Best Substitutes for Rosemary

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For decades, rosemary has captivated a wide range of home cooks and professional chefs alike. Its distinct fragrance tapestry is bright yet structured, chilling and warming, and immediately recognizable. This fragrant herb is used in a variety of dishes, including basic rosemary bread and turkey meatloaf, as well as roasted chicken.

It should come as no surprise, therefore, that a cuisine without it may be bland and lacking in flavor. Is there a rosemary alternative that can be used in lieu of this tasty herb? Indeed! Here are 7 of the greatest options that can delight your taste senses just as well.

What Is Rosemary?

Best Substitutes for Rosemary

As one of the most adaptable plants known to man, rosemary has been given several names, the most prominent of which are Dew of the Sea and Old Man. Its green leaves, being a member of the mint family, have a remarkable similarity to pine needles. Furthermore, the foliage may be dark green at times. As an evergreen plant native to the Mediterranean, rosemary leaves are accessible all year.

What Does Rosemary Taste Like?

As a potent herb, rosemary is known for having a distinct lemon-pine taste. As a result, it does not go undetected in whatever meal it is infused in, especially when a substantial quantity of it is utilized. The same is true if it is matched with the incorrect tastes.

Because of this trait, we suggest using just a little quantity of rosemary. Furthermore, bear in mind that the taste of this herb grows stronger the longer a dish is cooked.

Difference Between Dry and Fresh Rosemary

Dried rosemary (like many dried herbs) is far more strong than fresh rosemary and should be used sparingly in cooking. When replacing dried rosemary for fresh rosemary, use one-third of the quantity. For example, if a recipe asks for 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, use just 1 teaspoon (about one-third) dried rosemary.

Fresh rosemary is usually preferable, but since it spoils rapidly, many home chefs prefer dried rosemary. Fresh rosemary is usually preferable for creating raw foods like salads or anything with fresh vegetables. However, whether you’re cooking meats, stews, or soups on the stovetop, dried rosemary may add a lot of flavor to your food. In fact, dried rosemary performs better than fresh rosemary in cooking since the cooking process removes the fresh flavor of the rosemary.

What Are the Uses of Rosemary?

Below are a few of the many uses of this herb.

  • It has historically been used to flavor meats like as lamb and fowl.
  • It improves the taste of sauces, salad dressings, salads, vegetables, and soups.
  • It’s used in a variety of salamis and plant-based dishes.
  • This herb may be used to produce sparkling rosemary limeade or to season ordinary spaghetti and toast.

The Best Rosemary Substitutes

Here is a list of 7 alternatives to rosemary that may be used in a variety of meals.

1. Thyme

Thyme, a member of the mint plant family, is an eye-catching herb with a variety of blossoms that may be white, lilac, or pink. Their scent is reminiscent of lemon, caraway, or eucalyptus.

In terms of taste, rosemary is woodsy with pine and lemon smells. It’s a strong, pungent plant with a somewhat bitter flavor. Rosemary can be overbearing in a variety of meals if used excessively or when combined with the improper ingredients.

Thyme is on the other end of the spectrum, having a beautiful, mild taste that goes well with almost everything. It has an earthy flavor with a lot of mint and lemon in it.

It may be used to enhance the flavor of eggs, seafood, or meat by spritzing them with it. In lieu of rosemary, a quarter or half teaspoon of chopped thyme is a lifesaver for flavoring scrambled eggs or meat to produce the necessary taste.

You may add it to a meal, chopped or whole, at any point throughout the cooking process. Keep in mind that the longer they simmer, the more flavor they contribute to meals.

Thyme has been demonstrated in studies to be useful in decreasing blood pressure. It is also thought to have antibacterial properties, making it an important component in acne treatments and other therapeutic procedures.

To be sure, thyme may be a terrific alternative for rosemary. It should be noted, however, that rosemary does not always function as a substitute for thyme. The reason for this is because the unique taste of rosemary does not complement certain dishes as well as thyme.

Thyme may be substituted for rosemary in a 3:1 ratio (three tablespoons chopped or dried thyme for one tablespoon rosemary).

2. Tarragon

Tarragon, sometimes known as estragon, is a perennial plant native to North America and Eurasia that is grown for medicinal and culinary uses.

Tarragon, a member of the sunflower family, is well-known for its powerful taste. As a result, it may serve as a viable substitute for rosemary when cooking dishes that need a dash of spice to liven things up.

