This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

Don’t have coriander, or realized you’re all out while you’re cooking? Here’s the best coriander substitute to use in recipes.

Coriander substitute

Making a recipe that calls for coriander and don’t have it? Here are a few options that are suitable as a substitution. First though: let’s chat about terminology! The US and the UK differ on the definition of coriander:

  • Cilantro (coriander leaves): Cilantro is the fresh leaves of this herb! People in the UK call this “coriander leaves”. Cilantro features in Mexican recipes and Mediterranean cuisine. For cilantro substitutions, go to Best Cilantro Substitute instead!
  • Coriander seeds: The whole seeds of the cilantro plant. They’re often in pickles to add a floral flavor.
  • Ground coriander: The ground seeds of the cilantro plant! Coriander pairs well with cumin in Mediterranean-style dishes or Indian curries.

Best coriander substitute (coriander seeds & ground coriander)

1. Cardamom (for ground coriander)

The best substitute for ground coriander? A quarter to half as much ground cardamom. Cardamom has a lightly floral flavor that mimics coriander. But take care! Cardamom is much stronger than coriander, and the flavor evokes chai tea. Start with a substitution ratio of ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom for every 1 teaspoon ground coriander.

2. Cumin (for ground coriander)

The next best substitute for ground coriander? Ground cumin. Now, coriander doesn’t taste like cumin: so take care! But cumin and coriander often feature together in recipes, like in falafel. So this substitute would just end up with slightly stronger cumin flavor.

Note: If option 1 and 2 don’t work for you, leave out the coriander entirely. It’s typically a supporting spice, and many recipes can hold up to the omission.

3. Fennel seeds (for coriander seeds)

If you’re making pickles, coriander seeds add a nice floral, herbal vibe. If you don’t have them, try about half the amount of fennel seeds. Fennel has a much different flavor, but it would add an interesting complexity.

Related recipes

Here are some recipes where you could use this coriander substitution:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.