The 15 Best Substitutes for Rosemary

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Looking for substitutes for rosemary? Maybe you don’t have any on hand and need a quick replacement. No matter what dish you are using it for, here you’ll find 15 great replacements for rosemary!

Graphic that says The Best Substitutes for Rosemary.

Rosemary is SUCH a fantastic, aromatic herb! It has a distinct, earthy flavor that is a bit woodsy with hints of citrus, pine, mint, and a slight peppery flavor. It has a truly unique flavor that is hard to match.

But if you find yourself not having any on hand, forgot to buy some at the grocery store or someone doesn’t love the taste of rosemary, here are some great rosemary alternatives!

HOW ROSEMARY IS MOST COMMONLY USED

Rosemary is a versatile herb used very often in Mediterranean cuisine, and most often in savory dishes.

Rosemary is most commonly used in the following dishes:

15 BEST ROSEMARY SUBSTITUTES

1. Thyme

Thyme is probably the best substitute to use in place of rosemary. It has earthy, woody hints to it, making it somewhat similar to rosemary. However, thyme as a milder flavor. I like to call it a toned-down version of rosemary.

How to Substitute: As a general rule, substitute fresh thyme on a 1:1 ratio with fresh rosemary. You may need to add a bit more thyme to get a more robust flavor, so taste and use personal preference.

To substitute dried thyme for dried rosemary, use equal parts.

2. Sage

Sage is also a good alternative to rosemary. Like most of the subs for rosemary I am listing, sage is part of the mint family. Sage is known for it’s very pungent, earthy flavor and strong aroma. I would also describe it as eucalyptus-y tasting.

How to Substitute: Sage has a very strong flavor so substitute a little LESS than a 1:1 ratio of fresh sage to fresh rosemary. Taste, and add more if needed. Same with dried sage – use a little less dried sage than dried rosemary.

3. Tarragon

Tarragon has a distinct licorice flavor. It doesn’t taste the same as rosemary, obviously, but is a good alternative to rosemary, especially in fish or seafood dishes.

How to Substitute: Substitute both dried and fresh tarragon on a 1:1 ratio to rosemary.

4. Marjoram

Also a member of the mint family, marjoram has a light flavor that is similar to oregano. It’s a good sub for rosemary in many meat or seafood dishes.

How to Substitute: Like with thyme, as a general rule, substitute fresh marjoram on a 1:1 ratio with fresh rosemary. You may need to add a bit more marjoram to get a more robust flavor, so taste and use personal preference.

To substitute dried marjoram for dried rosemary, use equal parts.

A bunch for marjoram plants growing wild. Marjoram is a a good substitute for rosemary.

5. Summer Savory

The savory plant LOOKS very similar to rosemary. There are two types of savory: summer savory and winter savory. Summer savory is most commonly used as a rosemary alternative as it does have a flavor profile fairly similar to that of rosemary and thyme.

How to Substitute: Substitute both dried and fresh summer savory on a 1:1 ratio to rosemary.

6. Carraway Seeds

Carraway seeds are a good substitute for rosemary in meat dishes and pairs especially well with sausage. Caraway seeds have a strong taste with hints of pepper and anise.

How to Substitute: Carraway seeds have a very strong flavor so you’ll want to substitute a bit LESS than a 1:1 ratio. Start with a 2:1 ratio of fresh or dried rosemary to caraway seeds. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of rosemary, use 1/2 tablespoon of carraway seeds. Taste, and add more if needed.

7. Italian Seasoning

One of the prominent herbs in Italian seasoning is…you guessed it…rosemary! Italian seasoning is a good substitute for rosemary because it’s widely available and most people have some in their pantry.

How to Substitute: Since Italian seasoning is a blend of several different herbs, start with a 2:1 ratio of fresh or dried rosemary to Italian seasoning. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of rosemary, use 1/2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Taste, and add more if needed.

8. Lavender

Lavender has a distinct flavor that is floral-y, yet has hints of mint and rosemary. Lavender is most commonly used in sweeter dishes and drinks/cocktails.

How to Substitute: Lavender is more mild tasting than rosemary, so use a bit more lavender when substituting it for rosemary. Taste, and add more if needed.

A bouquet of lavender sitting on a table.

9. Herbs de Provence

Herbs de Provence is a popular spice blend commonly used in Frenc cuisine. It’s a blend of a lot of the spices on this substitution list and of course, includes a healthy dose of ROSEMARY!! Substitute Herbs de Provence in meat dishes, seafood dishes, soups/stews and on veggies.

