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Parsley vs. Coriander: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 21, 2023
Parsley is a green herb with flat or curly leaves, often used as a garnish. Coriander refers to the entire plant, while in the U.S., its leaves are called cilantro and seeds are coriander.

Key Differences

Both parsley and coriander are popular herbs in cuisines worldwide, celebrated for their unique flavors and culinary applications.
Originating from the Mediterranean region, parsley has two primary types: curly leaf and flat-leaf (Italian parsley). On the other hand, coriander, also known as cilantro, especially in the U.S., has its roots in South Asia and was adopted into various global cuisines.
Parsley often finds its place as a garnish due to its bright, refreshing taste and attractive appearance. Contrastingly, both the leaves and seeds of the coriander plant have culinary significance, with the leaves (cilantro) having a citrusy profile and the seeds a spicy, slightly sweet taste.
Nutritional compositions differ, with parsley boasting high levels of vitamins A, C, and K. Coriander, whether you consider the leaves or seeds, is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and has potential anti-inflammatory properties.
People often confuse parsley and coriander due to their similar appearance, especially when shopping for fresh herbs. However, a quick aroma or taste test will clearly distinguish the earthy, mild flavor of parsley from the potent, divisive flavor of coriander (cilantro).

Comparison Chart


South Asia

Typical Usage

Both leaves and seeds used in dishes

Flavor Profile

Earthy, mild
Leaves (citrusy), Seeds (spicy, slightly sweet)

Popular Varieties

Curly leaf, flat-leaf (Italian parsley)
Cilantro (leaves), coriander seeds

Nutritional Benefits

Vitamins A, C, and K
Antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory properties

Parsley and Coriander Definitions


An herb with either curly or flat leaves.
I prefer the flavor of flat-leaf parsley in my dishes.


Also known as cilantro, especially its leaves in the U.S.
Tacos taste best with fresh coriander (cilantro) on top.


A source of vitamins A, C, and K.
Incorporating parsley into meals can boost nutritional value.


A source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Consuming coriander may offer several health benefits.


A green, leafy herb used commonly as a garnish.
She sprinkled fresh parsley over the soup for added color.


A herbaceous plant with pungent leaves and aromatic seeds.
She added coriander seeds to the sauce for a spicy kick.


A plant often paired with rosemary, thyme, and basil in recipes.
The recipe called for a mix of parsley, basil, and oregano.


An ingredient prevalent in South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American cuisines.
The curry required a handful of fresh coriander leaves.


A Mediterranean herb from the Apiaceae family.
Parsley thrives in well-drained soil and partial sunlight.


A plant from the Apiaceae family, related to parsley.
Both coriander and parsley belong to the same botanical family.


A member of the parsley family.


An aromatic annual Eurasian herb (Coriandrum sativum) in the parsley family, having parsleylike leaves and umbels of tiny white to pinkish flowers. It is cultivated for its edible fruits, leafy shoots, and roots.


What is parsley typically used for?

Parsley is often used as a garnish and flavoring in various dishes.

Which herb originates from the Mediterranean?

Parsley originates from the Mediterranean.

Can you replace parsley with coriander in recipes?

They have different flavors, so it might change the dish's taste, but it's possible.

Is parsley rich in vitamins?

Yes, parsley is particularly high in vitamins A, C, and K.

Why is coriander seed essential in spice mixes?

It imparts a warm, spicy, and slightly citrusy flavor to dishes.

What cuisines prominently feature coriander?

South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American cuisines, to name a few.

Is there a connection between parsley and bone health?

Yes, the vitamin K in parsley supports bone health.

What does coriander taste like?

The leaves (cilantro) are citrusy, while the seeds are spicy and slightly sweet.

Why do some people dislike the taste of coriander (cilantro)?

Some individuals have a gene making cilantro taste soapy to them.

What part of the coriander plant is most divisive in taste?

The leaves, known as cilantro.

Is coriander beneficial for health?

Yes, it offers antioxidants, vitamins, and potential anti-inflammatory properties.

Are there any side effects of consuming too much coriander?

In large quantities, it might lead to sensitivity or allergic reactions in some people.

Can you use dried parsley as a substitute for fresh?

Yes, but adjust the quantity since dried herbs are more concentrated.

Is coriander the same as cilantro?

Yes, in the U.S., the leaves of the coriander plant are referred to as cilantro.

Which dishes commonly use coriander seeds?

They're used in curries, stews, and spice mixes.

What's the main difference between curly and flat-leaf parsley?

They differ in appearance and flavor, with flat-leaf being more robust.

How do you store fresh parsley and coriander?

Both should be refrigerated, ideally in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag.

Can you grow parsley and coriander at home?

Yes, both can be grown in pots or gardens with proper care.

How do you differentiate parsley and coriander when shopping?

Smell or taste a leaf; parsley is milder while coriander (cilantro) is more potent.

What are the health benefits associated with parsley?

It offers antioxidant properties, supports kidney function, and aids digestion.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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