Don’t have the artichokes you need for a recipe? Don’t worry—let’s look for a tasty substitute for artichoke together! We have 5 here you can use alone or separate to closely match the color, flavor and texture of artichokes for your recipe!
Here’s our quick list of artichoke substitutes. Keep reading for ratios and tips!
- Hearts of palm – Easy to find in cans and jars, very similar texture and flavor
- Green beans – Same color and mild flavor
- Cauliflower – Versatile, mild and hearty
- Asparagus – Same verdant hue and dense texture
- Okra – Slimy yet satisfying!
First, let’s get to know artichokes a little bit better.
Did you know artichokes are members of the thistle family? They grow in layers with outer, tough leaves called bracts, all to protect a delicious, highly sought-after, meaty “heart.”
Artichokes can be high maintenance to process from fresh and it takes practice to know which parts are good and which parts can’t be eaten, but the taste is worth the effort. It has several edible parts, making them a great addition to many recipes.
So, which parts are edible?
You can eat its leaves (though these tend to be tough), flesh, and even its skin! The edible parts I usually love to munch on are the fleshy base of each petal and the tender heart.
Here are some tips for eating an artichoke:
- Remove the outer leaves of the artichoke one by one.
- Dip the base of each petal in melted butter or mayonnaise before eating it.
- Once you have reached the heart of the artichoke, you can either eat it whole or cut it into smaller pieces.
- The choke of the artichoke is the fuzzy part in the center of the heart. The choke and the purple parts are not edible.
Here’s a short video to help you get an idea of what you can and can’t eat since an artichoke has so many tightly packed parts.
The flavor of a cooked artichoke is like a mild, nutty, earthy taste. Jarred or canned artichokes are packed in brine, sometimes marinated in oil and spices.
Some parts of raw artichokes can be eaten, but they have a flavor more like brussel sprouts or asparagus, which is why these two make good substitutes for artichokes in recipes.
Want to learn more about the taste of artichokes?
Cooked artichoke has a texture that’s both tender and slightly meaty. The outer petals are softer and more delicate, while the inner heart is smooth. Artichoke hearts are generally the only parts commercially packaged in jars and cans since they are both the hardest to get to and the most delicious and sought after.
Common Ways to Cook Artichokes
It’s not just about spinach artichoke dip, but it sure is a taste sensation. Try artichokes lots of different ways. See our list of recipes that use canned artichokes here, but read our overview for a high-level look at ways to cook artichokes.
1. Steamed or Boiled
The outer petals soften, and with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon, you’ve got a simple and satisfying snack. Dip those tender cooked petals in a sauce like our No-Fail Lemon Pepper Sauce or Garlic Aioli Dipping Sauce, and your taste buds will thank you!
Grilling artichokes take their flavor to a whole new level!
The heat caramelizes their surfaces, creating a crispy, slightly sweet crust. This method also infuses a touch of smokiness that adds depth to their nutty taste.
To grill artichokes, you can start by trimming them. After that, you can steam them partially, then brush them with oil. Finally, start grilling them until they’re beautifully charred and irresistible.
If you feel fancy and want to impress your taste buds, stuff those artichokes! Hollow out the center of the cooked artichoke and create a space for some delicious fillings.
Think breadcrumbs, herbs, cheese, garlic—you name it! Baking or roasting these stuffed wonders turns them into a food delight.
Heat some oil in a pan and toss in slices of artichoke hearts for a quick and tasty sauté. This method highlights the heart’s tender texture and allows it to absorb all those fantastic flavors you add—like garlic, herbs, or even a splash of white wine.
The result is a delightful side dish that’s both comforting and sophisticated.
5. In Pasta
Pasta pairs perfectly with the slightly nutty taste of artichokes. Toss cooked pasta with sautéed artichoke hearts, garlic, olive oil, and maybe a sprinkle of Parmesan—and you’ve got an elegant and satisfying dish.
