Fresh Epazote on white background

Epazote is an herb widely used in Caribbean and Mexican cuisine. It is ideal for adding an earthy, pungent aroma with a subtle aniseed flavour to dishes. This ingredient is useful in stews and soups, but is best known for use in beans – it can reduce bloating in this dish.

Ocazote is a grass very similar to coriander. Some people love him, some people hate him. It even tastes like petrol! If you don’t like the taste or if you can’t find it at home, you need an alternative. We’ve put together a collection of our favourite epazotev replacements so you can make any recipe without the original ingredient.

What can I use to replace epazot film?

If you do not have a fresh epazote, it is best to use a third of the dried variety. It’s not that good, but it comes closest to reality. The other best alternatives are coriander, daddy, summer food or fennel. They won’t reproduce the flavour perfectly, but these substitutes will not be out of place in most Mexican recipes. Mexican oregano, flat parsley or lemon verbena also works if you’re in trouble.

1. Coriander

Coriander has a pronounced taste that some describe as clear and lemony, while others describe it as metallic and soapy. Its unique taste will not imitate an epazote, but the Mexicans consider it an acceptable substitute. Add coriander to soups, beans and other stewed dishes, or sprinkle on tortillas and tacos for freshness.

If you compare their taste, you will see that they both have a similar citrus flavour, but the Epazote is much more bitter.

It is much easier to find fresh coriander in American grocery stores than epazote. Use it in the same quantities as the original grass.

2. Papua

Papalo has a taste that is a cross between coriander and rocket. It has a strong bitterness and subtle lime tones. Like coriander, this ingredient has a different aromatic profile than epazote, but can be used in the same applications. Salsa, carne asada and chili are good options to cut papels or sprinkle on dishes as garnish. Add it towards the end of cooking as it tends to lose its flavour if cooked too long.

The choice of young leaves is very important because the ripe leaves develop an extremely bitter taste that can spoil your meal. They can be hard to find, so look for a local Mexican market and you might get lucky.

We recommend using half the amount of papaloma to avoid unpleasant taste sensations. You can always sprinkle a little more when serving if you think it’s necessary.

Did you know that? Papalo offers the same digestive benefits as Epazote.

3. Summer food

Summer food is a healthy alternative to epazote and goes well with beans, meat and soft foods that you don’t want to overload with flavour. This grass is warm and peppery, but not as strong and bitter as the winter grass.

For fresh summer food, we recommend adding as much epazote as possible.

Replacement pazote for computer graphics 4. Fennel

Fennel gives a more subtle taste and does not dominate the ingredients to which it is added. The aniseed flavour, which can also be enjoyed in Epazote, makes it a suitable substitute. Fennel also offers digestive benefits, a common reason why people add epazote to their diet.

Fennel is a common vegetable in most supermarkets. It is advisable to use a 1:1 ratio when using this plant. Then try the test and add more if you find it necessary.

5. Mexican oregano

Mexican oregano is another herb that flavors lemon and liquorice that work well in Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine. If your recipe calls for an epazote for peppers, soup, chili con carne or salsa, Mexican oregano is an excellent alternative. It doesn’t have the same taste, but that doesn’t detract from the authenticity of the dish, especially if you make Mexican food.

To round off the flavour, add a little boldo to strengthen the bitterness. This brings your herbal combination closer to the taste you are trying to reproduce.

Use the same amount of Mexican oregano as the epazote in recipes.

6. Parsley with smooth leaves

For a light substitute that brightens up heavy dishes without adding much flavour, parsley is an excellent option. It does not bring the same sharp bitterness and is suitable for children and other people who do not like strong flavors.

Use smooth parsley in a quantity equal to or greater than the epazote. It’s a good option for sprinkling tacos.

7. Culantro

Culantro has several common names, including recao, ngò gai, long coriander, mexican coriander and shade benny. Coriander and coriander belong to the same family and have a similar bitter citrus flavour, although coriander is much stronger.

When added to slowly cooked foods, coriander retains its flavour much better than coriander. Use this herb in moderation to prevent overeating.

8. Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena makes a refreshing tea that is popular in Mexico, and has extra healing properties. Because of its lemon flavour, it can also be used as a substitute for epazote in savory dishes. This ingredient has a strong lemon flavour, so use a light hand or your meal will be unbalanced.

Related reading :
What are the healthy alternatives to dill?
Lemon versus thyme – how are they different?
How do you replace tarragon in the kitchen?

Summary of epazote-replacements

Replace Notes
Coriander Similar, but less bitter citrus nuts.
Papalo Pronounced bitter taste, similar digestive properties.
Summergreen Hot and peppery.
Fennel Similar, more subtle aniseed notes
Mexican oregano Similar lemon and liquorice nuts, add Boldo for best results.
leaf parsley a much sweeter taste
Culantro Bitter and lemony taste, spicy.
Lemon Verbena Notes of lemon, use in moderation

EpisodeIn Brief

  • Other names include goosefoot, amaranth, Mexican tea, field stool, milk oak, sheep oak and Jerusalem oak.
  • It combines anise, tarragon and fennel with a flavour that is usually described as spicy, mint and lemony.
  • Cabbage goes very well with quesadillas, arroz a la tumbada en frijoles de olla.
  • Traditionally it was harvested for medicinal purposes, but today it is used in some Mexican recipes. It adds flavour and reduces the wind that comes from eating beans.


Epazote is a unique herb that is very popular in Mexico, but difficult to find in most other parts of the world. If it’s not available in your store, try growing it yourself. This plant grows like a weed and the biggest challenge will be to keep it under control.

For those who want a quick solution, we recommend using dried epazote as a replacement for the fresh variety. Coriander, daddy, savory or fennel are also good substitutes.

No herb or spice will exactly match the epazote, but it will bring a new flavor that should work in most recipes. If you don’t like a different taste, don’t use a substitute at all. It’s one of those ingredients that doesn’t cook or break the dish.

What do you want to cook by the name of epazote? Please let us know in the comments below.

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