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15 Interesting Ways To Eat Parsley – Not Just A Garnish

Hands holding a large bunch of flat-leaf parsley.

Frequently relegated to garnish status, parsley is often overlooked as an herbal seasoning. Adding a brightness, freshness, and piquancy to foods, the flat-leaf variety is so flavorful that it can easily hold its own as a main ingredient.

Parsley is also a nutritional powerhouse. It’s low in calories but incredibly high in vitamins A, C, and K and is a good source of iron, folate, and potassium, along with several other minerals.

Curly parsley on a cutting board next to a cloth napkin with a wooden spoon with a few sprigs of parsley on it.

If you grow parsley this season, you may not know what to do with all those bright green tripinnate leaves.  

Although dried or freshly chopped parsley can be added to so many types of foods on the fly – sprinkled on meats, vegetables, pastas, dips, sauces, soups, and more – we wanted to showcase some foods where parsley is the star of the show.  

Here are our picks:

1. Parsley Tea

A cup of parsley tea in a ceramic mug. There is a decorative napkin with a wood spoon next to the mug. A large bunch of parsley is to the left.

Delicious and nutritious, parsley tea is bold and tart. Enjoy it hot or iced, sweetened or plain, with intense or subtle flavor according to steeping time – there are plenty of ways to enjoy a nice cup of parsley tea.

You’ll need:

  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of chopped parsley, leaves and stems, fresh or dried
  • Slice of lemon (optional)
  • Honey, to taste (optional)

With a kettle or a saucer on the stovetop, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add parsley. Allow it to steep for 5 minutes or less, or up to 60 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. Strain out parsley leaves and stir in honey and lemon. Leftover tea can be stored in the fridge and reheated for up to one week.

2. Parsley Juice

A tall highball glass filled with parsley juice sits on a weathered wood top. A bunch of flat-leaf parsley sits next to the glass.

If you have a juicer on hand, making parsley juice by the glass is a super easy way to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals this herb has to offer.

You’ll need:

  • A large bunch of fresh parsley
  • A juicer
  • Optional add ins: apples, carrots, ginger, lemon, kale, spinach

Add ingredients to the juicer and process until you have the desired amount of juice. Parsley juice tastes best fresh, but if you made too much, pour the rest in an airtight container and stow in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

3. Parsley, Kale & Berry Smoothie

Close up overhead view of kale smoothie in a mason jar mug. The smoothie is topped with sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and blueberries. There are two paper straws in the smoothie.

Or, use a blender to whip up a yummy and nutritious smoothie!

Get the recipe from Epicurious.

4. Leaf and Spear

A bartender pours a green cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.

A sweet and spicy cocktail, this drink is made by combining rum infused with Tuscan kale with a green harissa syrup made with sugar, cilantro, parsley, caraway seeds, and jalapeno. Shaken, not stirred, this bevvie is topped with lime juice and poured over a glass of ice.

Get the recipe from Saveur.

5. Tabbouleh

Overhead view of a white bowl filled with tabbouleh. The bowl sits on a lime green tablecoth. There is a sprig of mint next to the bowl.

The Mediterranean salad is composed primarily of parsley leaves, tabbouleh (or tabouli) combines finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, mint leaves, and bulgur wheat in a zesty citrusy dressing.

Get the recipe from The Mediterranean Dish.

6. Gremolata

Overhead view of a bowl of gremolata sitting on a rough wood tabletop.

Gremolata is an Italian herb sauce that is often used to boost the flavor profile of meats, pasta, and soups. Ready in just five minutes, all you need to do is pulse together parsley, garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, and salt and pepper in the food processor before spooning it over your main dish.

Get the recipe from Feasting at Home.

7. Chimichurri

A grilled steak topped with bright green chimichurri.

The incredibly flavorful Argentinian condiment, chimichurri verde has a wonderful, tangy, spice that just makes everything nice. Give your taste buds a thrill and try it slathered over grilled steak, chicken, seafood, and veggies.

Get the recipe from Food Wishes.

