Cilantro Substitutes: The Best Choices

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Cilantro adds a citrus taste to your food as well as a dash of color. Although being an important spice in many cuisines, many individuals dislike the flavor of cilantro. Thankfully, individuals looking for a cilantro substitution have a variety of options to select from.

Cilantro, which originated in the Middle East, is a key component in many Mexican and South Asian dishes. It gives any food a spicy, toasted, and citrus taste.

Although cilantro has a unique flavor, it is an acquired taste. Therefore having a few cilantro substitutes on hand for people who aren’t fans of it is a good idea.

What Is Cilantro?

Cilantro is a perennial plant of the Apiaceae family. It has a strong peppery flavor with a crisp citrus touch that adds a lovely finish to any meal. Some others, however, remark that it tastes soapy.

Since it does not dry correctly, it is usually used fresh. Cilantro is also used in traditional Indian, Chinese, and Mexican cuisines. It shines brightly in guacamole, stir-fries, and Egyptian ful medames.

Cilantro also offers several health advantages. It is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Cilantro Substitute

There’s no need to worry if you run out of cilantro. You may experiment with a variety of cilantro substitutes. You may try these alternatives even in recipes where cilantro is the main flavoring. Let’s take a look at some of the top cilantro substitutes on the market.

1. Cumin

Cumin is a spice that is made from the dried, crushed seeds of the Cuminum cyminum plant. Despite it has a somewhat nutty taste, it contains spicy and fragrant undertones similar to cilantro.

It complements meals such as chiles and soups. You can also use it to guacamole or marinade to provide great overtones of nutty taste.

You may substitute cilantro with cumin in your curry recipe to make it more flavorful. It may be substituted in equal portions here.

2. Garam Masala

Garam masala is a blend of spices. Despite the specific components vary, it often includes turmeric, peppercorns, coriander, cloves, cumin, and other spices.

Cilantro and coriander are both derived from the same plant. Since coriander is one of the components of garam masala, it is a good substitute for cilantro. Garam masala may be used to curries and meat dishes to provide a hint of spice from the black pepper.

That being said, garam masala will provide a somewhat distinct flavor to your meal than cilantro. Garam masala may be used as a 1:1 substitution. Add extra for a more pungent flavor.

3. Curry Powder

Curry powder, like garam masala, is a spice combination. The majority of curry powders include cumin, ginger, turmeric, chile, and other spices.

Curry powder gives a meal a lovely depth of flavor. Because of the many components, it has both sweet and savory overtones. It, like cilantro, adds a warm, savory taste to curries, roasted vegetables, and marinades.

Certain curry powders, on the other hand, may be rather pungent and have a somewhat distinct finish than cilantro. As a result, keep in mind that a little goes a long way. In any dish, start by adding a teaspoon of curry powder for every teaspoon of cilantro.

4. Caraway

Caraway is an excellent cilantro alternative. Caraway, like cilantro, is a member of the Apiaceae plant family. It also has fragrant qualities akin to cilantro and a deep bittersweet taste.

Caraway is often regarded to have an earthy, somewhat sweet taste that works well in pastries and baked products. Caraway may also be used to enhance the taste of marinades and dry rubs.

Since caraway has sweeter flavors than cilantro, use a teaspoon for every teaspoon of cilantro. After that, you may make adjustments as required.

5. Basil

Basil is another herb that works well as a replacement for cilantro. Basil is a young plant with sweet, spicy overtones and warm undertones.

However keep in mind that basil comes in a variety of varieties. Thai basil, like cilantro, is the greatest cilantro substitution since it is less sweet and adds more spiciness.

It’s great for adding a little heat to curries and stir-fries. Basil also complements mango salsa and tomato soups. You may also sprinkle basil over salads for a mild sense of earthy spiciness. In equal quantities, basil is a good substitute for cilantro. Just keep in mind that it will provide a sweeter, less bitter ending.

