From cumin and basil to curry powder, here are my top substitutes for coriander.
While they don’t have the same flavor, they all work well in most dishes.
Coriander (and cilantro) comes from the Coriandrum sativum plant. And here in the states, coriander refers to the seed, whereas cilantro is the leafy stem.
And yes, they do have different tastes.
Coriander is floral, with light and sweet citrussy notes. There’s also a hint of curry in there, which becomes almost nutty when it’s toasted.
Due to its uniqueness, finding the best substitutes for coriander can be tricky.
So instead of finding a taste-alike, use something that’ll complement the dish and give off some of the same flavors.
Top 10 Coriander Substitutes You Can Use in A Pinch
1. Caraway Seeds
Caraway is your best bet if you want something that tastes almost like coriander.
It’s kind of bittersweet and noticeably nutty. However, you’ll also get notes of anise and citrus.
Usually available in seed form, use a 1:1 ratio when substituting caraway for coriander.
2. Dried Parsley
Trying to make a meal but don’t have coriander? No need to fret; dried parsley is here to save the day!
With its similar flavor, color, and texture, this powerhouse deserves way more recognition than it gets.
It creates a balanced dish – acting as a centerfold between bolder elements – and gives off a pleasant herby essence.
It’s the perfect compliment for fish and chicken dishes, is an ideal topping for lamb burgers, and even helps jazz up your typical guacamole.
And the best part about using dried parsley? You don’t have to worry about checking its freshness – it stays good for months!
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting dried parsley for coriander.
Oregano is an excellent way to bring a lot of flavor into your kitchen without spending extra money on coriander.
While it might not be exactly the same, this herb can still provide a wonderful aromatic experience that just might save you a trip to the store.
Readily available, you can even grow it yourself if you really want to go above and beyond with your culinary skills.
Either way, when you don’t have coriander, oregano is definitely the way to go.
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting oregano for coriander.
Basil is often touted as an excellent alternative for coriander in a pinch, but let’s be honest – does anything ever truly compare to coriander?
But basil is still a fabulous substitute for those moments when you just can’t find any coriander!
After all, it has similar notes of citrus and pepper, making it the perfect addition to dishes from Vietnamese noodle bowls to Italian tomato sauce.
Perhaps its most defining feature, however, is its strong yet sweet anise-like aroma.
Though we may never truly replace coriander’s unique flavor, every kitchen should have a pot of basil on hand, just in case!
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting basil for coriander.
As mentioned, cilantro comes from the same plant as coriander seeds, so it’s a no-brainer when you need a quick substitute.
In fact, coriander is the umbrella name for both the leaves and the seeds internationally, so they’re pretty much interchangeable.
It has a zesty aroma and vibrant flavor and contains all the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of coriander – so you don’t miss out.
That said, cilantro leaves have a more polarizing taste. Where coriander is nutty, many people think cilantro leaves taste like soap.
So keep that in mind before adding it to your next dish.
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting cilantro for coriander.
Tarragon is another winner, with a mild flavor that goes with almost anything.
Its flavor of anise and pepper provides a unique complexity that will really transform any dish.
And if you think that tarragon is too strong, don’t worry!
Just use a bit less, and you’ll have the same results without overwhelming the flavors of the rest of your dish.
With its delicious flavor and versatility, tarragon is exactly what you need when cilantro isn’t in the budget.
Put it on tacos or make a creamy dressing – whatever the occasion, tarragon can take any dish to the next level!
Use a 1:2 ratio when substituting tarragon for coriander, then adjust to taste if you think it needs more.
Finding fresh coriander/cilantro outside of a farmers market can be difficult.
But luckily, its feathery bright green fronds are replaced perfectly by dill’s flattened stems.
Not only does the latter offer the same pleasingly playful color pop to a dish, but it also has an equally fragrant aroma.
Plus, the flavor adds great depth to dishes in addition to its intricate texture.
Dill’s combination of sweet and tangy flavors makes it an ideal herb for soups, salads, and sauces alike. And it’s not too expensive, so grab a bunch!
Since dill is strong, Use a 1:2 ratio when substituting dill for coriander, then adjust to taste if you think it needs more.
8. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are a great substitute if you don’t have coriander or simply can’t find it!
Not only do they look almost identical – no one will be able to guess it’s not coriander – but they taste similar too.
Packed with aniseed flavor, your meal won’t suffer with fennel as a substitution.
In fact, you could argue that its strong aroma and subtle sweet-licorice flavor make your meal even better than the original!
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting fennel seeds for coriander.
When you don’t have that all-important coriander but need a finishing touch for a meal, fear not – enter cumin!
Not only does this fragrant, nutty, and earthy spice lend your dish an evocative aroma, but it also imbues your food with marvelous flavor.
In addition, cumin acts as a gentle gateway for introducing subtle heat. So it’s absolutely indispensable when you’ve got finger-licking chili on the menu.
Don’t despair if coriander has gone out of stock at your local grocery store – just try reaching out to cumin instead, and you won’t be sorry!
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting cumin for coriander.
10. Curry Powder
Curry powder is a fantastic substitute for when you don’t have coriander on hand!
It delivers a delicious complexity of flavors, like toasted cumin.
Better yet, it’s easier and more practical than locating all the individual spices you would need if you were trying to make a curry paste.
Curry powder comes in mild, medium, and spicy variations – so everyone can find one they like, no matter how daring they are in the kitchen.
It can also give foods an incredible flavor without adding too many calories.
So whether you’re looking to add a dash of international flair or simply want an all-in-one solution for your cooking woes, curry powder will get the job done.
Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting cumin for coriander.
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