10 Best Substitutes For Bay Leaf


Bay leaves are a solid, sweet-smelling zest and truly fragrant; simply by utilizing just one leaf, it would already be able to do some magic.

You can get these ground or entire dried leaves. That relies upon what you like to have. They’re not consumable, and it’s just utilized for its recognized fragrance and flavor.

10 Best Substitutes For Bay Leaf

The best substitute for Bay Leaf are – Dried Thyme, Boldo Leaves, Redbay Leaves, Oregano Mixture, Basil Leaves, Juniper Berries, Kefir Lime Leaves, Allspice Leaves,Cinnamon Leaves, and Rosemary. They are discussed in detail here –

Dried Thyme

Possibly you are somewhat reluctant because dried thyme, likewise from the Mediterranean locale, looks completely changed contrasted with a Bay leaf, and it does not belong to a similar family plant.

Rest assured that it can go about as a great alternative if you run out of the bay leaf. For example, both can give minty flavor when dried.

Dried thyme works best as a bay leaf substitute in recipes that utilize meat and sheep.

Dried thyme is a zest that develops on lots of small stems with little leaves.

Dried thyme should be rehydrated to show its full reach.

How To Substitute

You can utilize the double the measure of dried thyme as you would use bay leaves. For instance, In the event that you need to marinate beef or chicken, take ¼ teaspoon of Dried thyme and sprinkle on the meat to upgrade its flavor and smell. One bay leaf is equivalent to ¼ teaspoon dried thyme, and ¼ teaspoon ground bay leaf is equivalent to ¼ teaspoon dried thyme.

Want to know how you can use fresh thyme or dried thyme in different recipes? Watch “Sous vide everything” telling us about the difference in fresh thyme and dried thyme on a steak for sous vide:-


Boldo Leaves

Boldo leaves are evergreen, a fragrant plant belonging to Chile, particularly the Andes Mountains, and develop on the boldo plant.

They are marginally bitter, rich, and flavorful, yet have an amazing milder taste than bay leaves—which permits them to function admirably in seasoning lighter recipes, like mushroom and vegetable-based dishes.

Boldo leaves are not broadly utilized in the world aside from South America.

The tree is also broadly found in different parts, like Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, and Morocco. Most cooks consider boldo leaves a perpetual option of Bay leaves.

It has a place with the Monimiaceae family, which is extremely near the Bay family.

How to Substitute

One bay leaf is equivalent to ½ boldo leaf, or ½ teaspoon ground bay leaf is equivalent to ¼ teaspoon ground boldo leaf. Boldo leaves can, in any case, be overwhelming when utilized in huge sums, so it is prescribed to substitute at even a half the proportion that the recipe calls for and move gradually up from that point.

Ever used Boldo leaves before? Check out how to make a healthy tea from the forgotten liver herb Boldo leaves by “A place to heal” here:-


Redbay Leaves

The red bay plant is an evergreen tree with wide green broadened leaves with pointed tips that seem like narrows shrub leaves. Surely, they are not red.

Redbay leaf is utilized for preparing tantalizing food assortments.

Redbay leaf is a common replacement for bay laurel leaves to most occupants along the Atlantic shore of the southern USA.

It is typically disposed of after cooking. Redbay leaves taste impactful and have a sharp, bitter taste.

These leaves have a scent that is marginally flower and is suggestive of oregano. Use these redbay leaves in food in their dried form.

How to Substitute

Measure out an equal proportion of this Redbay leaves to the amount of bay leaves your recipe calls for, but add it gradually. If you continue gradually adding your Redbay leaves and tasting your dish as you add it. You should ensure that the flavor of this Redbay leaf does not overpower your finished dish.

Confused about how to use Redbay leaves? Look no further and check this video by “Lu & Tjane” talking about how to dry bay leaves properly:-


Oregano Mixture

This spice is something you will regularly discover in pizza, pasta sauces, and soups like this sluggish cooker lentil and cabbage soup.

You can utilize oregano mixture when you are out of bay leaves. When utilized as a swap for bay, oregano gives hearty and minty flavors to the recipe.

It is blended in with cumin or included spice combinations to make more flavors. Dried oregano leaves are some of the time utilized as a crisis substitution for bay leaves.

Oregano does not have some strong kinds of the bay. Keeping in mind that oregano is sold in mass amounts, it is not the most economical spice.

How to Substitute

One tablespoon of Oregano mixture is equal to one stalk of fresh bay leaves. A lot of the oregano mixture can overwhelm the entire dish since it has a higher fixation.

Want to know where oregano mixture can be used in a recipe? Watch “Rana’s Kitchen” step by step showing us how to make tasty and easy chicken oregano, here:-


Basil Leaves

Used in dishes like apricot pasta salad, basil is not difficult to confuse this spice with Bay leaves in groceries.

Between Thai basil and Italian basil, the previous’ taste is significantly close to bay leaves than the latter.

Thai basil will be very harsh when contrasted with the Italian variation, which is somewhat better.

The Thai rendition has a particular taste, practically like licorice and hot too.

When utilizing this spice as a bay substitute in recipes, there is a chance that the taste will be unique.

However, it will not influence the dish a lot. Still, expect to encounter the flavor distinction.

How to Substitute

One stalk of bay leaves is equal to two tablespoons of ground basil or one basil leaf and one tablespoon of basil leaf paste. Make sure to eliminate the midrib of the basil leaf to utilize the fresh leaves.

Want to know how you can use basil leaves in different recipes? Watch “Dairy Creek farms with Jag Singh” telling us about five different, amazing uses of basil leaves, here:-


Juniper Berries

Juniper Berries are cones with bizarrely plump and consolidated scales, which gives them a berry-like appearance.

