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What Are the Best Tips for Cooking with Parsley?

To elevate dishes with parsley, choose flat-leaf for robust flavor, or curly for garnish. Always add fresh parsley late in cooking to preserve its vibrant color and taste. For depth, incorporate finely chopped stems. Remember, parsley isn't just a garnish—it's a key ingredient. How will you let parsley shine in your next culinary creation? Keep reading to discover more.
Patti Kate
Patti Kate

Cooking with parsley offers may options, but it is important to recognize the types of parsley and how they differ. For adding flavorful taste to soups and stews, it's good to choose the curly parsley. Growing parsley in one's own garden can save money and offer the advantage of having this herb available at all times. Cooking with parsley can also add color and flavor to ordinary dishes, such as buttered noodles. If using fresh parsley, it should be finely chopped, and the stems should be discarded before adding to a recipe.

Parsley flakes are dried parsley pieces and can be found in most stores. Fresh parsley is more aromatic and flavorful. It's best to use flat leaf parsley when preparing simple soup recipes. This herb blends well with almost any type of soup, although cooking with parsley is often done with Italian soups. Also, cheese spread and dips may be garnished with fresh flat parsley.

Fresh parsley is commonly used to garnish food.
Fresh parsley is commonly used to garnish food.

Curly leaf parsley has a crunchy texture, therefore it is ideal for adding to salads. Fresh curly parsley can be sprinkled over grated cheese in most salads or pasta dishes. Pasta and salads look more appealing and appetizing,and cooking with fresh parsley seems to bring out the flavor of most fresh vegetables.

Many cooks prefer to make homemade bread crumbs using cubed bread, olive oil, garlic, and parsley. This mixture makes an ideal coating for pork chops and veal or chicken cutlets. When preparing chicken or veal parmigiana, fresh parsley or parsley flakes may be sprinkled over the tomato sauce.

Parsely can be included to help flavor chicken recipes.
Parsely can be included to help flavor chicken recipes.

Fresh chopped parsley can also be added to homemade spaghetti sauce. Cooking with parsley when preparing pasta sauce or pizza sauce adds more flavor and texture to the sauce. When preparing a homemade Italian meal, garlic bread will typically be on the menu. After adding the garlic, butter, and olive oil, the homemade bread can be garnished with fresh parsley.

Chicken cacciatore sprinkled with parsley.
Chicken cacciatore sprinkled with parsley.

Flounder and other types of fish often look colorless on a dinner plate. Garnishing prepared fish with parsley flakes or fresh parsley leaves can add some color to the meal. In addition, fresh parsley is often added to tartar sauce. Breakfast foods can be enhanced by garnishing with fresh parsley as well. When preparing omelets with fresh onions and peppers, a sprinkle of parley on top can add the perfect touch.

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Discussion Comments


One of the first things I ever learned about parsley is to avoid the stems. They are very difficult to chew and digest. Only the leaves of parsley are suitable in recipes. For garnishment, it's best to chop the leaves a little bit.

I usually throw the stems away but I learned that a tea could be made with them for healthy kidney function. I have no idea how that would taste but it might be a good way to make use of those stems.


@bear78-- The thing with fresh parsley is that it doesn't hold up well to heat. The curly variety is a little more resilient. But the other varieties will sort of melt away if cooked/boiled for long periods of time. This is why you must always add the parsley last thing. In fact, wait just a minute or two before the dish is completely done to add the parsley. This way, the parsley won't get overcooked and will remain intact in the final product.

You could also just use dry parsley which holds up much better to heat. But dry parsley tends to be a dull green. I personally prefer the bright green color contrast that fresh parsley has to offer.


My issue with cooking with parsley is that after the dish is done cooking, I can't even tell that there is parsley in there. I always feel like I've washed and chopped a nice amount. But after everything is cooked, the parsley just kind of disappears. I guess I need to include even more in my recipes.

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    • Fresh parsley is commonly used to garnish food.
      By: alex555
      Fresh parsley is commonly used to garnish food.
    • Parsely can be included to help flavor chicken recipes.
      By: Studio Gi
      Parsely can be included to help flavor chicken recipes.
    • Chicken cacciatore sprinkled with parsley.
      By: Joe Gough
      Chicken cacciatore sprinkled with parsley.