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Kalyn's Kitchen

Cooking with Fresh Parsley

I think parsley is an herb that people should appreciate more, and here are my tips and recipes for Cooking with Fresh Parsley!

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Cooking with Fresh Parsley top photo collage

Even though I grew up with a mom who would nibble the garnish of parsley from her plate when we ate in restaurants, I was well into adulthood before I developed a real appreciation of this grassy-flavored herb.  Now I can’t get enough of it! Some cooks adore the flat-leaf Italian parsley and ignore the curly type, but I like both, and actually prefer curly parsley in some salads where it adds an interesting texture.

In summer I love to use parsley combined with fresh mint, which I think brings out the flavor of both! And even though I grow parsley in my herb garden, I think one of the things that’s so great about parsley is that it’s inexpensive in the grocery store all year, making it perfect to add to things where you just want a bit of fresh herb flavor.

Tips for Growing Parsley:

In the garden parsley is a biennial, which means the plant will produce leaves for two years, although sometimes the first year the production is much less. I find it’s relatively easy to grow, and if you neglect your plants a little in the fall they’ll drop their seeds which keeps parsley plants coming up in that spot year after year. If you start parsley from purchased seed you’ll have to be patient because the seeds take a long time to germinate (although soaking them overnight before planting can help a lot.) Parsley plants do best when they’re trimmed through the season to remove seeds and dead leaves. There are two different types of parsley, flat leaf and curly parsley, and they are grown the same way.

What does fresh Parsley taste like?

I think most people who enjoy parsley would agree that it has somewhat of a grassy flavor, but in a good way! I’ve seen the flavor described as “a mild bitter”. But most of all I think it’s a fresh herby flavor that really goes well with many foods.

What Foods go with the flavor of fresh Parsley?

In many parts of the world, parsley is combined with other leafy herbs and eaten as a salad green, and I’ve come to love salads that have a generous amount of parsley. I also like it very much as an ingredient in ground meat dishes and soups or stews. I think parsley works especially well with tomatoes, cucumbers, dried beans, beef, chicken, lemon, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, and squash, but it’s good with many other flavors.

I hope you enjoy trying some fresh parsley recipes from Kalyn’s Kitchen and my food blogging friends!

Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic and Parsley photo of finished dish in pan with text overlay

Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic and Parsley is a delicious and quick way to cook zucchini and this is a perfect recipe for parsley fans!

Cooking with Fresh Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com

Before I even had a blog my friend Massoud taught me to make this Middle Eastern Tomato Salad, and that may have been the beginning of my appreciation for parsley!

Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad with Peperoncini and Parsley finished salad in serving bowls

I love spicy Peperoncini peppers, and I use them with lots of parsley in this Cannellini Bean and Tuna Salad with Peperoncini and Parsley.

Tuna Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint

Tuna Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint is a delicious summer salad that’s kind of a variation of my favorite Middle Eastern Tomato Salad, with the addition of tuna.

Kalyn's Tabbouleh with Almonds finished salad in serving bowl

Kalyn’s Tabbouleh with Almonds uses almonds, parsley, and mint and much less bulgur wheat to make a more carb-conscious version of Tabbouleh Salad!

Grilled Sausage and Summer Squash with Lemon and Herbs finished dish in serving bowl

Grilled Sausage and Summer Squash with Lemon and Herbs is an absolutely WOW summer dish that’s a perfect recipe to use some parsley!

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers shown inside pita with sauce and herbs

Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Burgers are a recipe where the sum is so much greater than the parts, and if you think ground turkey can’t possibly be that exciting you have to try this recipe!

Fattoush Lebanese Salad

For years I’ve been a huge fan of Fattoush Lebanese Salad with Sumac and Pita Chips and this is something I make every summer when I have fresh mint and parsley in the herb garden. And of course I use low-carb pita chips for this favorite salad!

Spicy Grilled Eggplant finished eggplant on serving dish title photo

Spicy Grilled Eggplant with Red Pepper, Parsley, and Mint is my brother Rand’s favorite eggplant recipe, and I like this with lots of parsley!

Cooking with Fresh Parsley found on KalynsKitchen.com

The fresh mint and parsley give this Lebanese Lentil Salad with Garlic and Herbs that middle-eastern salad flavor I love so much!

