The best coriander substitute is about choosing the right spice to best enhance your dish. Most of us are more familiar with coriander’s green and leafy form: cilantro.
Though it’s often associated with salsa in North America, cilantro actually originated in Iran. A well-loved herb, cilantro is often added to dishes found all over the world, from soups in Vietnam to chutney in India.
It’s the fruits of cilantro, the coriander seeds, that give us the spice we know as ground coriander. This warm, brown spice is quite versatile, though it can quickly lose its flavor and pungency once it is ground.
Coriander is a spice that can warm up a curry, add depth to a soup, or round out the flavor of meat. When you don’t have coriander available, choosing the right spice to take its place can be difficult and your choice should depend on what you’re cooking.
That’s where this list can help. We’ve researched the best substitutes for coriander and found the ideal ones for you. We want you to have the perfect alternate on hand the next time you need it.
Coriander Substitute Comparison Table
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7 Best Coriander Substitute Reviews
Some substitutes are better than others while some substitutes are better for certain recipes. It’s all about choosing the best alternative spice to elevate the flavors in your dish.
If you’re looking to add different alternative seasonings to your spice shelf then you should take a look at these cumin and dry mustard substitute lists. They offer a lot of great options to add variety to your spice collection.
Lastly, we believe the 7 substitutes on this list are the best products on the market in their particular spice category. In addition, we’ve included only organic items on this list to ensure we’re recommending the best options available. If you’re looking for a quick reference to make a fast substitution, we’ve got you covered.
If you don’t like coriander and want to pick the next best option for a recipe, this list will help you too. Lastly, we’ve compiled the following list of the best substitutes for every home chef to keep in mind.
There’s no more widely recommended substitute for ground coriander than cumin. If you’re looking for a great option, we recommend McCormick’s Gourmet Organic Ground Cumin to meet your needs. This nutty, earthy spice provides the most similar flavor profile to coriander of all of the substitutes we mention.
We like that this product is USDA organic and premium sourced, but also appreciate that it’s such a versatile spice. You can use it in hummus, stews, on fajitas, in soups, and basically any other recipe in which you would normally use coriander.
This product is flavorful, savory and warm. You can use it as a standalone substitute and it will work great for you. You can also blend it with other substitutes on this list to create a more complex flavor profile to fit your recipe.
Most Versatile Substitute for Coriander
McCormick’s product is the stand out favorite because of their commitment to quality, simple ingredients and the consistent follow through on good flavor profile. This product has simple ingredients and is carefully cleaned and dried to ensure quality from harvest to finish. Also, it has a depth and smokiness in its flavor that sets it apart from other products on the market.
This is a product that follows through on freshness and quality, and for the versatility, you can’t go wrong by making sure you have this on hand. Be wary of overusing cumin, though. Adding too much can overpower a dish and detract from your goal of using cumin seamlessly in place of coriander. Lastly, please be sure to follow your recipe’s instructions carefully.
When it’s time to buy, here are a few things to consider:
- Versatile all-around spice that can be used in place of coriander, but also in other dishes.
- Clean, organic product with a simple ingredients list.
- Freshness that carries through with a strong, good flavor.
- Can taste too much like cumin if overused.
- If the dish already calls for cumin, this substitute will not give any further nuance to a dish.
- Lacks the citrus notes present in ground coriander.
This brand is widely known and comes in at a nice price point, allowing you to feel like you’re getting your money’s worth for a healthy product.
These whole cloves can be ground before you use them as a substitute. For that, you will need to have a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. A benefit to keeping whole cloves on your shelf is that they will not lose their pungency as quickly. As you grind them, you will release the essence of this product, unlocking the best flavors for your recipe.
This product stays intact. The manufacturers make sure that the cloves do not get packaged in pieces. You’ll also love the square shape of the bottle which makes it easy to line up on your cabinet next to other spices.
This product works best as a substitute for coriander in meaty dishes, where the sweet aroma can come forward in place of coriander’s lemony, citrus scent. Cloves are another versatile spice that work well as a swap in for coriander, but this product can serve multiple purposes in your kitchen. You can use them to make tea, add them to wine, or even steep them in water with orange slices to create a fragrance for your home.
