Cilantro is the versatile leaf of the coriander plant which is a member of the parsley family. The taste is bright, fresh and citrusy. Originally from the middle east, cilantro is now used worldwide. It is a main ingredient in guacamole, asian soups, and ful medames. Cilantro may be one of the most controversial herbs because many people think it has an overpowering “soapy” taste - which may actually be due to genetics. Luckily, there are many substitutes for cilantro that are easily added to any recipe.
Substitute cilantro with other herbs such as parsley, Thai basil, or dill. Lemon and lime are also good substitutes in a pinch as they mimic the bright flavor of cilantro.
While the taste of cilantro is unique, many people find themselves not liking the flavor but still wanting to enjoy the freshness that it brings to recipes. If you’re craving a south of the border dish, but don’t love the cilantro flavor, you’re probably wondering “is there a substitute for cilantro”? Here are some of the most common cilantro alternatives:
Dried Cilantro Substitutes
When substituting fresh or dried cilantro for another fresh or dried herb like parsley or basil, you can use a 1:1 ratio.
Cilantro Substitute FAQs
Is Coriander a Good Substitute for Cilantro?
Although coriander and cilantro come from the same plant -- Coriandrum sativum -- they actually have two totally different flavors. Coriander is great in recipes that use cilantro, but if you’re looking for a replacement for the cilantro flavor, you’re better off using parsley or basil.
Cilantro Substitute in Guacamole
In guacamole, cilantro gives the main ingredient, avocado, a bright yet savory flavor. To deliver the same results sans cilantro, use a combination of cumin, parsley, coriander, and lime. Cumin offers a more savory flavor, and parsley gives the guacamole the earthiness of cilantro, while coriander and lime give off a lively, citrus flavor. Try our guacamole recipe and substitute the 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro with 1 tablespoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, and ¼ teaspoon ground coriander.
Can I Substitute Oregano for Cilantro?
Yes! Oregano has an herbaceous and almost peppery flavor that works well alongside parsley to mimic the effect of cilantro.
Cilantro Substitute in Salsa
Although cilantro is either loved or hated by many, using the substitutions here can please any palate. Take a look at all of our recipes here for further inspiration.