Sustainability made simple

8 Best Coriander and Cilantro Substitutes

cilantro substitute
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / restyledliving

While cilantro or coriander are great herbs to add to your dishes, there are plenty of herbs out there that can be used in their place. Read on to learn.

Depending on where you are in the world, cilantro or coriander could be used to describe the same thing. In Europe, coriander refers to the leaves and stems of this plant, whereas in the US, cilantro is the term used to describe the same thing, and the seeds of the plant are called coriander.

Either way, this delicious plant is used to add flavor to various dishes. However, to some people, cilantro tastes like soap and doesn’t necessarily add to their dish or tastebuds. If you’d like to add an herb that is similar, follow along these 8 replacements.

What Herbs Can Be Used as a Cilantro Substitute?

Basil is a more sustainable replacement for cilantro.
Basil is a more sustainable replacement for cilantro. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Security)

If you’re looking for a replacement for coriander or cilantro, try any of these substitutes.

  1. Parsley: although parsley is a bit more bitter than cilantro, they are close in taste profile (without the soap) and can be used in place of cilantro. Parsley is known to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients in a dish, so it can be used as a baseline for dishes like sauces, dips, and tomato based dishes. Bonus: chewing a bit of fresh parsley freshens the breath!
  2. Thai Basil: this herb is slightly edgier than it’s cousins basil and cilantro. If you’re looking for a touch more spice, Thai basil is the right choice to replace cilantro in your dish. Although slightly more difficult to find, Thai basil is available in your supermarket or specialty store and worth the extra time it takes to procure it. Thai basil is a great addition to Middle Eastern or Asian dishes that usually call for cilantro, or of course, Thai dishes that utilize its full potential, such as soups and vegetable dishes.
  3. Dill: Dill is a great sub for cilantro as it is a bit more potent and therefore goes a long way. They don’t taste similar, dill and cilantro, but dill is a good addition to dishes more simple, such as soups, marinades, and salad dressings that call for cilantro.
  4. Basil: if you’ve ever had pesto and enjoyed it, you’ll know that basil has a great flavor profile, but cilantro pesto is just as yummy! Try fresh basil in place of cilantro for a bit more sweetness, or dried basil for recipes that look for dried cilantro.
  5. Lemon/Lime: if you’re looking for the citrus-pop that cilantro brings to dishes, try squeezing a lemon or lime in its place. These citrus juices are great in fresh salads, fish dishes, or as a garnish.

Sustainable choices matter, so look to source these ingredients locally at farmers’ markets and organic food shops, or try and grow cilantro substitutes yourself.

What Substitutes Can You Use Instead of Coriander Seeds?

Caraway seeds are a good substitute for coriander seeds.
Caraway seeds are a good substitute for coriander seeds. (Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 12019)

The best replacements for dried cilantro or the seeds are:

  • Caraway seeds: similar in taste profile, these seeds can be used in place of coriander seeds in dishes.
  • Cumin: often used in combination with coriander seeds, this spice can also be used on its own.
  • Curry Powder: curry powder includes numerous dried spices and herbs including dried cilantro so it will be muted but still present if you use curry powder to replace dried cilantro in a dish.

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