Parsley is a common ingredient used in most, if not all households. Contrary to what most people think, parsley is not just a herb that you use to decorate food with. Parsley is a flowering plant that has several uses and health benefits.
There are two main types of parsley i.e. the flat-leaf and the curly leaf. The flat-leaf parsley is more common in the United States.
In the past, natives use parsley as medicine. They mostly used it to treat inflammatory diseases and allergies. These days, a lot of people either use it as a spice or a garnish.
The most appropriate substitutes for Parsley are chives, cilantro leaves, celery, basil, oregano. chervil, tarragon, endives, carrot green leaves, and arugula. Cilantro works as the perfect alternative when you ran out of parsley.
Fresh parsley is usually green in color and dried parsley is usually brownish. Parsley has a distinctive flavor that is a bit peppery. You can easily recognize its taste in any dish. While cooking, you must add parsley towards the end so that it retains its fresh flavor.
Nutritional Values For Parsley.
Using parsley either as a spice or a garnish has numerous health benefits. For instance, parsley is full of nutrients and it is a good source of vitamins A and C.
It also has anti-oxidant properties that are essential in protecting the body against certain diseases. Believe it or not, parsley can actually protect your body from contracting certain cancers. Pretty amazing, right?
My favorite thing about parsley is its versatility. You can use parsley in any kind of dish, be it soups, minced meat, vegetables or even pasta. Parsley goes with almost every dish.
I particularly love the flavor it adds to my dishes. I use it as a last-minute addition to make my dish look more presentable and add flavor while at it. Parsley really is a life-saver, well at least it is to me because everything tastes better with parsley.
Check out the Benefits of Parsley in the video.
Seeing how amazing it is, you may not always have it in hand. Fresh parsley only lasts for about two weeks when you store it properly in the refrigerator. Besides, if you are like me it probably runs out even before those two weeks end. So what do you do when you need parsley but have none in the house? What can be a substitute for parsley?
Luckily parsley can easily be substituted with a few greens and herbs. The taste may not be exactly the same but they get the work done.
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Here are a few parsley substitutes that may come in handy when you badly need to use parsley but you don’t have any in the house.
Cilantro has a strong refreshing taste and aroma. Its taste is a bit different from that of parsley. It greatly resembles parsley and therefore it is the perfect substitute for garnish. However, some people may find its flavor or aroma too strong and won’t be able to stand its taste. Use it moderation because its strong flavor may alter that of your dish.
Cilantro is low in calories and is packed with vitamins. It has several health benefits just like parsley which makes it a great substitute.
Substitute parsley with cilantro when making soups, salsa, guacamole, and the like. You can also use it as a spice when making Mexican and Thai dishes because it blends in well with the other spices. Be careful not to use it in certain dishes as a spice because its strong flavor might clash with that of the other spices and your dish will taste weird.
Chives are edible herbs that are cultivated all around the world. They have a mild flavor thus they are a perfect garnish. Unlike cilantro, their flavor won’t overpower that of your already tasty dish.
Chives blend in well with a lot of dishes that call for parsley. They are also packed with essential vitamins like Vitamin A.
Chives are quite similar to parsley which makes them a perfect substitute. Use dried chives as a spice and fresh chives as a garnish. Using fresh chives as a spice would get rid of its already mild flavor.
I love using chervil leaves as a substitute because they have a very mild flavor. This makes chervil a great substitute because it can blend in with a lot of dishes. Its close resemblance to parsley makes it possible for you to use it as a garnish as well. People might not even be able to tell the difference.
Just like parsley, toss it in the dish when you are almost done cooking or use it as a garnish. It will give your dish the same color that parsley does. Since Chervil has a milder flavor you have to use more of it compared to parsley.
Basil is a great substitute for parsley. It has a distinctive taste so it is suitable for Italian dishes. The bright green color of basil adds the much desired color to your food. Its aroma is to die for.
Basil can also be used to garnish food because it can be eaten raw. It has a soft texture and is packed with vitamins.
You can substitute parsley with oregano. However, you need to be very mindful of its strong flavor. When using it as a garnish, you should use a considerably smaller amount than the amount you would have used with parsley.
Oregano normally has a peppery taste so it is a perfect addition to savory dishes.
I know this may sound a little bit weird but celery is actually a really good substitute for parsley because they belong to the same family. It has a very mild flavor that is hardly noticeable which makes it a perfect option for garnishing. Simply chop up the leaves and sprinkle them on your dish. It also blends in well with the other spice that you use.
I don’t recommend using celery for cooking because it will lose its already mild flavor during the cooking process.
Tarragon normally has a distinct flavor and aroma. Although its taste is not the same as that of parsley, it can substitute parsley in both cooking and as a garnish. I mostly use it in cooking because of its strong distinctive taste.
However, always use it in small amounts so that its taste does not overpower that of your dish.
Endive usually has a mild, nutty and slightly bitter flavor. It also has a crisp texture that makes it possible for you to eat it raw.
The leaves of endive are quite similar to those of parsley making it a perfect garnish option. It can also be used in cooking. Don’t use a lot of endives because its bitter flavor may overpower that of your food.
Endive contains fiber which is very beneficial to your health.
Yes, carrot greens can substitute parsley because they belong to the same family. They are super tasty and they have that mild bitter taste that is similar to that of parsley. Carrot greens are also packed with nutrients.
You can chop them and use them as a garnish and use them in cooking as well. People might not even be able to tell the difference between carrot greens and parsley when you use them as a substitute.
Arugula is a member of the cabbage family. It has a peppery flavor and can be a good substitute for parsley. To use it, just chop it finely and sprinkle it on your dish before serving or during cooking. Use small amounts so that your food does not become too peppery.
Like the others, arugula is also packed with nutrients that are beneficial to your health.
These substitutes will add color and flavor to your dish. Although they are not 100% similar to parsley, they do the work just fine. You are not hopeless if you don’t have parsley in the house. These substitutes will come to your rescue.
Which one is better between fresh parsley and dried parsley?
I am a sucker for fresh parsley, but both fresh parsley and dried parsley are very useful in different ways. I usually have both in the house because I use both of them. Dried parsley has a longer shelf life compared to fresh parsley and I never have to worry about it getting spoilt, which is pretty convenient.
Fresh parsley usually gives your dish that fresh flavor and also adds color to it. Add it towards the end of your cooking because if you add it early it would lose its flavor and it also won’t look as attractive.
On the other hand, dried parsley has a muted flavor so it is great for cooking since it blends in well with other spices. You can’t use dried parsley as a garnish because its muted flavor won’t have any effect on your dish, unlike fresh parsley. You can always substitute dried parsley with fresh parsley but you can’t substitute fresh parsley with dried parsley.
I recommend using fresh parsley if you want your dish to have a distinctive flavor and using dried parsley if you want a neutral flavor. Dried parsley is great for stews and soups while fresh parsley is great for meat dishes.