When it’s time to use them in place of coriander, you have two choices. You can grind them and add them 1:1 in place of ground coriander, or you can leave them whole.
If you choose to leave them whole, make sure you take them out when your recipe is done cooking. You can use cheesecloth to make a bundle, or put them in a tea ball if you have one on hand for easy removal.
- Fragrant, fresh scent that attests to this product’s freshness.
- An organic product from a company committed to producing quality spices at a great price point.
- Multiple ways you can use this product.
- For a ground substitute, you’ll need to have a grinder on hand
- Cloves can break up in the cooking process
- Must have other products on hand to make this an easy substitute
Caraway seeds are probably the closest of all the substitutes in taste to coriander thereby making it an ideal substitute to have on your shelf. Cumin ranks higher on this list because of accessibility, but caraway’s flavor will be an almost unnoticeable addition to your recipe.
This product, while not square, makes a great presentation on a spice rack. Its bottle has a nice sized base that will keep it from toppling easily. The green top and clear bottle make it easy to spot and easy to see what’s inside.
Similar Flavor Profiles
Caraway Seeds share some of the same oils as coriander seeds, which is what makes their flavor profiles so similar. Their brightness will carry through in any dish. You can grind caraway seeds or leave them whole. You can use them in place of coriander in your recipes for: rye bread, beef stew, braised cabbage, baked dishes and even desserts to add an earthy but sweet flavor.
- Useful in a wide variety of recipes.
- Perfect as a finishing touch on top of stews and breads.
- Used either whole or ground.
- Easy to overdo in recipes.
- Versatile but not commonly called for in recipes.
- Higher price point may not be for everyone.
This product is a great option as a substitute. Not only does the packaging look attractive, this product clearly indicates right up front that it’s Certified Organic, Non-GMO Verified, Salt-Free, and Non-Irradiated, and kosher!
This brand is a member-owned co-op which supports farmers and claims to be “responsible to people and the planet.” If you are looking for a product that’s not just healthy and a great coriander substitute, this product may be for you.
Their price point is also a nice middle ground for a spice—it won’t break your bank. There are many brands on the market that offer garam masala blends but they can cost 3-4 times the price of this brand. If you’re looking for a value product, this is a nice option.
Unique Spice Blend
The first thing to know is that Garam Masala is a spice blend and can include all kinds of spices like cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, bay leaf, cumin, and many others depending on the brand you choose. This product may change the flavor profile of your dish if you use it in place of coriander. Another garam masala brand might change the flavor of your dish in a totally different way.
One tip before trying this spice with your recipe is to use your nose. Smell the dish you’re cooking and then smell the garam masala. If you like the way they smell together, add a little garam masala to your dish. If you don’t, choose a different substitute.
Another tip is to start small. Try a small amount in place of coriander and taste your dish. If you like what you taste, add a little more and see if you like it better.
- Healthy, environmentally conscious product.
- Attractive packaging.
- Reasonably priced.
- Widely recognized as a tasty blend but may not work with every dish.
- Not certified against milk and egg allergens.
- Flavor can come across as strong in cinnamon and cloves.
If you’re looking for a good middle ground spice that is a reliable option in a wide variety of recipes, this may be the product for you.
This product begins its ingredients list with organic coriander. It has a unique blend of spices that make it a warm, flavorful substitute option. This is a certified organic option that contains all organic ingredients. As we mentioned with garam masala, each brand of curry powder is different.
Flavorful Substitute For Coriander
The price point makes this curry powder attractive as a general item to have on hand in your kitchen. Be alert when you use it in place of coriander. Add just a little and then taste. You can also try using the smelling tip we described in the garam masala section.
This glass, nearly clear bottle, makes another attractive addition to your spice collection. Try it in soups for its sweet and savory notes, and to bring warmth to your recipe. This substitute also works well in chicken casseroles and as a rub on chicken thighs.
Be careful when using curry powder in place of coriander in curries. Doing so may alter the flavor profile of your dish and could make it unbalanced. Be aware that the presence of turmeric in this spice makes it a stain risk. It will be necessary to watch for spills so be sure to clean your countertop or your shirt quickly to prevent a yellow stain.
