Missing Brussel Sprouts in Your Kitchen? These Substitutes Will Come to the Rescue!
Brussel sprouts are a wonderful green vegetable. They can be tasty in so many recipes, but what happens when the store is out of brussels?
Brussel sprouts are a tasty member of the cabbage family. Thanks to their long growing season brussel sprouts can bring a bite of green joy to colder winter months. Brussels are a standard for warm vegetable medley and holiday feasts, but what happens when you don’t have any brussel sprouts? Not to worry, there are lots of great choices when it comes to brussel sprout substitutes!
Uses for Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are a wonderful way to get your daily greens. People love to enjoy these tasty boules in warm vegetable medleys, cooked in stews and soups, and even sometimes wrapped in bacon. The substitutes on this list try to address all the different ways to enjoy brussel sprouts.
Cooking the sprouts is the most common way to use brussel sprouts, but they can actually be enjoyed raw as well. Be aware that some people report some gas after consuming raw brussels.
Health Benefits of Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are so beloved because they have so many great health benefits. They can boost your digestion and help your immunity, all with very few calories! Brussel sprouts have virtually no fat and the good things keep coming from this small vegetable. They are packed with dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and your entire daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
How These Substitutes Mimic Real Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprout substitutes have a heavy weight to carry if they want to replace this vegetable powerhouse. Some things to look out for in a substitute for brussel sprouts are the health benefits, flavor, texture, and required temperature.
Every substitute on this list offers a series of characteristics ideal for fooling eaters into imagining a brussel sprout.
How to Choose a Substitute for Brussel Sprouts
In order to choose a brussel sprout substitute that is right, one should consider what they are using it for. Is it a crudité platter with raw veggies, a soup or stew that gets cooked down, or a warm vegetable medley? The dish should be the biggest consideration when substituting.
The 6 Best Substitutes for Brussel Sprouts
|No.||Substitute||Useful as a Substitute in|
|3||Napa Cabbage||Raw, Cooked/Steamed, Soups, Stews|
|6||Bok Choy||Raw, Cooked/Steamed, Soups, Stews|
A member of the cabbage family, broccoli is a great substitute for brussel sprouts. They are from the same family as brussel sprouts, the wild cabbage family. They are hardy and able to survive cold weather, so it is easy to find broccoli all year.
Broccoli has a wonderfully green appearance with fibrous stalks and flowery heads. The texture of broccoli florets is pretty far from brussel sprouts, but the stalks have a closer mouthfeel. Broccoli offers a lot of the same health benefits as sprouts, like vitamin C and plenty of dietary fiber.
Broccoli is a great replacement for raw brussel sprouts thanks to its crisp and crunchy raw texture. The area where broccoli gets furthest from brussel sprouts is in long cooks. When broccoli cooks in stew or soup the florets tend to soften and even become slightly mushy, unlike the brussel sprouts’ crisp cooked texture.
Asparagus is a thin shoot vegetable. These long shoots end with a narrow flowery head. It needs to be dormant for a time, then exposed to fairly warm weather to grow, making asparagus easiest to find from spring to summer.
Asparagus has a bright green color much like brussel sprouts. When cooked it has a texture that is very similar to the crunch of a brussel sprout. Asparagus does not have a ton to offer in terms of nutrients, but it is high in potassium.
Asparagus should be cooked before eating. It retains its crunch and bright green color when cooked, but it can be easy to overcook asparagus. It can become limp, so it may not work in longer cooks like soup or stew.
3. Napa Cabbage
Coming from the field mustard family, napa cabbage has yellow-green leaves and a tall skinny head. This leafy green vegetable is available all year, so it’s easy to find this brussel sprout swap. It may be found in stores under the name “Chinese Cabbage.”
Napa cabbage’s color is far from the earthy green of the brussels, but what it lacks in color it makes up for in layers of leafy texture. The flavor of napa cabbage is leafy and mildly sweet. The napa cabbage offers protein and potassium and it does not have as much vitamin C as the brussel sprouts, but it has some!
Much like the sprouts, napa cabbage grows in a leafy head with a nice crunchy texture. It can be cut up into pieces the size of sprouts as a fun culinary trick. The best part of this substitute is that napa cabbage is great raw, but when cooked it has almost the exact same texture as brussel sprouts.
This vegetable is sometimes called celery root. It is a bulbous root from the same family as common celery. Celeriac is grown in the cold but available all year.
The portion of celeriac that is used is the round, white root. Celeriac may not look like brussels but it has a similar leafy and earthy flavor. Much like sprouts, celeriac is very high in vitamin C and also vitamin K.
It may be surprising but this root can be eaten raw and has a crunchy texture. It is a nice swap for crudité platters, but it may soften too much for soups and stews.
From the same family as brussel sprouts, cauliflower is a clear choice for a sprout swap. This vegetable has dense flowery heads and slightly fibrous stalks. Cauliflower is grown all year but may be best in the cooler months.
Cauliflower comes in lots of colors, including green, which may be a good appearance swap for sprouts. It has more nuttiness than sprouts but has a similar vegetative flavor. While cauliflower has similar vitamin C levels to sprouts, it is also very high in calories and fat.
Cauliflower is great raw or cooked. It has a nice crunch when raw which is like the sprouts, but when cooked it softens a lot and becomes almost creamy. This swap is best used raw or in medleys.
6. Bok Choy
Bok choy is a tall leafy type of napa cabbage from the field mustard family. It is tall and leafy and has a similar shade of green to the sprouts. It is harvested mostly in late summer to fall, so that is when it is easiest to find.
The color and texture of bok choy is a great substitute for brussels. The flavor of this vegetable is leafy and rich. It is rich in vitamins including C and K making it a great healthy substitute for sprouts.
Bok choy’s appearance and texture are perfect for substituting for sprouts. It can be eaten raw but holds onto its crispy texture when cooked, like brussels. It can be enjoyed in just about any way a brussel sprout would be.
The Two Best Overall Substitutes for Brussel Sprouts
The two best overall substitutes for brussel sprouts are napa cabbage and its cousin bok choy. Both of these leafy greens can be enjoyed cooked or raw and they both mimic the color and texture of sprouts. If you are seeking a healthy and flavorful substitute for brussel sprouts, try napa cabbage or bok choy!
6 Best Substitutes For Brussel Sprouts
- From the list of substitutes above, pick your favorite to use in its place.
- Use your imagination and be creative with these substitute recipes!