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17 Parsley Substitutes That Will Work Favorably For Your Dishes

Parsley is this mild and widely-used  herb responsible for the fresh flavor required in various recipes. The leaves are a bright green color and are usually for garnish purposes. The Parsley substitutes are also often used as a garnish on dishes, like rice and vegetables, or as a fresh herb in salads. 

Parsley has a few calories and it is rich in various minerals and vitamins. But sometimes, you might not have parsley in your pantry, which doesn’t mean the cooking should stop. 

Fortunately, there are fantastic parsley substitutes which are herbs and greens that work wonderfully for garnish purposes.

Nutritional Value

SubstitiutesCalories Per 100g
Tarragon295
Chervil 237
Chives 30
Oregano 03
Endive 17
Cilantro 5
Arugula 25
Basil 22
Carrot Greens 90
Celery Leaves 14
Thyme101
Marjoram1.63
Italian Seasoning 15
Lovage 156
Fines Herbs252
Dill 43
Coriander 3.68

Best Parsley Substitutes 

Here are a couple of the best substitutes for both fresh and dried parsley. 

1. Tarragon

Tarragon Parsley Substitutes

Tarragon is a renowned herb in French cuisine. It is usually used with parsley, chervil, and chives when making the french herb blend the fines herbes. 

The herb is essential in controlling blood sugar levels in people with high blood pressure, according to a study done in 2016. 

Tarragon has a slightly different taste than parsley, but it is an excellent substitute for parsley with the same results in a dish. 

How To Substitute

A person should use it sparingly as a replacement for parsley so as not to overwhelm the meal’s flavor. To achieve the best results when substituting for parsley, use it as a garnish rather than in cooking.

Note that tarragon has a different flavor, but it can still be used in cooking though it is advisable to use it in small amounts.

2. Chervil 

Chervil Parsley Substitutes

Chervil resembles parsley except for its toned-down flavor, which is best for substituting both dried and fresh parsley. Chervil is a common ingredient in French dishes. 

It is rich in iron, an essential nutrient to help generate red blood cells, so it is a healthy option. 

How To Substitute

Chervil looks like flat-leaf parsley, but when substituting, additional amounts of chervil will be required on top of what could be the parsley quantity because of its milder taste.

Use twice the amount of chervil as what would have been used as parsley. You can use it in a fines herbes blend, which is usually used in the french cooking of poultry, salads, fish, soups, and egg dishes.

3. Chives 

Chives Parsley Substitutes

Chives are similar to garlic and onions in taste and look like sprigs of green onions. Bright green is their color, and their flavor and color in dishes is distinct. This makes chives a fantastic substitute for parsley. 

As for their nutritional value, chives have high beta-carotene content, which is a vitamin A precursor. In addition, beta carotene ranks highly as a powerful antioxidant essential in promoting overall development. 

How To Substitute

Fresh or dried chives are an excellent substitute for parsley in most dishes because their flavor blends perfectly with the various dishes.

While substituting, you can add chives to soup, mashed/baked potatoes, dips, seafood dishes, omelets, and fish. Remember that too much heat destroys the flavor of the chives, which is why it is advisable to add the chives at the last minute to retain their taste.

To maximize their taste, use them when they are thinly sliced, chop them or snip them with kitchen shears before adding them to dishes. 

4. Oregano 

Oregano Parsley Substitutes

Oregano comes from the mint family and has this strong savory flavor that works so well in dishes. It is an excellent substitute for parsley as a garnish and can be fresh or dry during cooking.

Oregano has thymol, an antibacterial compound that keeps harmful bacteria at bay. 

How To Substitute

Oregano has this strong, bitter, and earthy flavor, which is ideal for preparing certain sauces for pizza, pasta, meat marinades, salads, soups, seafood, casseroles, stews, and more.

If you are using fresh oregano, use it in moderation because too much might make your dish bitter and mask the other delightful dish flavors.

Both fresh and dried oregano can work as substitutes for parsley and always remember oregano’s intense flavor and use it accordingly.

5. Endive 

Endive Parsley Substitutes

It is a salad green and also a fantastic parsley substitute. You could mistake the curly leaf endive and the curly leaf parsley because they look almost identical. Endive is peppery, which is why it is commonly used for garnish purposes and an excellent replacement for parsley. 

As for nutrition, endive is a fiber-rich food essential in promoting regularity to your bowel movements and creating a thriving environment for gut bacteria. 

Remember that endives can be eaten raw or cooked. The raw endives are crisp and bitter, which turns them into amazing additions to salads. When cooked, endives turn their sharp flavor into this incredible mellow, nutty deliciousness. 

How To Substitute

When substituting endive for parsley, first slice the endive into thin strips, which you will add to any of your favorite salads. It is an excellent addition to grill dishes too. Small amounts of endive in a dish go a long way because of its robust flavor.

When using it on the grill, brush each endive with olive oil, then grill it until it is browned and a bit wilted on the grilled side. Then, you can top it with extra virgin oil, balsamic vinegar, toasted walnuts, and salt and pepper.

