8 Most Similar Substitutes for Fresh Parsley


There are quite a few herbs can give a similar taste to fresh parsley. I put together this list to highlight the best replacement options.

The most similar substitutes for fresh parsley are:

1. Dried ParsleyBest Overall Substitute
2. ThymeBest Aromatic Comparison
3. Green OnionsBest Texture Substitute
4. RosemaryBest for Italian Cooking
5. DillBest in Salmon and Other Fish Dishes
6. OreganoGood for Italian Cooking
7. CilantroBest Fresh Herb for Mexican Dishes
8. Carrot GreensBest Earthy Flavor Substitute
9. SageBest Substitute for Flavor

The rest of the article will discuss how each of these can be used when cooking to make a comparable substitution for parsley. Additionally, I will discuss some of the differences that fresh and dry herbs have in cooking. 

1. Dried Parsley

Dried herbs also work well in cooking when fresh is not available or feasible: use them sparingly and add them near the end of cooking to prevent food from tasting bitter. When substituting fresh parsley with dried, use around twice the amount you normally use to get an equivalent flavor profile.

Using Dried Parsley Instead of Fresh

The most common fresh parsley substitute is dried parsley. While store-bought dried parsley may not have as vibrant of a flavor as fresh, it is still high quality and will work well when substituting for fresh parsley in cooking or salads. 

There are some downsides to using dried herbs (and not just flavor). First, dried herbs usually have lower nutrient levels than fresh, so if that’s what you’re looking for. Another downside of substitutes like these is that they don’t contain moisture, which can negatively affect the dish and your health by creating bacteria growth in food; this also means seasonings may not stick as easily or last as long on foods once chopped up and cooked over a stovetop.

2. Thyme

Fresh herbs, such as thyme, are excellent substitutes when fresh parsley is not available. However, fresh herbs are a little more expensive than dried ones and also harder to find. This also means seasonings may not stick as easily or last as long on foods once chopped up and cooked over a stovetop.

Substituting Thyme for Parsley

Thyme makes a good substitute for parsley. Its fresh aroma and savory flavor are often found in soups. Depending on how your dish will be served, you can use it as either a garnish or in a sauce. 

Thyme is a fresh herb that can be substituted for parsley in many dishes. If you need a replacement for fresh parsley in Mexican cooking, try using fresh or dried thyme leaves. Thyme has similar aromatic qualities to fresh parsley, so adding this substitution into Mexican cooking may help replace some of the necessary flavors.

3. Green Onions

Green-Onions-in-a-Basket

When looking for a fresh substitute for Parsley, green onions may offer you many similarities that some fresh herbs wouldn’t, and they are both used in similar capacities in most recipes.

Using Green Onions to Replace Parsley

Green onions are an excellent substitute for parsley. They have a similar taste profile and texture of fresh parsley and can be used similarly when cooking or as a garnish.  

Some of the ways to use green onions as a fresh parsley substitute in your dish are: 

  • Adding it fresh and chopped into soups
  • Using it in sauce bases
  • Using fresh green onions in salads. 

You can also add it fresh on top of cooked dishes such as lasagna, pasta bakes, or rice pilafs.

Finally, one way that you could try using green onions is with hearty winter stews by cooking them until tender then layering over potatoes before baking for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. The result will be a delicious meal featuring fresh parsley flavors without having to buy fresh parsley.

4. Rosemary

If you don’t have fresh parsley on hand for your garlic bread recipe or other Italian dishes, Rosemary is a substitute that can give you an identical flavor profile. 

Rosemary is an excellent option for Italian cooking and is fresh and flavorful. Rosemary has a fresh, piney flavor that might not be the best for all dishes, but it’s perfect in many Italian recipes.

Fresh rosemary can also work well with other herbs like thyme or sage to make your cooking even more delicious. You can add fresh rosemary to pasta sauces as well when you’re preparing them, which will give your dish new levels of depth and flavor without having to buy fresh parsley.

Using Rosemary as a Substitute for Parsley on Garlic Bread

The best parsley substitute on garlic bread is rosemary. Rosemary is an herb that is fresh and powerful and can be used fresh or dried on garlic bread. 

You can use fresh rosemary in several other recipes, including:

  • Italian soups 
  • Sauce bases (particularly tomato sauces) 
  • Pasta

Pro Tip: When adding fresh herbs to your bread, rub them in between the palms of your hands first. This will release their oils and get you an extra dose of flavor. You can also mince or chop the herb before sprinkling it on top.

5. Dill

If you are looking for a parsley substitute for your seafood dish, fresh dill could be a great option. However, if fresh dill is not available, the dried version of this herb would be the best alternative.

Dill usually grows in bunches on tall stems, so you can pick them from your garden or buy fresh dill from the store if you don’t have any growing at home. You could chop off some fresh dill fronds to use in this recipe. Ensure you remove all of its roots before using it as a parsley substitute because fresh root might not taste good when eaten raw.

The Best Parsley Substitute for a Salmon Dish

The best option could be to use for a salmon dish is dill. Dill has a fresh, bright flavor that will be perfect for the fish. Dill also pairs well with lemon, and they’re both fresh ingredients, so it’s a great option.

