Herb Substitutes

Although each herb has its own distinctive flavor, there's no culinary rule that says you can't substitute one herb in place of another. Try something new to spice up your cooking or as an emergency substitution. Plus we'll share the secret for converting fresh to dried herbs in the kitchen.

Unless you're growing your own herb garden, it's hard to keep a stock of all the fresh herbs you'll need for any particular recipe. And given how expensive fresh herbs can be when you only need a little bit, it can be hard to justify buying one type of fresh herb when you have a couple others to use up. Use this guide to see which herbs make the best stand-in for other herbs.

Herb Substitutes

Substituting dried herbs for fresh herbs:
For any herb, you can substitute 1 teaspoon dried herb for 1 tablespoon fresh herb. But if you're fresh out of both types of any particular herb, we can help. Find a substitute for parsley, fennel, thyme, and more!

Basil: oregano or thyme

Bay leaf: For 1 bay leaf, substitute 1/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaf or 1/4 teaspoon thyme

Chervil: tarragon or parsley

Chives: green onion, onion, or leek

Cilantro: parsley

Dill (weed or seed): Use an equal amount of tarragon

Fennel: anise seed

Italian seasoning: basil, oregano, or rosemary

Marjoram: basil, thyme, or savory

Mint: basil, marjoram, or rosemary

Oregano: thyme or basil

Parsley: chervil or cilantro

Rosemary: thyme, tarragon, or savory

Sage: poultry seasoning, savory, marjoram, or rosemary

Savory: thyme, marjoram, or sage

Tarragon: chervil, dash fennel seed, or dash anise seed

Thyme: basil, marjoram, oregano, or savory

Is your ingredient missing from the list? Hop over to our spice substitutes page and check for your substitution there. You'll find a substitute for cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and others.

Learn how to substitute dried herbs for fresh herbs.

Basic Herb Information

Picking herbs: Fresh herbs add bold flavor to recipes, whether you grow them in your own garden or pick them up at the grocery store. Choose herbs that have fresh-looking leaves without brown spots. Fresh herbs are not long-lasting, so only buy or pick them as you need to.

Herb storage: Keeping herbs fresh is easier than you think! To store fresh herbs, cut 1/2 inch off the stems. Stand stem ends in a small jar or glass with some water. Loosely cover any leaves with a small plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. (Note: Don't refrigerate basil—it may blacken.) Discard wilted leaves as they appear.

Learn more about storing herbs.

Drying herbs: To quickly dry herbs for use in the same day, try cooking herbs in your microwave. Lay them on a paper plate and cook for intervals of about a minute each, allowing a bit of standing time between each cooking time. 

Get more tips for drying herbs, including air drying and cutting.

Cooking with Fresh Herbs

No matter which herb you choose, fresh herbs are great way to bring bold flavors to your cooking. Try a few of our favorite herb recipes, or give it your own twist with an herb substitute.

More Tips for Storing, Freezing, and Growing Fresh Herbs

We haven't quite revealed all of our secrets for herb storage and cooking. Discover more of our best tips for freezing herbs, storing herbs, and even growing your own herbs indoors:

Comments

Be the first to comment!



Better Homes & Gardens may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.