In this article, we will discover the seven fantastic substitutes for parsley if you want to mix things up! We will also look at the best fresh parsley substitutes vs dry parsley substitutes.

Variety is the spice of life, they say. If you like spicing your food with different herbs, parsley might be one of your favorites.

Its mild flavor goes well with so many dishes. One of my favorites is adding fresh parsley to eggs and soups. No wonder the famous chef Albert Stockli praised parsley…

“Parsley – the jewel of herbs, both in the pot and on the plate.”

Albert Stockli

But the problem is that you can easily run out of it. At least in my Italian home we do!

It’s also possible that you may want to try out a different herb in exchange.

As great as the herb is, there may come a day when you want to try something different.

For the days when you don’t have any parsley readily available, it helps to know there are other herbs that can stand in for parsley and deliver the same great taste.

Like I mentioned, earlier parsley is a mild herb with a lot of uses and benefits. Apart from adding a fresh and herby taste to your dishes, it is filled with nutrients that are beneficial to both humans and animals.

Also, the fresh green leaves of the herb work as a garnish, even if you don’t use them for their flavor.

Without further ado, here are seven substitutes for parsley, both for flavor and as a garnish.

Substitutes for Parsley

Substitutes for Parsley both Fresh and Dried

1. Oregano

If you are familiar with oregano, you will know it can be quite strong. You will have to use a lot less oregano then parsley.

Its flavor is much stronger than that of parsley. Though it is still a great substitute, you should use a smaller amount of the herb than you would use parsley, especially if using dried oregano.

If you’re replacing fresh parsley, I would highly recommend using fresh oregano. Give the oregano taste as it can be very strong or mild. If mild use the same amount as parsley. If strong, use half the amount.

IMPORTANT NOTE that when a substitute herb or plant is more flavorful than parsley and you are using the dried type of the herb, use a smaller amount than usual. Dried herbs have more flavor than fresh ones. So, dried oregano will be even more flavorful than dried parsley.

2. Arugula

Though more of a salad green than an herb, arugula is sharp and a slighty bitter. But it can be used as an herb.

Its rich flavor makes it a worthy substitute for parsley, whether you use it as part of a dish or as a garnish.

The plant contains a lot of calcium for healthier muscles, stronger bones, and better heart functions.

The leaves of the arugula plant are typically larger than those of parsley or other herbs. So, if you add it in place of parsley, you will need fewer leaves than you would typically use with fresh parsley.

Arugula is not a dried herb option.

3. Chervil

The herb chervil is almost like parsley, which makes it one of the BEST substitutes.

You may even mistake it for the flat-leaf type of parsley. However, its flavor is a little milder than parsley, so you may need to add a little more of it to your dishes for both dried or fresh.

Chervil is an alternative to parsley
Chervil is a GREAT alternative to parsley

Chervil is rich in iron. A teaspoon of the dried herb contains about one percent of your daily value of iron.

4. Cilantro

Cilantro is in the family of parsley but has a very distinct flavor. Only use this as a parsley substitute if you like the flavor.

One reason for this is that the herb has a strong flavor and is a favorite for making Thai and Mexican dishes.

It looks just like the flat-leaf type of parsley when it is fresh, which is why it works as a garnish replacement for parsley.

But its flavor is quite different. If you have never had cilantro before, it has a strong, spicy, slightly citrusy aroma. Some people love it and some people can’t even stand the smell of it.

>> Learn more on the differences between Parsley and Cilantro

5. Celery Leaves

Like cilantro, celery leaves look like the flat-leaf type of parsley, which makes them excellent for garnishing purposes.

Another reason why the leaves are better for garnishing than flavoring is their flavor.

Celery leaves as a garnish replacement for parsley

Celery leaves have a faint flavor, which will not be noticeable in a dish. But it will bring a punch of green color which parsley is used for a lot.

This should only as a fresh parsley substitute.

6. Tarragon

Tarragon is featured in a lot of French dishes.

Its flavor is slightly different from that of parsley, but it still works well as a substitute. You can use it for flavoring and garnishing. However, use it in smaller amounts than you would use parsley because of its flavor.

tarragon to replace parsley

Tarragon may help control blood sugar if you have problems with your blood sugar level. Additionally, you can mix it with other herbs such as chervil and chives.

7. Basil

Consider using basil as a substitute for parsley only if you need to make an Italian dish.

Basil has a more robust and distinct flavor than parsley, though the leaves of the two herbs have a similar bright green color. However, fresh basil will only work in a dish that suits more intense flavors.


Basil is an excellent choice if you are looking for a parsley substitute for garnishing purpose.

Dry basil has much more subtle flavor than fresh and might work much better in replacing parsley.

So, basil only does it work as a good sub for parsley, but it also supplies vitamin K, which encourages blood clotting and strengthens the bones.

Final Thoughts…

If you love using parsley in your dishes but want to try some varieties, choose any herbs on our list. The same applies if you have no parsley when needed. Chervil is the most best replacement for parsley when cooking.

In contrast, celery leaves and cilantro are best for garnishing. Keep that in mind when substituting parsley in your recipes.

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