After chopping up your fresh dill, cook as directed in salmon recipes but replace parsley with chopped-up fresh dill – problem solved.

6. Oregano

Italian cooking offers many different herbs that you can use as a substitute for parsley. Oregano is one herb commonly used for Italian dishes that can take fresh or dried parsley.

To use fresh oregano, chop up the leaves finely before adding them to your recipe – this also works with dried oregano. The correct ratio is one tablespoon of fresh herbs to one teaspoon of dried herbs. For example, if a meatball recipe calls for two tablespoons of fresh oregano, you need only two teaspoons of dried oregano.

The Best Substitute for Parsley in Meatballs

The best substitute for parsley in meatballs is oregano. Fresh or dried oregano work well. Oregano offers a similar flavor to fresh parsley and can be used as a substitute in many Italian recipes.

Pro Tip: It’s best to add fresh oregano at the end of cooking if possible, so it doesn’t get overcooked and lose its fresh flavor.

7. Cilantro

The fresh, herby flavor of parsley can be substituted with cilantro in many recipes. Cilantro has a more subtle taste than parsley and is often easier to work with. First, to substitute fresh herbs for dried ones, chop the fresh leaves finely before adding them to your recipe.

Cilantro also has a long shelf life which makes it easier to keep on hand. Dried Cilantro leaves can be used as a substitute, but it won’t give you the flavor profile of fresh Cilantro.

If all else fails, your best bet would be to use dried herbs instead of fresh ones because they don’t spoil quickly like fresh ones do when exposed to heat and light.

Can I Substitute Cilantro for Parsley?

Cilantro is the best substitute for parsley when cooking Mexican food. Cilantro has a more subtle taste than parsley and is often easier to work with. In Mexican cooking, where fresh parsley isn’t typically used as the main ingredient, it may not matter if you use cilantro instead.

8. Carrot Greens

Carrot-Greens

Fresh parsley in dishes is a great option, but if you don’t have any on hand, the carrot greens should be considered. 

Carrot greens are a fresh herb that can be used in place of parsley. Carrot greens offer an earthy flavor, so they are an excellent substitute for fresh parsley. If you don’t have carrots or carrot leaves, dried herbs like basil and thyme will provide that same herbaceous taste.

Carrot greens are the perfect fresh substitution for parsley and also add a nice earthy flavor to dishes. If you don’t have any fresh parsley on hand, carrot greens might make a good substitute. They offer an earthy taste like fresh herbs and will work well with many different recipes as long as it’s not heavy on the garlic or an onion flavor profile. 

9. Fresh or Dried Sage

Sage is one of many substitutes that work well as alternatives to fresh parsley; if your dish isn’t sensitive to its flavors and textures, this substitution can work just fine. However, fresh sage is strong-tasting, so less should be used when cooking (remembering that it tastes much better on green salads).

Fresh sage is a close substitute for fresh parsley. Remember that this herb is more potent than fresh parsley, so make sure to use less of it when cooking. Sage should be used sparingly since it’s much stronger tasting and slightly different from other herbs.

Sage is best used in fresh dishes like fresh pasta or fresh vegetables. It can also be used in soup and sauces when parsley would otherwise be the herb of choice. 

What is the Difference Between Parsley and Celery?

When looking at fresh parsley vs. fresh celery, parsley is typically more fresh tasting and has a lighter green color. Celery may be better for soups or chicken dishes because of its earthy flavor, while parsley is perfect for adding freshness, such as salad dressings or dips.

Parsley is a fresh herb typically used for garnishes and as an ingredient in soups and dips. Celery is the fresh flavor of celery root – which can be found fresh or canned. It tends to be more heavily paired with chicken dishes or other savory flavors like sausage.

The difference between these fresh herbs comes down to your cooking preferences. If you’re looking to add freshness rather than heavier flavors, then parsley might be a good option, but if you’re looking for a fresh herb with richer, earthy flavors, then celery may be the better option.

The difference between parsley and celery is that hemp tends to taste fresh while fresh parsley tastes fresher. Celery has a more earthy flavor than parsley though it can still add some freshness in soups or chicken dishes. Parsley would be best if you prefer adding fresh flavorings like salad dressings, but there are plenty of substitutes – such as dill or cilantro – for those who don’t love parsley.

Final Bite

Fresh parsley is a fresh herb often served with food to provide flavor and freshness. Parsley is most famous for its use in Italian dishes, such as sauces or salads. 

Whether you are fresh out of parsley or just want to try a different herb as a substitute in your dishes, there are plenty of options to use. There are often fresh and dried versions of these substitutes, and as a rule of thumb, fresh herbs generally give you a better flavor, but as long as you use dried herbs in the correct ratios, you can have a wonderfully flavored dish with a parsley substitute.

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For more, don’t miss Are Mint Leaves Edible and Is It Safe to Eat Them?.

Anne James

Hi, I'm Anne but my grandchildren call me Jelly Grandma. I have over 50 years of experience as a Southern cook and am a retired librarian. I love sharing what I have learned. You can find me on YouTube as well! Just click the link at the bottom of your page. I hope your visit here has been a sweet one.

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