Got a recipe that calls for asparagus, but either can't find any good asparagus, it's not in season, or you just need a substitute? We got some ideas for you.
I absolutely love asparagus.
Maybe you don't. Or you are just looking for a substitute for a recipe.
No worries, we are here to help. We are going to look for some basic vegetable substitutes and then some suggestions on what to sub out in recipes.
🏆 Best Substitutes
Here are some veggies you could consider in place of asparagus. These are all other green veggies.
- Green beans
- Snow peas
- Snap peas
- Broccoli stems
- Nopales (cactus leaves or paddles)
- Fiddlehead Ferns
If you are just looking for something to go with a dinner to replace asparagus, green beans are the most obvious I think. They are similar in shape, not taste though.
I believe snow and snap peas as a vegetable side are really underrated. We like to sautéed them in a pan with some oil or cook them in our air fryer for a quick simple side dish.
Broccoli stems and zucchini could be cut into strips to stimulate the shape of asparagus.
Spinach and kale are a great alternative for recipes, which will get to in a moment.
The fiddlehead fern is a spring, wild foraged for vegetables that does have a similar taste to asparagus. If you are in the mood for an exotic asparagus replacement, that would be it.
If you have a recipe that calls for white asparagus you can substitute with green. Also purple asparagus will work the same in any dish. In fact, it won't keep it's purple color and turn a dark forest green.
🍚 In Risotto
Asparagus is called for a lot of risotto recipes and I think it goes great. Looking for some others ideas? Green bell peppers cut into strips would work. Add them when you would have the asparagus.
Spinach is a great choice too. It's super easy to add. I would buy a bag of baby spinach and just throw it in when the rice is done cooking. Stir it in and the heat should wilt it, cooking it super fast. You could also do with baby kale or arugula. The kale probably would need just a minute or more longer than the spinach to wilt.
🍝 In Pasta
Spinach, arugula, and kale would also be a good choice for a pasta dish substitute. Add right at the end.
Green peas work well in pasta dishes and are a very cheap alternative. They add a bright, vivid green color to your dish as long you don't cook them very long. Frozen peas just need to be heated through and they should be good to go.
🥚 In a Quiche
Green beans will give you a similar look as adding asparagus to a quiche. They will cook up with a softer texture than asparagus. Try not to overcook them when preparing your quiche ingredients.
You can mix spinach, arugula, and kale right into the eggs.
🥣 In Soup
Broccoli can work in place of asparagus in soup. Instead of a cream of asparagus soup, make a cream of broccoli soup.
Since celery is so good in soups it can replace asparagus in any soup recipe that it's not already included in.
Wondering when the best time to buy asparagus is? Read our post on When and How Long is Asparagus Season?