6. Cilantro 

Cilantro 

Cilantro is a herb commonly used in Thai and Mexican dishes and it contains an intense flavor. It resembles flat-leaf parsley and is an excellent garnish option. 

It is also a great nutritious option and an excellent substitute for parsley. Like parsley, ¼ cup cilantro leaves is a healthy option since it contains few calories. In addition, cilantro is known to have essential nutrients to the body such as vitamins and it promotes general health.  

Cilantro contains a strong flavor which might be better for some parsley dishes. However, you can use it as parsley  replacement when you garnish or with  various Mexican or Thai dishes with strong flavors. 

How To Substitute

Use cilantro instead of parsley when preparing soups, adding it in the end, and meats, using it as part of the herb blend when marinating. You can also use it in pasta and various recipes, and it will never disappoint.

Use the same amount of cilantro as parsley in your dishes when substituting.

7. Arugula 

Arugula 

Arugula happens to be a salad green and not a herb as some people think. It is peppery and a bit bitter, which makes it a flavorful and fantastic parsley substitute. You can also use it as an edible garnish

As for nutrition, arugula has high calcium content, which is essential in promoting strong bones, healthy muscles, and heart function. You will get 1% of the DV for calcium from 5 arugula leaves. 

How To Substitute

Arugula has larger leaves than most herbs which is why you will need to finely chop the leaves when using it in place of parsley in your dishes.

It is also advisable to use only a tiny amount as a replacement for parsley because this salad green is more bitter and might ruin your dish when used in plenty.

Since arugula has that strong peppery flavor when cooked, you can use it in dishes where you would love that spicy bite, such as pizza, soups and sauces, and even omelets or smoothies.

You could also eat it raw as a parsley substitute in salads or as a topping on various dishes.

8. Basil 

Basil 

This strong herb contains green leaves(bright) and is a key addition to Italian dishes. In addition, it is an excellent pesto ingredient and herb sauces, pine nuts, and olive oil. 

Basil contains high levels of vitamin K, which is essential in bone strengthening and enables healthy clotting in blood. 

How To Substitute

Basil is a fantastic parsley substitute, especially as a garnish. But for the flavor, it must be utilized as  dried or fresh parsley substitute for best results and in most Italian dishes. In addition, it has a bold taste that will influence the overall taste of your dish. 

9. Carrot Greens 

Carrot Greens 

Carrot greens are an exceptional parsley substitute as a garnish. They were for a long time considered inedible, but the truth is they are edible and contain essential health benefits

Just as with carrots, carrot greens have vitamin C which is a strong antioxidant  and major booster of the immune system.  

How To Substitute

They are bitter-tasting, so it is not advisable to replace them with parsley when cooking. However, carrot greens handle the heat well, which is why they are great substitutes for a cooked dish like chimichurri.

You must chop them finely if you want them to successfully add that spice and work as a great garnish.

10. Celery Leaves 

Celery Leaves 

Celery leaves are an outstanding substitute for parsley. Not only are they similar in appearance, especially with flat-leaf parsley, but they also make an excellent garnish. 

Celery leaves have this subtle flavor, which is sometimes an excellent substitute for parsley in cooked dishes. Therefore, you must carefully choose the dishes you want to use celery leaves in that will allow you to enjoy their fresh and mildly spicy flavor. 

How To Substitute

With the mildly spicy and fresh flavor, celery leaves work great as a substitute for parsley, especially when preparing salads, stocks, soups, sauces, and stews. Celery leaves will not only improve the flavor of the dishes but will also give them that crispy touch and freshness.

Remember that when using celery leaves as a substitute for parsley, don’t overcook them because you risk losing their flavor. Instead, adding them during the last stage of your cooking is best. You can also eat them raw when added in salads because they make the salad taste great. 

11. Thyme

Thyme

This herb is categorized under the mint types and is commonly used in various cuisines globally. There are various categories of thyme, with caraway, lemon, and the common thyme being commonly used in cooking. 

Every type of thyme has a different flavor, but most of them have this flavor that is sweet, mildly-peppery minty with a hint of floral.

You can use fresh or dried thyme to enhance the flavor in your sauces, pasta, soups, vegetables, meats, seafood, stocks, and marinades. 

Thyme’s flavor is different from parsley but still works beautifully when you want to enhance your dish’s flavor. 

How To Substitute

Pull the leaves off the stem when using thyme as a replacement for parsley. Note that the leaves are so small and will not require any chopping. 

If the stem is young and flexible, you can fine-chop the entire sprig and add it to your dish instead of the parsley.

The best thing about thyme is that you can add it early in the cooking. Unlike other herbs, the flavor will develop during the cooking process and not dissipate with the other herbs. The result is usually this amazing flavor that will make your dish stand out. It is a highly recommended substitute for parsley

12. Marjoram

Marjoram

Marjoram happens to be renowned for its pine and citrus flavor, which is sweeter and milder. You can use it as a parsley substitute when it is either fresh or dried. In addition, you can use it as a substitute when preparing sauces, marinades, dressings, stews, soups, and salads. 

