Best Substitutes For Parsley – 10 Herbaceous Swaps

It is easy to find a parsley substitute; you probably already have one or more of them in your kitchen cabinet.

Don’t think that parsley is merely a garnish. Its robust green and herbal flavors are delicious in marinades, salads, and sauces. This flowering plant in the family Apiaceae is a good-to-have ingredient in cooked dishes like soup and quiche.

This herb is known for its versatile flavor, several health benefits, and medicinal uses.

There are four main types of parsley: flat-leaf (Italian), curly (common), Japanese, and Hamburg. Regarding cooking, Italian (flat-leaf) parsley is preferred for its strong flavor, while curly parsley has a milder taste and is more commonly used as a fresh garnish.

You can use either fresh or dried parsley in your dishes. Fresh parsley gives the fullest flavor and aroma. When fresh leaves aren’t available, substitute them with dry parsley. Its dried version is an incredible addition to green salads, dips, chutneys, and pesto.

This article will give you a brief overview of the best substitutes for fresh and dried parsley.

 10 Best Parsley Substitutes

Sometimes, finding a suitable substitute for any ingredient in a recipe becomes necessary. There are a good number of replacement options for fresh or dried parsley.

Remember that dried herbs are stronger in flavor than fresh herbs; thus, a smaller amount is required. Use 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley leaves to replace 1 teaspoon of dried parsley.

I have found a few substitutes that are nearly identical to the flavor and aroma of parsley. Here are a few of those herbs that prove to be awesome substitutes for parsley, either fresh or dried.

1. Cilantro

Cilantro, an essential spice in global cuisine, is also known as Chinese parsley, coriander leaves, dhania, or cilantro.

This herb from the Apiaceae family has delicate, lacy green leaves resembling the flat leaves of parsley. Also, the pungent, complex, and citrusy flavors of cilantro are almost identical to those of parsley. Cilantro and parsley have similar appearances and uses but are different in flavor.

Cilantro goes very well with most foods that call for parsley to garnish them. Use it in the one-to-one ratio your recipe calls for, but using a substitute in moderation is safe to start with.

2. Chervil leaves

Chervil, sometimes called French parsley or garden chervil, is a delicate annual herb related to parsley.

It adds a light, anise-like flavor to soups, salads, and sauces. Fresh or dried chervil is a fantastic garnish for various bright spring recipes.

Importantly, chervil’s flavor is easily lost by too much heat or drying the herb. The tenderness of chervil leaves allows you to toss them into dishes just before serving or eat them raw.

Garden chervil has a milder flavor than parsley, so when using chervil as a substitution for parsley, use it in slightly more quantity. Also, see if any chervil substitutes can be used in your recipe.

3. Celery leaves

Celery is a marshland plant in the family Apiaceae, like parsley.

Celery leaves can be used in various dishes to enhance flavor. Use in salads, soup, broth, or stock. Its leaves also make great garnishes in place of parsley. This leaf is amazingly relishing when used to flavor and garnish fish.

Simply crush or chop its leaves and sprinkle them on your dishes as you do with parsley. Use the leaves in the same portion as you use parsley, or alter the quantity according to the needs of your recipe. Adding a little more or fewer celery leaves doesn’t matter.

4. Carrot greens

The slim, Bugs Bunny-like green tops on carrots are edible. Carrot greens are super delicious and loaded with nutrients.

Carrot tops have an earthy root-vegetable flavor, similar to beet greens or Swiss chard. The carrot greens and parsley are tangos for their mild bitterness.

Parsley and carrots belong to the same plant family. Carrot greens are a little tougher than fresh parsley but share a similar flavor.

To use, chop up some carrot tops just as you do with parsley and sprinkle them onto the dish as a garnish. Surely, carrot tops can mimic parsley’s herbaceous greenish brightness in your pesto, chimichurri, and salad.

5. Basil

Basil and parsley have different flavor profiles, but both are good as garnishes.

Use fresh or dried basil to garnish your favorite dishes, especially instead of parsley, to give them a delicious greenish brightness.

Basil has a stronger and more distinctive aroma in comparison to parsley. The benefit of using basil instead of parsley is not the flavor but the green flourish it adds to your dishes.

