11 Best Cilantro Substitutes (When to Use)


Cilantro is a popular herb used in most Mexican, Indian, and Asian recipes.

As a part of the parsley family, Cilantro is known for its strong aroma. Often referred to as Chinese parsley or Mexican parsley, this herb looks like fat leaf parsley with strong and tender stems.

The whole plant is edible, including the roots, which are used in some recipes. Cilantro has a bright, peppery taste with traces of lemon. Some people can’t handle it while others can’t live without it. Or can they?

Go through our list and take your pick, which out of the 11 herbs will be the best replacement.

Substitutes for Cilantro

If you don’t enjoy cilantro or simply need something else, we are here to help.

Cilantro can be replaced in most recipes. Our list of products has the best substitutes that will help you fill your dish with extra flavors and make it even taster.

Furthermore, always make sure to use the proper amount for a substitute, remember you can always add more, but adapt the flavors based on the ingredients that you are using. 

1. Thai Basil



If you are looking for a suitable substitute for cilantro, then basil is one of the many choices that we offer. Basil may change the taste of the dish. However, it will fit very well with the other ingredients as a replacement.

When you compare the two herbs, basil is a bit sweeter than cilantro but they both add a nice smell and taste to your meal. You can easily find basil in your local market.

Usually, basil is used and added as a replacement for cilantro in certain Thai dishes. You can also use it to garnish your meal. 

2. Italian parsley


A herb that resembles cilantro and can serve as a good substitute is the Italian parsley. By using parsley you’ll add a bit more bitterness to your meal but you can compensate for that by adding honey or sugar.

Parsley and cilantro look similar, so make sure to distinguish them at the store. To make the taste even more similar to cilantro, when you add parsley to your food, add oregano or basil mix to bring the traces closer as if you have used cilantro.  

3. Mint


Fresh Mint can be always a good idea for replacing cilantro in your meals.

Fresh mint gives out a nice smell, which will make your dish even better. It can be used in many of the recipes that call for cilantro, usually, it is found in Asian cuisine.

Add a splash of balsamic vinegar or lime to reduce the minty smell if it is too much for you. You can apply mint in most recipes that require cilantro as a replacement. 

4. Papalo

If you have run out of cilantro, then papalo is the other herb that you can use as a replacement. It’s something that’s commonly used in the Mexican kitchen.

It has a taste that comes somewhere between cilantro and cucumber. Take off the leaves and use Papalo raw as a garnish for your meal.

Use it as a replacement in many recipes like tacos, carnitas, guacamole, and many others. Also, when substituting use ⅓ tablespoon of papalo for every tablespoon of cilantro. 

5. Rau ram

Rau ram or also known as Vietnamese cilantro is another way to replace cilantro. Actually, these two products have a very similar taste, which makes them a perfect substitute for each other.

Rau Ram is a bit more peppery with an aromatic taste. Use it as a replacement in salads or other flavored foods. It is usually used in Southeast Asian meals. 

6. Curry Powder

Curry powder

A very common ingredient that can be a good substitute for coriander is curry powder. This spice mix has a few dried herbs and spices which also include coriander, ginger, turmeric, and chili in its mixture.

It is a type of powder that will fit very well in many of the recipes that require cilantro. You can use it to replace in soups or just as a marinade for meat.

7. Cumin


Cumin can also be used as a substitute for cilantro in your recipes. Cumin has a warmer and darker flavor as compared to cilantro and is a bit more bitter.

When you add cumin to your dish, it will actually bring out some nutty and spicy traces that will make it even tastier and mouthwatering. Cumin is usually used in tacos.

8. Dill


Even though they might not look similar, dill can be used as a substitute for cilantro in some recipes. This freshly citrus, grassy tasting product will add subtle tastiness to your meal and an aroma that will make your meal even tastier.

Dill will actually give out rich tones and can be used in cold soups or maybe potato salads, even in some sauces. Use equals amounts when replacing and you can also add it as a garnish in your dish. 

9. Caraway

Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds can be used as a replacement for Caraway in most recipes. They actually have a similar profile with coriander which makes it also similar to cilantro.

The bittersweet flavor is what makes this ingredient unique and a good way to bring out nice tones in your meal. Caraway is sweeter than cilantro. It can be good for marinades. Utilize equal amounts when replacing.

10. Garam masala

Garam masala is a mix of different spices including peppercorn, coles, cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin, and coriander. You can use it as a substitute in most recipes.

Since there is coriander in the mixture and that is similar to cilantro, these herbs will blend with the other ingredients and will provide a nice meal.

It may bring out some new flavors in your dish since it contains a few herbs in it. However, it’s also a nice way to use it instead of cilantro. 

11. Oregano


In the list of all the spices and herbs, the one that is most commonly used is oregano. This is another way to replace cilantro by adding additional herbs and lime juice to get that zesty flavor you are looking for.

Add it into the mixture and combine it with other ingredients in the food. Oregano is a common ingredient in Mexican food or is sprinkled on top of many meals. It is considered to be healthy and rich in many minerals. Use it as a replacement in most recipes. 

Related Questions

What Herb is the same as cilantro?

Coriander comes from the same plant as cilantro. Moreover, they both originate from the Coriandrum sativum plant, from which cilantro comes from the plant’s leaves and stem, whereas coriander is the dried seeds. 

Can I substitute oregano for cilantro?

If your recipe requires cilantro but you have none, you can always add oregano or basil along with parsley to imitate the taste. 

What is the equivalent of dried cilantro to fresh cilantro?

Use the general rule of thumb and use 1:2, meaning 2 tablespoons of dried cilantro for every 4 tablespoons of fresh cilantro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like