How To Substitute

Use marjoram during the last stage of your cooking when you are expecting that fresh but mild flavor for your dish. Of course, you can make use of dried marjoram but only in bits for a light and fresh flavor

You can still substitute dry parsley with dry marjoram in your cooked dishes. Consider wrapping them in cheesecloth and other herbs to create that aromatic combination to add to your stews and braises, or sprinkle it on various vegetable side dishes as a replacement for parsley.

Dried marjoram is perfect when added to salad dressings, preserved meats, and cooked meat dishes.

13. Italian Seasoning 

Italian Seasoning 

Italian seasoning is also a great substitute for parsley, especially when cooking Italian dishes. This seasoning is a premixed seasoning of flavorful dried herbs with oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary.  

How To Substitute

You can use it as a rub for cuts of meat like beef, pork, or chicken or use it in marinades. Italian seasoning also works when sprinkled on top of the pizza to add additional flavors.

It is important to use moderate amounts of Italian seasoning. Its flavor is very dominant and can mask all the other flavors.

14. Lovage 

Parsley Substitutes Lovage 

Lovage is another excellent substitute for parsley, but it is usually underrated. Its flavor is a mix of parsley combined with celery but has this minty, fragrant, and exotic touch. It strongly resembles parsley, but its leaves are chewier than fine parsley. 

How To Substitute

The lovage seeds, lovage stalks, and the leaves are all essential during cooking. The leaves along with the stalks are added to various soups, stews, salads, and broths. For example, chop your lovage in chicken, tomato salsa, and tuna salad.

The lovage seeds work perfectly with marinades, soups, potato salad, bread, dips, and pastries.

Lovage contains parsley hints within its flavor,  which is why you can replace parsley with it in either fresh or dried state.

15. Fines Herbs

Parsley Substitutes Fines Herbs

This mix of tarragon, chives, parsley, and chervil is usually commonly used in french cuisine. Fines herbs are a great substitute for parsley because the flavors are strong and never disappoint when added to a dish. Combining these herbs creates this unique flavor that makes a dish special. 

How To Substitute

When using the fines herbs, it is important to add small quantities and adjust accordingly until the desired taste is achieved.

Fines herbs must be added at the end of the cooking because too much cooking heat can dissipate the flavor and aroma of the herbs.

Add it to mild dishes like sauteed chicken and omelets in place of the parsley if you want to enjoy the true freshness of fines herbs.

16. Dill 

Parsley Substitutes - Dill

Dill is another excellent substitute for parsley when added to fish, potatoes, seafood, and falafel. It works great, whether fresh or dried. However, note that dill is more intense with a mint flavor and has this tartness to it when fresh, along with a mild licorice flavor.

How To Substitute

You can use dill as a garnish instead of parsley because it adds that exceptional finish to your dish. Make sure it is finely chopped before you use it in any dish. Use it in a 1:1 ratio for the best results.

17. Coriander 

Parsley Substitutes Coriander 

Coriander is a common parsley substitute which is also called Chinese Parsley. Some people think coriander and parsley are the same, but the truth is they are not but are close enough that they can be used together and still achieve the desired taste. 

Coriander has this naturally citrus-like flavor which is close to tasting like parsley. However, it also has an earthy or woody taste that makes dishes delicious. Use it as a substitute for parsley on its own, and you will experience the coriander’s flavor at its best.  

How To Substitute

You can use coriander to create the best dishes in place of parsley. Think doughs, batters, marinades, smooth sauces, and so on.

If you are making stews or meats, add the coriander at the end of the cooking to retain its flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Mixed Herbs The Best Substitutes For Parsley? 

Mixed herbs work very well when you don’t have parsley. The flavors are slightly different from parsley, but they positively affect your dishes. 

Most mixed herbs are made up of basil, oregano, thyme, sage, and many others. You can make your mixed herbs or get premixed ones. It all comes down to the dishes you want to make.   

How Do You Choose The Best Substitute For Parsley? 

You choose the best substitute by considering the dish you are making. For example, are you making salads, soups, stews, marinades, or some form of meat? 

The dish you are making will determine the substitute you choose. Ultimately, you want to make a dish that will be enjoyed and remains unforgettable. 

Between Dried And Frozen Parsley, Which Is The Best Option? 

If you want to keep your parsley for a couple of days, freezing it is your best choice. Frozen herbs will work when herb sauce, cooking beans, or scrambled eggs are added.

However, dried parsley has a higher level of antioxidants than fresh sprigs. So if you want a healthier option, dried parsley is a good choice. 

Both dried and frozen parsley works great in your dishes if you know the best quantity and the right time to add them to achieve that flavorful and delicious taste. 

17 Parsley Substitutes That Will Work Favorably For Your Dishes

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Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Total time

0

minutes

Parsley is a culinary herb with a slightly sweet and earthy taste that adds depth to many dishes. Know more about substitutes to add flavor to your dishes

Ingredients

  • Tarragon

  • Chervil 

  • Chives 

  • Oregano 

  • Endive 

  • Cilantro 

  • Arugula 

  • Basil 

  • Carrot Greens 

  • Celery Leaves 

  • Thyme

  • Marjoram

  • Italian Seasoning 

  • Lovage 

  • Fines Herbs

  • Dill 

  • Coriander 

Directions

  • 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