Artichokes are a popular vegetable harvested from the artichoke plant commonly used in dips, soups, sides, and baked dishes. Artichokes can be really helpful in a lot of recipes. However, you may not have any on hand or have an allergy or diet restriction prohibiting you from enjoying an artichoke! No worries, you’re in the right place.
Have you ever been in the middle of making your favorite Spinach and Artichoke Soup and realized you have no artichokes for your artichoke soup? No need to fret; you have so many options to substitute artichokes like canned artichoke hearts, Kohlrabi, Cayote Squash, or heart of the palm.
What is an Artichoke?
An artichoke, part of the composite flower family, originated from the Mediterranean area. Today it is grown primarily South of Europe and cultivated in the United States, mainly in California.
Artichokes are a flavorful, slightly sweet, and yummy vegetable that is an excellent source of Potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. The artichoke plant consists of a stem that grows up to 3 feet tall, with big heads of purplish blossoms resembling thorns at the top of the plant. Those blossoms are what you eat.
You can find artichokes typically sold fresh in jars in your local grocery in the produce section or at specialty stores and farmers’ markets. However, they can be a bit spendy.
What is an Artichoke Good for?
You can use an artichoke for many things, like dips, sauces, salads, soups, and more. You may already be familiar with spinach and artichoke dip, which is another widespread use of artichokes.
French and Italian dishes commonly use artichokes. Artichokes could perfectly complement your salad, pasta, soup, sandwich, and dips.
What is a Good Replacement for Artichoke?
1. Artichoke Leaves
Artichoke leaves are another part of the artichoke vegetable that can be consumed or used in cooking. You would commonly boil or steam artichoke leaves, which gives them a softer texture than artichoke hearts.
Artichoke leaves can be a perfect replacement for artichoke hearts to give you practically the same taste. Artichoke leaves can give you almost the same taste as artichoke hearts would. Still, artichoke leaves are a bit less toothsome than artichoke hearts.
2. Canned Artichoke Hearts
Another suitable replacement for fresh artichokes is canned artichoke hearts; this goes for jarred and frozen as well. Canned artichokes are much less work than fresh artichokes that you have to clean, trim and prepare. Canned artichoke hearts can be a perfect replacement as they take no time to prepare because they’re ready to use from the can.
Canned artichokes are readily available at your local grocery store, making this an easy-to-obtain replacement. You can use a 1-to-1 ratio using canned artichokes in place of fresh artichokes. Your perfect use for canned artichoke hearts is in spinach and artichoke dip, as it adds a fabulous tangy flavor.
3. Jerusalem Artichoke
Unlike popular belief, Jerusalem artichokes are truthfully not artichokes! Jerusalem artichokes are technically a sunflower which is why you may hear Jerusalem artichokes sometimes referred to as sunchokes. Jerusalem artichokes, native to North America, will be an ideal 1-1 replacement for you if you do not like the taste of artichokes, as they taste pretty different than artichokes.
You may find that Jerusalem artichokes have a sweet but mild and light nutty flavor that is nuttier and sweeter than most artichokes.
Jerusalem artichokes are crunchy and delectable raw, making them ideal for recipes that call for raw artichokes. Jerusalem artichokes have the same texture but a different flavor than common artichokes.
Jerusalem artichokes, typically harvested in the fall, are full of Potassium, vitamin C, Iron, and Phosphorus. These nutrient-rich sunflowers can be a great add-in to stir-fry or grilled as is.
4. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts, with their crunchy exterior and buttery interior, work well if you are not fond of the taste of artichokes. They’re full of nutrients like Calcium, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin C, making them a great replacement if you don’t want to take away the nutrients from artichokes!
Brussels sprouts will give you a bit of a more robust, sharper taste than artichokes. Still, ultimately, brussels sprouts add a savory and umami flavor when cooked. Brussels sprouts are also easily found in almost any grocery store, so go out and get yourself a bag of brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts can make the ideal 1-1 substitute for artichokes in recipes with a longer cook time, as they are a “meaty” vegetable and take a bit longer to cook than artichokes. Try brussels sprouts oven-roasted, grilled, stir-fried, or sautéed!
5. Chayote Squash
If you’re looking for a mild, lightly sweet, crisp flavor with a bit of crunch, Chayote squash is your best replacement for artichokes; they’re available all year round! Chayote squash is remarkable when pureed for stews or gravy, giving your dish richness and creaminess.
