If you’ve never tried escarole, get ready to fall in love. Escarole is a leafy green with a slightly bitter flavor profile. It is great to eat raw, sautéed, or baked in the oven. When it’s cooked, the leafy green develops slightly sweeter notes but still keeps its bitter qualities. Whether you are new to escarole or a big fan of leafy vegetables, these 25 Flavorful escarole recipes will become some of your favorites. 

There are endless possibilities for what you can do with escarole — no shock to any of you who read my purslane roundup. Leafy greens are healthy superfoods and offer many health benefits, according to Healthline. Escarole is no exception and is great as a side dish, excellent as a main course, and tasty in soups and stews. You can find escarole at the market in the lettuce section. It’s easy to clean and simple to prepare. 

Each recipe on this list is better than the next. For a simple escarole dish that highlights the its earthiness, stick with Sauteed Escarole or Escarole and White Bean Soup. Both recipes do a great job of highlighting the escarole and accentuating the classic flavors of the vegetable. Enjoy!

1. Escarole and White Bean Soup

Escarole and white beans may not be the most creative combination, but there is a reason for that. The leafy green and bean pairing is a classic that works every single time. The hearty soup features chopped pieces of escarole swimming through a broth of white beans and vegetables. Do yourself a favor and save this recipe for a cold winter day. It will be just what you want to warm you up.

2. Wilted Escarole with Feta, Walnuts, and Honey

Craving a restaurant-quality meal but don’t feel like leaving your house? Whip up this wilted escarole with feta, walnuts, and honey, and bring the fancy vibes right to your own kitchen. When the escarole wilts on the heat, it brings out a sharp bitterness. To combat the bitterness and balance out the flavor, the leafy green gets topped with feta, walnuts, and honey. The bitter-sweet combination is one that will leave you super satisfied.

3. Garlicky Sautéed Escarole

Calling all garlic lovers! This one is for you. This garlicky sauteed escarole lives up to its name. Four full cloves of garlic are sauteed down with this bitter escarole to turn into a silky smooth side dish. Escarole is usually bitter, but cooking it down takes away some of the harsh flavors. The best part about this recipe — besides the garlic, of course — is that it only takes about 15 minutes to make.  

4. Rigatoni With Sausage and Escarole

Make a simple meal that every member of the family will like with this rigatoni with sausage and escarole dish. The secret to this dish is all in the pasta water. The extra water is used to cook the escarole and chickpeas, along with the sauce. It adds a punch of flavor and thickens up the sauce in the best way possible. It is a trick you are going to want to steal for all your other favorite pasta dishes. 

5. Pasta e Fagioli With Escarole

This pasta e fagioli with escarole is the perfect dish for those looking for a hearty meal without meat. To fill you up, this dish is loaded with beans and vegetables. We’re talking carrots, celery, onions, tomatoes, and the main star of escarole. All those vegetables mix with cannellini beans and flat pasta to make a super filling and tasty meal. 

6. Chickpea and Escarole Soup

White beans and escarole are a classic combination. However, sometimes the classics need a little reinventing. That’s where chickpeas come in. Chickpeas take over in this chickpea and escarole soup to liven up a traditional soup pairing. Using dried chickpeas instead of canned ones will take this recipe to the next level. The chickpeas and all their juices add an extra creamy flavor that balances out the escarole very nicely.  

7. Lemony Pasta With Sardines & Escarole 

Gone are the days of plain pasta with cheese. Switch up your palette and introduce some bold flavors to the mix with this lemony pasta with sardines and escarole. With this ingredients combination, your tastebuds are sure to go through it all. We’re talking sour from the lemon, salty from the sardines, and bitter from the escarole. It somehow all works together to create one amazing bite of food. 

