The Best 7 Substitute For Coriander You Need To Know

substitute for coriander

While there are no rules, sometimes the stock in the kitchen and nearby grocery store runs out. Instead of stressing out on how to make a certain dish because of lacking ingredients, looking for substitutes is your best bet.


Coriander has a warm, spicy scent that has a slightly lemony and piney flavor to it. It is one of the most common spices used in Indian cuisine and is also used in Latin American cooking as well. If you’re looking for a substitute for coriander, here is a list to make it easier for you.

Best 7 Substitute For Coriander

1. Cumin

Most of the time coriander is used hand in hand with cumin. In fact, there are some elements of cumin that go well with coriander. They’re both warm, spicy, and have a bright flavor to them. Cumin alone has a distinctive peppery and earthy taste with slightly bitter undertones to it.

substitute for coriander

While it is more commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, there are many culinary experts prefer to use cumin, along with coriander, with Latin food. It delivers that savory flavor that makes their dishes so hearty. A bonus to this is that there are a lot of health benefits that come from cumin.

It is rich in antioxidants, calcium, iron, and magnesium. It is known to prevent disease and may even improve digestion, cures constipation, and lower blood sugar. A variant, black cumin, can be used to soothe arthritis pains. To be specific, cumin is an anti-inflammatory spice. Some even like to add cumin to soup to help soothe an aching stomach.

2. Cilantro

Cumin may be coriander’s partner in crime, but cilantro can be considered its close relative. For those who don’t know, ground coriander actually comes from the seeds of a cilantro plant.

In fact, cilantro is referred to as the leaf of a young coriander plant. While many prefer to use this as a substitute to coriander, the taste of this herb is cooler and less spicy than coriander. Some consider this plant a fragrant mix of citrus and parsley.

There is also a catch when it comes to this herb. For others, they experience a soapy aftertaste. This strange occurrence doesn’t happen to everybody. Whether or not you get the soapy aftertaste depends entirely on your genetics. So it’s better if you try out the herb before using it in your cooking. You don’t want to end up with a soapy tasting dish.

Many Asian, Mexican/Latin, and Middle Eastern dishes tend to use cilantro in many of their dishes. Since the leaves come from the same plant, there is a high change of the dish getting a similar flavor because of it.

3. Caraway Seeds

Cilantro and cumin may be taking the top spots as a substitute for coriander. However, many culinary experts who consider caraway seeds as the best substitute.

They have nearly the same flavor profile as coriander and even have an underlying citrus taste when you eat it. They are usually used as a spice in bread, like rye bread. While the spice is used in desserts, casseroles, sauerkraut, and other foods, they are also used as a tea and in liquors.

Although caraway seeds are quite small, perhaps almost the same size as coriander seeds, they pack quite a punch. Their flavor tends to be a bit more potent, which means they should be used sparingly to achieve a similar flavor to coriander.

The seeds are packed with health benefits and medicinal properties. In fact, it is known to have antioxidant, carminative, digestive, and anti-flatulent properties.

4. Oregano

While I have already listed some different substitutes, the truth is that coriander is a difficult taste to match. There are two distinct flavors that set coriander apart: an earthy, nutty exterior and a citrus flavor. Those who like the zesty taste of coriander might not be open to this substitute option.

Oregano has a warm and slightly bitter taste. Although it has a hint of sweetness, it is quite earthy and nutty and gives a hearty and assertive taste. Many will be familiar with this straightforward herb when it comes to pizza.

The herb was originally grown in Greece and got its name in Italy. In fact, oregano that is grown in southern Italy is quite flavorful by itself. It gets an even stronger flavor when the leaves are dried. It makes up for the lack of coriander with its flavor, particularly when cooking Mexican/Latin food.

5. Fennels Seeds

If any of the other options aren’t available anymore, fennel seeds can be used as a substitute. It has a taste that is similar to licorice but is leaning towards the bitter side.

Fennel seeds also have an earthy flavor that matches coriander, so it can be used in some dishes. Called the “devil seed,” it is very aromatic and has a strong flavor to it.

So when it comes to substituting for coriander, you will have to pick which dishes are the best to use it with. They’ll work the best when it comes to curries, soups, and sauces. The heartiness of the dish comes out thanks to the seeds.

However, they should be used sparingly. As the fennel seeds themselves already have a very concentrated flavor that may overpower a dish if too much is used.

Although it is mostly used for cooking, there are some health benefits to this spice. It contains some minerals such as calcium, iron, and manganese. Also, it does wonder for reducing excess flatulence, improving digestion, as well as eliminating inflammation.

6. Sage

Just like oregano, sage focuses on the lighter and zesty side of ground coriander. Those who don’t want the hearty flavor that coriander has can go for this option. It has a slightly cooler taste and serves as a more subtle option to ground coriander.

This herb goes very well with meat like beef, duck, chicken, and pork. However, they should be used sparingly as the dried oregano leaves are potent in flavor. The Italians, for example, enjoy using oregano chopped, mixed with melted butter and served stirred into pasta or gnocchi.

In a similar way to oregano, sage reflects the lighter and zestier side of ground coriander. When looking for a slightly cooler flavor, or a more subtle substitute for coriander, turn to this popular option. Sage also possesses many of the same vitamins and minerals as coriander, so its health effects are very much in line.

While sage is used for cooking nowadays, it does have a lot of health/medicinal benefits to them. The herb is known for its natural antiseptic and kills bacteria in raw meat. There are also studies that claim sage can help those with Alzheimer’s, lowering glucose and cholesterol, and controlling inflammation as well.

7. Garam Marsala

When you’re in a pinch, and there are none of the other substitutes available, you can try to use the popular Indian spice garam marsala. This is an obvious choice since the mix already contains coriander in it.

Similar to curry powder, it contains pungent spices that may affect the taste of the dish. However, it does maintain a spicy, earthy, and nutty tone when it is added to dishes.

The mix usually contains nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, mace, cinnamon, peppercorns, cumin, and coriander. Sometimes the blend comes with dried chilis to add more heat. Thus, this substitute should be used conservatively. The other herbs in the mix could overpower the dishes’ flavors.

While there may be a lot of spices in the mix, it does have a lot of health benefits that mainly come from cumin and coriander. It promotes blood oxygenation, controls blood sugar levels, reduces cholesterol, improves digestion, boosts the immune system, and increases the body’s ability to absorb nutrients as well.


Those who are familiar with the ins and outs of a kitchen will know that there aren’t any rules when it comes to cooking. Most cooks will create their versions of a dish according to what they think tastes good.

Now that you know the substitutes for coriander, you’ll be able to still cook your favorite dishes even when coriander runs out! This is good to know especially since it is sometimes hard to find all the spices you need for a dish.

I hope that this article was helpful to you! If you happen to know about any other substitutes for coriander or have used these substitutes before, please share them in the comments below. I’d love to read more about it.

Charlotte Lane

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