Parsley is a wonderful herb to add freshness and color to many recipes.
And these substitutes for parsley are just what you need if you happen to run out.
If you’re in a cooking bind and looking for something to replace parsley, you’re in the right place!
Of course, like most herby substitutes, it’s always best to get the real thing.
But when you’re out and need a quick alternative, try one of the options below. They’ll add the color you need and some flavor, too.
Just remember: some substitutes for parsley work better than others. And it will depend on what you’re making to find the right one.
Dried vs. Fresh Parsley
Like most herbs, you can purchase parsley fresh or dried.
While some herbs heighten the flavor in the drying process, parsley doesn’t have this benefit.
Fresh parsley is often used as a garnish, as it doesn’t stand up to cooking very well.
That being said, fresh parsley is best to garnish dishes for a pop of color.
Dried parsley, on the other hand, has a much longer shelf life.
And it can be used to flavor dishes that require a longer cooking time.
Best Substitutes for Dried Parsley
If the recipe at hand calls for dried parsley, there are several herbs you can substitute with.
What’s important to note when making your substitution is the overall flavor of the dish.
Some of these substitutions are more versatile than others, but all can be great in place of parsley.
From dried chives to dried cilantro, I’m sure you have some of these in your pantry!
Here are some of my favorite substitutions for dried parsley for you to check out!
1. Dried Chives
Chives are a great substitute for parsley because their flavor is so versatile.
The flavor added will be similar to garlic or chives, which is welcome in so many recipes.
If the dish you’re substituting in has garlic or onions, dried chives are a great substitute.
Not only will there be a great addition of flavor, but you’ll get that same green coloration.
Dried chives are a cost-effective and simple substitution for parsley.
2. Dried Tarragon
If you’re looking for the peppery flavor behind parsley, tarragon is a great replacement.
Like parsley, tarragon works great in a variety of dishes as a flavor enhancer or garnish.
The flavor profile of dried tarragon will mimic the parsley with a hint of cinnamon or anise.
Because of the different flavors, add dried tarragon in small increments to attain the flavor you want.
3. Dried Oregano
Dried oregano is one of those herbs I always have in my cupboard.
With that, it can be used in moderation to replace dried parsley!
Oregano is commonly used in Italian dishes and has a much stronger flavor than parsley.
The flavor is much more savory, so use it sparingly.
The best part of dried oregano is its shelf-stable nature and rich flavor.
4. Dried Basil
Unlike parsley, dried basil has a much stronger flavor than its fresh counterpart.
Be sure to use this dried herb sparingly, and adjust to the desired flavor.
Because of its strong flavor, basil is a great substitute for Italian dishes.
If you’re using basil in dishes outside of an Italian wheelhouse, it will likely change the flavor dramatically.
What I love most about using dried basil in cooking is its deep green hue.
This is a great substitution if you want a beautiful pop of color and flavor.
5. Dried Chervil
If you happen to have dried chervil on hand, it’s one of the best substitutes for dried parsley.
In both appearance and flavor, chervil is very similar to parsley.
In fact, it’s often called French parsley because of their close relationship!
Because chervil has a bit of a more mild flavor, you may want to add more to achieve the flavor.
It’s mild, vibrant, and a lovely substitution for parsley.
6. Other Dried Herbs
Aside from the previous five, you can use most dried herbs in place of parsley.
From fine herbs to Italian seasoning, it simply depends on the recipe at hand.
Dried cilantro can be used in place of parsley for Mediterranean or Mexican dishes.
Or, use dried celery leaves for a pop of color and a very mild flavor.
Take a peek inside your pantry and give some other dried herbs a try.
Who knows, you might end up finding new flavor combinations you’ll love!
Best Substitutes for Fresh Parsley
Fresh parsley has a variety of uses from a vibrant chimichurri or pesto, or to a simple garnish.
Whatever dish you’re making, you can easily substitute fresh parsley.
If you’re not able to find fresh parsley or just have other herbs to use, there are so many substitutions.
Take your pick from fresh herbs like cilantro and chives to greens like arugula and carrot greens.
With a little bit of creativity, you can make the perfect dish, even without parsley.
Here are some of my favorite substitutes for fresh parsley in recipes.
7. Fresh Cilantro
Depending on the recipe, fresh cilantro can be a great substitute for parsley.
Though, be careful! The flavor of cilantro can change a recipe entirely.
If you’re cooking a Mexican, Mediterranean, or Thai dish, fresh cilantro is a great herb.
On the other hand, it’s a great garnish for adding beautiful color and texture to any plate.
Cilantro has an appearance similar to parsley, making it a visually appealing substitution.
8. Fresh Arugula
Most people wouldn’t think to use salad greens as a substitute for herbs, but arugula is here to change your mind!
To pass as an herb, be sure to finely chop arugula to add to recipes in place of fresh parsley.
Be warned, this green has a bitter flavor, so use a small amount.
I wouldn’t recommend garnishing with arugula, as the large structure would take away from the plate.
Check out my post, “What is arugula?” to learn more.
9. Fresh Endive
If you’re looking for that beautiful green color and curly texture, endive is a great fresh alternative.
Its appearance is so similar to parsley, you’ll only notice the difference in flavor!
Like arugula, endive is peppery and bitter so it should be used in smaller amounts.
If you’re looking for a garnish, it’s the perfect substitute.
Not only is it a delicious addition to many dishes, but it’s also perfect for color, too!
10. Fresh Chives
Much like parsley, chives can be added to a wide variety of dishes.
If you’re like me, you always have chives on hand. So go ahead and substitute them for parsley!
It’s important to note that chives have a mild onion flavor in comparison to the earthy flavor of parsley.
Thankfully, this flavor is great in so many savory dishes, so bring on the chives.
And you can easily add fresh chives on top of many dishes for a pop of color.
11. Fresh Oregano
Fresh oregano is a delicious substitution for parsley if you’re cooking certain dishes.
Though, with a stronger flavor, I recommend starting with smaller amounts.
Fresh oregano is readily available in most grocery stores, making it an ideal substitution for some dishes.
Of course, the most obvious style of meal is Italian cooking!
Outside of Italian cuisine, oregano can be used in some Greek or Mediterranean foods as well.
12. Fresh Celery Leaves
Celery leaves can be a great substitution for celery, particularly for garnishing dishes.
Its vibrant green, curly leaves mimic the appearance of parsley well!
When it comes to flavor, celery leaves have a much more subtle flavor than parsley.
I wouldn’t recommend using it as a substitute for cooking in place of parsley.
The high water content, similar to the stalk of celery, prevents this substitution from adding much flavor.
13. Fresh Carrot Greens
Once thought to be inedible, carrot greens can be used in place of fresh parsley. Ironically, they’re actually related to parsley!
When finely chopped, you can use these subtle greens in place of parsley in recipes.
This substitution can be more bitter than parsley, so use them sparingly.
The overall flavor of the greens themselves is quite mild, making carrot greens great for stews and soups.
How to Substitute Dried Parsley for Fresh (and vice versa)
One of the easiest substitutions is fresh parsley in place of dried or dried for fresh parsley.
If you have one on hand, this is a great substitute!
Though every batch can be different, the rule of thumb is 1/3 to 1/2 dried herb to fresh herb.
Start with 1/3 and adjust to the desired flavor.
For every serving of fresh parsley in the recipe, you want to use about half as much dried parsley.
The same goes the other way for substituting fresh parsley for dried parsley.
Just use about twice as much fresh parsley to get the same earthy flavor.
Try these substitutes for parsley when you are out of it!
From oregano to cilantro to arugula, each of these alternatives is a viable option.
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