It is predominantly utilized as a sauce and a seasoning fixing in gin and unpleasant arrangements. It is a fruit with a flavor that many depict as severe and sour.

Juniper berry is an excellent substitute for bay leaves. This juniper fruit additionally works impeccably during particular times of the year.

Juniper Berries can be consumed directly as well.

It has a tart and sweet flavor that is stunning. Like cranberries and lingonberry, juniper berry is additionally accepted to help against urinary tract contaminations.

How to Substitute

If you have the entire leaves, substitute more than one or two bay leaves with one teaspoon of Juniper berry, that is, two or three berries. If you have the ground Juniper berries, utilize the 1:1 proportion. They are not that strong; too much of its contents would not hurt.

Want to know where Juniper berries can be used in a recipe? Watch “CS Mead and more” step by step showing us how to make mead with Juniper berries at home, here:-


Kefir Lime Leaves

If you do not have access to bay leaf, you probably will not happen to have a Makrut (kefir) lime tree in your backyard.

Yet, if you have a portion of these lovely leaves, they can be finely hacked into strips using scissors and afterward utilized anywhere your recipe calls for the bay.

This would not work with regular lime leaves as they do not have the same fragrance. Its purpose is to give flavor and fragrance.

Ensure that you tear the Kaffir lime leaves before adding them to the soup. This replacement is best utilized in curries and soups.

How to Substitute

One stalk of bay leaf is equal to two tablespoons of chopped kefir lime leaves or one Keffir lime leaf mixed with one tablespoon of any zest. Make sure to eliminate the midrib of the kefir lime leaf to utilize the fresh leaves.

Ever used kefir lime leaves before? Check out how to chop and use kefir lime leaves by “SAVEUR Magazine” here:-


Allspice Leaves

If you plan to use bay leaves and find that you are running short on time, you can also use this quick substitution to ensure that you do not wind up with hungry guests on your hands!

Even the most simple herb rack usually has allspice.

Although fresh bay leaves add freshness to the dish, you can easily make your simple substitute using just allspice leaves.

It will similarly add warmth and depth. Toasting the allspice in a skillet before grinding adds a nice level of complexity of depth.

How to Substitute

Combine half a teaspoon of ground cumin with one allspice leaf for an easy substitute when you are in a hurry. This ratio will create a very nice flavor for whatever dish you are whipping up. It is also easy to make whatever quantity of spice you need using this ratio.

Ever used allspice leaves before? Check out how to make simple healthy allspice tea by “Chef at home” here:-


Cinnamon Leaves

Cinnamon sticks do not resemble Garam masala in every manner.

If you search for a fragrant marginally seasoned zest for your prepared dishes, look no farther than Cinnamon sticks.

Whether in vegetables or cakes, you can never turn out badly with an old Cinnamon stick.

It helps to remember the warmth perfect for using during autumn and wintertime.

You can use a cinnamon stick with curries or nut-based baked goods rather than fruit ones.

It is ideal for non-fruity treats as it does not contend with fruit when combined as one.

It is one of the ingredients added in Garam masala.

How to Substitute

For the replacement, utilize a large portion of a Cinnamon leaf for more than two leaves of the bay. If you like the appearance and fragrance, you can add more.

Not sure if the cinnamon leaf is the right choice for your dish? Check out this video by “Yum” talking about Cinnamon:-



Rosemary is a different spice. It is ideal for skillet singed dishes like steaks. A couple of twigs of it can add more fragrance and taste to the meat.

If you just reaped some fresh game meat, this is an ideal substitute that you can use to accomplish that particular smell and taste.

Besides its culinary uses, it is well known for making aromas, essential oils, and fragrant liquid cleansers.

You can blend the rosemary on the marinade previously or have it cooked directly onto the dish with the meat. It supports the flavor and the smell of the heart even more.

How to Substitute

You can use at least 2-3 branches of rosemary to substitute one bay leaf. Remember to taste the dish after adding a small amount. If required, you can add more.

Did you know you can make chicken with rosemary? Watch this video by “Scoff” showing how easily we can make rosemary chicken at home:-



Is sage and bay leaf the same thing?

No, sage and bay Leaf are not exactly the same thing. They may appear to be comparable; however, they are not a similar spice. Sage is utilized in stuffing, in chicken or turkey dishes, either dried or fresh. Bay Leaf is utilized a ton in soup, either dried or rarely as fresh.

What is the difference between bay leaves and tejj patta?

Indian bay leaves are otherwise called Tej Patta, which interprets as ‘impactful leaf’ or Malabar leaf. They are not to be mistaken for the European Laurel bay leaves, all the more regularly utilized in Mediterranean food! The smell and kind of Indian bay leaves are firmly suggestive of cinnamon, cloves, and cassia.

What is the difference between bay leaf and curry leaves?

The major distinction between curry leaves and bay leaves is that curry leaves are more modest and shinier than bay leaves. Curry leaves and bay leaves are two kinds of fragrant spices utilized in cooking.

Curry leaves are primarily utilized in South Indian and Sri Lankan dishes, while bay leaves are utilized in numerous European dishes.

Bottom Line

I hope this list helped you to know about the substitutes for Bay leaves. Share your experience with these. Do you think we missed any reserve? Please share with us in the comments. We will make sure to test it out.

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About Amanda Jones

Amanda is a person with an eye for detail. She has been cooking since her childhood and loves to bake too. Recently, she's made the decision to pursue baking full-time and quit her 9 to 5 job. In the meantime, she still enjoys cooking and baking for friends and family, especially when it comes time for special occasions like birthdays or holidays!