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21 Best Alternatives Of Cilantro To Use In Different Recipes 

Cilantro is pretty wonderful. This herb is used in a range of different dishes, including Indian, Asian and Mexican Dishes. It’s technically a member of the parsley family, and one of the things that make alternatives for Cilantro so useful in many recipes is the strong aroma that it possesses.

It’s not always called cilantro either – sometimes you may hear it being referred to as Mexican parsley or Chinese parsley. It basically looks like parsley with much larger leaves and very soft stems.

What Alternatives Are Best For Cilantro 11 Options!

It’s possible to eat the whole plant if you want. Even the roots are edible! Cilantro roots are sometimes listed as an ingredient for some recipes.

When you taste this herb, it tastes a little peppery and vibrant, and there’s something of a lemony taste to it. Of course, it’s not a herb that everyone enjoys.

Some people go wild for this herb though. But what if you don’t have any available that you can use for your next recipe?

There are actually a number of different alternatives that you can use instead of cilantro, if you so wish.

Italian Parsley, Thai basil, papalo, mint, rau rum, cumin, dill, curry powder, caraway, oregano and garam masala are all some fantastic substitutes that you can use instead of cilantro if you prefer.

Today, we’re going to deep dive into these herbs so you can take your pick the next time you don’t have cilantro on hand and want to make a recipe where it is a listed ingredient.

Alternatives To Cilantro

If you are one of those people that could easily live without cilantro or you just don’t want to use it for your next recipe, you need not despair.

Quick Table: Cilantro Alternatives

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 Grams)
Thai Basil27
Italian Parsley22
Rau Ram26
Curry Powder325
Garam Masala354
Caraway Seeds333
Herb Mixture320
Fennel Seeds31

There are plenty of alternatives that will work just as well in the vast majority of different recipes. These products will help you to give a whole new flavor to a variety of different dishes. It’s going to taste extra yummy!

Oh, and make sure that you’re careful to use the correct amounts of the ingredients, since it’s going to have a big impact on the overall taste and aroma of the dish.

You most likely aren’t going to need the same amount of some of these ingredients as cilantro, so modify the recipe as needed.

Thai Basil

In the market for a great substitute for cilantro? Well, you will be pleased with what basil can offer you. Now, it’s important to note that the dish is not going to taste the same way that it would if you were using cilantro.

Basil does work well with a bunch of other ingredients that you will find in cilantro based dishes.

The herbs do taste quite different – there’s a lot more sweetness in basil than you would get with cilantro. The aroma and taste that they both produce is wonderful though.

You can also get access to basil without too much trouble – just visit your local grocery store or market.

For the most part, basil is the best choice if you are looking to replace cilantro in a Thai dish. It’s a fantastic choice of garnish for a variety of dishes, too.

How To Substitute

Cilantro is a bright green, herb-like leaf with a slightly pungent taste. Thai basil, on the other hand, is a sweet, leafy green with a mild taste. Thai basil can be substituted for cilantro in any dish that calls for it, but be sure to cut the amount of basil in half.

Italian Parsley

Italian Parsley looks a lot like cilantro. It also works as a fantastic alternative to cilantro if you need one. It is something of a bitter herb, which can be quite startling when you first try it.

If you want to dull down the bitterness then adding some sugar or honey to the recipe will usually work wonders.

It’s worth noting that cilantro and parsley look incredibly alike, so you need to double check what they are before you pick them up at the store.

You can make the parsley taste more like cilantro too if you need to. All you need to do is add a mix of basil and oregano into the dish to make it taste more like the familiar taste of cilantro.

How To Substitute

The Italian parsley is more similar to cilantro in taste, texture, and appearance. They both have an intense flavor, green color, and are used as a fresh herb. It is also more susceptible to frost, so it is recommended to use the Italian parsley indoors or in a pot rather than in a garden.


Mmmm, minty fresh! Mint is a wonderful choice for your meals if you don’t want to or can’t use cilantro.

Mint, as you probably know, smells wonderful and will bring a great taste to the dish. If the recipe requires cilantro then you can probably use mint as a substitute, especially if it’s Asian cuisine.

If the minty taste or smell is a little bit overwhelming in the dish then you can neutralize it a little by adding in some balsamic vinegar.

