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!
- Common Parsley Substitutes
- Try Using a Different Variation
- Try Dried Parsley
- Other Herbs to Try
- Yummy Recipes to Try
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
Try Dried Parsley
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.
Other Herbs to Try
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!