Parsley Substitute: What Are The Best Herb Replacements For Parsley?

Is there a substitute for parsley? In actual fact there isn’t a perfect replacement for parsley. A common alternative that some people might use is herb leaves.

Every herb has its own unique and distinct taste. Some may taste lighter and some stronger.

Parsley is more of a mild and fresh herb and if you are short of it, then perhaps you can turn to other types of herbs.

Many used dried herbs to substitute for fresh herbs. As a general rule of thumb, the ideal ratio of dry herb to fresh herbs is about 1 teaspoon : 1 tablespoon. Reason is that dry herbs are more concentrated than fresh herbs, so do take note not to over-substitute or under-substitute the ingredients.

However do note that other herbs may not produce the exact same taste as what was in the recipe. Always try a small amount first then adjust to the amount according to your preference.

Not everyone can get used to other herbs. So at the end of the day if you still prefer Parsley and decide to go with the safest option, you can buy the Best Seller Parsley leaf flakes on Amazon.

Parsley Substitute

Photo Credits: Larry Hoffman

Chervil: A Delicate Parsley Replacement

Chervil (Anthriscus sylvestris is a fine and petite culinary herb which belongs to Apiaceae (the family of parsley, celery and carrot). It is one of the French herbs just like chives, parsley and tarragon. Out of the many herbs, Chervil could be the best parsley substitute.

It is often touted as a delicate replacement for parsley. Why? It doesn’t not have a pungent smell like rosemary herb and instead has a mild aniseed, sweet or liquorice flavor and aroma.

Chervil is often used in garnishing, soups and salads.

The flavor of Chervil can be lost easily to the environment and one way to preserve it is by using white wine vinegar.

You can check out 4-ounce jar of Morton & Bassett Chervil or even delicate favor Tarragon leaf at Amazon.

Basil: A Parsley Alternative For Italian Food

Can basil leaves be a parsley substitute? Yes to a certain extent.

Basil has a stronger and a pungent flavor whereas parsley has a milder taste even though they look almost similar.

If you are directing substituting parsley for basil, you will not get the same taste for the dish because both of them produce different flavor.

But if you are using basil to replace parsley for an Italian dish, then it will probably be a good choice as a whole distinct cuisine.

You can buy McCormick Basil Leaves at Amazon.

Cilantro: Is It Not A Good Parsley Substitute?

Cilantro may be the closest herb to substitute parsley yet BUT only in terms of color and not the flavors, in my opinion. If you are only going for the visual appeal or presentation, then yes you might want to consider cilantro.

Some people may ask you to substitute parsley for cilantro but I would not readily agree that it is a true substitution.

Personally I find their tastes near to completely different and wouldn’t suggest you to do that. Your dish might actually be better off without cilantro if you lack of parsley. Parsley has a slightly faint flavor when compared to cilantro.

However, everyone’s taste is different. If you are someone who prefers the flavor of cilantro (beware though, taste of cilantro is like soap), then you may even consider this herb for your dish.

You can get Simply Organic Cilantro flakes at Amazon here.

Difference Between Parsley and Cilantro

There are too many people who thought they are the same type of leaves! But the truth is it is not!

Last time when I was young, I always went marketing with my mum. Everytime when she asked me to get some parsley for her from the vegetables section, I surely got the wrong one.

I always ended up with cilantro. I don’t know why but 8 out of 10 times I failed to get parsley for her. When I think back, I found it quite laughable.

But later during my teens when I found my passion for cooking, I read up a lot of cooking recipes and found out the differences of cilantro and parsley.

So now I’m going to clear the doubts that a lot of people have. Let me give you a way on how to differentiate between parsley and cilantro.

Once you read this, there is a good chance you will never forget again because it’s really quite easy to differentiate them.

When you look at the Italian flat leaf parsley, you will be able to see that its leaves are ‘pointed’. Whereas for cilantro, its leaves are ‘curved’.

Now do you realize how easy it is to recognize the 2 herbs?

Conclusion is, it depends on the type of recipe you are whipping up. If your dish just needs parsley as a garnish, then it’s not necessary to do a substitution as the herb itself does not produce too much of a taste enhancement.

Below is a comprehensive herb substitution guide that can always assist you in your cooking if you run out of any herbs.

Anise SeedFennel
BasilThyme or Oregano
Bay Leaves1/4 teaspoon Thyme for 1 Bay Leaf
ChervilParsley, Tarragon or Dried Parsley with some dried Sage
ChivesOnion, Scallions (green onion) or Leek
CilantroParsley, Flat-leaf Parsley or Coriander
DillTarragon
FennelAnise seed
Italian SeasoningBlend together: Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Marjoram, Thyme and Sage
MarjoramBasil, Savory or Thyme
MintBasil, Rosemary or Marjoram
OreganoBasil, Marjoram or Thyme
ParsleyCilantro, Chervil or Basil
Poultry SeasoningBlend together: Marjoram, Rosemary, Savory, Grounded black pepper and Thyme
Red Pepper FlakesGrounded black pepper or red pepper sauce
RosemaryThyme, Savory or Tarragon
SageRosemary, poultry seasoning, Marjoram or Savory
SavoryRosemary, Thyme, Sage or Marjoram
TarragonDash Fennel seed, Chervil, Rosemary or Dash Anise seed
ThymeBasil, Oregano, Marjoram, Savory or Rosemary

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