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Green Swaps: 5 Creative Endive Substitutes

Endive is overrated. There, we said it. Opting for a change in your leafy greens can be a game-changer for your salads and meals.

We’re here to spill the beans on the five creative swaps for Endive that’ll keep your dishes interesting and your taste buds guessing.

These alternatives match the crisp and slightly bitter taste of Endive and bring their unique flavors and textures to the plate.

They will become your new go-to greens, from backyard BBQs to fancy dinner parties. Get ready to mix things up and impress with your savvy culinary choices.

1 – Arugula

Arugula, often the unsung hero of the salad mix, is a fantastic endive substitute.

Why? It packs a peppery punch that adds a zesty flair to any dish. This leafy green turns up the volume of flavor without overpowering other ingredients.

It’s like Endive’s cooler, slightly spicy cousin. 

To swap in arugula for an endive, it’s simple. Use a 1:1 ratio, meaning if your recipe calls for a cup of endive, go ahead and use a cup of arugula instead.

Arugula fits right in, whether it is fresh in salads, wilted in pasta, or even thrown on a pizza. It’s all about keeping things interesting and giving your meals a lively kick.

2 – Radicchio

Radicchio steps into the spotlight as the next great endive swap. It’s bold, beautiful, and has a bitterness that mirrors endive, but with a hint of sweetness that takes your dishes to the next level.

red and white sliced onions on brown wooden bowl
Photo by micheile henderson on Unsplash

Picture Radicchio as that friend who’s always a bit dramatic, but in the best way possible, adding excitement and depth to your meals.

For a radicchio-for-endive swap, stick to a 1:1 ratio. Swap in a cup of chopped radicchio if your recipe needs one cup of endive.

Radicchio is super versatile. Chop it up for a crunchy salad base, grill it for a smoky side dish, or slice it thin and toss it into a stir-fry. It’s all about adding that extra omph without complicating things.

3 – Watercress

Watercress is the underdog of leafy greens and a brilliant swap for endive.

Why does it rock? It brings a slight pepperiness and a fresh, crisp texture that livens up any dish without going overboard. Think of the watercress as the chill, versatile buddy in the greens gang.

To substitute watercress for endive, you’re looking at a 1:1 ratio swap. Got a recipe that needs a cup of endive? Just swap in a cup of watercress.

Watercress is perfect for giving sandwiches an extra crunch, jazzing up egg dishes, or adding a fresh twist to soups and salads. It’s all about making your meals pop with minimal fuss.

4 – Chicory Leaves

Chicory leaves become a strong player in the game of endive substitutes.

Why are they so cool? They bring a similar crisp texture and a mild bitterness that makes your salads and dishes pop. Imagine chicory leaves as the low-key, easy-going type that still knows how to make a statement.

For a chicory-for-endive swap, you’ll use a 1:1 ratio. If you’re looking at a recipe that calls for a cup of endive, switch it out with a cup of chicory leaves.

Chicory is super adaptable. Chop it up for a fresh salad, mix it into a stir-fry, or use it as a base for a robust, flavorful dish. It’s all about keeping your meals interesting with a simple swap.

5 – Frisée

Frisée, the curly-haired star among greens, is a fun and fluffy substitute for endive.


What’s the deal with Frisée? It’s slightly bitter, just like endive, but it brings a playful texture that can make any salad feel more sophisticated and interesting. Plus, its lightness means it doesn’t weigh down your dishes.

Swapping Frisée for an endive is easy peasy. Stick to a 1:1 ratio for a seamless swap. If your recipe asks for a cup of endive, use a cup of Frisée instead.

Frisée is awesome for adding a bit of elegance to simple salads, making them look fancy without any extra work. Or throw it into a warm dish at the last minute for a slightly wilted, absolutely delicious effect.