This ingredient is a fantastic, readily available choice if you need a replacement for cilantro, so it’s worth keeping it on your radar.

How To Substitute

Cilantro is a popular herb in the kitchen. But, if you are looking for a more distinctive flavor, try substituting mint. Mint and cilantro both have a similar fresh, sweet, and slightly tangy taste. If you are using cilantro in a recipe that calls for mint, use about two times as much cilantro as mint.


This may be one that you haven’t heard of, but it works really well in place of cilantro. This herb tends to be quite commonly used in Mexican cuisine, so it’s worth considering using it if you are making a Mexican dish.

Think about cilantro and cucumber – the taste can be described as something in between the two. You can even use papalo as a raw garnish for a meal to add some extra zest.

It’s the perfect ingredient of things like guacamole, carnitas, tacos and a bunch of other recipes. Also, if the recipe calls for a tablespoon of cilantro, then only add ⅓ tablespoon of papalo.

How To Substitute

Cilantro, or coriander, is a leafy green herb used in Latin American and Asian cuisine. Papalo is a similar plant with a much stronger flavor and a little bit of crunch. Papalo can be used in place of cilantro in Mexican, Indian, and Thai dishes.

Rau Ram

There’s a reason that this substitute is also known as Vietnamese cilantro! It tastes a lot like your average cilantro, and this means that it’s pretty much the perfect cilantro substitute. Get a hold of some rau ram for your next recipe!

There are some minor differences, of course. There’s a slightly more peppery taste with raw ram, and the taste is quite aromatic.

It’s a good choice to use in salads and other things that need a big pinch of flavor. It’s most commonly used in Southeast Asian dishes.

How To Substitute

Rau ram is a similar herb that is often used in Thai cuisine and gives a unique taste that can be substituted with Cilantro. It has a slightly different taste than cilantro and is easier to incorporate into dishes where you need to substitute Cilantro.

Curry Powder

Curry Powder

You can get curry powder from pretty much any grocery store on the planet, and it works well as a substitute both for cilantro and coriander.

Curry powder tends to be a mixture of a few different spices and herbs, such as ginger, turmeric, chili and coriander.

Thanks to the sheer amount of spices in the mix and the unique flavor, curry powder can work admirably well in a wide variety of recipes as a replacement for cilantro. It can be used as a marinade, in soups, or in curries!

How To Substitute

Cilantro is an essential herb for many dishes, but it can be substituted with curry powder for those who cannot tolerate the taste. This can be done by adding a tablespoon of curry powder to any dish that would typically have cilantro, such as tacos or salsa.


Another great choice that you can use instead of cilantro is cumin. The taste is a little bit different from cilantro, however – it’s rather bitter and the flavor is much darker.

There are even nutty, spicy hints to this ingredient. This means that it’s a great choice for a twist on your favorite cilantro based recipes.

It tends to be used a lot in things like tacos, though it’s not restricted to just that. It’s worth getting some cumin for your kitchen and doing some experimenting!

How To Substitute

Cumin has a sweet, earthy flavor that is perfect for many Mexican dishes. Cilantro is one of the many spices used in Mexican cooking, but if you can’t find it, try substituting cumin in its place.

RELATED: The Best Basil Substitutes (8 Alternatives You Should Know)


Dill looks nothing like cilantro, but it doesn’t need to look like it in order for it to be an effective substitute!

This ingredient works for a wide range of dishes, featuring a gorgeous citrus taste that will add plenty of zest to a lot of recipes. It’ll be enough to make your mouth water for days!

Dill is a rather rich herb that works well in things like potato salad, soups and various other dishes.

When you are using it, make sure that you are using the same amount as you would with cilantro. If you want to then you can even use dill as a garnish.

How To Substitute

Dill, an excellent herb can be used in many dishes, and it can be substituted for cilantro. Dill is a flavorful herb used in many dishes. Cilantro and dill are both herbs used in many dishes.


Caraway tends to be a good choice for replacing cilantro. Caraway resembles coriander in terms of the taste, and this makes it a good cilantro substitute.

It has a bitter yet sweet taste to it, so it’s a unique taste that will really highlight all of the flavors in your meal. It’s slightly sweeter than cilantro is, making it a great choice for things like marinades.

