7 Best Parsley Substitutes [Easy Ingredient Alternatives]

Desperately need a last-minute parsley substitute? Here are the best seven backups to get you out of trouble.

Parsley Substitutes

Parsley is an herb with a distinctive aroma that is used in many different cuisines. You can buy fresh bundles of parsley, dried and chopped leaves, or even grow your own parsley plant at home.

Parsley originated in the Mediterranean and has since spread throughout the rest of Europe and the world. It is common in Middle Eastern, Italian, and even Latin American cuisine. Parsley’s floral aroma is used to garnish meat and roasted dishes, add extra flavor to salads, and infuse flavor into long and slow-cooked dishes such as stews and stocks.

However, some people do not like the taste of parsley, and there are also some associated health risks—experts recommend avoiding large quantities of this herb for pregnant women. For whatever reason you are choosing to avoid parsley, here are some substitutes that you can use.

The best substitute for parsley depends on how you were planning on using the herb. If you were using a bunch of fresh parsley as a garnish, then a similar leafy herb such as cilantro works. If you were going to use dried parsley to season a dish, similar earthy herbs such as thyme or finely chopped chives are suitable substitutes.

parsley substitute


Chervil is a fresh herb that is commonly referred to as French parsley. It also has the same notes and taste. It has a fresh and delicate taste, which is very similar to that of parsley. The similar taste is because it is part of the parsley family. It is a spring herb and is often used in dishes that need a fresh take on them. Parsley is often used as a garnish, and You can also use chervil in the same way. 

The taste resembles anise and has a mild licorice flavor. However, it is still softer than parsley. Chervil leaves are curly and will look like flat-leaf parsley if you would want to use them in place of parsley. Since it has a mild taste and parsley is stronger than it is, you will need to use it in your recipe.


This is an aromatic herb from the sunflower family, and it is a perennial herb. It comes in three varieties, French, Mexican, and Russian.  It grows in clusters of green, yellow-like flowers on stems. In most cases, it is used in the same recipes as parsley along with chives. If you want a fresh green mild-tasting herb, this will do the trick.

French tarragon is greener, so it will do well as a garnish. Russian tarragon has coarse leaves, while Mexican tarragon has yellow leaves. The mild flavor allows you to use it in many dishes as it easily complements various flavors. 

The flavor of tarragon is slightly different from that of parsley. It can be described as having a eucalyptus-like flavor, with hints of mint and celery. While it may not look like parsley, it can be used in the same way as a garnishing agent in small amounts. 


This herb is part of the mint family. It is a flowering perennial plant that is often used in many cuisines and has a warmth to it and a bit of sweetness. It is often favored for its pepper-like taste. However, if it isn’t used in moderation, it can turn out to be too bitter. So it helps to know what flavors you are working with. The intensity of the flavors can vary, but it adds warmth and heat to a dish. 

The taste of oregano is anything but mild, so make sure to use it sparingly. You can use it to substitute parsley, whether fresh or dried.  However, make sure to use less oregano than you would parsley because of the stronger taste that this herb has. For every half, a teaspoon of dried herbs, use one and a half teaspoons of fresh herbs. This is because dried herbs are much stronger than fresh. 


This green herb is often used for the green color and vibrance they add to a dish. But also for the onion-like taste that they add. They look like grass and hence have a thin blade-like shape. The flavor can be described as mild and also garlic-like. As such, they do well in salads, for cooking, and also as a garnish.  

You can use fresh or dried chives in place of parsley. Ordinarily, chives can be used in sauces, for cooking, and also for garnish. Use half a teaspoon of dried chives for one and a half teaspoons of fresh parsley. It is advisable that you add them into your dish as you cook, unlike fresh chives that can also be used in all their glory as a garnish.


This vegetable is part of the broccoli and kale family. It is not a herb but a salad green with numerous health benefits. It has a distinct peppery taste and may also come off as being a bit bitter. It can be used in salads and is quite crunchy. In the same way that you would toss in parsley, you can do the same with arugula. It can be eaten raw or added to your cooking recipes. 

There’s more of a bite to it when it is eaten raw. But you can also cook it if you are willing to lose parts of the peppery taste. It makes a good substitute for fresh parsley. The good thing about the arugula leaves is that they have a large surface area. 

As such, they can be chopped up finely and easily substitute chopped parsley. It is bitter, so make sure to use less of it to overpower the rest of the dish. 


This is also a salad green, and it goes well with dishes that require fresh greens. It has a  bitter, pepper-like taste. Curly leaf endive looks quite similar to curly leaf parsley. It has a mild, nutty taste, but it can also be slightly bitter to chew on. It can be eaten raw or cooked.  Endives have a strong flavor, so you may want to use less of it than you would parsley. 

The leaves are crunchy, so it makes a good salad ingredient and a good parsley substitute. When the leaves are raw, they are crunchy and bitter, but the taste is more mellow and can be slightly sweet when cooked. You can therefore use it in place of parsley when cooking or as a garnish. 


This is a herb that is often used in Mexican and Thai dishes. Its leaves look like flat parsley, and as such, it makes for good garnishing. Its flavors are quite bright and could end up overshadowing the flavors in the dish. Parsley has mild flavors, and in most cases, it will not be as strong as cilantro.

Cilantro has a lemon-like flavor that you will either like or hate. It’s also known as coriander. It also has a bit of a peppery taste and is often used as an ingredient to brighten up dishes. It can be used as a fresh parsley substitute. You will need to use less cilantro than parsley because it has a stronger flavor.