Cilantro Substitute In Salsa: What Should You Use?

cilantro substitute in salsa

If you don’t like cilantro, you’re not alone.

In fact, there’s a genetic component to whether or not someone enjoys the taste of this herb.

But just because you don’t like cilantro doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the deliciousness of salsa.

Here are some great cilantro substitutes in salsa that will give you all the flavor without the bitterness.

Read more: Pickled Ginger Substitute

What are the best replacements for cilantro in salsa?

In my experience, you can use any of the following ingredients as a cilantro substitute in salsa to still have a delicious, flavorful dish.


This is a common herb that is found in many salsa recipes.

It has a similar flavor to cilantro, but it is not as strong.

To replace, you can use an equal amount of parsley as you would cilantro.

This is my personal choice because I think it gives salsa a more complex flavor.


Cumin is a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine and it gives the salsa a nice warming flavor.

It’s also a pretty strong flavor, so you don’t need to use it much.

I would start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there.

You can always add more, but you can’t take it out.


This herb has a sweet, licorice-like flavor that goes well in salsa.

Replace cilantro with an equal amount of basil and you’ll be good to go.

The advantages of using basil are that it is more readily available and you might even have it growing in your garden.



Mint has a refreshing flavor that can brighten up any dish.

If you’re looking for a cilantro substitute in salsa that will add a little bit of sweetness, mint is a great option.

Mint is a good source of antioxidants, so it’s a healthy choice as well.


Chives have a delicate onion flavor that can be a great addition to salsa.

They don’t have the same pungent flavor as onions, so they won’t overpower the other ingredients.

To replace cilantro, use an equal amount of chives.

Green onions (scallions)

Last but not least, green onions are a good option for a cilantro substitute in salsa.

They have a mild onion flavor and they add a nice color to the dish.

Use an equal amount of green onions as you would cilantro.

Whichever herb or herb combination you choose, just make sure it is fresh and finely chopped so that it blends well with the other ingredients.

Also, you need to be careful not to add too much, or your salsa will be overpowered by the flavor of the herb.

What not to do when making salsa with these substitutes?

Just because you’re using a different herb as a cilantro substitute doesn’t mean you can use any old recipe.

You still need to follow the same basic steps for making salsa.

Start by chopping up all of your ingredients and adding them to a bowl.

Then, add the seasonings and mix everything together.

Finally, let the salsa sit in the fridge for at least an hour so that the flavors can meld together.

If you try to shortcut the process by adding everything to a blender or food processor, you’ll end up with a watery, flavorless salsa.

So, take the time to chop everything by hand and you’ll be rewarded with a delicious salsa that’s full of flavor.

What does cilantro do to salsa?

Cilantro is a key ingredient in salsa that provides a unique flavor.

While some people love the taste of cilantro, others find it to be too strong or off-putting.

If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can simply leave it out of your salsa recipe.

However, if you’re looking to add a little bit of extra flavor to your salsa, cilantro is the way to go.

Cilantro has a slightly citrusy, peppery taste that pairs well with tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños.

It’s also a good source of vitamins A and C.

So if you’re looking for a healthy way to spice up your salsa, cilantro is a great option.

Does salsa contain cilantro?

Yes, usually.

Salsa is a blend of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and herbs.

Cilantro is one of those herbs.

It has a strong flavor, so not everyone likes it.

But if you do like cilantro, you’ll find it in most salsas.

Or, you can use the substitutes I listed above for something tasty.

Do you use cilantro stems in salsa?

Some people do, some people don’t.

I usually just use the leaves, but if you like the stems then go ahead and use them.

They have a slightly different flavor than the leaves.

In addition, cilantro leaves tend to fall apart more easily than the stems, so if you want a salsa with chunks that will hold together better, then using stems might be a good idea.

How do you make cilantro for salsa?

To make cilantro for salsa, you will need:

  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash the cilantro and remove the leaves from the stems.

Chop the cilantro leaves finely.

In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, lime juice, and salt.

Add the chopped cilantro and stir to combine.

Enjoy your salsa with chips, on tacos, or just eat it straight up.

Can you leave the cilantro out of salsa?

Yes, you can leave the cilantro out of salsa.

However, it may not taste as good.

Cilantro gives the salsa a unique flavor that many people enjoy.

If you don’t like cilantro, then you can leave it out without affecting the overall taste of the salsa.

But I suggest you use the alternatives listed above for the best results.

How do you mince cilantro for salsa?

cilantro substitute in salsa

First, cut the cilantro leaves from the stems.

Discard the stems and chop the leaves coarsely.

If you’re using a food processor, add the cilantro to the work bowl and pulse until chopped.

If you’re chopping by hand, use a sharp knife to chop the cilantro as finely as possible.

This will ensure that your salsa has a nice texture.

Can I use frozen cilantro in salsa?

You can use frozen cilantro in salsa, but it may not have the same flavor as fresh cilantro.

If you are looking for a more intense cilantro flavor, you can add a few drops of cilantro oil to your salsa.

Freezing cilantro can also help preserve its flavor, so if you have a lot of cilantro in your garden, you can freeze it to use later.

Can you use cilantro when canning salsa?

Yes, you can use cilantro when canning salsa.

Simply add the cilantro to the salsa recipe when canning.

This will allow the flavors to meld together and create a more flavorful salsa.

Do you have to blanch cilantro for salsa?

No, you don’t have to blanch cilantro for salsa.

Just chop it up finely and add it to your salsa ingredients.

However, if you want a milder flavor, you can blanch the cilantro first.

Remember to only blanch for a few seconds, as cilantro can turn bitter if it’s overcooked.

Can I use coriander instead of cilantro in salsa?

Some people might prefer to use coriander instead of cilantro in their salsa.

Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant, so it has a similar flavor but a slightly different texture.

If you’re looking for a change or want to try something new, go ahead and give it a shot.

Use only a small amount at first to see how it tastes.

You can always add more if you like it.

Can you use cilantro stems in salsa?

Yes, you can use cilantro stems in salsa.

Just chop them up finely and add them to the rest of the ingredients.

I personally like to add a little extra cilantro to my salsa for extra flavor.

Give it a try and see what you think.


The flavor of cilantro is one that many people either enjoy or don’t care for.

If you happen to be in the latter category and want a delicious salsa without any bitterness, there are plenty of substitutes that can give your dish all the same flavors while still satisfying your taste buds.

Whether you choose parsley, cumin, basil, mint, chives, or green onions, just be sure to chop them finely so that they blend well with the other ingredients.

Let the salsa sit in the fridge for a while so that the flavors can meld together and you’ll have a delicious dish that everyone will love.

Tamara Pierce

Tamara Pierce is a food writer at Elapasony, passionate about exploring diverse cuisines and sharing recipes and food experiences. From trendy restaurants to local hotspots, she's always on the lookout for new and exciting flavors.

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