.

It tastes best when simply sautéed. 

How to substitute

Radicchio and Escarole can be substituted in an equal 1:1 ratio as they do not differ much in size, texture, and taste.

Sautéed Escarole with beans.

13. Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are a common find in most grocery stores as they are healthy and make a great substitute for Radicchio with their equally bitter and peppery taste. 

Remember that Dandelion greens are much bitterer in taste and should be harvested earlier to avoid them being too bitter and earthy. 

How to substitute

Since Dandelion greens are shorter than Radicchio, it is best to substitute one cup of Radicchio leaf for one cup of Frisee leaves for the best match.

Here’s your recipe and more about Dandelion Greens.

FAQs

What Is The Best Substitute For Radicchio? 

The closest and best substitutes for Radicchio are said to be Belgian Endive, Curly Endive, Arugula, Watercress, and Chicory. All these substitutes share common properties such as bitterness and crunchiness. 

However, all these leafy greens have their distinct taste that may not be exactly like Radicchio but work equally well.

Is Radicchio The Same As Red Cabbage? 

No, Radicchio and Red Cabbage are not the same, even if they have similar features and visual appearances. They belong to entirely different plant families and have noticeably varying textures. 

Radicchio has prominent white veins throughout its layers, while Red Cabbage doesn’t.

What Is The Difference Between Radicchio And Radish? 

Radicchio and Radish are vastly different from one another.  Radicchio is a French Variety of Chicory known for its slightly bitter and peppery taste that complements most salads and works well as a pizza garnish.
 
Radish, on the other hand, is a common vegetable with a sharp and slightly tart flavor that adds its spiciness to any dish it is added to.

How To Substitute Radicchio For Arugula In Salad? 

Arugula is one of the best substitutes for Radicchio in salads. It can simply be substituted in equal amounts, in addition to other ingredients like carrots, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, toppings, and the dressing of choice. 

All these ingredients can be tossed together to make a healthy and tasty salad with some of the most convenient ingredients.

Bottom Line

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and family.

Substitutes for radicchio are not always easy to find, but with a little creativity, you can make do with what you have on hand.

Do you have a favorite substitute for radicchio? We would love to hear about it in the comments!

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About Irene Clark

Irene is a supermom of 4 kids who always has a smile on her face. She's an amazing dancer - you should see her moves! - and she loves to eat, especially with wine. She also loves pop music and travels across the country with her family and friends.

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