Is there no fresh rosemary? Why not experiment with these Rosemary Substitutes?

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Rosemary is a unique and versatile herb, so if you run out of rosemary for a dish, it might be tough to find a replacement herb that would work just as well. Perhaps you dislike the pungent taste that rosemary adds to a meal.

Rosemary is often used in chicken, pig, seafood, and lamb meals, but it is also used in salad dressings, marinades, sauces, and vegetable dishes. Rosemary blends nicely with other herbs such as parsley, thyme, and chive.

Rosemary, also known as Dew of the Sea, is a member of the mint (Lamiaceae) family but tastes nothing like mint. Its strong taste is generally characterized as pine-y with a tinge of citrus, and if used in excess, it can quickly overshadow a meal. It may also be overpowering if used incorrectly in a dish.

Rosemary has been utilized since prehistoric times. Ancient Romans and Greeks threw sprigs of rosemary into graves to demonstrate they remembered the deceased, while Ancient Greek scholars wore a sprig of rosemary in their hair while studying since it was regarded to be a memory-improving plant.

In Tudor times, bridesmaids would offer rosemary to the bridegroom, and the bride would wear rosemary to symbolize her commitment to her family. Rosemary would also be added to the wine served to the newlyweds.

Rosemary was still utilized as a medical plant, and it was used to assist digestive health as long back as the fifteenth century. These health claims may not be as far-fetched as you believe, since rosemary includes anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.

Antioxidants may help prevent aging and play a part in our bodies’ defenses against diseases including heart disease and cancer. Rosemary may have some brain advantages, and preliminary study shows it may be effective in helping to avoid brain aging as well as for individuals who have had a stroke.

Carnosic acid, a component of rosemary, may have some benefits for eye health, particularly in conditions such as age-related macular degeneration.

If at all feasible, replace the dried version of the fresh herb. Because dried herbs have a stronger taste than fresh herbs, you will need to use less than the recipe calls for.

As a general guideline, if the meal calls for a teaspoon of fresh rosemary or another fresh herb, substitute a quarter to three quarters of a teaspoon of dried rosemary.

It is usually preferable to add dry herbs at the beginning or while cooking since they need time to hydrate and release their flavor. Always start with a little amount of dry herbs and then add more if the taste isn’t strong enough.

Making your own dried rosemary is simple. If you purchase fresh rosemary, wash and dry some of the sprigs before tying them up at the base and hanging them to dry in a ventilated location, or just slice some sprigs off, wash and dry them, then set them on a lined baking sheet and freeze overnight. The frozen sprigs may then be placed in a container or Ziplock bag for longer-term freezer preservation.

If you don’t have dried (or frozen) rosemary on hand, here are some additional herbs you may use in its place. Although each herb has its own particular taste and scent, they will all complement, and in some instances, provide hints of rosemary, in a range of meals where rosemary is typically used.

1. Thyme

Thyme is a plant with antibacterial properties, and preliminary animal studies indicate that it may help reduce hypertension. There are several distinct types of thyme, all of which are aromatic with sweet, spicy, minty, citrus-y, and earthy qualities and will complement other herbs nicely.

Thyme, like rosemary, is a member of the mint family and may be substituted for rosemary in vegetable dishes (particularly roast potatoes), soups, fish, breads, beef, hog, poultry, and lamb.

For lamb, combine equal parts thyme, bay leaf, and peppermint, then season with the same quantity of this mixture as you would rosemary.

Thyme, like rosemary, may easily overshadow a meal, so use less of it than you would rosemary. Begin with half a teaspoon of thyme for every teaspoon of rosemary. If necessary, you may always add more.

It’s also worth mentioning that, although thyme may be used in place of rosemary, the reverse substitution does not always work as well owing to rosemary’s unique taste.

2. Savory

Savory, another member of the mint family, has a spicy taste with traces of thyme and goes well with meats, fish, and eggs, as well as lentils, beans, and peas. Summer and winter savory are the two varieties. Winter savory features overtones of pine and sage, while summer savory is sweeter and spicier.

Savory, often known as the herb of love, was used by the Ancient Romans to create love portions, and some European monasteries did not let it to be produced for fear that it might harm the monks who lived there!

Savory, like other herbs, looks to have some medicinal effects, including serving as a natural antibacterial and maybe aiding with digestive pain, which is why it is often featured in bean meals.

If you’re replacing savory for rosemary, try half a teaspoon of fresh savory for each teaspoon of fresh rosemary, and then add more to taste if necessary.

3. Sage

Although sage has a distinct bittersweet flavor and fragrant scent from rosemary, it complements the same recipes that rosemary can season. Sage may be used in lieu of rosemary in meat and egg recipes, and it is particularly useful as a chicken spice.

