Coriander Substitutes: The Best Swaps for Fresh and Dried Coriander

Coriander is a delicious, fragrant spice used in a wide variety of cuisines, ranging from Mexican and Indian to Egyptian, and more.

By Cookist

It's a common ingredient in curries, chilies, and salsa, to name a few. Whether you are fresh out of coriander or are part of the population that doesn't care for the taste, there are plenty of fantastic coriander substitutes you can use in your cooking. Ready to get started? Here are the top coriander substitutes to cook with.

What is Coriander? 

Coriander is a zesty, fragrant herb and spice. Both the seeds and leaves can be added to dishes to enhance their flavor. In the USA, coriander refers to the seeds, while cilantro typically means the aromatic leaves of this tasty herb. Coriander leaves/cilantro are usually chopped and added to lift the flavors of dishes like Indian curries, guacamole, or blended into soups or sauces. It's also often added as a topping for tacos, stir-fry, and more. The seeds are also added to curries, and ground coriander is occasionally added to dry rubs, in soups, or as a seasoning for roasted veggies or potatoes. There are loads of great ways to use it and just as many ways you can substitute it.


Coriander Substitutes

You'll find you have a few options to substitute coriander seeds in your cooking. Whether you're making a curry or using it in a marinade, if you don't have coriander seeds, you can try one of these tasty coriander substitutes.

Ground Coriander 

The simplest substitute for coriander seeds is ground coriander. Use 3/4 teaspoon of ground coriander for every teaspoon of whole coriander in a recipe. Ground coriander doesn't hold onto its flavor as long as whole coriander. You may need to add a little extra to achieve the same flavor – be sure to give your dish a taste and make any adjustments you may need.


Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds make a great substitute for whole coriander. They have a wonderful mild anise flavor with notes of licorice, citrus, and pepper spice. Caraway is often used to make rye bread but is just as often used in other recipes. You can swap in a 1:1 ratio for whole coriander in recipes.

Fennel Seeds

Like caraway, fennel has a licorice-like flavor. Fennel seeds make an excellent coriander substitute because both seeds contain a compound called anethole, which gives them both a subtle sweet taste. Use one teaspoon of fennel for every teaspoon of coriander in your recipe.


Cumin Seeds

Cumin is used in many of the same recipes as coriander – they're often blended with other spices to make marinades, dry rubs, or to season dishes. Cumin has an earthy, slightly citrusy flavor, making it a great coriander substitute. Use 1 teaspoon of cumin for every teaspoon of whole coriander.

Fresh Cilantro Substitutes

If you're looking for tasty substitutes for cilantro leaves, we've got you covered. The leaves of the coriander plant give dishes a bright, zesty flavor that adds so much flavor. If you're looking for easy cilantro substitutes, you can choose from a variety of fresh herbs. Here's a tip: sprinkle the fresh chopped herbs directly onto your dish just as you're finishing up your cooking and getting ready to serve it. This will help preserve their fantastic flavors which can get lost through prolonged cooking.



For a quick, tasty garnish you can add to finish a dish, parsley is always a great option. It has a light, fresh taste that adds a hint of peppery flavor to a dish. It's a perfect swap for cilantro in sauces like chimichurri. Substitute equal amounts of parsley for cilantro in your recipe.


For a more citrusy cilantro substitution, use dill. It has a slightly grassy note and a lovely subtle sweetness that makes it a great garnish. If you have mint and garlic in your recipe, dill will make an especially good cilantro substitution.



Tarragon is more anise-like in its flavor. It's slightly bitter with a lovely hint of sweetness. It's another fresh herb that's ideal as a garnish to help finish off a dish.

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks