Cilantro vs. Parsley: What’s the Difference?

In the cilantro vs parsley debate, the only clear conclusion is that these very similar looking herbs are actually quite different. Learn what each has to offer in terms of their health benefits and culinary uses.

The primary difference between cilantro and parsley is the flavor. Parsley has a delicate, fresh taste and, cilantro has a bold, citrusy flavor that many people love, but some people can’t stand as it reminds them of soap.     

Primary Difference

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Both cilantro and parsley are part of the Apiaceae family, which also includes celery and carrots. While they hail from the same taxonomic group, they have a slightly different origin and place in human history.

Plant Type and Origin

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Parsley is native to the Eastern Mediterranean but has been cultivated worldwide and can be found growing wild in Europe. It is completely edible, with some types grown for their leaves and others for their thick taproot.


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Cilantro originated in the regions of Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and Southwest Asia. Cilantro has been cultivated for far longer than parsley, with descriptions of the herb found in texts as old as 1550 BC.


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Despite a shared taxonomy and physical appearance, there are actually a number of nutritional differences between cilantro and parsley. Both pack a ton of antioxidants and nutrients, so it’s hard to say which is healthier.

Nutritional Profile

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