Best Substitute for Endive

Imagine this. You are preparing to make an amazing and delicious salad, only to realize that you do not have any endives. Endives are perfect for the production of personality and flavor to a dish that would have been boring. You cannot afford to make a salad without them. So, what do you do?

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You will require a substitute for endive. You might require several substitutes depending on the dish you are making. Even though endives are a great ingredient you cannot do without, some people steer clear of endives. Regardless, there are options for everyone. Stay tuned to find out which endive substitute would work best for you.

What are Endives?

Endives are essentially a leafy green from the chicory family. They have a slightly bitter and earthy flavor. There are curly and Belgian endives. The most common types are Belgian endives.

What do endives taste like? Endives are bitter, although not so much. This bitterness is coupled with a slight sweetness, as well as a green flavor similar to lettuce, which brings a balance. Although they are not a perfect choice for everyone, they are a great ingredient for most dishes.

Is endive and radicchio the same? Radicchio is not the same as endives. However, they are very closely related and are from the same family. You might also wonder, are endive and chicory the same? The fact is that endives and radicchio are both from the chicory family. You might think of endives as a type of chicory.

So, which are the best substitutes?

Best Substitute



This is a leafy green that is quite flavorful. In some parts, it is referred to as a rocket. It is a great curly endive substitute mainly because of the appearance. It will wilt fast, which means that you will require a substantial amount to make a salad. You should know that arugula is not as bitter as endives. Nevertheless, it has a flavor that will be appreciated by specific people.



Watercress does not look the same as endives. They even have different tastes. They have a neutral flavor that allows them to work well with any salad.

Romaine Lettuce

Romaine Lettuce


This is a great substitute for endive, especially if you want something that does not have bitterness. The leaves tend to be longer and darker. You would have a better chance if you chose a smaller and younger romaine head.



Radicchio is similar to endives since they are relatives of the chicory family. They have a certain bitter aftertaste that you might not appreciate. If you want an endive substitute that is not as bitter, then do not go for radicchio. If it does not bother you, then they are a perfect replacement.

Napa Cabbage

napa cabbage

The name cabbage might confuse you. However, they are quite similar to romaine. They have large leaves, which means you will always have enough for a dish. They are a perfect Belgian endive substitute for any dish.


That is the full list of the most efficient substitutes for endives. Different people will choose different substitutes. Nevertheless, you will find one that suits your requirements perfectly. Therefore, if you go to the market looking for endives and you couldn’t find some, make sure to give these substitutes a try.

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