8. Sauteed Escarole

Time to upgrade your dinner side dish. All you need is 4 ingredients to bring this sauteed escarole dish to life. The sauteed leafy greens are the perfect pairing alongside chicken, steak, or fish. The bitter leaves turn into a smooth and silky texture when they are sauteed in the pan alongside loads of garlic, olive oil, and just a pinch of crushed chili flakes. 

9. Grilled Whole Snapper with Escarole and Preserved Lemons

If you are looking for a dish to impress your dinner guest, look no further than this grilled whole snapper with escarole and preserved lemons. This recipe requires a little more skill and time in the kitchen, but it is worth it. A whole snapper is stuffed with lemon, garlic, and thyme mixture and then grilled to perfection. The fish is served alongside a simple salad of escarole. The basic salad highlights the raw escarole, showing off the flavor in a simple yet beautiful way. 

10. Lemon-Roasted Salmon With Escarole, Asparagus, and Potatoes

Simple lemon-roasted salmon with escarole, asparagus, and potatoes will make your tastebuds extra happy. The Greek-inspired dish bakes a hearty piece of salmon in a flavorful spice mix consisting of lemon zest, oregano, salt, pepper, and roasted red pepper. When done, the fish is placed on top of a bright salad of escarole alongside tender potatoes and spring asparagus. The dish is finished off with a sprinkling of dill, feta cheese, and even more peppers for a luscious bite.

11. Chicken Milanese With Herby Escarole Salad

Ditch the boring chicken cutlet and upgrade your dinner with this chicken Milanese with herby escarole salad. One bite into this dish, and you can expect a super juicy and tender piece of chicken breaded to perfection. Alongside the chicken Milanese sits a salad where the star is escarole. The bitter leafy greens are mixed with lots of herbs like basil, dill, and chives and topped with a basic vinaigrette with the secret ingredient of anchovies. With a lot of flavors going on, this dish may seem like it might not work, but everything seamlessly falls into place. 

12. Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage, Escarole, and Beans 

It would be impossible not to fall in love with this pasta with Italian chicken sausage, escarole, and beans. This dish is one of those that feels so hearty but surprisingly falls on the healthier side of things. The beans mixed with the chicken sausage provide a burst of protein that balances out the pasta. The escarole ties the whole dish together, balancing the veggies in the meal.

13. Spiced Lamb Meatball and Escarole Soup

Nothing hits the spot quite like a big bowl of spiced lamb meatballs and escarole soup. It’s comforting, hearty, and loaded with big flavors. Crispy lamb meatballs are baked to perfection and then let free to swim in a delectable broth. The finishing touch of escarole and white beans top off the soup to make it a true bowl of goodness. 

14. Charred Escarole Salad

Sometimes it’s best to do as little to fresh ingredients. Case in point: this charred escarole salad. This escarole salad puts the leafy green on full display, making it the main star of the meal. The bitter green is seasoned in a simple marinade of oil, apples, onions, salt, and pepper. It is then grilled until it has the perfect char, given a quick rest, and topped with more vinaigrette to serve. One bite of this salad, and you’ll see why simple tastes so good.

15. Mustardy Escarole Salad with Grilled Cheese Croutons

If you love a simple salad and can’t say no to grilled cheese, this recipe will be right up your alley. Take a big bowl of escarole greens and toss it with a simple mustard-based dressing. Then comes the secret weapon of this salad — enter grilled cheese croutons. The little bites of goodness take everything you love about a classic grilled cheese and cut them into bite-sized versions. The gooey, cheesy cubes next to the leafy escarole are the combination you never knew you needed.

16. Spaghetti Aglio e Olio with Escarole

This spaghetti aglio e olio with escarole will easily become a regular in your menu rotation for so many reasons. First, it is simple to make. With just 6 ingredients, this recipe comes together in under 20 minutes. Second, the luscious flavors. With plain ingreidents, it wouldn’t seem like this pasta would be that special. However, it is quite the opposite. The ingredients all come together to make a dish of pasta loaded with escarole that is out of this world.