Tarragon, a perennial plant native to Eurasia and North America, has a deep scent and is used in many French dishes, notably Barnaise sauce. Although tarragon possesses licorice or anise taste characteristics with tinges of chilly or warm, it may rapidly become overbearing if misused.

Tarragon is used in pork, lamb, fish, steaks, poultry, chicken spice, mustard, and flavored cheese or butter for various soup recipes in amounts of one teaspoon or a quarter of a cup.

When it comes to scent and taste, rosemary and tarragon are not the same. While tarragon’s taste is comparable to fennel and anise and is akin to licorice, rosemary’s flavor includes sage, tea, and mint. Notes of pine resin are also present, although licorice is not.

Tarragon is a powerful appetite stimulant that may help with anorexia symptoms. It is also a powerful antioxidant and lowers blood sugar levels in the body.

Tarragon is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, C, and B, as well as copper, calcium, and iron.

3. Savory

Due to its piquancy, the two most prevalent forms of this herb that are employed as a rosemary replacement are summery and winter savory. Savory, which is native to South-Eastern Europe, adds a pungency to bland meals that is surprisingly similar to thyme.

In terms of taste, savory has a sweet and fruity scent with a trace of bitterness, whilst rosemary has a woody flavor with a strong herbaceous perfume. Savory’s piney scent is similar to that of thyme.

Rosemary may be used in place of savory in a 1:1 ratio.

The summer variety is matched with parsley as a garnish or a chopped addition in scrambled eggs as a component of the general mix for casseroles and banquet delicacies. Summer savory is also a flavor enhancer for lentils and beans, a spice in veggies, and a go-to alternative for slow-cooked recipes.

Summer savory is a potent antimicrobial, and its pungent fragrance makes it a force to be reckoned with. When thrown in the fire, it suffuses the air and acts as an excellent disinfectant. It includes active chemicals that may help with sore throats, diarrhea, gas, and indigestion.

4. Caraway Seed


Caraway seed is a rosemary alternative that mixes well with other ingredients for good meal preparation. It is native to Central Europe but has expanded to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It may be found in most dishes, especially sausages, when a strong flavor impact is sought.

While caraway seeds are available in small quantities, their anise, fragrant taste limits its usage to a whole teaspoon or less. Caraway seeds have a stronger taste and scent than rosemary due to their bittersweet bitterness and nutty flavor with a touch of citrus and pepper.

Caraway, a member of the carrot family, is used for more than just the seeds; the roots are also tasty.

Caraway seeds pair beautifully with poached fish, salads, Polish sausage, and hog roast dinners, among many other dishes where their peppery taste adds zing.

Caraway seeds provide a plethora of health advantages. They include a lot of magnesium, selenium, copper, fiber, and potassium. As a consequence, they promote red blood cell production, enhance digestion, combat cancer and neurological illnesses, and control body growth. Caraway seeds, which are high in vitamins C, A, and E, help to improve physiological functioning.

5. Marjoram

Marjoram is a low-growing plant with a fragrant, sweet taste that is very similar to oregano that may be used in place of rosemary. This herb’s usage is visible in many cuisines such as French, Italian, and Northern European, from the Mediterranean to natural flora.

It’s often used as a tasty spice in mushroom diets, and in certain circumstances, with rosemary present for extra bite. To retain its spiciness, marjoram is best added to foods at the end of the cooling process.

Marjoram’s principal taste constituents are flowery (linalool), fresh, woody (sabinene), and citrusy (terpinene). Marjoram has a softer flavor profile and a taste akin to thyme when compared to rosemary, but a stronger and sweeter fragrance. It’s best characterized as somewhat harsh, warm, and bitter.

Although marjoram is often used in herbaceous dishes like as tomato and veritable delights, it is also effective in a variety of dressings. Furthermore, it is low in salt, cholesterol, and saturated fats, making it ideal for anybody trying to lose weight.

Marjoram is high in vitamins B6, C, and K, as well as nutritional fiber. It so provides magnesium, calcium, folate, and manganese. It is not only high in antioxidants and analgesics, but it also helps with cardiac problems. Marjoram cures eczema, wrinkles, and acne while also having antispasmodic, antiviral, and antibacterial qualities.

6. Bay Leaf

Bay leaf is native to Asia Minor and has expanded to the edges of Asia and other regions of the Mediterranean. It is well-known for its culinary benefits and enticing perfume. It goes nicely with lamb meals and other herbs like thyme and peppermint as a dinner accompaniment.