- Attractive packaging.
- Adds a smooth and silky flavor to dishes.
- Lists coriander as the first ingredient.
- Not substitutable in curries.
- One-note in terms of flavor.
- Too spicy for some tastes.
As a Frontier product, this brand of oregano is certified organic, non-irradiated, kosher, and Non-GMO Project verified. If you are looking for an environmentally responsible brand that takes care of its co-op members, this is a great option for you.
Aromatic and Fragrant Substitute
As a coriander substitute, oregano works well alongside other spices. It is a highly aromatic herb, even in its dried form, and the fragrance comes through a wide variety of dishes nicely.
If you are looking for a substitute that provides the brightness of ground coriander, oregano is a great choice. In addition, this option will give you a bit of a minty, earthy flavor that works well as a topping at the end of a dish, or cooked into the dish as you go.
This product comes in a 1 lb bulk bag so it’s very eco-friendly. You won’t need to buy oregano for a while if you purchase this option.
It is a great choice if you don’t mind purchasing a bulk product at a slightly higher price to save money in the long- term. If you prefer a standardized set of spices in glass or plastic jars then this might not be the best option for you.
- Fragrant option as a coriander substitute.
- Bulk quantity makes it ideal for large families or home chefs.
- Environmentally responsible and health-conscious option.
- Bulk quantity makes it less ideal for smaller families.
- Lacks the bold undertones of coriander as a substitute.
- Higher price point may not be for everyone.
This product has the highest level of organic certification available in the United States with a stamp of approval from the USDA. It also comes in BPA free packaging. These are great options for the home chef that cares about packaging and might otherwise choose glass or metal.
Fennel seeds work well as a coriander substitute. They can taste a bit like licorice or anise. Coriander also has anise notes in it, but using this substitute means you will get more of this flavor in your recipe. If you love licorice, this product may be exactly what you want. If you dislike licorice, you may want to pass on this option.
Fennel is about the size of a sesame seed and does not need to be ground before using it as a substitute for coriander. It grinds well with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder if you so choose.
- High levels of certification for organic ingredients.
- BPA-Free packaging.
- Anise flavor mimics ground coriander.
- Anise flavor may be too strong for the average dish.
- 1 lb bulk bag may be too large for some home chefs.
- Bitter undertones, especially if eaten raw.
Coriander Substitute Buyer’s Guide
Finding the right substitute for coriander can be a real challenge. There are many available options to choose from and the flavor profiles can be confusing to track.
We have tried to outline and research the best options for you. In short, we want you to be able to make a quick choice based on the needs in your cupboard and the dish you’re creating.
Here are a few points to keep in mind as you’re choosing the best substitute for your recipe or the best set of products for your pantry.
What is Coriander?
Coriander is both an herb and a spice. The word can also change meaning depending on what country you live in. In this guide, we are looking to help you find a good ground coriander substitute.
We will not deal with the leafy green portion of the plant. This leafy part is called cilantro in some parts of the world and coriander in other parts. Make sure you know which coriander you need or need to substitute for when you see it listed in a recipe.
Ground coriander comes from coriander seeds. If you have coriander seeds on hand, you can always use a spice grinder like a mortar and pestle to grind the seeds and add them into your dish. In fact, the best practice if you’re going to use ground coriander and not its substitute is to simply grind it fresh.
Whether you’re cooking meals on the stove or in a slow cooker, nothing beats the taste of using freshly ground spices in your recipes. When you purchase ground spices, you risk them losing their pungency and flavor over time.
Keep in mind the flavor you want to bring out in the dish you’re cooking when choosing the right coriander substitute. Do you want the lemony flavor of coriander to come out? Perhaps choose oregano, fennel or caraway seeds in that case.
Are you looking for the earthy, warm quality of coriander? Maybe garam masala or curry powder is what you need. Do you prefer to have the nutty quality of coriander come to the forefront? Try cumin.
Avoid purchasing fennel seeds if you really hate licorice or bitter flavors. If you like licorice or are a fan of including bitter as a note in your food, fennel seeds might be a really great option for you. Also, the large bulk size we recommend will give you plenty to experiment with once you’re done using them for your substitute.