How To Substitute

If you are looking for an herb that can be substituted for cilantro, caraway is a good option. The flavor of caraway is very different from cilantro, so it will take some time to get used to it. This can be used in almost any dish that calls for cilantro, and will have a unique and interesting flavor.

Garam Masala

Garam Masala is basically a combination of a range of different spices. This includes bay leaf, cumin, peppercorn, coles, cinnamon and coriander. It’s suitable for a wide variety of different recipes.

It makes a good substitute for cilantro because of the coriander in the mix. It works for lots of different recipes and really enhances the flavors within your dishes.

How To Substitute

The blend of herbs and spices can be used in variation. The taste of cilantro is often too overpowering for dishes that don’t include a large amount of it. Substituting cilantro for garam masala can be a way to reduce the flavor of dishes without giving up the flavor entirely.


Oregano is easy to find in your local store, and it’s perhaps the single most popular cilantro substitute on the market.

If you want a taste that closest resembles cilantro then you can add in some lime juice and more herbs to get the desired effect.

All you need to do is add it to your dish and it will blend well with the other ingredients. It is most often used in Mexican food but you can use it for other cuisines too. It’s healthy too!

How To Substitute

Cilantro is a leafy green herb that has a slightly sweet, spicy, and citrus flavor. Oregano, on the other hand, is a perennial herb with a slightly earthy flavor that is often used in Italian cuisine. You can substitute cilantro with oregano in your favorite recipes without changing the taste.

Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds are a type of spice that is most often used in baking. Caraway seeds are used in a wide variety of dishes, such as breads, meat, sausages, soups, and more. 

Caraway seeds are also used in alcoholic beverages. Caraway seeds are small, round, black seeds that have a pungent flavor. 

Caraway seeds have been used as a spice in cooking since the early days of the spice trade. They are used to flavor meats and vegetables, and can also be sprinkled on top of dishes to add a little extra flavor.

How To Substitute

To get a flavor similar to cilantro, use caraway seeds in place of cilantro. Caraway seeds have a stronger flavor than cilantro, so if you like the taste of caraway, use 1 tablespoon of caraway seeds in place of 1 tablespoon of cilantro.



Cardamom is a popular spice with a warm and spicy flavor. It has a similar taste to ginger and nutmeg. This ingredient can be found in various different dishes including baked goods, desserts, and drinks. 

It can be used as a substitute for ginger in many recipes, as well as to flavor tea, coffee, and other drinks. Cardamom is often used to add a sweet, spicy, or smoky flavor to dishes.

How To Substitute

Cilantro has a strong flavor that can overwhelm a dish. To replace cilantro with cardamom, grind the cardamom pods in a spice grinder or blender. Add to the mixture 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of ground coriander, and a pinch of salt. Blend to combine.


Parsley is an herb that is commonly used as a garnish in dishes and as a decoration. It is often used in many different cuisines and can be found in dishes such as Caesar salad.

It has a mild and delicate flavor that can be used in a variety of dishes and it is often used as a garnish. It is commonly used in cooking and has many health benefits.

How To Substitute

The most common substitute for cilantro is parsley. It is an herb that is used in many recipes. Parsley is used for its bright green color, which is a similar shade to cilantro. It is also used in a lot of Mexican dishes.


Culantro is a unique, flavorful leaf that is grown in warm climates like the Mediterranean and is used in a variety of recipes. Culantro is popular in Mexican, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines. 

Culantro can be used to make salsas, sauces, soups, and stews. It has a unique flavor and an earthy taste that can make any dish taste better. It is also a great addition to any salad. 

Its taste is similar to cilantro and its leaves can be used to garnish dishes and make a fresh pesto.

How To Substitute

Cilantro is often substituted with culantro, which is a herb that is popular in Mexican cuisine. Culantro can be found at most grocery stores, and it can be added to soups, salads, and casseroles.

Herb Mixture

The herb mixture is a perfect blend of herbs, spices, and oils. It can be used to enhance the flavor of any dish and is a perfect addition to any dish.

The mixture is designed to be used in a variety of different ways, so it’s a great choice for someone who’s looking for something they can use on a daily basis.

How To Substitute

If you’re looking for a way to substitute cilantro, you may substitute with a mixture of parsley, mint, and basil. This mixture will have a slightly sweeter taste than cilantro.

Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are often used as a digestive aid and can be ground up to use as a garnish. The seeds are light yellow in color, and can be added to a salad or a dip.

Fennel seeds are small, round, and light yellow in color. They are a popular spice used in many dishes including salad dressings and sauces. 

They are often used in Italian dishes and give a unique flavor to many foods. Fennel seeds are a flavorful spice used in a variety of dishes from around the world. 

These seeds are typically grown from the feathery tops of the fennel plant, which are then harvested and dried before being ground into a fine powder.

How To Substitute

Cilantro, which is used in many cuisines, can be substituted with fennel seeds for a flavor-packed recipe. Cilantro can be substituted in place of fennel seeds in salads, breads, and sauces.


Basil is an herb that’s native to the Mediterranean. It’s typically used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. The herb is also a part of a number of medicinal treatments, with uses in preventing inflammation, asthma, and the common cold.

Basil is a member of the mint family and it is used in many different dishes. It can be used to make pesto, tomato sauces, and even iced tea. 

It is also a great herb for adding flavor to fish, chicken, and vegetables.

How To Substitute

Basil can be substituted for cilantro in any recipe. To make sure that the basil has the same texture and flavor as cilantro, use a coarse-chopped basil.


The cloves are used to add flavor to food and beverages. Cloves are dried flower buds of the clove tree, which are typically used to flavor cakes, cookies, pies, fruitcakes, and pastries. 

They are also used to flavor candies and other sweets, such as chocolate-covered candy canes. 

Cloves are used in a variety of different ways, including whole or ground in baking, in coffee, and in tea.

Cloves are a spice made from the dried flower buds of the clove tree. They are commonly used in baking and cooking, as well as in tea.

How To Substitute

Cloves have a citrus flavor, but are often substituted with cloves, which are related to the garlic family. The flavors are very similar, so this substitution can be done without much change.


Celery is a vegetable that is crunchy and has a mild, sweet flavor. It is an important part of many recipes, including salads and soups. It has an intense, slightly bitter taste and is high in fiber and nutrients.

It is a great addition to salads, and it is a great addition to many dishes that have a cream sauce or a thick, creamy dressing.

It is a very versatile vegetable and can be found in both a stalk and leaf form.

How To Substitute

Celery is a great substitute for cilantro, as it is less watery than cilantro and has a slightly stronger taste. Celery is also a good alternative for those who don’t like cilantro.



Tarragon is a herb that grows in many parts of the world. It has a strong licorice-like flavor, which is why it is used in many dishes that have a strong flavor, such as in stocks, sauces, and meat dishes. 

Tarragon is also used in some types of drinks, such as lemon tarragon iced tea.

Tarragon has a slightly peppery flavor and a very aromatic aroma.

How To Substitute

The taste of cilantro is often very strong and a little harsh. Tarragon has a slightly different flavor and is often described as slightly sweet. In a pinch, you can substitute one for the other in any recipe, as long as the measurements remain the same.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Anything Instead Of Cilantro?

You could, but it may not taste great with the dish you’re making. Instead, it’s best to stick with things that have a flavor profile that’s similar.

Is Cilantro The Same As Coriander?

They both technically come from the same plant, but they don’t taste the same and aren’t always used for the same thing.

Coriander seeds come from the flowers of the plant, whereas cilantro is the stem and leaves of it.

Can I Substitute Dried Parsley For Fresh Cilantro?

Yes – just remember that you will need to use about 1 tablespoon of cilantro for every teaspoon of parsley in the original recipe.

You won’t be using the same amounts, so it’s worth keeping that in mind.

21 Best Alternatives Of Cilantro To Use In Different Recipes 

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Cilantro is a delicious herb that adds a unique flavor to many dishes. But what are the best alternatives for cilantro? Find out here.


  • Thai Basil

  • Italian Parsley

  • Mint

  • Papalo

  • Rau Ram

  • Curry Powder

  • Cumin

  • Dill

  • Caraway

  • Garam Masala

  • Oregano

  • Caraway Seeds

  • Cardamom

  • Parsley

  • Culantro

  • Herb Mixture

  • Fennel Seeds

  • Basil

  • Cloves

  • Celery


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith