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Dill substitute: 6 of the best alternatives

Dill substitute: 6 of the best alternatives

Dill weed belongs to the same family as fennel, cilantro, anise, and cumin and is native to the Mediterranean region. 

This herb is most commonly used in German and Scandinavian dishes, and for the most part, it’s used as a garnish for dishes to make them look better. Moreover, dill is typically added at the end of every dish once they are properly cooked.

Fresh dill weed, on the other hand, is highly aromatic and fresh. It has a mild, sweet taste that is citrus-like, with a slightly grassy undertone. 

You can use dill in a variety of ways– chopped dill, dried dill, or fresh dill. It is also used in many different dishes, including casseroles, pasta, curries, bread, salads, sauces, soups, and pickles.

If you’ve run out of dill in your pantry when your recipe calls for it, you can use several other substitutes in place of it. This list of the best dill replacements is the only one that you need.

Fresh dill sprigs on a wooden cutting board, ready to be chopped for cooking.

Best Dill Substitutions

1. Dried or Fresh Dill

  • Best direct substitute for each other.
  • Suggested Ratio: 1 teaspoon of dried dill for every tablespoon of fresh dill.

2. Fennel

  • Similar to dill in family and texture.
  • Suggested Ratio: Use the same amount of fennel as you would fresh dill.

3. Fresh or Dried Tarragon

  • Similar licorice finish in flavor.
  • Suggested Ratio: Equal amounts of fresh/dried tarragon in place of fresh or dried dill.

4. Thyme

  • More intense flavor than dill.
  • Suggested Ratio: Half a tablespoon of thyme for every tablespoon of dill.

5. Rosemary

  • More intense aroma than dill.
  • Suggested Ratio: Half the amount of rosemary compared to dill.

6. Parsley

  • Milder flavor, common household herb.
  • Suggested Ratio: Same amount of fresh parsley as fresh dill.

Summary Table for Article Introduction:

SubstituteFlavor/Aroma ComparisonSuggested Ratio
Dried/Fresh DillDirect substitute for each other1 tsp dried dill = 1 tbsp fresh dill
FennelSimilar in family and textureSame amount as fresh dill
Fresh/Dried TarragonSimilar licorice finishEqual amount as fresh or dried dill
ThymeMore intense than dillHalf tbsp thyme = 1 tbsp dill
RosemaryMore intense aromaHalf the amount compared to dill
ParsleyMilder, common household herbSame amount as fresh dill

1. Dried or fresh dill

Whether you have one or the other, both are still best to use as substitutes as they will be closest in taste and aroma. 

However, if your recipe calls for dried dill and you only have fresh dill, you can use that instead, or vice versa.

Nevertheless, be mindful of the proportions as dried dill is slightly more flavorful than fresh dill. Hence, for every tablespoon of fresh dill, use one teaspoon of dried dill.

2. Fennel

This is an herb similar to celery. Fennel can work well as a dill substitute since they both come from the same family. 

If you were planning to add fresh dill in a meat dish, soup, stew, or a vegetable curry, the best substitute you can use is fennel since they both have the same texture as well. Keep in mind, though, that it doesn’t have the same mild sweet flavor as dill.

You can use the same ratio of fennel as fresh dill in your recipe.

3. Fresh or dried tarragon

Another best dill replacement, whether it is dried or fresh, is fresh or dried tarragon. It has a similar licorice finish when it comes to flavor and the same aroma as dill.

You can use equal amounts of fresh/dried tarragon in place of fresh dill or dried dill in your recipe.

4. Thyme

Thyme is an herb that comes from the mint family and is typically used for seasoning and flavoring, making it somewhat similar to dill. 

Though thyme’s flavor is slightly more intense and stronger than dill, it can still be used as a substitute, especially if you’re marinating meat or fish. 

Since thyme has a more intense flavor, the proportions when using it as a dill replacement are 1:2. 

For example, if the recipe calls for one tablespoon of dill, it’s recommended to use half a tablespoon of thyme.

5. Rosemary

This is another herb that can be used as a replacement if you’re fresh out of dill. 

Rosemary has a more intense aroma, making it a perfect substitute if you’re cooking meat. It also widely complements vegetables, so if you’re making any vegetable dish that requires dill, you can easily substitute it with rosemary.

When using rosemary in your dish, use a small amount of it. Don’t go for the quantity mentioned for dill in the recipe. Perhaps add half the amount.

6. Parsley

This common household herb can also be used as a substitute for dill. Unlike the other herbs mentioned in this list, parsley has a milder flavor.

As such, it’s a popular choice for almost every dish. Add chopped parsley for garnishing different dishes if you don’t have fresh dill.  
You can add the same amount of fresh parsley as fresh dill as directed by the recipe.

The bottom line

Dill boasts a unique flavor. Thus, it’s just about one of the most ideal herbs for garnishing and cooking. However, the herbs mentioned above can work just as well in place of dill. So give them a try. 

An extra tip: You must ensure that you add all the herbs, besides rosemary and thyme, at the end when the dish is fully cooked!

Dill substitutes

Dill substitutes

Here’s one of the best substitutes for dill when you run out of them.


  • Thyme


  1. Choose thyme as a dill substitute
  2. Since thyme has a more intense flavor, the proportions when using it as a dill replacement are 1:2. 
  3. If the recipe calls for one tablespoon of dill, it’s recommended to use half a tablespoon of thyme.

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A close-up photo of a potted dill plant.

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