Whether you reach for flat leaf, curly leaf, or Italian, you probably know that parsley adds a fresh, herbaceous note to just about any dish. Popular as a garnish, this mild, versatile herb can also add bright flavor to a variety of cooked dishes while also being rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals. However, if you’re looking to garnish that leg of lamb or need a bright herb to finish your salad dressing and don’t have a bunch of parsley on hand, you’ll be happy to know that there are a variety of options to choose from that have the same look as parsley and can be a great replacement in a pinch.
If replacing dried parsley, we recommend also replacing with a dried herb, and if replacing fresh parsley, a fresh herb, so you get the right amount of balanced flavor in whatever you’re preparing since dried herbs tend to have a more concentrated flavor. When it comes to adding a pop of color or flavor to a dish where there’s not a leaf of parsley in sight, don’t fret; use our guide to 5 tasty substitutes for parsley that are guaranteed not to disappoint.
Seen most often in French cooking, chervil is a mild herb that is closely related to parsley, making it well suited as a substitute for fresh or dried parsley. Chervil most closely resembles flat leaf parsley so if you’re going for a bright garnish for a dish, you won’t be disappointed, but if you’re using parsley for a flavor element you’ll want to double the amount of chervil since it has a more mild taste.
Another staple in French cooking is tarragon, which can compliment many dishes as a bright, colorful garnish or for unique flavor when used in small amounts. Tarragon does have a slightly different taste than parsley, so when using it as a stand-in, do your best to taste as you go to achieve the right balance of flavor.
Whether using fresh or dried, chives are an excellent way to replace parsley when it comes to adding color or bright flavor to a dish. While the flavor of chives is more similar to garlic or onions, it can still be used as a terrific substitute for parsley in all sorts of dishes.
4. Carrot Greens
An unexpected substitute for parsley as a garnish, carrot greens have a similar look to curly parsley and can add the same bright green aesthetic that parsley provides. If you’re looking to find a replacement for parsley in cooking, you may want to avoid carrot greens, as they have a bitter flavor and may change the flavor of your dish for the worse.
If you’re fan of Mexican or Thai cuisine, then you’re familiar with the cilantro. Similar to flat-leaf parsley aesthetically, cilantro is an excellent fill-in if you’re using it as a garnish. If cooking with cilantro instead of parsley, be mindful of the amount of cilantro you use since the bright, strong flavor may clash with whatever you’re cooking.