Knowing about the alternatives of a certain ingredient will make your process a lot easier while saving your precious time when cooking. Thus, being aware of coriander and cilantro substitutes also will enable you to cook with pleasure. 

Especially if you are someone who does not like their taste or doesn’t have those ingredients in your kitchen.

Coriander And Cilantro Substitutes - SpiceRally

Substitutes for coriander seeds and cilantro can be different. However, they together can include:

  1. Parsley
  2. Basil
  3. Dill
  4. Mixed herbs
  5. Celery
  6. Cumin
  7. Caraway seeds
  8. Garam masala
  9. Fennel

These substitutes may seem pretty interesting, and you might now want to see how they could help to replace coriander and cilantro. So, here we are, ready to unveil all about coriander and cilantro alternatives!

9 Best Substitutes For Coriander And Cilantro

Before starting with anything, you must understand why we have used these two terms, “coriander” and “cilantro,” separately. 

When it comes to the USA, the seeds of the coriander plant are known as coriander seeds, and its leaves and stalks are known as cilantro. At the same time, countries outside of the USA consider the seeds coriander seeds and leaves and stalks coriander itself.

However, the coriander seeds belong to the spice category, while cilantro or coriander leaves fall under the herb category. Accordingly, the substitutes we use for each of them are not the same.

In fact, what you simply need to understand is that we replace another spice or a spice blend with coriander seeds. And, another herb alternative takes the place of cilantro or coriander leaves when required.

Did you know that coriander seeds and coriander root (cilantro root) are staples in the popular Thai green curry paste? To learn more about this curry paste, click here and refer to the detailed feature here.

The flavor profiles of coriander seeds and cilantro are also different. Coriander seeds have a delicate flavor with a slight sweetness and notes of a citrusy zing. When it is dry-roasted, its taste becomes a bit more intensely floral. On the other hand, cilantro has a subtle, pungent, citrusy flavor. And, some who do not like the taste of cilantro often say it has a soapy taste.

However, their roles are different when it comes to cooking and aren’t usually used interchangeably. So, let’s check out the best nine coriander and cilantro substitutes that you can easily find from your kitchen.

If you ever run out of these ingredients or do not like their taste, you can go ahead and try one of these spices or herbs on our list.

Cilantro Or Coriander Leaves Substitutes

01- Parsley

Parsley and cilantro both belong to the same Apiaceae family. So, most of us would often mistake cilantro for parsley and vice versa.

The leaves and the shape of both the plants look pretty similar too. And due to their family relationship, parsley would be an excellent substitute for cilantro.

However, the flavor profiles may have slight variations. Parsley does not possess the so-called ‘soapy’ taste of cilantro that many of you may find. And, it is less intense, fresh, and has a delicate and milder flavor than cilantro. 

Thanks to its less controlling nature, parsley will not take the rule of the overall taste of any dish. Instead, it will complement other ingredients blending well with them and often taking part as a pretty garnish.

Other than using it as a garnish, it is usually chopped or blended with other ingredients. You can find both fresh and dried parsley from the store. This herb is also rich in antioxidants and vitamins like A, C, and K, apart from its flavor.

02- Basil

Being a culinary staple, particularly in Thai cuisine, basil becomes another excellent substitute for coriander leaves. It does not have the exact taste of cilantro. But, still could replace it in dishes that call for cilantro.

It is very aromatic and fresh with a complex flavor of licorice, star anise, black pepper, and mint notes. Basil leaves are much denser than coriander or cilantro and are hardly munched raw. 

But, it is a versatile herb that could be easily cut or torn. Just like cilantro, they will mellow and wilt with the cooking process. 

You can use dried basil in place of dried cilantro and also replace fresh basil with fresh cilantro. But remember that basil is a bit more potent than cilantro, so you may have to do slight variations with the amount you use. 

In addition, basil can protect your gut health, lower blood sugar and protect against infections.

03- Dill

To anybody who finds cilantro soapy, dill would be the perfect lifesaver! Interestingly, dill has the ability to replace the taste of both cilantro and coriander seeds. But, it is often used to substitute coriander leaves.

This herb is very fresh and possesses a citrusy flavor with a slight grassy note. It is different from cilantro or parsley with long stalks and soft leaves. 

Dill blends well with other herbs like parsley and mint. However, unlike basil, parsley, or cilantro, dill does not wilt with cooking, although it mellows as they are smaller and thinner. Like basil and parsley, you could use dried dill in place of dried cilantro and fresh dill in the other way round.

This herb contains potent anti-diabetes properties, enriches bone health, and promotes digestion when included with meals. And, you can find fresh dill and dry ones from the store.

04- Mixed herbs

Mixed herbs are great with recipes that call for dried herbs. If you don’t have or don’t want to use cilantro, and if a particular recipe still calls for dried coriander leaves, mixed herbs could be your best bet.

