Top 10 Fresh and Dried Substitutes for Parsley

Fresh and Dried Substitutes for Parsley

Parsley which is native to the eastern and central Mediterranean region is a green, vibrant, and versatile herb. Both flat-leaf and curly-leaf parsley enhance the flavors of many dishes and as a garnish.

But what will you do when you are out of dried and fresh parsley? You can go for replacement as there are many excellent parsley substitutes available.

A Quick Look

Only as GarnishFor Cooking and as Garnish
Carrot GreensChervil
Celery LeavesOregano
Parsley Substitutes Only as Garnish as well as both for Cooking and as Garnish

10 Excellent Parsley Substitutes

1. Arugula

Arugula is a salad green. Its peppery and mildly bitter flavor is similar to parsley. That’s why it’s a great substitute to use in dishes where the flavor of parsley is the key.

  • Use a small amount of arugula to replace parsley as it has a bitter taste.
  • Finely chop its large leaves to use them as a substitute.
  • You can also use it as a garnish.
Arugula is high in calcium, helps build strong bones and healthy muscles, and is good for heart function. Only five leaves provide 1% of the Daily Value for calcium.

½ a cup of arugula contains 10.9 micrograms of vitamin K, which is close to 9% of a person’s Daily Value.

2. Basil

Basil, a herb, has bright green leaves and a strong flavor. It can be used instead of parsley in Italian cooking.

Basil is the main ingredient in pesto and is used in almost every Italian dish to add flavor.

  • As a garnish, basil is also a perfect alternative to parsley. 
  • If parsley is used to add flavor, then use basil to replace dried or fresh parsley only in Italian dishes. Otherwise, it can overshadow the flavors of other dishes.
Basil is rich in antioxidants that help in protecting cells from free radical damage. 

It is also full of vitamin K. Only five leaves contain 9% of the Daily Value. Vitamin K ensures normal blood clotting and strengthens bones.

3. Chervil

Chervil is an excellent substitute for fresh or dried parsley. Because it is akin to parsley but with a milder flavor. Chervil looks identical to the flat-leaf parsley. 

  • To replace parsley with chervil, use more chervil than parsley in cooking as it is milder in taste.
  • Chervil can substitute both fresh and dried parsley.
Chervil is high in iron which is vital for increasing healthy red blood cells. 1 Tsp of it provides 1% of the Daily Value (DV).

4. Cilantro

Cilantro is a herb with strong flavoring that works well as a garnish but can be used in cooking too. It has a similar appearance to flat-leaf parsley.

  • Cilantro is an excellent parsley substitute for garnishing.
  • Fresh or dried cilantro can replace parsley in flavorful Thai or Mexican dishes.
freshly bought cilantro on a wooden board
Image credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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However, cilantro isn’t suitable for all the dishes that call for parsley. It has an overwhelming flavor that may change the taste of some dishes.

Cilantro contains less than one calorie/serving and many vitamins and minerals.

5. Carrot Greens

Are you surprised? Well, fresh carrot green can also be used instead of parsley. Carrot tops are perfectly safe to consume and offer certain health benefits.

  • They can taste bitter, so it’s better not to use them to replace fresh or dried parsley in cooking.
  • As carrot tops add some spices, it can be an excellent choice for garnishing. Make sure to chop them finely.
Carrot greens are fairly rich in vitamin C. Did you know Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and can boost your immune system?

6. Celery Leaves

Celery leaves look similar to flat-leaf parsley but have a subtle flavor.

  • They make an excellent garnish.
  • Celery leaves aren’t a good parsley substitute in cooking, where the flavor of parsley is crucial. Because they have a very subtle flavor.
Like celery stalks, celery leaves are full of water and low in calories.

7. Chives

Chives’ flavor works well with many different flavor profiles. Though chives taste like garlic and onions and look like small green onion sprigs, they can be a great alternative to parsley. 

  • Bright green chives are perfect for garnishing and adding color to the dishes.
  • As the mild flavor of chives complements many other recipes, they can be used in cooking too. You can use fresh or dried chives instead of parsley in all types of recipes that call for parsley. Just add them gradually.
Chives have high levels of beta carotene, which our body converts into vitamin A. This antioxidant is good for our eyes and heart.

8. Endive

Endive is also a salad green and can be used as a parsley replacement. Curly leaf endive looks quite similar to curly leaf parsley.

  • Endive has a bitter and peppery taste like arugula, 
  • It is best if used as a garnish.
  • You can also use it in cooking instead of parsley. Just use less endive than you would parsley, as it has a strong flavor.
endive kept on the chopping board
Image credit: TGTGTG, Shutterstock
Endive is a high-fiber vegetable that promotes regularity by bulking up your stool.

9. Oregano

Oregano, which comes from the mint family, has a stronger flavor. It enhances the flavors of Mediterranean dishes.

  • As a garnish, oregano is an excellent parsley substitute.
  • You can also use it in cooking to replace dried or fresh parsley, but use it less than parsley in a recipe because it is stronger in flavor. 

10. Tarragon

French cuisine cannot do without tarragon. It is used in the French herb blend “Fine Herbes” along with chives, parsley, and chervil. But it has a different flavor profile than parsley.

  • This herb is an excellent choice to substitute parsley as a garnish.
  • You can use it in cooking but only in small amounts. Otherwise, its different flavor will change the taste of the whole recipe. And it’s better not to use it in recipes where the flavor of parsley is the main.
According to a study, tarragon may help people with high blood sugar levels
to improve blood sugar control.

Bonus! Dried “fines herbes” is a wonderful substitute for parsley. So, you can use it if you have some in your pantry.

Substituting Fresh Herb & Dried Herb with Each Other

Some recipes call for fresh herbs, while others require dried herbs. But in the case you are out of one required in the recipe but have the other one, you can go for substitutes.

To substitute fresh with dried herbs, use 1 tsp of dry herbs for 1 tbsp of fresh herbs required in the recipe.

And I guess now you can tell what to do to replace dried herb with fresh herb. 

Tips: It’s better to add fresh herbs to recipes at the end of cooking as heat can diminish the flavor of fresh herbs.

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Wrap Up

Many cooking recipes call for parsley, and it is widely used as a garnish, but if you are ever out of parsley, don’t worry because those 10 alternatives can be handy in such times.

Dried or fresh, both chives and chervil are the ideal substitutes for parsley in cooking.

Whereas carrot greens, celery leaves, and cilantro are excellent parsley substitutes as a garnish.

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