Chayote squash, native to Mexico, is lime green in color, reasonably resembling a summer squash. When you are looking to buy a Chayote squash, look for one that is free of blemishes and firm.
Chayote squash, a cucumber family member, is popular in Latin America and the Caribbean. Chayote squash, rich in vitamin C, can be a perfect substitute for you if you have picky eater kids, as it doesn’t change the flavor or texture much at all in your dish.
6. Heart of the Palm
Heart of the palm, also known as palm cabbage or palmetto, is derived from particular varieties of palm trees. Rich in vitamin C and vitamin B-6, the heart of the palm can be an excellent substitution for your dish if you want to keep your nutrition levels up. The heart of the palm also contains 50% of your Potassium daily diet.
The heart of the palm has a creamy, nutty, distinctive flavor that resembles artichoke hearts or water chestnuts, perfect for gravy or sauces! You can find the heart of the palm at almost any grocery store, specialty store, or farmers market. However, the heart of the palm can be a bit expensive so keep that in mind when you want to use it as a substitute.
7. Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots, harvested from the young shoots of the bamboo plant, are a great substitute that can resemble the taste and texture of artichokes a deal. With their mildly sweeter, earthy, nutty, crunchy flavor, you are guaranteed not to be disappointed using bamboo shoots as a replacement for artichokes.
Bamboo shoots contain several nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, and Potassium, making them a healthy alternative to artichokes. Bamboo shoots, pureed and added to dips, will be your favorite thing to do with bamboo shoots!
You can purchase bamboo shoots, fresh or canned, at almost any grocery store in the Asian aisle, as they are prevalent in Asian cuisine. When purchasing bamboo shoots, look for ones that are firm with no wrinkles or blemishes.
You can store your bamboo shoot for up to two weeks in the fridge. Keep in mind that the older and less fresh bamboo shoots will become bitter and not have as good of flavor and crunchy texture.
Asparagus, part of the lily family, has a strong earthy, nutty, and woody taste that slightly resembles the sharpness of broccoli. Asparagus has a similar taste to artichokes but has a more vegetal flavor than artichokes. Asparagus is your ideal substitute if you’re looking for a crunchy, crispy texture in your dish.
Asparagus, like most vegetables, is high in Iron, Potassium, and Vitamin C, as well as being naturally gluten-free and vegan. These long, pointy spear-shaped vegetables can be stir-fried, chopped, and added to most dishes just as you would with artichokes. Although asparagus does cook faster than artichokes, keep an eye on your asparagus while cooking.
Asparagus is available in your local grocery store all year round, making it an excellent substitute. When you are buying asparagus, ensure to pick the straightest spears possible, crooked asparagus spears are likely to be older and have a more rigid texture.
Cardone, also known as cardoon or artichoke thistle, is an ideal substitute for artichokes. Looking similar to celery but tasting closer to artichokes when chopped, Cardone does not have the same texture as artichokes. Once you cook Cardone, it has a much softer texture than artichoke hearts. Great if you want to use it to top pizza, cheese gratin, or other baked recipes.
Cardone, unlike a lot of vegetables, cannot be consumed raw. Cardone must be cooked prior to consumption. However, Cardone consists of a few vitamins like Vitamin C and Vitamin B, as well as Calcium.
Cardone has a tangy but slightly sweet taste similar to artichoke hearts, although it has a different texture than artichoke. Due to the different textures, Cardone is not ideal for you to use in sauce or gravy.
Kohlrabi, also known as the german turnip, is part of the cabbage family, being a relative to kale, broccoli, and cabbage. Kohlrabi is also a superfood because it is gluten-free, vegan, rich in Vitamin C, and low in calories.
Kohlrabi, when cooked, can be an incredible alternative for artichokes due to its texture and flavor of Kohlrabi. When Kohlrabi is served raw, it tastes very similar to cabbage, although smaller bulbs of Kolhrabi are milder in taste.
You can use Kohlrabi as a 1-1 substitute in your salads, sauces, dips, or slightly sauteed by itself! Although, Kohlrabi takes a bit longer to cook than artichokes, keep an eye on your Kohlrabi as it cooks.
Learn more on Best Kohlrabi Substitute
11. Broccoli Stems
Another good 1-1 substitute you should know about is broccoli stems. Broccoli stems, the immature part of the flower, are commonly thrown away and assumed useless, but that’s not the case! Broccoli stems can be used in many dishes and incredibly as an artichoke 1-1 substitute as long as it is prepared right!
