Is Arugula Bitter?

Is arugula bitter? Arugula may possess a bitter taste, strong or mild. It is because of the presence of a chemical within the plant that is believed to shield plants from getting consumed by pests and bugs. The bitterness of arugula depends on the specific plant and the type of arugula.

Arugula is a well-loved green that is often used in pizza, pasta, salads, and many other dishes due to its high nutrient content as well as its distinctive taste! However, while some enjoy arugula’s flavor, others feel it to be bitter, and this may put some off.

If this isn’t something that you enjoy continuing reading to learn more about the reason why arugula is bitter and the way you can eliminate some bitterness.

What Is Arugula?

Arugula is a popular ingredient in salads, and also as a topping for pizza and pasta however, it is not a leaf used in salads it is a component of the mustard leaf as well as the cabbage family.

It is because arugula is known to have the flavor of pepper which is the reason it’s so well-known! Some other names for arugula are “rocket” and “rucola,” depending on the region you’re around the globe.

Arugula is served raw or fresh and can be cooked down as well. It’s a great component of many dishes!

What Does Arugula Taste Like?

Arugula, a member of the mustard green family is a spicy, peppery taste with a hint of bitterness and tartness.

In addition to this spicy taste however, it also has an underlying freshness that is green that makes it an excellent option for salads and adds a fresh note on pasta and pizza.

If cooked, it will have the same flavor as the cooked spinach but with a little more bite, however, it isn’t bitter.

The length of time the leaves continue to grow will affect the flavor of the leaves and older leaves of arugula possessing a more intense and spicy flavor than the baby Arugula leaves.

Why Is Arugula Bitter?

If you enjoy the bitterness of arugula or not it’s present for a reason.

The reason that the bitterness of arugula stems from the fact that it has a naturally occurring compound known as the glucosinolate that acts to act as a protection mechanism in order to guard the plant from insects and other pests.

But, there are some other factors that contribute to the bitterness of Arugula.


Arugula gets bitterer the longer it takes to grow, which is why taking arugula leaves in the time they’re still small and young will help lessen its bitterness. Also the age of leaves determines how bitter the leaves could be.


The weather can also have an impact on how bitter the arugula leaves are. Arugula thrives best when temperatures are pleasant and nights are cool. Temperatures that are too hot can cause the arugula plant to bloom and also be more bitter.


Certain arugula varieties are more bitter than other and certain varieties are more gentle. Be sure to study the arugula you’re plant or bring home before making a choice!

Is Baby Arugula Less Bitter?

As we mentioned earlier Arugula gets more delicious (and more bitter) as it gets older.

Arugula baby is less bitter since it’s not left to grow for long enough to produce an intense bitterness. The tiny, tender leaves will have the same excellent flavor, but more mild.

A young arugula leaf is likely to be just under 3 inches If you’re browsing through a store or picking your own, be sure to search for leaves that are smaller to keep from bitterness.

How To Make Arugula Less Bitter

If you are a fan of the taste of arugula as well as the nutritional value it provides, but would like to keep away from the bitter taste There are a few wonderful ways to lessen the bitterness while still enjoy the benefits that arugula is able to provide!


Blanching is among the most effective methods to eliminate some bitterness out of the arugula. It also will still leave you with the firm, delicious arugula you relish.

Here’s how to blanch the arugula:

  1. Set a pot filled with water over the fire and let it bring to a boil.
  2. As the water comes close to boiling you can make an Ice bath in a bowl with chilled water as well as ice cubes. Put this in a bowl to cool.
  3. When your pot of water has reached at a boil, place the arugula into the boiling water for 20 seconds.
  4. Remove the arugula leaves from the boiling water using the help of a small spoon and put it straight into the cold bath.
  5. The arugula can be left in the water bath in ice for at least 2 minutes.
  6. Remove the arugula from the bath and gently dry it using the help of a newspaper towel.

The process of blanching removes most bitterness and you’ll still be able to incorporate it in salads and other dishes.

Marinate The Arugula

If you don’t want blanche the arugula you can marinate it using several ingredients that will assist in lessening the bitterness of bitterness.

The most effective marinade to prepare this marinade is a simple mixture made of olive oil and lemon juice. It blends all of the flavors, and prevents the bitterness that comes from the arugula take over.

The arugula can appear slightly wilted when it is left to marinate, however it will keep its wonderful flavor and will be great for pestos, sauces and pasta.

Saute Arugula

Cooking and sautéing arugula may help reduce bitterness. It can also be a great method to impart flavor to the arugula.

To saute the vegetables, add onion and garlic to the arugula salad to bring wonderful aromas and flavors together. It also helps help to reduce bitterness.

It is possible to be very creative when it comes to the ingredients you sauté and simmer arugula in and it’s great to serve with the food you prepare by cooking it this way.

Cook It In A Meal

If you don’t wish to cook or sauté the arugula all on its own or you want to make one-pot meals You can add it to sauces and soups, and then simmer it with other ingredients.

It is likely that you won’t feel the bitterness until you’ve cooked the arugula in other ingredients!

Make Pesto

It can also be utilized to create pesto – it’s the perfect way to experience the taste and the strength of arugula, without the bitterness masked by other ingredients, such as garlic, olive oil walnuts, cheese, and.

It can be used as dressing for salads or as a pasta sauce and also as an amazing, non-bitter dip for a myriad of food items!

Take care to remove the stems prior to making a pesto made of arugula, to lessen bitterness.

What Is The Best Way To Store Arugula?

If you’ve harvested some arugula in your vegetable gardening or bought some fresh from the grocery store knowing how to properly store arugula will allow you to make the most of it.

To keep arugula in storage to store it, wrap the leaves with an newspaper towel and then put them in a wide bags of plastic before putting the bag inside the refrigerator’s crisper drawer.

If the arugula comes in a plastic bag sealed put it in the bag that is unopened. The way to store arugula is to ensure that it is fresh two days after opening, or up to 5 days in the event that the bag is sealed and not opened.

Do not wash arugula till it is ready for cooking it or consume it as it’s quality will decrease very quickly when washed and put back in the refrigerator. It is generally not recommended the freezing of the arugula.


Arugula certainly has a bitter taste in it, since it has a naturally occurring compound that protects it from insects and pests.

The older leaves of arugula also develop a bitter taste, and eating leaves that are younger will assist if you’re not an avid fan of bitterness.

There are a variety of methods to lessen the bitterness of arugula. Some of them include blanching it making it marinated, cooking it or sautéing it in onions and garlic.

Arugula offers a lot to offer due to its spicy taste and high nutrient content therefore, if you don’t enjoy the bitter taste it is often characterized by, try one of these methods in order to enhance its taste. enjoyable for you!

Other Questions Asked

After we’ve taught you all about arugula, including what it tastes like and the reasons it could be bitter, and how to decrease its bitterness here are some more concerns we believe you could be asking yourself.

Do you want to consume raw arugula?

Arugula can be eaten raw – it’s extremely delicious when eaten fresh and uncooked. It’s a delicious raw topping for pizzas pasta, wraps and pasta sandwiches, and much more.

Is raw spinach bitter?

The most common way to cook spinach is however, it can be consumed raw too. Raw spinach has a sweet and mild taste which can impart a bitter taste to it.

There are three kinds of spinach that are widely available. All three taste different to them when they are raw.

Is arugula a green?

Arugula is widely used as a salad green however, it’s not really lettuce. It is more closely associated with mustard and cabbage.

It can also be consumed in many ways, like cooking it as a vegetable consumed in salads like an herb, or blended into a smoothie. There are many ways to eat arugula.

Did you find this guide helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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