6. Soups & Stews
Artichokes bring a rich quality to soups and stews. Whether it’s making a creamy artichoke soup or adding them to a vegetable stew, their flavor and texture can transform a simple dish into a culinary masterpiece.
Their nutty taste adds depth, and their tenderness elevates the overall experience.
7. In Dips & Appetizers
Everything from mixed into spinach and artichoke dip (warm or cold) to something kind of unique—artichoke chips! Thinly sliced and lightly seasoned, artichoke leaves can transform into crispy chips! It is flavorful, and I find it unique.
These chips offer a satisfying crunch and a burst of that unmistakable artichoke taste.
We have a list of recipes that use artichokes here too if you want to see more options.
Common Artichoke Substitutes
Now, let’s talk about those moments when artichokes are nowhere to be found! You may have only half of what you need or none at all, or you head to the store and they are fresh out of artichokes. Turns out there are some is an easy to find substitute for artichoke near you right now, either in your pantry, fridge, or the store near you.
Here is a list of my favorite artichoke substitutes, including the ratio needed for a perfect replacement:
Hearts of Palm
Hearts of palm are the smooth and tender inner stalks of certain palm trees. They have a delicate, slightly nutty taste with a texture similar to artichoke hearts. (They make a great low-carb pasta substitute, too.)
Their tender texture and mild flavor makes them a close match to artichoke hearts. Slice hearts of palm and use them in salads, pasta dishes, and dips.
More grocery stores carry them these days, so look in the specialty or international foods aisle. You can also get them shipped right to your house.
One can of hearts of palm (14 oz) can be roughly equivalent to 6 artichoke hearts.
Green beans (string beans) are crunchy, bright green veggies with a slightly earthy flavor when eaten raw. While not identical to artichokes, green beans provide a tender-crisp texture and a hint of earthiness that can mimic some of the artichoke’s qualities.
Steam or sauté green beans until tender-crisp, then season and use them as you would artichoke petals in dishes. Use a similar amount (cup for cup) as you would artichoke in recipes.
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable with a mild taste that can adapt well to various flavors. Roasted or sautéed cauliflower can offer a tender bite and a slightly nutty taste that can remind you of artichoke hearts.
Roast cauliflower florets until golden and use them in salads, pasta dishes, or toppings for pizzas. Since cauliflower is usually bulkier, you might need slightly more volume than artichoke hearts. Drain and dry cooked cauliflower before substituting for artichoke.
Asparagus is a springtime favorite with a unique flavor that’s both earthy and slightly nutty. It can capture some of the artichoke’s taste and offer a tender-crisp texture.
Grill or roast asparagus until tender and use it in salads or pastas. Try shaving raw asparagus, too, to substitute for raw artichokes. You can also use it as a side dish. Similar to artichokes, asparagus is in a 1:1 ratio in most recipes.
Okra is a vegetable with a distinct texture—it’s really slimy when raw but turns crispy and delicious when cooked—then only a little bit slimy. Its unique texture can resemble the tender-crisp nature of artichoke hearts, while its subtle earthiness complements the dish.
Use it in salads or as a side dish. Due to its rather viscous nature, you need more okra than you would with artichokes.
The bottom line
When artichokes are not available, pick a substitute for artichoke from this list or combine them to get the flavor, color and texture you want: Hearts of palm, green beans, cauliflower, asparagus, and okra are here to save the day!
Each substitute for artichoke brings a unique flavor and texture to the table, so don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen. So, try out these artichoke heart substitutes, and let your taste buds embark on a delightful adventure!
- Hearts of palm - Easy to find in cans and jars, very similar texture and flavor
- Green beans - Close color and mild flavor
- Cauliflower - Versatile, mild and hearty
- Asparagus - Same verdant hue and dense texture
- Okra - Slimy yet satisfying!
- Read through our list of substitutes and find one or two that you can use alone or combine in your recipes. Most of these are a cup-for-cup substitution. These are best as cooked substitutes for cooked asparagus, but you can shave asparagus as a great substitute for raw artichoke.