8. Kuku Sabzi

A frittata sliced into four quarters and set on parchment paper. There is a wood spatula in the background.

An herb-infused Persian frittata, this recipe is a medley of parsley, cilantro, dill, and chives, along with toasted walnuts and barberries. Served hot or cold, this dish is extra yummy with a side helping of tangy yogurt.

Get the recipe from My Persian Kitchen.

9. Ijeh B’Lahmeh

A plate of latkes on a dark wood tabletop, behind there is a menorah on a cutting board, a pepper grinder and a sliced tomato. The background is dark.

An herb and meat latke originally hailing from Syria, ijeh is traditionally enjoyed during Hanukkah but can be a tasty filler for pitas and sandwiches any time of year. In lieu of potatoes, these are made with ground beef or lamb, parsley, cilantro, mint, scallions, and onions, shaped into fragrant patties.

Get the recipe from The Kitchn.

10. Creamy Parsley and Avocado Dressing

A brightly lit scene. A small clear round jar filled with bright green dressing with a spoon in it. Behind is a sliced avocado, a sliced lime and a salad.

Blend together parsley, avocado, scallions, spinach, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, sea salt, and white pepper for a healthier dressing you can mix with salads, pastas, and potatoes. It’s also dairy, nut, and oil free!

Watch the video here.

11. Parsley Hummus

Toasted slices of bread topped with parsley hummus, chickpeas, and parsley.

Adding some tanginess to classic hummus, this green-hued dip is delectable on sandwiches, pita triangles, and crudité.

Get the recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

12. Garlicky, Cheesy Parsley Bread

Overhead view of hazelnuts a jar full of parsley bread spread with a tiny spoon in it. Next to the jar is a small toasted baguette with parsley spread on it.

Perfect paired with a bowl of pasta or other comfort foods, this twist on garlic bread is topped with a generous helping of creamy parsley sauce.

Get the recipe from Noble Pig.

13. Parsley Butter

A small white ramekin filled with parsley butter.

Elevate butter in just five minutes by creaming together minced parsley, tarragon, chives, and garlic.

Get the recipe from Taste of Home.

14. Potato and Parsley Soup

A bowl of creamy potato and parsley soup set on a striped napkin. There are potatoes in the background.

This thick and rich pureed potato soup is made extra aromatic with the additions of parsley, onions, and garlic.

Get the recipe from Tarla Dalal.

15. Walnut Parsley Pesto

A rustic scene, a rough-hewn wooden tabletop on which sits a scarred cutting board. On the cutting board there are walnut halves, a small wooden scoop with rainbow peppercorns and a small lidded jar filled with bright green parsley pesto. Behind is a quartered lemon, parsley and a decanter of olive oil.

Pesto can be made with so many different herbs, but this version offers a bit more bite than the others thanks to the use of parsley as the main ingredient. Spread it over toast, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and beyond.

Get the recipe from Simply Recipes.

Aerial view of flat-leaf parsley growing in rows.

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Lindsay Sheehan

I am a writer, lifelong plant lover, permaculture gardener, and unabashed nature nerd. I’m endlessly fascinated by the natural world and its curious inner workings – from the invisible microbes in soil that help our plants grow, to the hidden (and often misunderstood) life of insects, to the astonishing interconnectedness that lies at the heart of our forests. And everything in between.

My gardening philosophy is simple – work with the forces of nature to foster balanced ecosystems in the landscape. By taking advantage of 470 million years of evolutionary wisdom, suddenly the garden is more resilient and self-sustaining. By restoring biodiversity, we get built-in nutrient cycling, pest control, climate regulation, and widespread pollination. By building healthy soil and supporting the food web, we can have lush gardens and do a small part in healing our local biomes, too.

On my own humble patch of earth in zone 5b, I’m slowly reclaiming the land and planting it densely with native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees. I also tend a food forest, herb garden, and an ever-expanding plot of fruits and vegetables, where I abide by the old adage, ‘One for the mouse, one for the crow, one to rot, and one to grow’.