Skip to Content

5 Best Mustard Green Substitutes: Diversify Your Greens

Stepping up your greens game? Look no further.

Mustard greens have been a go-to for that peppery kick in dishes across the globe.

Yet sometimes, the produce aisle or our pantry doesn’t cooperate with our meal plans. Before you dial down your culinary ambition, consider this: plenty of greens can jazz up your dishes just as well.

This isn’t about settling for second best; it’s about exploring the vast world of leafy greens to keep your plates vibrant and your taste buds intrigued.

In this article, we’re dishing out the top five mustard green substitutes that are not only easy to find but also pack a flavorful punch.

Get ready to diversify your greens and elevate your cooking game effortlessly.

1 – Kale

Alright, here’s the scoop on kale – it’s like the superhero of the leafy greens world. Why’s it a top pick for those mustard green moments?

First off, it’s got that robust, slightly bitter taste, but without going overboard. It fits right in wherever mustard greens would, from stews to sautés, from raw to cooked. Plus, it’s chock-full of vitamins and minerals for that extra health boost.

Kale also comes in different varieties – curly kale, lacinato (also known as dinosaur or Tuscan) kale, red Russian kale – each with its own unique texture and flavor.

Now, how to swap it in? Easy peasy. If your recipe calls for a cup of mustard greens, just use a cup of kale. No complicated math needed.

One thing to keep in mind, though, kale’s leaves are a bit tougher, so give them a quick massage if you’re going raw or just cook them a smidge longer. It’ll slide into your dishes so smoothly; you’ll wonder why you weren’t team kale from the start.

2 – English Spinach

Now onto English spinach – the chameleon of the greens world.

Why does it make our list? Because it’s super versatile and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that can blend into just about anything.

It’s the perfect stand-in when you’re looking for something less spicy than mustard greens but still want to keep that dish lively.

English spinach is great raw in salads or thrown into a hot dish last minute to wilt down. It’s pretty tender, so it cooks faster than mustard greens, making it a fantastic option for quick meals. Plus, it’s pretty forgiving, so if you’re not exactly a measurement stickler, you’ll do fine.

Here’s the deal on swapping it in: use a one-to-one ratio. That means if your recipe says one cup of mustard greens, go for one cup of English spinach.

It’ll slip into soups, stir-fries, and even pasta like it was meant to be there. Just keep an eye on it when cooking; since it wilts quickly, it usually needs less time on the heat compared to mustard greens.

3 – Swiss Chard

Enter Swiss chard, also doing a double gig as rainbow chard when it feels fancy with those colorful stems.

What makes it a killer stand-in? Its flavor—you get a bit earthy, a tiny bit sweet, kinda like mustard greens without making your eyes water. It’s hearty, so it holds up well, whether you’re throwing it into a hot pan or letting it chill in a cold salad.

Swiss chard has leaves that are super similar to mustard greens, texture-wise, but its stems? Think crunchier. And, yeah, they take a bit longer to cook, but that’s no biggie. Just chop ’em up and toss them into the pan a few minutes ahead of the leaves.

Substitute wise, it’s a straight swap. If you’re digging through a recipe and it’s shouting for mustard greens, just match it up cup for cup with Swiss chard.

If the recipe tells you to tear your mustard greens into bite-sized pieces, do the same with your chard. Trust me; it’s going to slip into your dish and make itself right at home.

Just remember, those stems need a head start in the cooking department, so give them that lead time, and you’re golden.

4 – Collard Greens

Collard greens are like that reliable buddy who’s always there when you need them. They step up to the plate as a fantastic sub for mustard greens because they share a similar leafy texture and can handle a bit of heat in the kitchen.

hey’re sturdy, which means they can take on longer cooking times without turning into mush. Why are they so great? They have this unique ability to soak up flavors from whatever they’re cooked with, making them a super versatile green in your cooking arsenal.

To use collard greens as a substitute, you’re looking at a simple one-to-one ratio. Got a recipe that calls for mustard greens?

Swap them out cup for cup with chopped collard greens. Whether you’re making a soulful stew or a quick stir-fry, collard greens slip in effortlessly.

Just remember, because they’re a tad thicker than mustard greens, they might need a couple more minutes on the stove to get them perfectly tender. But that’s it – no fuss, no muss.

5 – Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan)

Rounding out our list is Chinese broccoli, also known as Gai Lan. This green’s a game changer when mustard greens just aren’t happening.

Why? Well, it’s got that cool, slightly bitter edge and a crunch that can kick any dish up a notch. Plus, it’s super easy to find in most grocery stores these days, especially if they have an Asian foods section.

Using Chinese broccoli as a mustard greens sub is straightforward – a one-to-one ratio does the trick. If your favorite recipe calls for a bunch of mustard greens, just swap in the same amount of Chinese broccoli.

It’s especially perfect in stir-fries and steamed dishes where its unique texture can really shine. Remember to give the stems a couple of minutes head start before adding the leaves to the pan since they’re a bit tougher.

This swap will make your dish pop with a fresh vibe, making you wonder why you hadn’t tried it sooner.