The 5 Greatest Broccoli Rabe Substitutes

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If you want to add some roughness to your cuisine, broccoli rabe might be the solution.

It’s simple to obtain at your local grocery store in the produce area or in a bag or box of mixed greens alongside other greens.

Broccoli rabe, commonly known as rapini, features long green stalks topped with clusters of buds.

While the stalks are young, they may be eaten raw, but as they mature, blanch them for approximately 5 minutes before adding them to your recipe.

Broccoli rabe has a similar earthy taste to broccoli but with a little more sharpness.

If broccoli rabe isn’t your thing or you want to try something new, here are some different veggies that may be able to provide the same taste in your dish.

This post will provide you with five broccoli rabe substitutes.

What exactly is Broccoli Rabe?

First and foremost, what exactly is broccoli rabe? Broccoli rabe (also known as rapini) is a tasty green cruciferous vegetable of the same genus as cabbage.

It features leafy florets and long green stems that are both tasty.

It tastes like a hybrid of broccoli and turnips.

The leaves are similar to turnip leaves, while the florets are similar to broccoli florets.

The vegetable derives its name from the fact that it tastes like broccoli (but not cauliflower) and is related to turnips.

The leaves are somewhat bitter, but they provide an intriguing texture to meals, particularly when sautéed or braised.

They are often cooked alone or in combination with other greens.

They should be carefully cleaned first to remove any grit, which is generally eliminated by swishing the leaves around in a basin of lukewarm water.

The stems are often prepared in the same way as other cruciferous vegetables (for example, cooked with other leafy greens).

So, why not give broccoli rabe a try? You’ll like it.

The 5 Greatest Broccoli Rabe Substitutes

While it is a good and healthful dish, you may not want to eat it all of the time due to its strong flavor.

If this is the case for you, consider some of the following alternatives:

1 pound turnip greens

Turnip greens are a typical and popular replacement for broccoli rabe.

Often, they are offered in bunches with the leaves securely linked together.

While they resemble collard greens, they are more sweeter and softer in flavor.

They are often prepared with bacon or salt pork.

They may also be eaten alone or in combination with other greens.

Some individuals have even been known to put them in salads.

Therefore, instead of broccoli rabe, why not use turnip greens?

2 chard leaves

Chard has a flavor comparable to turnip greens, although it is milder.

The leaves may also be prepared in the same way as spinach is.

Just reduce the cooking time to maintain the color and taste.

The leaves are securely tied together and sold in bunches.

They are commonly found in most supermarkets, but they may also be found fresh in farmers markets.

Nevertheless, before frying the stalks, make sure they are still delicate.

3 Brussel sprouts

Broccoli rabe may also be substituted with broccoli rabe.

It is normally found in the vegetable area of most grocery stores approximately 8-10 inches tall, with little florets closely grouped at the top of each stem.

It has a somewhat sweet flavor and is named after broccoli rabe.

You may eat it either cooked or raw (in salads). For the greatest results, steam, blanch, stir-fry, or boil it, just like broccoli.

Broccolini may take less time to cook than broccoli rabe, depending on the dish.

4 spinach leaves

Spinach is somewhat sweeter than broccoli rabe and may be eaten uncooked.

Of course, you may cook it with garlic and onions, as well as other things like meat, fish, or even cheese.

It may be served with spaghetti to make it more flavorful and aromatic.

Spinach may also be purchased frozen (either chopped or leafy).

It may be substituted for broccoli rabe in most recipes.

If you wish to replace broccoli rabe, use fresh spinach since it has a stronger flavor and better taste than frozen or canned spinach, but both are delicious.

Mustard Greens 5

Last but not least, mustard greens may be used in place of broccoli rabe.

They are often offered in bunches and have tightly tied leaves that are thick and somewhat curled.

They may be consumed raw in salads or cooked with additional ingredients to make them more flavorful.

To eliminate the bitter taste of mustard greens, sauté them with garlic or onions.

Mustard greens have a taste that is comparable to turnip greens, but it is much stronger.

As a result, it is advisable to swap mustard greens for broccoli rabe while retaining its strong flavor.


Broccoli rabe is a pleasant and nutritious vegetable with a strong taste.

Nevertheless, it is not always accessible (particularly when dealing with frozen varieties) or does not suit your taste preferences.

As a result, if you need to supplement your diet with broccoli rabe, try turnip greens, chard greens, broccolini, spinach, or mustard greens.

You may get a comparable taste by utilizing these natural substitutes.

Of course, you are not limited to just one of them.

While cooking at home, experiment with different ingredients to keep your meals interesting.

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