Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb in the family of Apiaceae. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds (coriander) are the parts most traditionally used in cooking. It is native to regions spanning from southern Europe and northern Africa to southwestern Asia.
Cilantro is one of those love it or hate it herbs. If you’re in the latter camp, don’t despair – there are plenty of cilantro substitutes that can bring the same bright flavor to your dishes without making you wrinkle your nose in distaste.
In this blog post, I’ll explore some of the best cilantro substitutes out there, so you can continue to enjoy your favorite recipes without any extra herb-related drama.
- 11 Best Cilantro Substitutes
- Related Questions:
- What Does Cilantro Taste Like?
- How to Store Cilantro?
- How to Use Cilantro?
- What Is the Equivalent of Dried Cilantro to Fresh Cilantro?
- What Herb Is the Same as Cilantro?
- Are Coriander and Cilantro the Same?
- Do You Rinse Cilantro?
- What Can I Use Instead of Cilantro in Salsa?
- Can I Substitute Oregano for Cilantro?
- Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap to Some People?
- Final Words
11 Best Cilantro Substitutes
If you’re looking for a cilantro substitute that will add a similar bright flavor to your dish, basil is a great option. This fragrant herb is commonly used in Italian and Thai cooking, and it pairs well with a variety of ingredients.
Mint is another good cilantro alternative if you’re looking for something with a similar bright flavor. This refreshing herb is often used in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisine, and it’s also a common ingredient in mojitos and other cocktails.
3. Italian Parsley
Italian parsley is a type of flat-leaf parsley that has a milder flavor than its curly-leaf counterpart. It’s a popular ingredient in Italian cooking, and it can be used as a cilantro substitute in dishes like pesto or salsa verde.
Dill is a common ingredient in Scandinavian and Eastern European cuisine, and it has a slightly sweet flavor with hints of anise and citrus. It’s often used to flavor fish, but it can also be used as a cilantro substitute in other dishes.
Papalo is a type of cilantro that is popular in Mexican cuisine. It has a slightly more pungent flavor than regular cilantro, so if you’re looking for a substitution that will pack a bit more of a punch, papalo is a good option.
6. Rau Ram
Rau ram is a type of Vietnamese coriander that has a flavor similar to cilantro. It’s often used in Southeast Asian dishes, and it can be used as a substitution in any dish where you would normally use cilantro.
7. Mixed Herbs
If you’re looking for a cilantro substitute that will add a more complex flavor to your dish, mixed herbs are a good option. This blend of herbs typically includes thyme, basil, and oregano, and it can be used in a variety of dishes.
8. Celery Leaves
Celery leaves have a milder flavor than stalks, and they can be used as a cilantro substitute in salads or soups. They’re also a common ingredient in Vietnamese pho.
Cumin is a spice that is commonly used in Indian, Moroccan, and Mexican cuisine. It has a warm, earthy flavor, and it can be used as a cilantro substitute in dishes like curry or chili.
10. Curry Powder
Curry powder is a blend of spices that typically includes cumin, turmeric, and coriander. It’s commonly used in Indian cuisine, and it can be used as a cilantro substitute in any dish where you would normally use the spice blend.
Caraway is a type of seed that has a flavor similar to cumin. It’s often used in European cuisine, and it can be used as a cilantro substitute in dishes like sauerkraut or rye bread.
What Does Cilantro Taste Like?
Cilantro has a bright, fresh flavor with hints of lemon and mint. It’s often used to add a pop of color and flavor to dishes like salsa, guacamole, or curry.
How to Store Cilantro?
Cilantro is best used fresh, but it can also be stored in the fridge for up to a week. If you’re not using it right away, store the cilantro in a glass of water with the stems submerged. You can also store it in a plastic bag with the air removed to prevent it from wilting.
How to Use Cilantro?
Cilantro can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. It’s often used as a garnish, but it can also be used in soups, stews, sauces, salads, and curries. Cilantro can also be used to make pesto or chimichurri sauce.
When shopping for cilantro, look for bright green leaves with no brown spots. The stems should be firm, and the plant should be free of wilting. Cilantro can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores.
What Is the Equivalent of Dried Cilantro to Fresh Cilantro?
The general rule is that 1 teaspoon of dried cilantro is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro. However, this can vary depending on the quality of the dried cilantro. If you’re using dried cilantro, start with a small amount and add more to the taste.
What Herb Is the Same as Cilantro?
There is no perfect cilantro substitute, but there are a few herbs that come close. Dill, papalo, rau ram, and celery leaves are all good options. You can also use a blend of herbs like thyme, basil, and oregano.
Are Coriander and Cilantro the Same?
Cilantro and coriander are actually two different parts of the same plant. Cilantro is the leafy green part of the plant, while coriander is the seed. The two have different flavors, but they can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
Do You Rinse Cilantro?
Yes, you should always rinse cilantro before using it. Rinse the leaves and stems under cold water, and then pat them dry with a paper towel. Cilantro can harbor harmful bacteria, so it’s important to make sure it’s clean before using it in a dish.
What Can I Use Instead of Cilantro in Salsa?
There are a few cilantro substitutes that would work well in salsa. Try dill, parsley, or chives. You could also use a blend of herbs like thyme, basil, and oregano.
Can I Substitute Oregano for Cilantro?
Yes, oregano is a good substitute for cilantro. It has a similar flavor, but it’s not as strong. Oregano is a common ingredient in Italian cuisine, so it would work well in dishes like pasta sauce or pizza.
Why Does Cilantro Taste Like Soap to Some People?
Some people have a gene that causes them to taste soap when they eat cilantro. This is because the plant contains a chemical that smells like soap to some people. If you don’t like the taste of cilantro, try using one of the substitutes listed above.
If you’re looking for a cilantro substitute, there are a few different options available. Mint, Italian parsley, dill, and papalo are all good substitutes for cilantro. Each of these herbs has a unique flavor, so choose one that will compliment the dish you’re making.
When substituting cilantro, be aware that the flavor will be different than if you used the herb in the dish. Cilantro has a bright, fresh flavor, so substitutions will not taste exactly the same. However, they can still add a pop of flavor to your dish.-