Use the same quantity of fresh sage as you would fresh rosemary, or the same amount of dried sage as you would dry rosemary.

Sage is claimed to aid increase mental function and may help diabetics’ blood sugar levels. There is also some evidence that it may aid in the reduction of LDL cholesterol in those with high cholesterol levels.

4. Marjoram

Although marjoram looks similar to oregano, its flavor is very distinct. It has a sweet taste with undertones of citrus and pine and is a very useful herb.

Marjoram is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and iron. It looks to have some anti-microbial qualities, and it may possibly work as an anti-inflammatory, as with other herbs.

Marjoram may be used in lieu of rosemary in mushroom-based meals, as well as sausages and chicken stuffing. It will also go well with vegetables and may be used in instead of rosemary in tomato-based meals.

5. Tarragon

Tarragon is a sunflower family member native to the United States, Asia, and Europe. Its strong and bittersweet taste with a touch of citrus complements fish and poultry and is often used in French recipes for egg and cheese dishes.

When using tarragon, start with half the quantity you would use for rosemary, and since it has such a strong flavor, you should seldom need more than a teaspoon in any recipe.

6. Bay Leaf

Bay leaf, which is derived from laurel plants, has an aromatic taste that matches nicely with spices such as chile. They also go well with meat and poultry meals, as well as tomato-based sauces.

Bay leaves should only be cooked in the pan and then removed before serving. Tear the leaves before adding them to the pan to enable more of the oils to be released.

One or two bay leaves are usually enough to flavor a stew or sauce, and the leaves are best used to recipes that are allowed to simmer since they release their flavor over time.

7. Basil

Basil, which is often available as a fresh herb, is an excellent substitution for rosemary in Italian or tomato-based meals.

You may need to use a little more basil than rosemary, and one word of caution: there are different basil species available, and these can have different flavor hints such as cinnamon or lemon, so it may be worth trying a leaf or two before you chop fresh basil and add it to your recipe.

Dried basil from the store will likely have the classic basil taste.

Bottom Line

No Fresh Rosemary? Why Not Try These Rosemary Substitutes?

Although rosemary has a distinct taste character, there are a variety of rosemary alternatives, including thyme, marjoram, and even basil, that may be used in recipes where rosemary is called for.

Always analyze the recipe before selecting your rosemary substitution, since we have noticed that certain herbs suit some recipes better than others.


Can I substitute dried rosemary for fresh?

If your recipe asks for 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, use 1 teaspoon dried rosemary instead. Just keep in mind that this is a guideline, not a hard and fast rule—while a herb swap would work perfectly in a soup or thickened stew, you wouldn’t want to use dry herbs in a salad or as garnish.

Is dried rosemary the same as rosemary leaves?

Rosmarinus officinalis, or dried rosemary, is also known as dried rosemary leaves, cracked rosemary, or rosemary dry herbs. The essential oil level of dried rosemary ranges between.5% and 2.5%.

How much dried rosemary equals 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary?

Three fresh sprigs, which produce around one tablespoon of fresh leaves, equal one teaspoon of dried leaves. Simply massage the dried rosemary between your hands or ground it before placing it in the dish to release the flavor that has been trapped in it throughout the drying process.

Is it OK to use dried rosemary?

Dried rosemary, like other dried herbs, will not be as powerful as fresh rosemary, however drying fresh rosemary may be a good method to preserve the herb. Dried rosemary may be used to season meats and vegetables, as well as to flavor breads and pastries.

Is dried rosemary any good?

The herb not only tastes wonderful in meals like rosemary chicken and lamb, but it is also high in iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6. Teas and liquid extracts are manufactured from fresh or dried leaves and are normally prepared as a complete dried herb or a dried powdered extract.

Is it OK to use dried herbs instead of fresh?

Using Dried Herbs Instead of Fresh

The following is a basic rule of thumb for the dried-to-fresh herb ratio: Use one-third the quantity of dried herb as fresh herb in the recipe. For example, in a recipe that calls for 1 Tbsp. fresh sage, use 1 tsp. dried sage instead.

Is fresh or dried rosemary better for cooking?

If you are cooking a meal on the stovetop for more than a few minutes, it is recommended to use dried herbs. While fresh herbs may be used, heating them for 10 minutes or longer releases the natural oils that give the herbs their fresh flavor.

What is a good substitute for fresh 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 substitute crushed rosemary for fresh rosemary?

When using delicate herbs in a recipe, it’s ideal to use fresh (as with other recipes that employ herbs uncooked or to finish a meal). If a recipe asks for tougher herbs like rosemary, oregano, sage, or thyme, dried form might be a suitable substitution.

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