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Upgrade Recipes: 5 BEST Substitutes for Epazote

Have you ever heard of epazote? With its overwhelming flavor and aroma, this Mexican herb has made quite a mark on the culinary world.

However, some ingredients can be difficult to track down.

If you’re looking for how to cook with epazote or wish to learn the best ways to substitute it in recipes that call for it, you are in luck.

Here, we will go through how to use epazote as well as all the potential substitutes that are just as delicious.

We’ll uncover all there is to know about epazote and discover our five favorite substitutes so you can still enjoy your favorite recipes.

What’s Epazote?

what epazote

Epazote is an herb that has a unique malty-citrus flavor and can be found growing wild in many parts of Central America.

Its feathery leaves hold soothing yet pungent aromas, making it suitable for seasoning soups, beans, and stews.

The texture of epazote is similar to that of bay leaves, but its taste holds a distinctively robust quality that adds depth to dishes.

When sprinkled into soup or chili recipes just moments before taking them off the heat, epazote imparts subtle nuances that yield delightful results.

It can also be used to make sauces and blended into marinades to up their aromatic and gustatory allure.

For those interested in experimenting with this exotic herb, it’s available year-round, either fresh or dried, in specialty stores and online shops.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Epazote

If you’re looking for a unique flavor addition to your dishes but don’t have the time or resources to get a hold of epazote, these five alternatives are sure to make up for it.

Epazote is a commonly used herb in Mexican cuisine that adds an earthy, citrusy note.

It can be hard to find and quite expensive, so we’ve rounded up the five best substitutes to help you craft the perfect dish without breaking the bank.

1 – Cilantro


Cilantro is a fragrant and flavorful culinary Herb.

It is also known as Coriander or Chinese Parsley and is widely popular in Mexican cuisine, where it has been used since ancient times.

It has a bright, citrus-like flavor and a fresh, slightly sweet finish, along with a deep green color.

Its distinctive flavor makes it an indispensable ingredient for many dishes, including salsa, guacamole, pesto, tacos, and various Asian dishes.

Its texture adds texture and depth to sauces as well as stir-fries.

If you want to try something new or want to substitute epazote for cilantro, you can try the combination of oregano and parsley for similar flavors with a hint of minty undertones.

2 – Papalo


Papalo is an interesting herb that many people may not be familiar with.

Originating in South and Central America, it has been popularized in recent years due to its amazing flavor when used as a salad garnish or cooking herb.

Its leaves have a parsley-like appearance but offer a much stronger flavor of citrus, mint, and cilantro.

Papalo has a spicy and slightly pungent taste and should be used sparingly as an addition to your favorite dishes.

If you cannot find papalo at your local grocer, fear not; epazote is an excellent substitute for the unique flavor this herb supplies.

It’s time to experiment in the kitchen and discover the array of delicious recipes waiting to be made with papalo.

3 – Long Coriander

long coriander

Long coriander, an herb known by many other names, including Mexican coriander, Spit-Cumin, and Yerba Porosa, is gaining popularity in food circles.

This herb has a reputation for adding unique complexity and burstiness to dishes.

Its aroma has notes of citrus, sage, and mint, with a taste reminiscent of cumin, parsley, and oregano that is quite strong – so use sparingly.

It tastes like a pungent combination of citrus and earthiness that add a pop of flavor to any dish.

For those not familiar with the herb, though, it can be used as an alternative to epazote – a Mexican herb used in traditional cuisine.

If substituting in a recipe, use half of what you would use if using epazote.

Get creative with your cooking; this herb is sure to add an interesting twist you won’t forget.

4 – Summer Savory

summer savory

Summer savory is a flavourful and delicious herb that can instantly elevate a meal.

This annual plant has small, white, or pale pink flowers, slender leaves, and a peppery flavor.

It has been used in homeopathy for its antimicrobial properties and digestive aid since ancient times.

Summer Savory has a more pungent and robust taste than winter savory which makes it the ideal accompaniment for egg dishes, soups, salads, roasted vegetables, and even grilled meats.

The texture is slightly grassy, making it an ideal topping or seasoning for sauces or marinades.

If epazote is not available as a substitute for summer savory – which boasts similar characteristics – try adding oregano instead to complement the sweet nuances of this aromatic herb.

5 – Fennel


Fennel is an intriguingly fragrant, anise-tasting vegetable that’s popular in many Mediterranean and Indian dishes.

It has a crunchy texture similar to celery – its stalks can be eaten raw, just as you would celery, but it’s more intensely flavorful than celery is.

Fennel is also often cooked – its flavor deepens as it cooks – and it can be used in soups, salads, and even pizzas.

When substituting fennel for epazote – another distinctive-tasting green herb – add one tablespoon of minced fennel leaves for each teaspoon of epazote that the recipe calls for.

Start out with a small amount of minced fennel until you get the flavor you want; too much fennel will overwhelm your dish.

Experimenting with fresh fennel can open up new possibilities in the kitchen.


In conclusion, epazote may not always be available – but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on its unique flavor.

Whether you use cilantro, papalo, long coriander, summer savory, or fennel as a substitute for epazote – these diverse ingredients will add their own interesting twist to your dish.

Get creative and explore the range of flavors that each herb can bring to your cooking.

substitutes for epazote

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Epazote

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Cilantro
  • Papalo
  • Long Coriander
  • Summer Savory
  • Fennel


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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