Parsley vs Coriander Differences And How To Tell Them Apart

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6 Top 5 Major Differences

Got a bunch of Coriander instead of Parsley? Well, that’s okay, you’re not alone! Both the herbs look very similar and have various similar properties as well. Hence, people usually tend to get confused and take up the one thinking of another.

Although both have many similarities, they have different usages.

To guide you through and let you know everything about both the herbs, read this article till the end.

What Is Parsley?

Parsley or Petroselinum crispum originates from the Mediterranean region along with Northern Africa and the coast of Turkey. Being a popular hero in garnish, parsley has many health benefits.

There are three types of parsley- flat-leaf, curly leaf and root parsley.

Flat-leaved parsley has a strong flavour and is easier to cultivate. Curly leaved parsley is famous as a garnish, while the root parsley has thick stems and is used to garnish soups, stews, any snack or vegetable and casseroles.

What Is Coriander?

Coriander, also known as cilantro, dhania or Chinese parsley, is part of the Coriandrum sativum plant. Coming from Southern Europe and Northern Africa to Southwestern Asia, it has excellent culinary importance. From leaves to stalks to the seeds, every part of Coriander is edible.

The coriander leaves are used to make chutneys or topping over some spicy noodles or soups as a dressing in salads. The list is endless.

While the seeds of Coriander are used as a spice, especially in Indian cuisine.

Top 5 Major Differences

Although both belong to the same Apiaceae family and have many similar characteristics, there are some significant differences you need to know.

Nutritional Content

Parsley and Coriander both are rich sources of Vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A, C K, iron, calcium, potassium, apigenin, lutein, beta carotene and folate are present in massive amounts. Having just 28 grams of parsley counts six times more than the Daily Required Value of vitamin K. While both are rich sources of vitamins, Coriander has more nutrients than parsley. Both are low-calorie food supplements and great in salads and dressings for people on a keto diet.


There are three major types of parsleys – flat-leaf, curly leaf and root parsley.

All of them require different climate conditions. Parsley is a biennial herb. The flat-leaf parsley is an easy-to-cultivate plant because it can tolerate harsh rain and sunlight. Curly-leaved are prominent in southern Italy with thick leaf stems that resemble celery. Root parsley has a very thick stem that looks like a thick parsnip.

Coriander, on the other hand, is a smooth textured plant that grows 50 cm tall. It is an annually growing herb with pale pink flowers pointing outward.

Appearance and texture

Parsley has dark green leaves that are slightly pointed at the tip. Coriander has light green, feathery leaves that differ in size and shape. They come in a pack of three where the leaves are short and wide as compared to parsley.

The below image gives you the exact difference in their appearance.

Flavour and aroma

Coriander has a fresh, slightly lemony smell. It tastes like a citrusy herb, and hence it is an essential ingredient for Mexican, Asian and Indian recipes. The stems and the leaves are chopped fresh and used as toppings to enhance the flavour of any dish.

Parsley, on the other hand, has a fresh, typical herby flavour. It tastes like mint without freshness and is very good as a topping for light-flavoured dishes.

Culinary Usage

As we saw that Coriander has a more vibrant flavour and is a bit citrusy, it is meant for dishes with loads of flavour or spice.

If you’re making a hotpot, spicy vegetable curry or spicy vegetable rice, garnishing with chopped fresh Coriander after making the dish will get you the best flavour. Salsa Fresca, Avocado juice (Guacamole), and coriander chutney are the best ways to savour.

On the other hand, parsley has a mild, herby flavour best to top over dishes to justify the prominent flavour.

It is a perfect garnish for your salads, soups, pasta, sauces and dips.

Health Benefits

As we saw the nutrients that both of these herbs carry, they have exceptional health benefits. Although Coriander or cilantro is much more nutritious than parsley, let’s look at their health benefits in common.

Enriches your immune system.

Help reduce toxin levels.

Pain reliever.

Lowers blood pressure and clears blood clots.

Best for weight loss or a keto diet.

How To Buy A Perfect Coriander Or Parsley?

Before you buy the herbs, you need to look upon these few things:

Buying parsley and Coriander from a farmer’s market is a much more viable option than purchasing from a supermarket. A farmer sells freshly grown herbs rather than old stale and refrigerated herbs in a supermarket.

A fresh bunch of green leaves with stems dipped in water is a good one. If you spot any discolourations, yellow leaves, or fungi over it, bypass.

How To Store Parsley and Coriander?

The storing process for both the herbs is the same.

Once bought or harvested fresh from your garden, you need to wash them thoroughly.

After washing PAT DRY, it is essential because it’ll wilt or get stale quickly.

Next, cut the stalks and place the herbs in a plastic bag and refrigerate it immediately.

Once stored, use them within a week.

If you prefer drying the herbs, store them in brown paper (usually used in bouquet shops to wrap bouquets). They remain fresh for a month.

Dried parsley usually has diminished flavour and more aroma, while dried Coriander is more flavorful and less aromatic.

Can We Substitute Coriander For Parsley?

As we learned about the flavours and textures of both the herbs, they’re irreplaceable.

The subtle flavour of parsley cannot replace the solid citrusy flavour. It is a cooking disaster.

Both the herbs have their specific distinct flavours that should be considered while cooking.

As stated earlier, if you’re going for spicy hotpots or a dish with vivid flavours, Coriander is the best option.

If you’re making a dish with one strong flavour, then to give justice to it, parsley is the best option.


As we saw the differences between parsley and Coriander, one thing is sure that both are a must in our diet.

We tried to divulge the benefits, how to select, how to store, and much more. We hope this article had everything you were looking for. If you have any more questions, freely drop them below in the comments.

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