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Can You Eat Parsley Stems? Are They Sweet or Bitter? Let’s Decide!

The widely cultivated flowering herb is one of the best garnishing items available in the market! But garnishing is all about the leaves and not the stems. So, what can be done with the leftovers? Can You Eat Parsley Stems? Are they sweet or bitter? There must be so many questions popping up in your mind right now.

Parsley acts as a staple of both medicine and culinary. With unlimited advantages ranging from reduction of acne, improvement of heart health, antioxidant properties, supporting bones to the prevention of excessive bleeding. We cannot deny the small proportion of disadvantages including allergic reactions, liver, and kidney problems.

So, can you eat parsley stems? Or you must be thinking, what to do with parsley stems? Well, in both of these cases, don’t worry. Grab a juice, sit on the couch, and read the whole article now!

Table of Content

What is Parsley?

The light scent and fresh appearance of parsley make it easier for the herb to be used in many dishes. It is usually used in garnishing, in soups and also in dried form. They develop in a cluster and are usually found in two major types:

  • Flat-leaf parsley – Petroselinum crispum neapolitanum
  • Curly leaf parsley – Petroselinum crispum

Curly parsley is popular for being presentable as they are widely used in decorations. On the other hand, flat-leaf parsley (Italian parsley) has a stronger flavor and can enhance the flavor of the food.

When it comes to parsley stems, the opinions are tangled. Some people say that stems are bitter and should be thrown away. On the contrary, others call trashing stems, a wastage of flavor.

Considering the mixed opinions, I want to ask you, can you eat parsley stems? So, if your answer is no, then get ready because after reading about what to do with parsley stems you will surely change your verdict!

Can You Eat Parsley Stems? Let’s Decide Now!

Mostly, parsley stems are tough due to which people discard them. Stems can also be a bit bitter but that can benefit you if you want that flavor in your food. They can help you add a crunchy touch to the soups and stir-fried dishes. But let me warn you, the bitterness of these stems keeps on intensifying as we run down the stalks.


Cilantro stems are comparatively tastier than those of parsley. To brighten the herbal kick, you can use parsley stems in a lot of ways in your food. So, let’s discuss more about it.

What to Do With Parsley Stems?

Chinese parsley, also known as cilantro, is popular when it comes to the usage of stems. The stems of parsley are somewhat bitter in taste particularly in the lowermost part of the stalk. However, you can still use them in a variety of ways.

Despite trashing the parsley stems, you can blend them to form pesto to enhance the flavor. Similar to the use of basil stems in pesto, one can also use parsley stems in pesto. Other than this, do you use parsley stems in chimichurri? If you don’t then this time you must give it a try! Make sure you use a fresh bunch for it.

The uses don’t end up here! You can also add a crunchy touch to your salads by adding parsley stems. Make sure you use the upper part of the stems to avoid extreme bitterness.

If you’re on your way to mash tomatoes for salsa, then don’t forget to add some cilantro stems. Toss in some stems for soups and stir-fried items.

You can use cow parsley stems to prepare “Sweet Pickled Cow Parsley Stems” All you need to make pickled parsley stems are, Cow Parsley stems, jars, vinegar, spices, and honey. Just boil the stems. In a pan, add all the spices, honey, and vinegar and bring them to a boil. After this, pack both the things together in an air-tight container and wait for two months.

This was about cow parsley stem pickle. You can also prepare pickled parsley stems and leaves in a very simple way.

Try to utilize the stems, they can be of great use to you! It’s better to use them for enhancing the flavor rather than trashing them. Just because recipe books prefer not to use stems doesn’t mean they are meant for nothing!

Are Parsley Stems Poisonous?

Aethusa cynapium, also known as fool’s parsley is an annual herb from the family Apiaceae. It is poisonous and can cause heat in the throat and mouth also. Cow parsley is often mistaken as a poisonous herb due to its appearance. However, parsley and cilantro are both safe to eat. One can rarely develop allergies due to consumption in large quantities but can never die due to both of them.

How to Chop Parsley?

Chopping parsley with the minimum possible mess is an art! It brings life to most of the salads so if you want to master how to chop parsley, then follow this step by step guideline.

  • STEP 1 – First of all, select a bunch of parsley, untie it, and wash off all the dirt. It’s better to rinse it under cold running water. Once you’re done with washing, just pat dry and grab your knife.
  • STEP 2 – Now, arrange the leaves facing the same direction and place the stems together. So, can you eat parsley stems? If yes then don’t separate the stems from leaves. Instead, start chopping them all together. However, if you do not eat parsley stems then chop them off.
  • STEP 3 – Bunch them together and start chopping the leaves in a fast up and down motion. Make sure you are doing it gently and carefully otherwise you’ll cut your own finger. Keep on chopping the leaves and once you reach the stem area, stop.
  • STEP 4 – Now, if you want to chop the stems too, then repeat in the same motion. To chop parsley, the rock-chop method can be of great use to you.
  • STEP 5 – If you want finely chopped parsley, then rotate your cutting board and repeat the rock-chop method. Continue the procedure until you achieve the desired size.

Final Words

Can you eat parsley stem? Well, you can definitely eat parsley stems. They would never cause you any harm. In fact, it’s better to use them rather than throwing them in the bin! Although they can be a lot more bitter than the leaves, still giving it a try isn’t a bad idea here. So, try the above-mentioned ways of utilizing stems, and don’t forget to share your feedback with us!


What can you do with parsley stalks?

The leftover parsley stems can give a boost of green color to your food. It’s better to use these stems instead of wasting them. You can blend them to form a green paste in chimichurri. You can also add them to a salad to enhance the crunch.

Are parsley stems good for anything?

Parsley stems can be great for many things! You can use them in salads, pesto, chimichurri, and in a lot more food items. Using fresh parsley can help you enhance the flavor. However, as soon as you go down the stems, bitterness increases. So, be careful while using it so you don’t end up ruining the taste.

Is it good to eat raw parsley?

Yes, you can eat raw parsley. This herb is rich in vitamin C, K, and A. This makes it a healthy garnishing element. It protects the body from chronic infections and serves as an antioxidant. Raw parsley can also be a delicious crunchy addition to your salads.

Do you take the stems off the parsley?

When it comes to garnishing, most people prefer cutting off the stems. This is because the stalks taste bitter than the leaves. However, it isn’t a hard and fast rule to remove them. You can also eat them in salads, stews, chimichurri, pesto, and soups.

What can happen to me if I eat raw parsley?

If you’re adding parsley to your food then it’s safe. However, the use of raw parsley can be unsafe in rare cases. Consumption of a very large amount can lead to liver problems and also anemia (lack of healthy red blood cells in the blood).

Do you eat parsley?

If you’re wondering if it is okay to eat parsley then rest assured because it is safe. Either in the raw form or cooked form, one can always have parsley without the fear of any unhealthy reaction. However, consuming a large amount in raw form isn’t suitable.

Can you have too much parsley?

Well, it depends. It’s better not to consume a very large amount of parsley because it can lead to some allergic reactions. However, this is rare but it can also lead to kidney problems and anemia.

What can I do with bolted overgrown parsley plants?

If you want to start your new parsley adventure, then you can propagate from cuttings. It will pull out new tender growth. You can use it in cooking also. However, if you’re not interested in any of these uses then you can simply compost.

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