It has a bold flavor, so it should be used as a substitute for dried or fresh parsley in Italian dishes.

The strong aroma of basil can subdue the original flavor of your dish if used in excess. When using basil as a substitute for parsley, use just half of the parsley you would normally use in a dish.

6. Mint

Mint is sweeter and more intense than parsley. Certainly, they both don’t agree with flavor but are similar in greenish texture. Most importantly, their health benefits are quite similar and very useful.

Mint leaves are a popular garnish item in Asian cooking. Without parsley, you can comfortably use mint to garnish your dishes.

No vinegar will be needed if you use mint instead of parsley for garnishing purposes. Pay special attention to balancing the sweetness of your dish.

7. Oregano

Oregano belongs to the Mint family. It has a strong, savory taste. This can be used to substitute parsley for garnishing your dishes.

Please note that you should use oregano in less quantity than parsley; otherwise, its strong flavor may become overwhelming.

8. Rosemary

Rosemary has a distinctive sharp flavor and piney aroma and can be used fresh or dried.

It is a good stand-in for parsley, as this serves as a wonderful ingredient for garnishing your dishes. While swapping rosemary for parsley, use it in less quantity than parsley, for its strong flavor and aroma can become dominant.

9. Tarragon

Tarragon is a popular ingredient in French cuisine. Tarragon has a slightly bittersweet flavor and an aroma similar to anise.

The flavor of this herb is quite different from parsley, yet it works as a parsley substitute for garnish. Similar to parsley, it easily complements many flavors.

10. Chives

Chives have a flavor like garlic and onions and resemble small green onion sprigs.

Fresh chives have a bright green color, suitable for garnishing dishes as a replacement for parsley. In addition, the mild flavor of fresh or dried chives complements many varieties of foods well.

While you use it as an alternative to parsley, use it in moderate quantities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can be used as a garnish instead of parsley?

You can swap it out with chives, tarragon, or mint in recipes that call for parsley as a garnish. Make sure to pick the right alternative according to the flavor profile of your recipe.

Can I substitute parsley flakes (dried parsley) with fresh parsley?

Yes, in most recipes, you can substitute fresh parsley for dried parsley flakes and vice versa. However, the flavor will be slightly different, as fresh parsley has a more vibrant and herbaceous taste than dried parsley’s milder flavor. Also, dried herbs are more concentrated than fresh herbs. One tablespoon of fresh parsley is equivalent to one teaspoon of dried parsley flakes. It’s the same for curly and flat-leaf parsley.

What is a good substitute for dried parsley? 

The best alternative to dried parsley is thinly chopped fresh parsley, and vice versa.

You may also use dried chives, celery leaves, carrot greens, or arugula in place of it.

Otherwise, you can also use a combination of dried herbs such as oregano, thyme, and basil to replace parsley.

Can you substitute curly parsley for Italian parsley?

Yes, you can substitute curly parsley for flat leaf variety in most recipes.

Curly parsley has a milder flavor than Italian parsley, so you may need to use more of it to get the same flavor. You can also add a pinch of salt or pepper to boost the flavor.

If you’re using the parsley as a garnish, Italian parsley’s flat leaves also make it visually more appealing than curly parsley.

Use the same amount of curly-leaf parsley as you would use flat leaf parsley.

Can I substitute coriander for parsley?

They are two different herbs with distinct flavors. Thus, substituting one for the other can alter the taste of your dish.

Also, coriander has a stronger flavor than parsley and may overpower other ingredients if used excessively. Start with a smaller amount and adjust according to your taste preferences.

When substituting them, adjust the amounts of other herbs and spices in the recipe to compensate for the difference in flavor.

Final Thought 

Parsley is a commonly used herb as a garnish and in cooking. If you don’t have it, it’s easy to find alternatives that can stand in its place.

You can use flat-leaf parsley for the common curly-leaf variety or vice versa.

We recommend cilantro, carrot greens, celery leaves, and chervil leaves as great substitutes for parsley.

We’re sure the substitutes we have suggested will help you cook delicious dishes even when parsley isn’t available.

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