How to Choose a Substitute for Coriander
No substitute you choose is going to be a perfect swap. Even, and perhaps especially, when a product lists coriander as an ingredient. You should always use your senses of smell and taste to inform you as you prepare your dish.
Also, be wary of 1:1 ratios, especially with spice blends. Start with using less of the substitute, then taste and smell. Add more as you need to in order to make it exactly how you want.
You get to determine what flavor you want to highlight when you decide on a particular substitute. It’s up to you, the chef, to taste your dish and tweak it to your perfect flavor. If you need some easy ways to incorporate different spices into your dishes, check out these cookbooks here.
Health Benefits of Coriander and its Substitutes
Coriander is said to help improve memory, lower cholesterol, and fight infection. If you’re looking for an in-depth list of coriander’s health benefits, check out this video:
Cumin and caraway seeds work well as a substitute for coriander from flavor profile all the way to the health benefits. They’re said to promote good health in the digestive tract just like coriander.
Curry powder and cloves might even have antibacterial properties. This article has a great list of the health benefits of cloves.
Oregano and fennel seeds share with coriander the benefit of having anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, these spices supposedly decrease water retention and help reduce inflammation throughout the body.
We’ve chosen all organic products. However, some have other benefits as well.
If you are a customer who prefers to purchase products that feature environmentally conscious choices, you might prefer the Frontier products on our list.
You may want to choose the bulk buy options we’ve included for fennel and oregano if you’re more interested in a value product.
Try the Simply Organic or McCormick choices we’ve listed above if you’re looking for an organic label in a standard size.
Moreover, no one spice is perfect for every dish and no product is perfect for every pantry. In sum, our best advice is to follow your preference for flavor profile, brand consciousness, and price point as you’re choosing how to stock your pantry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the best type of coriander substitute to use?
A: It depends on the kind of flavor you want to add to your dish. If you want a bright, light flavor or need to balance an earthy recipe with something lighter, go with oregano, caraway seeds or fennel seeds.
If you want to darken a recipe with earthy, nutty flavors then go with cumin, cloves or garam masala. Lastly, if you don’t mind adding a little bit of heat to a dish, try curry powder.
Q: Is cumin the same as coriander?
A: No, cumin is not the same as coriander. The nutty qualities of both spices make them excellent substitutes for each other though.
Q: What does coriander taste like?
A: Ground coriander has a nutty, earthy flavor that also has a bit of a citrus quality. It tastes very little like its whole green plant.
Q: If I don’t like cilantro, will I also dislike ground coriander?
A: The leafy herb cilantro and the roasted spice ground coriander are from the same plant, but do not have the same flavor profile. There are people who taste a bitter flavor instead of the lemony, bright flavor in cilantro, myself included, but the bitter flavor does not appear to those people when they taste coriander.
Q: Can I use cilantro as a substitute for ground coriander?
A: We do not recommend it because the flavor profiles are dramatically different. If you have coriander seeds in your pantry, you can grind those and use the ground coriander that results from your work in your recipe.
Coriander substitutes come in many varieties and ranges of prices. Finding the best one is a matter of determining your budget, finding the best option for your pantry style, choosing what types of companies to support, and looking deep into your recipe.
Whether you’re making a curry, a soup or a casserole, the options above allow you to have a full range of choices to bring out the best flavors in any recipe that calls for coriander. These are wholesome, organic options that come with a wide variety of health benefits.
If you’re missing coriander from your pantry and need a quick substitute, one of these options will work for you. We hope this list also inspires you to stock your pantry with all kinds of spices to keep you ready for any kind of recipe you encounter in the future.
With wide variety comes broad flexibility – you’ll be ready to create the perfect dish for your family in no time. Experimenting with coriander substitutes can be a benefit to your recipes even if you have coriander on hand. You can bring flavors forward in your cooking and customize your recipes to make them into dishes your family will love.
We hope that after reading our detailed coriander substitute reviews and comprehensive buying guide, you’ll have all the information you need to select the best coriander substitute that is perfect for your kitchen.