This mix typically includes herbs such as:

  • Thyme
  • Basil
  • Marjoram
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Sage

However, although these are the common herbs that go into a mixed herb mix, the chances are high that there would be cilantro in most of them. But, even with the flavor of all the other herbs, it will still make a great alternative and add a little more taste to any recipe that demands dried cilantro. 

Mixed herbs go really well with tomato-based dishes, in meat rubs and soups. So, it would definitely be worth giving a try, especially if you admire the nutrition of several herbs.

05- Celery

Celery stalks and leaves- both parts of the celery plant would be used as a substitute for coriander leaves.

Again, the taste is not the same as cilantro but will clearly do better when replacing any dish.

Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices have more antioxidants than any other food group

Micheal Greger

Celery stalks and leaves are crunchy and have a gentle, slightly sweet flavor with a herbal aroma. While, on the other hand, celery seeds would give a warm, bitter, sharp, and intense taste. So, the celery stalks and the leaves would be best when substituting with cilantro.

When replacing, you can use equal quantity as coriander with celery. It usually goes well with cooked dishes when it comes to replacement with cilantro. 

If you find the taste too gentle, you can increase the amount of celery. However, it always depends on your taste preferences.

This herb is very low in the glycemic index and is an excellent source of antioxidants that reduces inflammation and supports digestion.

Coriander Seeds Substitutes

06- Cumin

If you ever run out of coriander seeds in your kitchen, cumin would be the closest alternative you can use. Cumin and coriander do not share the same flavor profiles. But still, it will make a great substitute when you want to use it with dry meat rubs, in savory dishes, or marinades.

Cumin is aromatic, warm, and slightly sweet with a nutty flavor. But, when compared with coriander, cumin could be somewhat less sweet and fresher. You can use cumin in similar amounts as you use coriander seeds, depending on the recipe it calls for.

This spice is also a great source of antioxidants and helps control blood sugar and treat diarrhea.

07- Caraway Seeds

If your dish is curry, soup, vegetables, or sausages, caraway would be the best substitute that you can use in place of coriander seeds.

In fact, coriander and caraway are closely related in flavor. Caraway seeds have a nutty, bitter-sweet flavor with citrusy and star anise notes. It is similar to coriander seeds in its nutty, sweet taste and peppery aroma.

They are often sold dried, and you can use them in equal amounts when you substitute coriander seeds in a particular dish. This spice pairs well with fennel seeds, cumin, and parsley and would be great in savory dishes, bread, and soups.

Caraway seeds are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is beneficial to treat ingestion and many other gut-related health issues.

08- Garam Masala

Garam masala is a blend of a few spices. And, it is apparently the most popular spice mix in Indian dishes. But now, it has reached Western cuisine, and many would use this blend of flavorful spices in many savory dishes.

The spices in Garam Masala usually includes:

  • Coriander seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Mace
  • Cumin
  • Black pepper
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Cardamoms
  • Bay leaves

Since coriander is a key ingredient in Garam Masala, it would be a great replacement in spicy or savory dishes that call for coriander seeds. It does not add the flavor of coriander but will also give the taste and goodness of all other spices.

It basically includes many warm spices that would get along really well with meat and vegetable curries. But sprinkling some on top of your soup or adding it to your stew will take the dish to one level up!

However, when you substitute Garam masala with coriander, you will have to adjust the taste according to your choice of flavor since it contains many other spices.

Although you learned about the coriander and cilantro substitutes, we doubt if you know everything about coriander. So, to be a pro with knowledge about coriander, click here for a complete article.

09- Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds would get along as a substitute for coriander as much as cumin would. If you do not have coriander at home, fennel would obviously make another great replacement.

These are light green seeds that resemble a lot like cumin but are somewhat larger than the cumin seed. They have a warm, delicate flavor with licorice or anise notes and a refreshing aroma. Fennel seeds are often sold as whole seeds. And most of the time, you will have to dry-roast them before adding them to a dish.

This spice blends well with other flavorings and is often a part of many spice mixes, curries, and even baked goods like bread and biscuits.

When you want to use fennel in place of coriander seeds, the experts recommend using it in similar amounts as coriander. Moreover, if you have fennel seeds, caraway, and cumin, you can get all the three spices in equal quantities and make a mix to get a similar taste to coriander.

In addition to their distinctive flavor and aroma, fennel seeds are high in nutrition. They can benefit heart health, contain cancer-fighting properties, and may also suppress appetite.

Coriander And Cilantro Substitutes Are Lifesavers – Aren’t They?

We should admit that not all of us like the taste of cilantro in particular. And, this is mainly because some think that cilantro tastes like soap. 

Therefore, in such cases, coriander and cilantro substitutes that we have listed on top can be good options.

You should bear in mind that the substitutes will not replace the exact flavor that coriander seeds or cilantro would give. But, most of them would come really close to the coriander taste and get along well with other ingredients.

So, what are the coriander and cilantro substitutes that you will try with your next dish?

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