Kohlrabi Is a Good Substitute for Any of These 5 Vegetables

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

If you’re new to kohlrabi and not quite sure what to do with it, or you’re seeking some new inspiration, look to a few other vegetables that you’re already familiar with. Because of its crisp, firm texture and somewhat peppery, somewhat sweet taste, this brassica makes a good substitute for broccoli stems, cabbage, and more.

1. Broccoli Stems

The taste and texture of kohlrabi is most similar to broccoli. Specifically, broccoli stems. Both have a fresh, crunchy bite with a mild and slightly sweet taste. Use a mandoline or julienne peeler or prep kohlrabi to use in place of broccoli slaw.

Try These Broccoli Stem Recipes with Kohlrabi Instead

2. Cabbage

If you love cabbage for its crispy, crunchy texture, go ahead and swap in sliced, shredded, or julienned kohlrabi. Right away you’ll notice it has a less funky, more mild flavor. Try it in slaws, salads, stir-fries, and even soup.

Try These Cabbage Recipes with Kohlrabi Instead

3. Radishes

When eaten raw, kohlrabi has a crisp texture and faint peppery bite that just might remind you of radishes. The overall flavor is more mild, with a hint of sweetness, but this brassica certainly makes a good stand-in. Slice it into salads, spread a good-quality butter and a pinch of flaky salt on it, or swap it into any one of your favorite radish recipes.

Try These Radish Recipes with Kohlrabi Instead

4. Potatoes

Even though kohlrabi doesn’t have the starchiness of Russets or Idaho potatoes, it still works as a substitute for spuds. Grate kohlrabi to use in latkes and potato pancakes, or stir it into the pot for a heartier batch of soup.

Try These Potato Recipes with Kohlrabi Instead

5. Turnips

These two brassicas can easily be used interchangeably. Kohlrabi has a similar (although slightly softer) texture, and a flavor that’s not quite as sharp as turnips. Use kohlrabi in place of turnips for roasting, adding to both creamy and chunky soups, and sautéing.

Try These Turnip Recipes with Kohlrabi Instead