Similar in texture but not similar in taste, broccoli stems have the same bulking properties as artichokes. Broccoli stems are high in fiber, antioxidants, Iron, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E, making them just as nutritious as artichokes. Broccoli stems are perfect for salads, stir-fries, sandwiches, steamed, or other baked recipes.
Since broccoli stems are part of the immature part of the flower, they have a slightly greener and fresher tasting sort of flower-like. Ultimately giving a mild and sweet flavor but not as nutty as artichokes.
With its crunchy texture and sweet flavor, Jicama, a root vegetable, is a fantastic replacement you can use anywhere you would artichoke hearts. However, Jicama has a crunchy texture similar to potatoes or carrots. That crunchy texture does not go away. Remember when you substitute Jicama for artichokes even after cooking, boiling, steaming, or sauteeing.
Jicama has a sweet and nutty flavor with a juicy flesh that is popular in American cuisines. Although, it may be hard to find in your local grocery store as it is almost less popular than artichokes. If you cannot find Jicama in your local grocery store, try a Mexican or Asian market.
Jicama is your perfect replacement for artichokes in salads or slaws.
13. Napa Cabbage
Napa cabbage, an oblong-shaped variety of Chinese cabbage, is an outstanding substitute if you are not fond of artichoke hearts. Napa cabbage provides a mildly sweet flavor and a crunchy, fresh texture that closely imitates artichoke hearts.
Napa cabbage originated in China but today is amply grown in Eastern Asia and cultivated in the United States. Since Napa Cabbage is commonly grown in Eastern Asia, it is a crucial ingredient in most Asian dishes. However, Napa Cabbage is not suitable for substitution in cooked preparations.
Napa cabbage is an affordable ingredient you can find in your local grocery store. Napa Cabbage is also used to make a traditional Koren dish, Kimchi, which consists of zesty and fermented vegetables. Napa cabbage is commonly used in stir-fries and salads as well.
Finally is your last suggested substitute, Eggplant. Eggplant, considered to originate in India, where it still grows in the wild, is a member of the Solanaceae or Nightshade family. The Eggplant is closely related to potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.
Eggplant, cultivated throughout India and China for over 1500 years, is an exceptional substitute if you don’t enjoy the taste of artichokes, as it has a similar texture to artichokes.
Eggplant also has 1.77 times more Vitamin A than artichokes and 1.58 times more Vitamin E. Eggplant has less saturated fat and 50% more selenium per 100 grams than artichokes as well.
What is the Best Alternative for Artichokes?
Your best alternative is ultimately up to you. However, canned artichoke hearts or brussels sprouts may be a good alternative.
Canned artichoke hearts may be your best option as they are essentially the same thing, having the perfect texture and taste. Brussels sprouts can give you the exact texture and flavor that you want from artichokes.
What foods go well with artichokes?
You can use artichokes in numerous dishes and recipes with multiple different foods.
Some of the best foods recommended to you are:
- Parmesan cheese.
- Feta cheese
- Goat cheese.
- Sour cream.
- Cream cheese.
- Melted butter.
- Cream sauces.
- Herbs and Spices.
- Lemon pepper.
- Olive Oil.
- Sundried tomato.
- Pizza topping.
- Pasta stir-in.
How do I get rid of the thistle in my throat from artichokes?
First, to avoid the problem, you should trim your artichoke, removing all the stems.
If you have, by chance, swallowed an artichoke thistle, you can try drinking lots of water to try and “wash it down.” People have stated that chewing a banana, marshmallow, or peanut butter on bread and swallowing it can dislodge the thistle.
If your problem persists, more than likely, the “thistle in your throat” is not physically still there. Due to the damage the artichoke thistle could have caused, you can feel like the artichoke thistle is still lodged in your throat, even if it is not.
Try ignoring your problem for a bit, let it heal, and if the problem persists 24 hours later, go in to be seen by a healthcare professional.
What part of the artichoke is not edible?
The “Choke” is the “hairy” in the middle of the plant, right before the heart of the artichoke. Like the name states, the Choke will literally choke you, causing pain or discomfort. Therefore it is not recommended that you eat the Choke of the artichoke vegetable.
Another inedible part of the artichoke vegetable is the stem; you want to steer clear of it as it can harm you.
In closing, there are numerous substitutes when it comes to artichokes. Whether you choose to use canned artichoke hearts or broccoli stems, you will not be dissatisfied with using one of these substitutes.