How to Substitute: Herbs de Provence comes in dried form, so substitute it on a 1:1 ratio to dried rosemary. Dried herbs are more potent than fresh, so use the following rule to substitute (dried), Herbs de Provence, for fresh rosemary: One tablespoon of fresh rosemary to one teaspoon of dried herbs de Provence.

10. Bay Leaves

Dried bay leaves have a different taste than rosemary, however, the taste is bold and the flavor goes well in meat dishes. Bay leaves are also great in soups and stews.

How to Substitute: Substitute dried bay leaves in a 1:1 ratio with dried rosemary.

11. Parsley

Fresh parsley has a bright flavor and is a decent rosemary replacement in seafood dishes. Always add fresh parsley at the end of the dish vs. cooking it too much.

How to Substitute: I recommend only using fresh parsley to replace fresh rosemary leaves. since parley has a more mild flavor than rosemary, feel free to use a bit more!

12. Dill

Dill has. a bright, somewhat “grassy” flavor and texture. It doesn’t have that strong “woodsy” taste like rosemary, but can still serve as an excellent substitute for rosemary in seafood dishes, egg dishes, and even baked into bread. Add fresh dill near the end of cooking your dish to maintain the flavor.

How to Substitute: Substitute both dried and fresh dill on a 1:1 ratio to rosemary.

13. Basil

Basil is a bright, fresh-tasting herb that, like dill, lacks the woody flavor of rosemary. However, it still can be used as a substitute in seafood dishes, some soups, and in cocktails.

How to Substitute: I recommend only using fresh basil to replace fresh rosemary leaves. Since basil has a more mild flavor than rosemary, feel free to use a bit more! If all you have is dried basil, you can use a 1:1 ratio, taste, and add more if needed.

Fresh, green basil plant. Basil is a substitute for rosemary.

14. Mediterranean Seasoning

Premade seasoning blends like this Mediterranean seasoning are excellent if you are cooking/grilling meats such as beef or lamb. Most of these spice blends contain rosemary, of course! These blends are also excellent on veggies and roasted potatoes.

How to Substitute: Use these blends like you would use any spice rub. Keep in mind most of these spice blends contain salt, so keep that in mind as you season your dish.

15. Garlic/Herb Spice Blends

Like Mediterranean seasoning, garlic ad herb blends typically contain rosemary and are great for grilled meats and veggies. This one from McCormick is especially delish and contains lots of rosemary flavor along with lemon and garlic. YUM!

How to Substitute: Use these blends like you would use any spice rub. Keep in mind most of these spice blends contain salt, so keep that in mind as you season your dish.

HOW TO CHOOSE A SUBSTITUTE

Here are the best substitutes for rosemary in certain dishes:

Meat Dishes – Steak/Lamb/Chicken/Pork

Soups/Stews

  • Thyme, summer savory, herbs de Provence, bay leaf, dill, basil

Seafood Dishes

  • Sage, tarragon, marjoram, summer savory, herbs de Provence, parsley, dill, basil

Cocktails

  • Sage, tarragon, sage, lavender, basil

Potatoes and Veggies

Photo of a bowl of dried rosemary.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How much fresh rosemary is equal to dried?

Per culinary guru Martha Stewart, the correct ratio of fresh herbs (like rosemary) to dried herbs is as follows:

One tablespoon of fresh herbs is equal to one teaspoon of dried herbs.

This is because dried herbs are typically more potent than fresh, so less is more šŸ™‚

Can I substitute dry rosemary for fresh?

Yes. Substituting dry rosemary for fresh is another option. However, note that the texture of dried rosemary is brittle. It will only work well in cooked dishes.

Can I substitute basil for rosemary?

Basil is a bright, fresh-tasting herb that lacks the woody flavor of rosemary. However, it still can be used as a substitute in seafood dishes, some soups, and in cocktails. Be sure to add fresh basil at the end of the cooking process to preserve the flavor.

Can I substitute thyme for rosemary?

Yes! Thyme is probably the best substitute to use in place of rosemary. It has earthy, woody hints to it, making it somewhat similar to rosemary. However, thyme has a milder flavor. I like to call it a toned-down version of rosemary.

Thyme works well as a substitute for rosemary in meat and veggie dishes.

Is parsley a good substitute for rosemary?

Fresh parsley has a bright flavor and is a decent rosemary replacement in seafood dishes. Always add fresh parsley at the end of the dish vs. cooking it too much.

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