The Best Simple Mustard Greens Substitutes

Mustard Greens Substitutes

Mustard greens make a nice change from kale and spinach but they can be tricky to find. Here are my favourite mustard greens substitutes…

What are Mustard Greens?

Mustard greens are a leafy green vegetable that has a strong horseradish / wasabi / hot mustardy flavour when eaten raw.

They’re used in a wide variety of cuisines from Asia, Africa and even Italy.

They’re a part of the brassica family which includes broccoli, kale and cauliflower. Like all good brassicas they’re packed with vitamins and fiber.

They can be eaten cooked or raw. Although best to only use younger more tender leaves if eating raw and be prepared for a ‘too much wasabi’ burning sensation if you take a large bite.

The Best Mustard Greens Substitutes

(in order of preference)

1. Kale

In terms of texture kale is the closest match to mustard greens and can be used interchangeably. Raw kale does lack the horseradish / wasabi flavour though once cooked they are similar.

2. English Spinach

English spinach or spinach has a more green ‘spinachy’ flavour. If you just want to add some cooked greens to a dish, spinach including defrosted frozen spinach is a good mustard greens substitute.

Spinach isn’t great eaten raw though so don’t use it in recipes where the mustard greens are uncooked.

3. Swiss Chard / Rainbow Chard (Silverbeet)

Similar to English Spinach the chard family is great in cooked collard recipes.

The stems of chard are larger and stronger in flavour than mustard greens stems so you may like to compost the stems or use for another dish. Or cook the stems separately – expect them to take longer than the leaves to soften.

Unless your chard is super young and tender, it will be too bitter to eat raw.

4. Collard Greens

While these lack the strong hot mustardy flavour when raw, once cooked collards taste a lot like mustard greens. Texturally similar too. And packed with nutrition!

5. Chinese Broccoli

While the stems are much thicker and the leaves are smaller, Chinese broccoli does taste similar to cooked mustard greens. Not a good choice for raw mustard greens dishes due to the thick stems.

6. Broccoli Raab / Sprouting Broccoli

Not as leafy as mustard greens, however a good substitute for cooked dishes that include the stems.

7. Baby Spinach Leaves

If your recipes calls for raw mustard greens, baby spinach is your best bet. And maybe add some grated horseradish or hot English mustard to

8. Turnip / Kohlrabi Tops

Slightly different in flavour, these green tops of fellow members of the brassica family can be used instead of mustard greens. If the leaves are young and tender they can even be used raw.

How to Prepare Mustard Greens

To use raw
Wash, dry and finely slice the leaves with or without the stems. Then dress with your favourite dressing.

To cook
Rinse with cold water but no need to dry. Layer the leaves on a chopping board and then roll to make a sausage shape. Slice about 1cm (1/2 inch) thick.

To cook, add a little olive oil and a few tablespoons water to a large saucepan. Add the sliced greens and cook covered for 5-10 minutes or until the greens are wilted and tender. Season generously with salt or soy sauce to it masks the bitterness often associated with these greens.

How to Store Mustard Greens

I keep mine wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge. Will keep for about a week like this, depending on how fresh they were when you bought them.

If the leaves start to yellow, just discard them and eat the green ones.

Delicious Mustard Greens Flavour Pairings

  • Cream & Mustard Greens
  • Butter & Mustard Greens
  • Soy Sauce & Mustard Greens
  • Garlic & Mustard Greens
  • Ginger & Mustard Greens

Mustard Greens Substitutes

More Ingredient Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x


ps. Like More Ingredient Substitute Ideas?


Join 39,339+ readers of my weekly newsletter and I’ll send you a copy of my printable Ingredient Substitute ‘Cheat Sheet’ and my 102 page eCookbook…

It’s all FREE!

Can’t see the signup form? Click HERE.