Some good substitutes for watercress include nasturtium, land cress (Barbarea verna) and cress (Lepidium sativum). Land cress, which is sometimes also known as "American cress," is particularly similar to watercress, both in appearance and flavor, and can be grown in a variety of soil types. It is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is a good source of iron and potassium.
Like watercress, each of these substitutes is well-suited for use in salads or as a final flavoring or garnish in soups and other cooked meals like pasta dishes. Other herbs to combine them with include oregano, parsley and thyme.
Watercress and its substitutes also pair well with eggs, endives, orange dressings and vinaigrette.