17. Farro and Escarole Soup

Bookmark this farro and escarole soup for the next chilly day. The hearty soup will instantly warm you up and turn the gloomy day around. The farro provides a heavier bite to the soup, making it filling enough for a stand-alone meal. This soup gets even better the longer it sits, meaning it is perfect for leftovers or meal-prepping lunch for the week. 

18. Orecchiette with Escarole and Bread Crumbs

You won’t regret adding this ​​orecchiette with escarole and bread crumbs to your dinner rotation. It takes about 30 minutes to whip up a dish, and the cooking process couldn’t be simpler. The same pot of water is used to cook the escarole and the pasta, making the process much easier in the kitchen. You might as well double this recipe when cooking, as everyone is going to want a second helping.

19. Utica Greens

If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying Utica greens, get ready to fall in love. The regional New York dish takes cooked escarole and combines them with chopped onions, garlic, prosciutto, hot pepper, bread crumbs, and grated cheese. The combination of flavors may seem a little strange, but after one bite, you will not doubt this combination. Serve the bowl of Utica greens as a side, main dish with some protein added in, or even with some eggs for a breakfast twist.

20. Mediterranean Rice-Stuffed Escarole

You’ve probably heard of stuffed cabbage, but have you ever heard of stuffed escarole? Well, get ready to fall in love with this Mediterranean rice-stuffed escarole. The leafy greens are stuffed with a combination of pine nuts, rice, sweet raisins, garlic, and capers. Eggs and cheese are used to bind all of the ingredients together. One bite of these stuffed escarole leaves will send your tastebuds on a ride. They are slightly sweet, salty, and bitter but somehow balance them all together for an excellent dish.

21. Escarole Pie 

If you are looking for an escarole recipe but don’t know where to start, try making this escarole pie. The escarole pie is exactly what it sounds like. Cooked escarole is mixed with anchovies, garlic, red pepper flakes, white wine, olives, lemon, feta cheese, and dried currants to make a tasty filling. The cooked escarole mixture is then placed in a premade pie crust and baked until golden brown. Do yourself a favor and let the pie cool down for at least 30 minutes before serving. It will keep all the tasty juices inside and won’t make the pie super runny.

22. Escarole With Olives and Capers 

If bitter and salty are the go-to flavor profiles you crave, then this dish of escarole with olives and capers couldn’t be more perfect. The vegan and gluten-free dish is great to serve as a side dish and even hearty enough to be a main course. The vegetable-forward recipe is definitely bitter and salt-heavy but has a slight sweetness from the cooked escarole. Even if it doesn’t sound like your typical dish, give it a try. One bite will easily change your mind.

23. Tilapia with Escarole and Lemon-Pepper Oil

Tilapia with escarole and lemon pepper oil is a dish you will want to make time and time again. The fish is so simple and flavorful, which makes it great to serve alongside escarole. The lemon pepper oil is the secret star of the dish. The lemon adds a brightness of flavor while the pepper keeps the fish and escarole tasting sharp. It is a dish that is great to make any time of the year.

24.  Rustic Bake with Escarole

Escarole for breakfast isn’t typically what comes to mind when thinking of the leafy green. However, this rustic bake with escarole is quickly going to become your favorite thing to eat first thing in the morning. Escarole leaves are baked with eggs, Italian sausage, gouda, mushrooms, and rustic crusty bread. The mixture is then placed in the oven to make a melty, egg-forward dish that is out of this world. The tasty dish will be a great way to start your day.

25. Butternut Squash and Escarole Lasagna 

Forget about spinach as escarole is here to be the shining star of this butternut squash and escarole lasagna. The bitter leaf next to the sweet butternut squash creates a super balanced flavor profile for the baked pasta that is a little earthy and slightly sweet. The recipe gives instructions for how to make fresh pasta, but don’t worry if that is not your thing. Store-bought lasagna noodles will do the trick and work just as well when making this baked pasta.

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