13 Great Rosemary Substitutes


When it comes to herbs, rosemary is one of the most versatile. It can be used in savory or sweet dishes, and its strong aroma means a little goes a long way.

But what do you do when you don’t have rosemary on hand?

Here is the ultimate list of all the best alternatives to rosemary in your cooking, whether fresh or dried. 

So, let’s dive right in. 

13 Best Rosemary Substitutes

1. Thyme 

Be it fresh or dried rosemary that you are trying to replace, thyme is a great alternative.

It is milder in flavor but works just as well in any recipe that you can think of. It is also great to use for garnishing and is especially great in salads.

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure of thyme as rosemary is called for in the recipe and you’re good to go. 

Check out this YouTube tutorial for a chicken recipe with thyme – 

2. Sage 

Sage is a much stronger and earthier herb that you can use instead of thyme in most recipes, be it cold or cooked.

But because of its strong flavors, a small measure can go a long way. It can also be used for garnishing. 

How to Substitute? 

Sage will be needed in really small measures and if you are using dried sage, you will need to have the portion as compared to rosemary. 

For a sage recipe that you can try when you have run out of rosemary – 

3. Marjoram 

Marjoram comes quite close to rosemary in terms of flavor and feel. It has sweeter notes with hints of bitterness.

It is perfect to pair with meat dishes and is best used in recipes where you want to replace dried rosemary.

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure of marjoram as rosemary is called for in the recipe, though there may be slight flavor differences. 

For a pasta recipe with marjoram that you can give a shot, check out this video – 

4. Savory 

Savory is yet another great alternative to rosemary in recipes where you are looking to replace dried rosemary.

It has a milder flavor and has more minty and peppery notes.

It is versatile enough to work with both savory meat dishes and even some desserts.

How to Substitute? 

Savory can replace rosemary in a 1:1 ratio in most recipes but the flavors can be slightly different. 

5. Oregano 

Oregano falls in the same family as rosemary and has similar herby minty notes of flavor.

You can use both fresh and dried oregano to replace rosemary in recipes, be it cold or cooked.

You can use it for sauces, stews, salads, and more.

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure of oregano as rosemary is called for in any recipe that you like. 

Here is an oregano chicken recipe that you can give a shot – 

6. Basil 

Basil, like oregano, is in the same family of herbs as rosemary and has a similar minty finish in flavor.

You can use both dried and fresh basil to replace rosemary in your recipes. It is milder and sweeter in comparison. 

How to Substitute? 

A 1:1 ratio of replacement can be made with basil for rosemary in almost any recipe that you like. 

Check out this YouTube video for a basil pasta recipe – 

7. Tarragon 

If you are fond of bolder flavors, then you might want to give tarragon a try.

It has hints of licorice and anise in its flavor and is more robust in flavor than rosemary. It is best used in recipes that call for fresh herbs.

How to Substitute? 

You will only need half the measure of tarragon as compared to rosemary in your recipe. You could add more if need be. 

Here is a lovely tarragon pasta recipe that you can give a try – 

8. Italian Seasoning

If you have some Italian seasoning in your pantry and want some kick in your recipe, then you can use it instead of rosemary.

Be it salads or stews, Italian seasoning works wonderfully well but keep in mind that your recipe shouldn’t have too many other spices as well.

How to Substitute? 

Almost half the measure of Italian seasoning would do just as well as a whole measure of rosemary in any recipe. 

To make your Italian seasoning at home, check out this video – 

9. Bay Leaf 

For a milder and peppery alternative to rosemary in recipes where dried herbs are called for, you can try using bay leaf instead.

They work well in many recipes, from stews and soups to veggie recipes.

It also goes wonderfully well with lamb.

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of the bay leaf as rosemary in your recipes though the flavor will be milder. 

10. Caraway Seed

Though it isn’t an herb, caraway seeds are similar in flavor to rosemary and are commonly found in Asian and Mexican recipes.

It might not work great in cold dishes or salads where fresh herbs are called for, but it is great to use for cooking.

How to Substitute? 

You might want to play around with the ratio of caraway seeds you want to add to your dish to get the flavor you prefer. 

Here is a quick bread recipe with caraway seed that you can try when you don’t have any rosemary to work with – 

11. Mint 

If you are looking for the minty element of rosemary, then you cannot get a better fit than mint itself.

It is a versatile herb that goes well in salads and meat dishes to drinks and desserts.

But keep in mind that the overall taste of the recipe will be different.

How to Substitute? 

Mint will work in a 1:1 ratio substitution with rosemary in most recipes, though you might want to tweak the measure to your liking. 

12. Parsley 

Parsley, though quite different in flavor profile, works just as well as rosemary in many recipes.

It is best used in recipes where fresh herbs are called for and are best added toward the end of the cooking process. 

How to Substitute? 

You can experiment with the ratio of parsley you want in your recipes, though you can go for a 1:1 substitution. 

For a yummy potato side with parsley, here is a video you can check out – 

13. Dill 

For dips, salads, and seafood recipes, dill is a good alternative to rosemary.

It has more citrusy notes to its flavor and works best when the fresh herb is used.

It also makes a great garnish. To make the most of its flavor, add it towards the end of the cooking process. 

How to Substitute? 

More or less the same measure of dill as rosemary is called for in the recipe should do just fine. 

For a lovely chicken in dill sauce recipe, check out this video – 

Bottom Line 

I hope you found this article on rosemary substitutes helpful.

If you have any experience using substitutes for rosemary, please share it in the comments below.

And be sure to share this article with your friends and family who love to cook with rosemary.



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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!