Parsley with Beans and Grains:

Roasted Chickpeas with Raisins, Parsley, and Mint from The Perfect Pantry
Quinoa Cakes with Lemon, Olive, and Parsley from Love and Olive Oil
Parsley Hummus from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Parsley with Vegetables:

Lemon-Marinated Brussels Sprouts with Parsley and Shallots from The Kitchn
Sauteed Radishes with Vinegar and Herbs from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Steamed Green Beans and Carrots with Charmoula Sauce from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Parsley with Meat, Poultry, or Fish:

Shrimp with Cilantro-Parsley Sauce from My Colombian Recipes
Saffron Chicken with Parsley and Lemon from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Air Fryer Salmon with Mustard-Herb Sauce from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Irish Beef Stew with Stout and Parsley Dumplings from Dinner with Julie

Parsley in Salads:

Bulgur Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley, and Mint from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pinto Bean Salad with Tuna, Tomatoes, and Peperoncini from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Val’s Sweet Cabbage Slaw with Green Onion and Parsley from Kalyn’s Kitchen
White Bean Salad with Tuna and Parsley from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Marinated Tomato Salad with Herb Dressing from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad with Parsley and Mint from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Parsley in Sauces and Dressings:

Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Sauce from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Parsley-Cilantro Marinade and Dipping Sauce from Andrea Meyers
How to Make Gremolata from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Parsley Pesto from Jessica in the Kitchen

Parsley in Soup:

Parsnip Soup with Leeks and Parsley from Simply Recipes
Summer Squash Soup with Parsley-Mint Pistou from Smitten Kitchen
Turkey and Wild Rice Soup with Cabbage, Parsley and Sage from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Do you share my love of fresh parsley? If you have a good parsley recipe, share the link in a comment.

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    21 Comments on “Cooking with Fresh Parsley”

  1. Growing up and as a young adult, I had only eaten parsley with new buttered potatoes in the Spring. 
    I noticed that you did not mention that dish. Is that just an east coast dish? Once I grew it in my garden, I began to use it more often. Especially enjoy it in salad dressings.

    • Hi Shelby. My site is focused on carb-conscious recipes so I don’t have any recipes for potatoes! But that sounds delicious. Love the idea of parsley in salad dressing!

  2. thanks Kalyn for highlighting this unappreciated herb. I love fresh parsley and both flat and curly have their place. Parsley adds a lot of freshness and brightness to dishes. Bring it on!

  3. I admit that I like the flat leaf parsley better, but any parsley adds flavor and texture and has such health benefits. I use dried parsley flakes a lot, too. Parsley is also detoxifying and removes the bloat per Beth at Delectably Free. Sometimes one needs that. 😉

  4. Oh my, all of these look scrumptious. I love parsley in salads and always have Italian parsley growing in pots.

  5. Kalyn, just wanted to share two recipes I've made with parsley in a starring role. Grilled Chicken with Parsley Salad: http://jeanetteshealthyliving.com/2012/03/grilled-chicken-with-parsley-salad-and-sun-dried-tomatoes-recipe.html
    Chimichurri Sauce (a favorite of my kids on just about anything) http://jeanetteshealthyliving.com/2010/10/how-to-dress-up-a-roasted-chicken-chimichurri-recipe.html

  6. Jane, hope you enjoy experimenting with it!

  7. I must admit, I am guilty of only using parsley as a garnish, but you inspired me to plant some in my garden! I had no idea it was a biennial. Lots of recipes for me to try now, thank you 🙂

  8. Lydia, I am thinking parsley might be the herb I use most often too, now that I think about it! Love the way it tastes so fresh.

  9. Of all the herbs I grow in my garden, parsley is the one I use most often. Fresh parsley is nothing like the limp parsley in my supermarket; it's vibrant, in both color and flavor, and completely changes the nature of any dish. Thanks for including my recipes in this terrific list. I'm taking away a lot of new ideas!

  10. Pam, when mine goes to seed like that, I just cut the plant way back and it sends out new stems and leaves.

  11. Parsley does not do well for me at all. It just bolts in the summer heat after a couple of weeks. Tips?

  12. TW, hope your parsley will have a growth spurt and surprise you. I love the sound of parsley spread!

  13. These pictures just pop! The green parsley is so vivid! My poor garden parsley is struggling a bit. But today at the farmers market I picked up a batch of something called "parsley spread," a very fresh, pesto-style dip. One way or another, I will get my greens!

  14. Jeanette, it is something I ALWAYS have in the fridge or garden!

  15. It is funny how parsley is so often overlooked and used just as a garnish. Love this nice collection of recipes where parsley plays a starring role.

  16. Thanks Heather! I agree about the way parsley just brightens up the flavors when you use it in a dish.

  17. Fresh parsley just makes every dish fresh and vibrant. What a collection you have! (I adore your parsley hummus and actually posted a version of it about a year ago!) I can't wait to try some of your salads.

  18. Amanda, I knew you would! Thanks for sharing a recipe.

  19. Awesome collection Kalyn! I definitely have parsley growing in my garden. I've pinned this collection to save it. Here's my favorite super fast chicken recipe using parsley, yum! http://amandascookin.com/2009/06/chicken-with-garlic-parsley.html