6. Parsley 

Parsley and cilantro are often confused. As a result, parsley is an ideal substitute for cilantro. It has the same color and texture as turmeric but a somewhat milder scent.

Also, parsley leaves are somewhat pointier than cilantro leaves. While using parsley, you won’t receive the lemony and spicy overtones that cilantro has.

This herb adds a great deal of freshness to salad dressings and grilled veggies. It’s also tasty as a garnish. Hence, if you wish to replace cilantro with parsley, use a 1:1 ratio.

7. Lemon Or Lime 

Use lemon or lime as a less herbaceous cilantro replacement. These are an excellent way to replicate the citrus flavors of cilantro.

Of course, you won’t get the same pop of color that cilantro does. These, on the other hand, will provide a comparable tart taste to salad dressings and marinades.

Nevertheless, lemon or lime will not work well in a dish where cilantro is the featured herb. When replacing, however, add a teaspoon of lemon or lime for every teaspoon of cilantro.


Discovering cilantro substitutes is beneficial since it gives you additional choices when cilantro is unavailable. You’ll be astonished at how different herbs can make your food taste. Thus, if you’re in a hurry or want to try something new, use the cilantro substitution above for a refreshing touch.


What is a good substitute for cilantro in a recipe?

The Best Fresh Coriander Leaf Substitutes (Cilantro)
Parsley. Parsley is a bright green herb that belongs to the same family as cilantro. Because basil alters the taste of certain foods, it works well as a substitute for cilantro in other circumstances. … Herb Blends.
Nov 29, 2018

What is the closest flavor to cilantro?

Since cilantro and parsley are related, parsley is the greatest alternative for cilantro when you want a comparable flavor. Parsley comes in two varieties: Italian flat leaf parsley and curly parsley. They are the two most likely to be found in the produce section of your local supermarket.

What can I use instead of cilantro in Thai cooking?

Cumin: Cumin is widely used as a substitute for cilantro in Asian, South American, and Middle Eastern recipes.
Curry Powder: This spice blend comprises dried herbs and spices such as coriander, ginger, turmeric, and chili.
Additional details…•February 21, 2023

What can I use instead of cilantro in Mexican food?

Nevertheless, parsley is a fantastic substitute for cilantro since it goes well with meats, vegetables, and fruits and enhances the flavor of your food. Parsley works well as a substitute in Mexican dishes such as salsa and guacamole.

What other herb is cilantro the same as?

Coriander and cilantro both originate from the Coriandrum sativum plant. In the United States, cilantro refers to the plant’s leaves and stem, while coriander refers to the dried seeds. Coriander refers to the leaves and stems of the plant, whereas coriander seeds refer to the dried seeds.

How important is cilantro in a recipe?

Cilantro adds a subtle burst of freshness to almost all of the recipes in which it appears and is such a crucial component in so many cuisines that many of them would be far less palatable without it.

What dried herb tastes like cilantro?

Culantro (Eryngium foetidum) (Eryngium foetidum)

Culantro is a heat-tolerant alternative for cilantro, with similar scent and taste. In addition to heat tolerance, culantro preserves its flavor well when dried, as opposed to cilantro leaves, which have the taste of tissue paper when dried.

What flavor does cilantro add?

Fresh cilantro has a lemony, spicy, and pungent flavor, and some people say it tastes like soap because of the natural aldehyde compounds in the leaves. We advocate using dried cilantro as a topping on meals since it has a more delicate taste.

Does parsley taste like cilantro?

Cilantro is more aromatic and flavorful than parsley. It is often characterized as peppery and lemony. Several people also claim that it smells and tastes like soap (more on that later). Parsley, on the other hand, has a lemony, fresh aroma and flavor.

What can I use instead of cilantro in cilantro lime rice?

Cilantro substitution – If you don’t like cilantro, use chopped fresh parsley or a variety of herbs like chives, dill, mint, and basil.

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