Exploring the Top 9 Substitutes for Artichokes

9 Best Artichoke Substitutes

Artichokes are a unique vegetable that elicits mixed reactions from individuals. While some people adore the distinct flavor and texture of artichokes, others may find them challenging to work with or simply dislike their taste. In such cases, it becomes necessary to explore alternative ingredients that can serve as suitable artichoke substitutes. Here are nine excellent options to consider:

1. Cardone

Cardone, also known as artichoke thistle, is a Mediterranean vegetable that closely resembles celery and shares a similar flavor profile with artichokes. Like artichokes, cardone is low in calories and fat, while rich in fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. It should be noted, however, that cardone cannot be eaten raw. To eliminate its mild bitterness and enhance its texture, cardone stalks must be cooked. They can be steamed, braised, roasted, or sautéed, and are a good substitute for artichokes in a variety of dishes, including pasta, soups, and pizza.

2. Brussels Sprouts

Although Brussels sprouts have a reputation for being polarizing, with some people disliking their taste, they can serve as an excellent substitute for artichokes in certain recipes. When cooked properly, Brussels sprouts offer a tender texture and a nutty flavor with sweet and slightly bitter undertones. They can be boiled, baked, sautéed, roasted, or braised. Brussels sprouts are particularly good as an artichoke substitute when cooked with butter and garlic. They make a great side dish with chicken, steak, or salmon.

3. Asparagus

Although asparagus looks very different from artichokes, it can be used as a substitute in several dishes. Asparagus has a sharper flavor compared to artichokes, with the latter being sweeter. However, asparagus is more readily available and easier to prepare. It can be cooked in a variety of ways, including roasting, sautéing, boiling, steaming, and baking. If you originally planned to serve artichokes as a side dish but cannot find them, asparagus can seamlessly fill that role. It pairs well with chicken, red meat and fish.

4. Palm Heart

Although not the most common artichoke substitute, Heart of Palm stands out for its flavor, texture, and versatility. Sold in cans or jars, heart of palm comes from the inner bud of certain palm trees. It has a mildness similar to artichoke hearts and a hint of nutty flavor. The texture of Heart of Palm is both creamy and crunchy, similar to cooked artichoke hearts. It is used in a variety of dishes such as dips, creamy sauces, soups, salads, pastas and stir-fries.

5. Jerusalem Artichokes

Despite their name, Jerusalem artichokes bear no resemblance to regular artichokes. They are actually a type of sunflower that grows underground and can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw Jerusalem artichokes have a crunchy texture and a fresh, slightly nutty flavor reminiscent of water chestnuts. Cooking softens Jerusalem artichokes and gives them a texture similar to cooked artichoke hearts. They work well in stir-fries and soups. Baking Jerusalem artichokes imparts a mild artichoke flavor and a texture similar to baked potatoes. In addition, Jerusalem artichokes are a nutritious choice, rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fat.

6. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi, also known as turnip greens, is a biennial vegetable in the Brassica family. Contrary to popular belief, kohlrabi is not a root vegetable, but is related to broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. It serves as a viable artichoke substitute during the summer season. Kohlrabi has a firm texture similar to broccoli stalks and shares a flavor profile with broccoli, albeit sweeter with mild peppery notes. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw kohlrabi offers a crisp and succulent experience, making it an excellent addition to salads. When cooked, kohlrabi becomes tender and can be steamed, boiled, roasted, or fried like potatoes.

7. Canned Artichoke Hearts

For those who find fresh artichokes difficult to find or intimidating to prepare, canned artichoke hearts offer a convenient alternative. They are readily available and require no preparation. Texturally, canned artichoke hearts are typically softer than cooked artichokes. However, they can still be cooked if desired, particularly through methods such as roasting or searing. Canned artichoke hearts retain their nutritional value and are rich in vitamins and minerals. They can be used in a variety of dishes, including salads, dips, pasta, and casseroles.

8. Chayote

Chayote, also known as vegetable pear or mirliton, is a green, wrinkled fruit that belongs to the squash family. Although it does not resemble artichokes in taste or appearance, chayote can be used as a substitute due to its versatility. The texture of cooked chayote is similar to that of artichokes, with a slight crunch and a mildly sweet flavor. Chayote can be boiled, steamed, sautéed, or roasted and works well in salads, stir-fries, soups, and casseroles. Its subtle flavor allows it to absorb the flavor of other ingredients, making it a great addition to a variety of dishes.

9. Jicama

Jicama, also known as Mexican turnip or yam, is a root vegetable that can serve as an alternative to artichokes in certain recipes. Jicama has a mild, slightly sweet flavor and a crunchy, juicy texture reminiscent of a cross between a potato and an apple. It can be eaten raw in salads or slaws, adding a refreshing and crunchy element. Jicama can also be cooked by roasting or sautéing, which brings out its natural sweetness and adds depth to its flavor. It pairs well with citrus flavors, herbs and spices, making it a versatile ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes.
In conclusion, if you find yourself in need of an artichoke substitute, there are several excellent options to choose from. Whether it’s cardone, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, hearts of palm, Jerusalem artichokes, kohlrabi, canned artichoke hearts, chayote, or jicama, each alternative offers its own unique flavor, texture, and culinary possibilities. Experimenting with these substitutes can open up a world of new and exciting dishes, ensuring that you can enjoy artichoke-like flavors and experiences even when fresh artichokes are not readily available or preferred.


Why do I need to substitute artichokes in a recipe?

Artichokes have a distinct flavor and texture that may not appeal to everyone. They can also be difficult to find or prepare. Substituting artichokes allows you to explore alternative flavors and ingredients that can still enhance your dish.

How do I choose the right artichoke substitute?

When choosing an artichoke substitute, consider the texture and flavor you want in your dish. Some substitutes, such as cardone and canned artichoke hearts, are very similar in flavor and texture to artichokes. Others, such as Brussels sprouts or asparagus, offer different flavors but can still complement your recipe.

Can I use canned artichoke hearts as a substitute in any recipe?

Yes, canned artichoke hearts can be a convenient substitute for fresh artichokes in many recipes. However, keep in mind that canned artichoke hearts are softer in texture than cooked fresh artichokes. Adjust your cooking method accordingly to achieve the desired texture and flavor.

Are the nutritional benefits of artichoke substitutes similar?

Artichoke substitutes can vary in their nutritional profiles. However, many substitutes, such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and hearts of palm, offer their own set of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. While the exact nutritional content may vary, these alternatives can still contribute to a well-rounded and healthy diet.

Do artichoke substitutes work well in all types of dishes?

The suitability of artichoke substitutes in different dishes can vary. Some substitutes, such as Brussels sprouts or asparagus, work well as side dishes or in recipes where their distinct flavors can shine. Others, such as cardone or canned artichoke hearts, can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, salads, pastas, and casseroles. Consider the specific flavor and texture of the substitute when determining its compatibility with your recipe.

Can I combine different artichoke substitutes in the same recipe?

Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with combining different artichoke substitutes to achieve a unique flavor and texture profile in your dish. Mixing and matching alternatives can add depth and complexity to your recipes, allowing you to create exciting culinary experiences.