Here are 16 ways to substitute for artichoke hearts in your favorite salads, dips, soups and more, plus an easy recipe to try!
Artichoke hearts are a popular ingredient in dips, salads, soups, and even used to top pizzas!
They’re a unique and versatile plant that can be roasted, braised, pureed, grilled with Worcestershire sauce, or baked into cheesy gratins and party spreads.
But, fresh artichokes can be expensive or may not always be available in stores.
Luckily, if you need a good artichoke substitute, there are several great options out there.
Here are 16 of the best substitutes for any preparation and dish.
If you can’t find fresh artichokes or don’t like the taste, you’ll find the perfect substitute on this list!
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What are artichoke hearts?
Artichokes come from the thistle and composite flower family, and both the leaves and heart are edible.
This vegetable is safe to eat raw or cooked and has many health benefits.
Many people are familiar with artichoke hearts as the toppings for pizzas, a thickening agent in soups, and most famously in spinach artichoke dip!
You may have also heard of baby artichokes.
Baby artichokes are full-grown artichokes that grow lower to the ground and are protected by the big leaves of the plant. The choke is not fully developed so they’re easier to cook and usually safe to eat whole.
Artichoke hearts are loaded with nutrients!
They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- and Zinc
Artichokes are low in fat, a good source of fiber, and have antioxidants. They may help lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol. Artichokes can also help to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar, and may even improve liver and digestive health.
Are they dangerous?
There are certain parts of the artichoke plant that shouldn’t be eaten, including the choke and the stem. You should also avoid eating the tough parts of the artichoke leaf.
The choke is “the hairy part” in the middle of the plant just before the heart. And it’s aptly named.
The choke can actually be a choking hazard and cause pain and discomfort if swallowed.
To avoid injury, you should prepare your artichoke before consumption:
- First, snip off the pointy ends of the artichoke leaves.
- Next, peel away the leaves to reveal the choke and the heart.
- Scoop away the choke with a spoon to get to the heart beneath.
- Finally, remove the heart and enjoy!
Or, if you want to avoid all that work, simply opt for one of the easy fresh artichoke substitutes, below!
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Easy Ways Artichoke Hearts Substitutes
1. Artichoke leaves
Artichoke leaves are a great substitute for hearts because they have virtually the same taste but a softer texture.
While they’re less toothsome, the similar flavor makes them a good stand-in for all the same preparations as artichoke hearts, and you can use them as a one-to-one substitute.
2. Frozen artichokes
Some grocery stores and brands now offer frozen artichoke hearts, and they’re almost as good as fresh. You can use them interchangeably, but they might have a slightly mushy texture.
3. Canned artichokes
Canned artichokes are readily available in stores and are much less work than fresh artichokes. You can use them interchangeably the same way you would artichoke leaves or frozen hearts.
4. Marinated artichokes
Artichoke hearts are also available in a marinated form. Marinated artichoke hearts have added flavors and may be packed in olive oil. This substitute is particularly good for dips and sauces or to top a pizza or flatbread appetizer.
They are easily found in stores and make a great 1 to 1 substitute.
5. Broccoli stems
Here’s an alternative for those who simply don’t like artichoke hearts. Broccoli stems are mild and sweet, and not as nutty in flavor as artichoke hearts.
They’re a great substitute in salads, sandwiches, steamed, grilled, stir-fried, or in a gratin and other baked dishes.
Broccoli stems are a good 1 to 1 substitute when you need a similar texture but not a similar taste.
6. Bamboo shoots
You can eat bamboo shoots raw, grilled, braised, or pureed and added to soups. They have a similar nutty flavor as artichoke hearts and are a good 1 to 1 substitute.
Try to find young bamboo shoots, if you can, because they have a sweeter flavor and a crunchier texture.
7. Heart of the palm
This next substitute is harvested from certain palm trees and is similar to water chestnuts. Heart of the palm is perfect for dips, purees, sauces, and gravies if you need a similar flavor to artichoke hearts.
They can also be stir-fried or served in a salad.
Asparagus has a sharper flavor when compared to artichoke hearts. But, they’re a great substitute to add color to a dish. They’re healthy and great in salads, sandwiches, and omelets.
Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.
9. Jerusalem artichokes
This substitute may share a name with artichoke hearts, but they have a slightly different taste. Jerusalem artichokes are good for raw preparations or stir-fried. The similar texture and mild, sweet, and slightly nutty flavor make them a good 1 to 1 substitute.
Cardoon tastes just like an artichoke and is the best alternative for flavor. This substitute is great for baked dishes, gratin, or to top a pizza. However, cardoon cannot be consumed raw and doesn’t have the same texture as artichoke hearts.
11. Brussels sprouts
These “little green cabbages” are great when sauteed, grilled, and roasted, and work best in recipes with a longer cooking time.
Brussels sprouts are a good 1 to 1 substitute if you don’t like the flavor of artichoke hearts, but need a “meaty” vegetable as the base of your dish.
12. Chayote squash
Chayote squash has a mild flavor, is a little crunchy, and won’t change the flavor or texture of your dish. And, it’s the perfect substitute for picky kids.
This bright green vegetable is fairly sweet. And, you can eat it cooked or raw in a salad. Chayote is also great when pureed for stews or gravies.
“German turnip” or kohlrabi is rich in vitamin c and tastes like raw cabbage, but has a milder flavor when cooked.
It’s a great artichoke heart substitute in salads, slaws, or sauteed.
If you can find it, use kohlrabi as a 1 to 1 substitute.
This next substitute for artichoke hearts is crunchy and sweet and you can use it anywhere you would artichoke hearts.
Jicama is becoming more popular in American cuisine. But, if you can’t find it in your regular grocery store, try an Asian or Mexican market!
15. Napa cabbage
If you don’t like artichoke hearts, napa cabbage may be a good substitute to try in salads. Cabbage provides a crunchy, mildly sweet flavor that mimics the texture and flavor of artichoke hearts.
However, napa cabbage is not a suitable substitute for cooked preparations.
Eggplant is another great alternative if you don’t like the taste of artichoke hearts. This plant has a similar texture and works well in mixed veggie recipes or as a grilled side dish.
Tips for Growing Your Own (so you never run out!)
If you love fresh artichokes and don’t want to use substitutes when the grocery store runs out, you can try growing your own!
Here are some tips to set you up for success:
- Choose a spot with good sunlight and drainage.
- Pair your artichokes with companion plants like peas, cabbage, sunflowers, and tarragon.
- Use compost to create nutrient-rich soil.
- Choose root divisions over seeds if possible.
- Consistently water your artichokes.
- Use artichoke fertilizer.
- Prune your artichokes to prepare for winter.
If you want to enjoy your artichokes year-round, pressure can or freeze them after your harvest. Just be sure to blanch your artichokes before freezing them. This will help ensure they keep their color, flavor, and nutrients.
Add your artichoke hearts to boiling water for no more than 3-5 minutes, then immediately introduce them to an ice bath to cool them off. Pat them dry, then store them in a freezer-safe bag.
Frozen artichoke hearts stay good in the freezer for about 7 months.
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Yummy Recipes to Try
Here’s an easy and delicious mayonnaise parmesan cheese dip recipe with marinated artichokes to try. Or, use one of your favorite ways to substitute for artichoke hearts, above!
The Best Artichoke Parmesan Dip (only 3 ingredients!)
And if you need more easy dip recipes, try one of these: