On the surface, there are a lot of similarities between many kinds of plants. Learning to tell them apart is a useful skill, both as a gardener and as a cook.
If you’re asking yourself if arugula looks like spinach, we’ll clear it up for you. We’ll compare and contrast the appearances of these beloved salad greens so you can tell them apart with a quick glance going forward.
Quick Answer: Does Arugula Look Like Spinach?
Sort of. While there are some very basic similarities, such as color, these two salad greens are pretty easy to tell apart.
Spinach has a round and almost heart-shaped leaf. Arugula leaves, on the other hand, have several rounded lobes on each leaf.
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Similarities Between Arugula and Spinach
Spinach and arugula are very similar in color. They are also both leafy greens that look right at home on a salad plate.
You’ll see stems going up the middle on either one of them, but the colors of these stems vary slightly.
As you might have guessed, both veggies are also common salad additions. Arugula is well-loved for its spicy taste which is reminiscent of pepper. Spinach, on the other hand, has a much more mild and earthy flavor.
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Both appear in a wide range of dishes outside of salads. However, spinach is perhaps more widely known and used – you name some kind of savory recipe, and there’s a version of it out there with spinach in it. Pasta, salad, pizzas, wraps, sandwiches – spinach is used frequently in all of these things and more.
That’s not to say that arugula couldn’t also be used in these same types of recipes. We think it could be a great substitute for many of them, and it does indeed appear in a lot of them already.
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Are Spinach and Arugula Related?
Despite a few visual similarities, no, spinach and arugula are not related.
Arugula comes from the Brassicaceae plant family. It consists of mostly agricultural plants, including other such famous foods as kale, cauliflower, and broccoli.
Spinach is a part of the amaranthaceae family. Beets are another well-known plant from this grouping, although the majority of plants in this family are shrubs or herbs.
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Using Spinach and Arugula
Spinach and arugula are perhaps most common in salads. They both make flavorful parts of this healthy dish.
However, their uses can be much broader than that with a little creativity. You could even use both at the same time in one recipe.
A smoothie would be a great way to do this. Both are excellent ingredients for those looking to get some healthy leafy greens in for the day in the most convenient way possible. Below is a video that includes five different smoothie recipes which either already include arugula or spinach or could be modified to use them.
Pastas and soups are another possibility for combining these veggies. Both dishes can be easily modified for a wholesome vegan lifestyle, and are simple to incorporate a wide variety of ingredients in.
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Arugula and spinach look slightly alike, but there’s still enough of a difference between them to tell them apart quickly. Even if you couldn’t tell them apart, though, you’d certainly know when you took a bite of either one because of their unique tastes.
One thing they definitely have in common, at least, is that they’re both healthy and tasty.
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