Artichoke hearts are widely regarded as the most delicious and sweetest part of artichoke.
They’re used in many recipes as toppings and a thickening agent that adds rich flavor. So many recipes use artichoke hearts by themselves that you’ll likely find yourself running short at some point.
If you either don’t like artichoke hearts or can’t find any, give these artichoke heart substitutes a try. You’ll be able to pull off the recipe with a similar taste and texture.
What Are Artichoke Hearts?
When we eat artichokes, we are eating the edible portion of the flower bud of the globe artichoke plant, a species of thistle, before it comes into bloom.
The heart at the center of the artichoke is covered with a fuzzy choke and is surrounded by many rows of petals that need to be peeled off.
Each petal has a tiny thorn that will soften when cooked, and the choke is thrown away unless baby artichokes are being prepared. You’ll find that the base of the petals, the middle of the stem, and the whole artichoke heart are edible and filled with flavor.
Canned, frozen, and fresh artichoke hearts are readily available in most grocery stores. Many customers prefer to buy hearts alone to avoid the difficulty of peeling the artichoke.
Artichoke hearts are used for many different purposes in a range of various recipes. Add artichoke hearts to pizza as a delicious topping, pasta sauce for immense depth flavor, or mix them into a frittata or scrambled eggs.
They’re great when spread on bread and make for a fantastic sandwich filling with some feta or goat’s cheese. Cooked pies featuring artichoke hearts are great, as are fried potatoes and other sauteed vegetables.
Serve them on a platter, drizzled with a vinaigrette, stuffed with spinach, or bake them into a cheese gratin, bread, or even risotto. The herbaceous earth taste adds unmistakable freshness while complementing a wide variety of other flavors.
Substitute For Artichoke Hearts
10 Artichoke Hearts Substitutes
Artichoke had a different use in different recipes; that’s why it has multiple types of substitutes. Below we have a small list of different substitutes of artichoke hearts with a mentioned recipe of usage.
The Cardone is also known as Cardoon and is a celery-like vegetable that’s the ideal substitute for artichoke hearts. Harvested from the Cardoon plant, also known as the artichoke thistle, these long green vegetables must be cooked before eating.
Cardone can be served as a topping in the place of artichoke hearts, but it doesn’t have the same texture and consistency, so don’t use it in sauces or gravies.
The edible stalk of the Cardone plant may look like celery, but it tastes very similar to an artichoke heart. Gluten-free and packed with protein, many consider Cardone a delicacy serving it as Christmas dinner and other notable events.
2. Artichoke Leaves And Hearts Sold Separately
You don’t have to go through the process of peeling down several artichokes to get enough hearts for a big meal. Artichoke hearts and leaves are sold canned, fresh, frozen, and pickled.
Many prefer prepacked, processed artichoke hearts due to the immense amount of time that is saved. Whenever you buy an artichoke, you’re paying mostly for the heart, making canned and pickled artichokes such a popular option.
They save time and money. Please pay attention to any brine or herbs and spices in canned artichokes, for they make a massive difference to the flavor.
3. Jerusalem Artichoke
The Jerusalem artichoke may be a capable substitute for regular artichokes, but it’s actually a sunflower. Sometimes termed sunchokes, Jerusalem artichokes have a distinctive flavor but have a nearly identical texture to artichokes when cooked.
Nuttier, sweeter, and slightly more tender, Jerusalem artichokes substitute well in roasted meals and salads. You’ll fall in love with the freshness that’s added.
Chayote is a squash native to central Mexico that makes for a fantastic substitute for artichoke hearts. The texture resembles summer squash more than artichoke, which is why we recommend that you serve chayote sliced or chopped.
Most find the flavor of chayote fruit to be extremely light, resembling cucumber. There’s far less earthiness, and the nuttiness of artichoke is also lost, but the freshness is ideal for salads, toppings and comes out crispy when roasted.
Kohlrabi or German turnip is a wonderful substitute for artichoke hearts. Whether raw, roasted, or cooked into a sauce, it grants a similar flavor and texture.
Most find Kohlrabi to be slightly more savory and much fresher than other substitutes. The flavor is best described as a cross between artichokes, asparagus, and broccoli stems.
6. Heart Of The Palm
Heart of palm goes by many names. Whether referred to as palm cabbage, palmito, ubod, or palmetto, the heart of the palm inner core of certain palm trees is loved for its creamy, nutty flavor.
The taste is best described as a cross between white asparagus and artichoke hearts with the freshness of celery but none of the sharpness. It’s versatile and can be used as a substitute anywhere that artichoke hearts are called for.
Palm products fall under global criticism due to the way that certain industries ravage natural resources. Without sustainable development practices in place, palm products like the heart of the palm and palm oil ravage naturally occurring coconut plantations.
7. Bamboo Shoots
Edible bamboo shoots, also known as bamboo sprouts, are one of the best but most underutilized substitutes for artichoke hearts around. They bring a superior freshness to a similar nutty flavor.
Mild, earthy, and bitter-sweet, bamboo shoots are great when sliced, boiled, and then either sautéed or braised. Make sure you get the shoots young, or they’ll have developed an acrid flavor and tough exterior.
The texture of asparagus and the freshness that it brings to meals make it a worthy consideration when looking for a substitute for artichoke hearts.
Asparagus has a defined, prominent flavor of its own, with a much stronger nuttiness coming through. It also cooks for a fraction of the time of other alternatives, or the texture is ruined.
9. Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are an excellent substitute for artichoke hearts but can’t truly match the texture. They’re ideal for sauces and other meals where the nutty, savory flavor of artichoke hearts is called for over the consistency.
Adding brussel sprouts instead of artichoke hearts will give you a dish that tastes similar but with the prominent smokiness coming through.
10. Broccoli Stems
If you really can’t find any other suggested substitutes, broccoli stems are your next best option. Tender stem broccoli will have the most flavor, reminiscent of artichoke hearts without savory nutty intensity or richness.
They’re mild, fresh, and juicy when prepared right. Don’t expect the same infusion of flavor – broccoli stems are much lighter but more versatile, complementing a wider variety of meals.
The Best Alternative To Artichoke Hearts
Most of these substitutes work well in a sauce, but you’ll need to experiment with each type to see which texture suits your meal best.
Our substitutes for artichoke hearts present enough options for everyone to be able to whip out a great-tasting meal while still following their recipe.
Just remember to pick out alternatives based on both taste and texture you’re looking for – in some meals, it’ll make more of a difference.