When bay leaves are infused into boiling liquids like broth or water, they provide an almost minty taste that falls halfway between menthol and spearmint, with overtones of pine tree and black pepper. They provide a slight bitterness to stews and soups, keeping them from becoming overly heavy. Bay leaves have a more peppery taste than rosemary.

We suggest using bay leaves after drying them in the sun for a few hours to wilt the bitter taste. The attractive scent is preserved after sun exposure and may be used in various meals.

Bay leaves are high in magnesium, calcium, selenium, copper, and manganese, making them an excellent component for proper body fluid optimization and cell growth. It also activates enzymes in the appropriate amounts and is high in iron.

You’ll be glad to know that bay leaves offer therapeutic characteristics that are beneficial to the respiratory and digestive systems. They also combat oxidation, promote growth, and are a beast at efficiently treating diabetes.

7. Sage

Sage is a lovely little shrub with velvety soft light grayish-green foliage. It is a member of the mint family and is native to the Mediterranean region, although it has been naturalized in a variety of locations across the world.

Sage has a grassy, earthy taste that is somewhat peppery with lemon, mint, and eucalyptus undertones. It doesn’t have the same strong taste as rosemary. As a result, it complements heavier recipes with rich components without dominating them.

While it has a fragrant perfume and a bittersweet flavor, sage complements foods that may be seasoned with rosemary.

Sage is a wonderful substitution for rosemary in chicken and beef seasonings, as well as egg recipes.

According to research, sage improves mental function and may raise blood sugar levels in diabetics. Furthermore, it helps to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the body when they rise.

The Bottom Line

To be sure, fresh rosemary has a particular taste character that distinguishes it from the crowd. Basil, thyme, and marjoram, on the other hand, may be used in meals that call for rosemary. It goes without saying, before selecting your fresh herb substitute for rosemary, always consider the recipe as some herbs are better suited for certain dishes than others.


What is a good substitute for rosemary?

Thyme and sage are suitable alternatives to rosemary. Other alternatives include marjoram and oregano, both of which are members of the mint family. If you have Italian seasoning on hand, it is also a wonderful option since rosemary is often incorporated in the mix.

Can I leave rosemary out of recipe?

If a recipe asks for fresh rosemary as a garnish, replace it with thinly sliced sage leaves. In cooked recipes, replace 12 of the fresh or dried sage with the rosemary, then season to taste.

What can I substitute for 1 sprig of rosemary?

2 teaspoon ground, powdered rosemary.If a recipe asks for 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary needles or 1 sprig rosemary, use 1 teaspoon dried needles; if it calls for 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (from around 3 stems), use 1 teaspoon cracked needles or 1 teaspoon dried needles.

What is a good substitute for rosemary on chicken?

Alternative fresh rosemary alternatives include oregano, sage, mint, marjoram, and basil, in the same quantity as rosemary. Substitute dried rosemary for tarragon, thyme, bay leaf, dill, and savory in the same amounts as the recipe calls for rosemary.

How important is rosemary in a recipe?

The plant includes chemicals that are beneficial to digestion and circulation. Rosemary is used as a flavoring in many foods, including soups, casseroles, salads, and stews. Use rosemary with poultry, game, lamb, pig, steaks, and fish, particularly oily fish.

Can I use basil instead of rosemary?

Fresh oregano may be used in place of fresh rosemary in recipes. Basil belongs to the same plant family as rosemary. Basil is widely grown at home, and it is easily accessible in most supermarkets. Fresh basil may be used as a 1:1 substitute for fresh rosemary, although being sweeter.

Can I use parsley instead of rosemary?

Is parsley an acceptable alternative for rosemary? Fresh parsley has a vibrant taste and may be used in lieu of rosemary in seafood preparations. Rather of overcooking the parsley, add it towards the end of the meal.

What is a good substitute for rosemary in turkey?

Alternatives that match well with turkey, chicken, and other fowl include sage, thyme, or a mix of the two. When substituting sage for rosemary, use half the quantity of sage and thyme in a 1:1 ratio.

Is thyme same as rosemary?

The primary distinction between thyme and rosemary is that rosemary has a more robust and pungent flavor than thyme. Thyme and rosemary are two prominent culinary and medicinal plants. Both of these plants are members of the mint family and have a similar flavor characteristic.

Can I substitute rosemary for thyme?

Thyme is a hard herb, which means it grows on a semi-firm wooden stick and has heartier leaves. Rosemary is another popular harsh plant that works well as a replacement. Rosemary has a distinct taste, yet it can nearly always be substituted for thyme in both savory and sweet dishes.

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