10 Substitutes For Jerusalem Artichokes [Gluten-Free & Vegan]

Did you know that Jerusalem artichokes aren’t actually an artichoke at all? Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, sun roots, or earth apples. They also have zero connection to Jerusalem!

Jerusalem artichokes got their name because they taste very similar to real artichokes and can be used in similar ways in a variety of dishes. Despite being a vegetable native to the Americas, Jerusalem artichoke can be difficult to find in many grocery stores.

Whether you are looking for a gluten-free substitute, a vegan substitute, or just need an easy swap that you can find in any supermarket, we have you covered.

Jicama, artichoke hearts, or water chestnuts are the best all-around substitutes that will give you the most similar flavor and texture.

Parsnip and Brussels sprouts are ideal in recipes that call for roasting. If you are making a soup or stew, salsify or kohlrabi make great swaps for Jerusalem artichokes, while chayote is ideal in spicy dishes. Sweet potato and Cardone hold up best in recipes that call for frying.

In this article, we’ll go over these substitutes and how to use them and also answer some burning questions you may have about the Jerusalem artichoke!

10 Substitutes For Jerusalem Artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke is an incredibly versatile vegetable. Their flavor has been described as a cross between a water chestnut and a globe artichoke. They look a bit like ginger root but taste nothing like it.

They can be eaten raw where they have a slight sweetness, a subtle nutty flavor, and a slight crunch to them. However, they are most delicious when roasted, allowing their sweetness to develop. They are also fantastically pickled, where their flavors can intensify, and the sweetness can develop even more.

The following substitutes for Jerusalem artichokes are extremely versatile because they have similar textures and flavors to Jerusalem artichoke and will cook up in the same way.

You can use them in just about any recipe that you would use Jerusalem artichoke, whether it is a salad, a soup, roasting, a stir fry, or anything else. As each of these substitutes is plant-based, they are all gluten-free and vegan, fitting into nearly any diet!

1.Jicama

This root vegetable is a great substitute for Jerusalem artichoke. Crunchy, starchy, and slightly sweet, jicama, also known as Mexican turnip or Mexican yam beans, cook up very similarly to Jerusalem artichoke. It has a sweet and sour flavor somewhat similar to a fresh apple.

Because of its freshness and crispness, it is a great addition in salads and slaws. However, you can also stir-fry it or roast it where it will get a little creamier and release more starches. Its mild flavor makes it a great base for a dish because it will easily soak up other flavors like marinades and dressings.

Jicama is an extremely healthy choice. Not only is it gluten-free and vegan, but a single serving has more than twice the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, and 128% of the daily recommended fiber amounts.

Jicama

 

2.Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke hearts may look completely different than Jerusalem artichoke, but they are an easy and effective alternative. Artichoke heart has a sweet and nutty flavor just like Jerusalem artichokes. However, it is much softer than the Jerusalem artichoke.

It works great in recipes that call for cooked or roasted Jerusalem artichoke. Be judicious if choosing to use artichoke hearts as a replacement for raw Jerusalem artichoke -if you are looking for the flavor to be similar it is a great choice. However, the texture will be a bit different.

If you’d like to read about possible substitutes for artichoke hearts, check out this article here.

Artichoke Hearts

3.Water Chestnuts

Water chestnuts are another great substitute for Jerusalem artichokes. They are another “misnamed” food because they are not a chestnut at all. They have a sweet and nutty flavor similar to real chestnuts but are actually a tuber.

Water chestnuts are slightly crunchy and sweet but become creamy and starchy like mashed potatoes when cooked, much like Jerusalem artichokes. This makes them a great all-around substitute. They are perfect in stir-fries, salads, or roasted.

Be careful about using it as a substitute where Jerusalem artichokes are the main ingredient though. Water chestnuts flavor is a little stronger than Jerusalem artichoke, which means it can easily overpower or change the flavor of a dish.

Best Substitutes When Roasting

Roasting is a popular preparation of Jerusalem artichoke. The outside gets crispy and brown while the inside becomes soft and creamy. Below we’ve got some great recommendations for some delicious substitutes in recipes that call for roasting Jerusalem artichoke. All of these substitutes are gluten-free and vegan and will work in nearly any diet.

4.Parsnip

Parsnips look a bit like a white carrot. It is long and chunky and tapers at the end. Like a carrot (or the Jerusalem artichoke) they get sweeter when they are roasted.

They are a very popular addition to a traditional Sunday roast, and work great as a swap for Jerusalem artichokes. The sugars and starches in the parsnip will caramelize in the parsnip, making it sweet and creamy.

Parsnip is also a bit of a “superfood” -a single serving provides nearly 40% of your daily vitamin C needs, and it is also high in potassium and fiber.

Parsnip does have a distinctive flavor, so if you are looking for a substitute that will match the flavor, parsnip is not the best choice. However if your recipe calls for Jerusalem artichoke as one of several ingredients, parsnip is a great choice.

Parsnip

5.Brussels Sprouts

This is another unexpected one on the list. Brussels sprouts aren’t at all related to Jerusalem artichoke. They are in fact from the cabbage family -which makes sense given their miniature cabbage shape.

