What do you think of when you hear the word ‘parsley’? Probably something green and leafy, right? Well, you might want to rethink that.
Parsley is a member of the carrot family and has a wide variety of uses. From salads to soups, stews, and even desserts, parsley adds flavor and color to dishes.
The leaves of the parsley plant contain a compound called apigenin, which is also found in celery. This compound helps boost the immune system and fight inflammation.
In addition, parsley contains vitamins K, C, B6, folate, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and zinc.
Parsley is a versatile herb that can be added to almost anything. Try adding some fresh parsley to your next salad or soup. Or try using it in place of basil or cilantro in tacos, pasta dishes, and other Mexican recipes.
However, what do you do when you can’t get your hands on any, and you’ve run out of your stock in your home. You might want to look for some substitutes?
This article looks at some great substitutes for parsley and how they can provide the same great taste and texture to take your recipes to the next level when it comes to flavor. Let’s jump in.
What Are Substitutes For Parsley?
The most common and popular replacements include celery leaves, greens from carrots, or even cilantro. The best fits for cooking are chervil or chives; however, below, we have listed a few other alternatives which make for great substitutes all around!
1. Celery Leaves
Celery leaves are very similar to parsley in appearance, so they’re a good option if you don’t have access to fresh parsley. They add a bit more crunch than their green counterparts but still offer the same health benefits.
If you’re looking for a substitute for parsley, celery leaves are a solid choice. They are subtle in flavor but make a great garnish. The leaves also look similar to flat-leaf parsley, so they are a perfect visual substitute.
2. Carrot Greens
Carrots are another vegetable that comes in many varieties. One of these varieties is baby carrots. These little guys are perfect for snacking on, and they come with a lot fewer calories than regular carrots.
When looking for a replacement for parsley, consider using the carrot greens from these instead.
They’re not as strong tasting as the actual root vegetables, but they still pack a punch, and they have the same nutritional benefits as carrots themselves.
Chives are one of those herbs that everyone knows about, but unfortunately, no one loves them. That being said, they’re an excellent alternative for parsley. They’re milder than parsley, and they can easily replace it in recipes.
Plus, they’re easy to grow yourself. All you need is a sunny spot outside and a container. Once you start growing them, you’ll find yourself wanting to eat them every day.
Chervil is a beautiful herb that grows wild in Europe. It’s often used in French cuisine, and it pairs well with fish and seafood. It’s also known for its ability to help reduce nausea. If you’re looking to use this herb in your kitchen as a replacement for parsley, you might want to grow it yourself.
Luckily, it’s relatively easy to grow. Just keep it moist and dark, and it will thrive. It’s much milder than parsley but comes from the same family and is almost identical. You will need to use a lot more chervil to achieve the same intensity of flavor.
Dill is another herb that’s commonly used in European cuisines. It has a slightly spicy flavor that pairs well with salmon, chicken, eggs, and potatoes.
While dill isn’t quite as healthy as parsley, it does contain vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. If you’re looking at substituting for parsley, dill could still be a good fit.
Oregano is a staple herb in Italian cuisine. It’s typically paired with tomato-based sauces like pizza and spaghetti sauce. It’s a very powerful herb that’s packed full of antioxidants and minerals.
It’s also a natural insect repellent, meaning that it keeps away pesky bugs while adding some zest to your dishes. If you’re looking into replacing parsley, oregano is a great option.
It’s got a stronger taste than most herbs, so you may need to adjust the amount that you use or use dried. It is part of the mint family yet has a much more savory flavor.
Arugula is a form of salad green as opposed to an actual herb. That being said, it still makes a great replacement for parsley, and the flavors of the two are pretty similar. They both have a mild flavor that is peppery, and arugula is a little bitter.
It has a distinctive taste but makes a great garnish. Ensure you chop up the leaves of arugula if you use it as a substitute, as they are much bigger than parsley.
Basil is a delicious herb that adds tons of flavor to food. It’s been around since ancient times but was considered a luxury item until the 1800s. Since then, basil has become commonplace due to its incredible health benefits.
It contains tons of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps prevent cancer and lowers cholesterol too! Antioxidants fight free radicals, which trigger inflammation in our bodies.
This means that consuming foods rich in antioxidants, like basil, allows us to avoid chronic diseases.
It’s a kitchen staple and used in many cuisines. It makes a great garnish to replace parsley but dial back how much you use or use the dried form as the flavor is so bold!
Endives are one of those vegetables that people either love or hate. The bitterness of endives can be off-putting but when prepared properly, it can make a great addition to salads. It tastes best when cooked briefly in boiling water or steamed.
It’s a great alternative to parsley and, although bitter, has a similar flavor. The curly leaf also looks similar so is a great visual replacement too.
Tarragon is another herb that’s native to Europe and has been grown there for centuries. It’s a strong, pungent herb that has a unique licorice-like flavor. It’s perfect for cooking poultry, meat, and fish.
It’s often combined with other herbs such as rosemary and thyme to create a bouquet garni.
It’s a common ingredient in French cuisine, where it’s used in stocks and soups. Although it doesn’t taste like parsley, it can still be used in replacement when used as a garnish or part of a recipe.
Cilantro is a herb that’s commonly found in Mexican cuisine. It’s a member of the coriander plant family and has a citrusy flavor. It’s often added to salsa and guacamole recipes. It’s also popular in Asian cuisine and has a slight hint of lemon.
It has a lot of health benefits thanks to its high levels of vitamin K, folate, iron, calcium, fiber, and potassium. It’s also known to help reduce cholesterol and prevent cancer.
The flavor is dissimilar to parsley so when substituting the herb, make sure it matches the flavor of the dish you are making.
Mint is a refreshing herb that goes well with sweet dishes and desserts. It’s often paired with chocolate and berries because of this. Mint is from the mint plant and is related to spearmint and peppermint. It’s most commonly associated with tea but it’s also available fresh.
When buying fresh mint, choose sprigs over bunches. Sprigs contain more oil and flavor per square inch. Although taste is slightly different, it can still be used as a visual replacement for parsley in cooking recipes if it matches the flavor profile of the dish you are making.
We hope after reading this article you have gained an understanding of how many different types of tasty herbs and greens you can substitute for parsley for when you don’t have any in the house, or even if you just do not like the taste.
Make sure the herb matches the flavor profile of the dish you are making, and you should be good to go!