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Coriander Substitutes (And How To Use Them)

Coriander Substitutes (And How To Use Them)

If you are making a recipe that calls for coriander but you don’t have any, or can’t find it at the grocery store, there’s no reason to worry. There are a number of easy to find substitutes that you can use no matter what you are making.

Coriander is a popular spice used in many dinner and breakfast recipes. It is most commonly used in Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern cuisine. But it can also be found in many other styles of recipes.

Produced by grinding the seeds of the Coriandrum sativum L plant, coriander has an intense flavor with floral and citrus notes as well as noticeable warmth.

It is also a strong aromatic, so when replacing coriander you will want to use an ingredient with a similar flavor and aroma profile.

So what are the best substitutes for coriander?

The top coriander alternatives are curry powder, cilantro, cumin, fennel, garam masala, and caraway.

Each of these replacements have their own unique flavor and aroma characteristics, so make sure to read on to find out how to use them in your particular recipe.

Coriander Alternatives

top view of coriander seeds on table

While most commonly used in cuisine from Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, coriander has grown in popularity and can be found in many types of dinner and breakfast recipes.

Coriander plays an important role in the final flavor of your recipe, therefore it’s important to use an appropriate substitute. Coriander is not one of those ingredients you want to leave out without using a replacement.

Now, let’s find out how to use each coriander alternative so you can make your recipe!

Curry Powder

closeup of measuring spoon of curry powder

Curry powder is a common spice mix found in many pantries, and it is an excellent substitute for coriander that can be used in most recipes.

Curry powder is usually comprised of coriander, tumeric, ginger, and cumin and it has a strong flavor that pairs well in dishes that call for coriander alone.


1 teaspoon of curry powder equals 1 teaspoon of coriander


closeup of dry and fresh cilantro

Produced by grinding the leaves of the same plant that produces coriander, cilantro is a common spice that is a great all around substitute for those who want a subtler flavor.

Cilantro offers fresh citrus notes that works well in almost any recipe. It is less likely to overpower a dish than coriander, so it’s a popular choice for those who do not particularly enjoy a strong coriander flavor.


1 teaspoon of cilantro equals 1 teaspoon of coriander


view from above of spoon of cumin on table

Cumin is one of my personal favorite coriander alternatives. It is a popular spice used in the same type of cuisine as coriander so it will likely work well in your recipe too.

Cumin provides earthy, citrus notes with a subtle sweetness that is a wonderful addition to all types of dishes.

Start with a little less cumin than your recipe calls for, and add more according to taste. You can find both cumin seed as well as ground cumin. Use the type that is appropriate for your recipe.


1/2 teaspoon of cumin equals 1 teaspoon of coriander


top view of measuring spoon full of fennel seeds

Fennel is another great coriander substitute for those looking for a less intense flavor for their dish. Fennel provides earthy, citrus notes that goes wonderfully in any type of recipe.

In fact, fennel works in everything from savory dinners and soups, to sweet breakfast recipes. Fennel can be found both ground and in seed form. Again, use the appropriate type for your recipe.


1 teaspoon of fennel equals 1 teaspoon of coriander

Garam Masala

closeup of container of garam masala

Garam masala is another spice mix that can be used in almost any recipe that calls for coriander. The flavor has sweet and earthy notes and is usually comprised of cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and cumin.

While the flavor is intense, it is slightly less so than coriander so it’s another good flavor substitute for those who do not like coriander.


1 teaspoon of garam masala equals 1 teaspoon of coriander


view from above of caraway seeds in spoon and on table

Caraway is an easy to find spice that offers a flavor quite similar to coriander. Usually found in seed form, you can grind it if your recipe calls for it.

The flavor offers bittersweet notes with hints of pepper and citrus. The complex flavor works quite well in almost any recipe that calls for coriander.


1 teaspoon of caraway equals 1 teaspoon of coriander

Coriander Replacement FAQ

closeup of spoon of coriander

What is a good coriander substitute in curry?

When making curry without coriander, use curry powder, cumin, or caraway. These spices will provide a similar level of flavor and pair well in most curry recipes.

Can cardamom be used instead of coriander?

Yes, cardamom can be used in place of coriander in most recipes. Cardamom offers flavor notes of pepper, citrus while being earthy. The flavor works well as a substitute for coriander in sweet and savory dishes.

What is a good substitute for coriander in soup?

When making soup without coriander, use curry powder, garam masala, or cilantro. Curry powder and garam masala for a more intense flavor alternative or use cilantro for a lighter, fresher flavor.

What can be subbed in chili for coriander?

Curry powder is the best all around substitute for coriander when making chili. You can also use cumin or caraway for an interesting flavor alternative.