Brussels sprouts caramelize beautifully when roasted, giving a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Their texture will stay a bit firmer than Jerusalem artichoke, so if you are looking for a perfect substitute in terms of texture it’s not the perfect choice.

Brussels sprouts will also be a bit more vegetal tasting than Jerusalem artichoke. Nevertheless, the sweet and nutty flavor that comes out from roasting will make them work easily in many recipes calling for Jerusalem artichoke.

brussels sprouts

 

Best Substitute For Jerusalem Artichoke In Soups And Stews

Jerusalem artichoke tastes marvelous in a soup or stew. In fact, in 2002 it was named “the best soup vegetable” in Nice, France. It becomes soft and creamy when boiled, making a great filler vegetable as a base for a creamy soup, or added in chunks to a stew.

The swaps below are great healthy substitutes for Jerusalem artichoke -vegan, gluten-free, and high in many vitamins and minerals.

6.Salsify

You may not have heard of salsify before. It’s a less commonly known root vegetable that looks a bit like a white yam. It has dark thick skin and a creamy white center.

Salsify, also known as oyster plant or Jerusalem star, has a slight oyster flavor and cooks up beautifully when boiled for a stew. Salsify is a particularly good substitute for Jerusalem artichoke in creamy soups where it is the base.

Besides being vegan and gluten-free, Salsify is also a superfood because it is high in calcium, vitamin C, iron, fiber, and Thiamin.

7.Kohlrabi

This is another substitute for Jerusalem artichoke that you may not have heard of before. Kohlrabi, also known as German turnip, is a very versatile vegetable that tastes similar to broccoli stems and cabbage.

This German turnip is excellent in stews cut into chunks, but it also blends beautifully to make a creamy soup base, making it an ideal substitute for Jerusalem artichoke.

Kohlrabi has a slight “spiciness” to its flavor, so choose your flavors carefully when pairing it together in a soup. It can easily overpower other flavors.

Best Substitute In Spicy Dishes

Jerusalem artichoke has become a popular vegetable to use in international cooking which often requires heavy use of chilies and spices. The following substitute stands up well to the liberal use of chilies and spicy ingredients.

8.Chayote

Chayote is another one on this list that is not as common. Shaped a bit like a pear or a gourd, chayote is actually technically a fruit! Chayote is a very neutral-tasting plant, though is a bit earthy.

The earthy and savory flavor lends itself well to spicy food, and it is a popular ingredient in Indian dishes and Cajun cuisine.

Best Substitute For Jerusalem Artichoke When Frying

Jerusalem artichokes are very commonly served fried. They are sliced thinly and flavored with aromatics to add depth to the flavor and can serve almost as crisp or chip when fried up. The swaps that we offer below fry up beautifully and can make a great substitute for Jerusalem artichokes.

9.Sweet Potato

Sweet potato is one of the easiest swaps on the list. It’s available all year round, it’s sweet and delicious. They also fry up nicely and make for delicious chips or fries.

When the sweet potato is cooked it becomes even sweeter and the outside will become a dark golden brown from the caramelized sugar. They make a great side for fried fish or other meats, much like the fried Jerusalem artichoke.  

Sweet potato also has excellent nutritional benefits, as it is high in fiber, vitamin B, potassium, and magnesium.

10.Cardone

Cardone, also known as artichoke thistle, is a great substitute for fried Jerusalem artichoke. They are more bitter than Jerusalem artichoke but otherwise work great as a substitute. Cardone often needs to be soaked before cooking because it is so tough. However, once you soak them they should fry up perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Ginger And Jerusalem Artichoke The Same Thing?

Jerusalem artichoke looks very similar to ginger. However, they are not the same. Jerusalem artichoke is part of the sunflower family, while ginger is part of the Zingiberaceae family.

Jerusalem artichoke tastes similar to artichoke hearts and have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, and it is primarily used as a vegetable. Ginger is used as a spice and has a slightly sweet and very intensely bitter flavor. It is also used for medicinal purposes, such as easing an upset stomach.Jerusalem Artichoke

Can You Eat Jerusalem Artichoke Raw?

Jerusalem artichoke is safe to eat raw. It is popular in salads and other preparations but is most popular roasted.

How Do I Grow Jerusalem Artichoke?

Jerusalem artichokes are surprisingly easy to grow! Some people have even reported seeing Jerusalem artichoke sprout in their trash or compost bins. Simply place Jerusalem artichokes (whole or cut up) in the soil about 4 inches in and about a foot apart.

They will sprout a big sunflower-like plant, and the root will be ready to harvest in the winter. They are very hardy and can even be left in the ground after a frost.

What Herbs Go Well With Jerusalem Artichoke?

Jerusalem artichoke is a very versatile vegetable and goes well with a wide variety of herbs and spices. However, brown butter, sage, rosemary, and thyme all pair particularly well with Jerusalem artichoke.

Final Considerations

Jerusalem artichoke is a wonderfully useful vegetable that can be eaten raw, roasted, fried, mashed, and pureed. It is naturally gluten-free and vegan and fits into almost any diet. Hopefully, you were able to learn a bit more about Jerusalem artichoke today and the best substitutes for them when you need them!

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