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12 Tasty Herbs and Greens to Substitute for Parsley

If you run out of parsley or simply don’t like the taste, here are 12 options to use as a substitute for parsley.

Parsley is used as a garnish and to flavor dishes across all types of cuisine, but sometimes you just run out and don’t want to make a trip to the store.

Or maybe you are looking for a different variation or just don’t like the taste of traditional parsley.

Here are the best substitutes for parsley on any occasion!

Large bunch of flat leaf parsley tied with twine on wood cutting board.

Common Parsley Substitutes

Parsley is an awesome flavor agent and garnish for cooking, but there are several alternatives that make a great stand-in.

The best replacements for parsley as a garnish are: celery leaves, the greens from carrots, or cilantro.

And, the best fits for cooking, are: chervil or chives.

However, each of the following make great substitutes in a pinch!

1. Celery Leaves

Celery stalks sit next to chopped celery and leaves in a white bowl.

Celery leaves have a very subtle flavor and wouldn’t add much to a dish for cooking purposes, but can make an excellent garnish.

These leaves look very similar to flat leaf parsley and are a great visual substitute for the real thing.

2. Arugula

Large bunch of fresh cut arugula on white washed, rustic wooden table.

Arugula isn’t actually an herb, but a type of salad green. Despite this big difference, the flavor profile of arugula is very similar to parsley.

They both have a mild peppery flavor and arugula is also slightly bitter. It’s distinctive taste makes it a great parsley substitute.

However, if you do choose arugula as your stand in, but sure to finely chop the leaves as they are much bigger than the herb.

3. Endive

Several heads of bright green curly endive growing in rows in dark soil.

Endive is another leafy green option you can use as a stand in for parsley. It has a very similar flavor, although a bit more pronounced.

Curly leaf endive looks remarkably similar to curly leaf parsley and can be used as a garnish or cooking substitute.

4. Chervil

Dipping sauce in mini white Dutch oven dish topped with parsley substitute.

Chervil is milder in flavor than parsley, but comes from the same family and looks nearly identical.

Just be sure to use quite a bit more chervil to achieve the same intensity of flavor.

5. Tarragon

Large bunch of dark green fresh cut tarragon on wooden cutting board.

Tarragon is popular in French cuisine. It tastes slightly different than parsley, but has a great flavor.

Use this as a garnish, or sparingly if cooked in a recipe.

6. Oregano

Dried oregano on a large wooden spoon surrounded by fresh oregano leaves.

Oregano is part of the mint family, but has a completely different and savory flavor. Like parsley, it is used across multiple cuisine types.

However, oregano’s flavor is much more intense, so if you choose oregano as a substitute, you’ll want to add a smaller amount or substitute with dried.

7. Chives

Large bunch of chives tied with twine next to pile of diced chives.

Chives have a very similar flavor profile to garlic and onion and resemble very thin scallions or the sprouts of garlic.

Like parsley, their bright green color makes them an excellent garnish for most dishes and pairs well with many kinds of food.

8. Cilantro

Dried cilantro on large wooden spoon next to bunch of fresh cilantro.

Cilantro has a very distinct flavor which is pretty dissimilar to parsley. However, it is used in some of the same types of cuisine like Indian and Thai foods and lots of Mexican dishes.

You’ll want to be careful when substituting with cilantro and ensure it matches the flavor profile of the dish.

9. Basil

Large bunch of bright green fresh basil and burlap cloth over wooden table.

Basil is another kitchen staple that’s used in almost every type of cuisine.

It makes a wonderful garnish, but if used in place of parsley for cooking, be sure to dial back the amount or use it in dried form.

It has a much bolder flavor!

10. Carrot Greens

Large bunch of carrots with stems tight together on small wooden cutting board.

Carrot greens make a great garnish to finish a dish, but they don’t work so well as a cooking substitute.

While they have the same nutrition benefits as carrots, they are pretty bitter so you’d likely want to avoid them in large quantities.

PRO TIP: No matter which substitute you choose, if you plan on cooking with fresh herbs, remember to add them just before you plan to serve or at the end of cook time. Fresh herbs lose a lot of flavor during the cooking process!

Try Using a Different Variation

There are two main kinds of parsley found in most grocery stores which can be used interchangeably. Both have a peppery flavor and similar nutrient properties.

If your store only has one option or if the version you’re looking for is out of stock, you can simply use the other, however there are a few differences.

Parsley Variations

Flat Leaf (Italian Parsley) has thin and broad leaves when compared to its cousin. It can range in color from dark to light and has a stronger punch of flavor.

Curley Leaf Parsley has thick, frilly leaves as you might expect. It is bright green in color and a bit more muted in flavor.

Small bunch of deep green curly leaf parsley on striped kitchen towel.

Try Dried Parsley

Parsley’s versatile flavor can be enjoyed fresh or dried, with the dried version lasting much longer (Dried parsley, is simply fresh parsley that has been freeze dried.).

You can find dried parsley in grocery stores next to other seasonings like salt and pepper.

To use dried parsley as a substitute for for fresh, use one teaspoon of dried for every tablespoon of fresh parsley in the recipe.

Large pile of dried parsley on large white ladle on tan cloth.

Other Herbs to Try

Clipped, fresh herbs including rosemary and thyme in white bowl on wooden table.

If you just don’t like parsley or want to go in a completely different direction, you can get creative with even more herb substitutions that match your desired flavor profile and personal tastes.

Check out this herb substitution guide for a comprehensive list.

Yummy Recipes to Try

If you’re ready to try some new recipes with parsley, you’ll love these!

Italian Ground Turkey Patties with Vegetables Provencal

Italian ground turkey patty with zucchini, onions and tomato on white platter.

Authentic Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs

Authentic spaghetti and meatballs on white dinner plate with cheese on top and fork.