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6 Best Substitutes for Rosemary

6 Best Substitutes for Rosemary

Rosemary is that one spice that can stand out on its own. It has a recognizable scent and flavor that can add just the right amount of heat to any recipe. It’s native to the Middle East and used to prepare delectable meals like sauces and meat seasonings.

Rosemary is available in both fresh and dried forms. If you’ve run out of fresh rosemary, then you can use dried rosemary as a substitute, but make sure you’re only adding about a quarter of a teaspoon for every teaspoon of fresh rosemary that’s needed in the dish.

If you’re allergic to rosemary or dislike the flavor, there are many alternatives that you can use in your recipes instead.

Most of the substitutes we’ll be discussing in this blog post are also herbs, much like rosemary. But before we can delve deep into why they make for the perfect replacements, let’s take a closer look at rosemary and what makes it so unique.

Rosemary is a very aromatic spice that can easily hold its own in any recipe. This popular herb has complex flavors that work surprisingly well together. It has a distinct lemon-pine flavor that’s also quite peppery and woodsy. It has bitter undertones and the aroma is reminiscent of charred wood, which is why it’s the perfect ingredient for barbecue recipes.

Let’s take a look at six substitutes for rosemary and how you can use them in different recipes.

1. Tarragon

Substitute tarragon 1:1 for rosemary

Tarragon, or French Tarragon, in particular, is the only Tarragon species that can be used in cooking. It has a strong flavor, which makes it the perfect substitute for rosemary.

If you want your dish to have an instantly recognizable flavor of spice and you’ve run out of rosemary, feel free to add tarragon to the recipe. You can add it in the same amount that’s required for rosemary in the dish.

Dried Tarragon can also be used as a replacement for dried rosemary and can be added into soups and stews.

2. Thyme

Substitute thyme 1 ¼ teaspoons to 1 teaspoon of rosemary

You can use thyme fresh, dried or chopped to elevate the flavor of delicious meals like casseroles, soups, chili, and sautéed vegetables. Thyme is also commonly used as an ingredient in meat recipes.

Thyme has a very gentle flavor as compared to rosemary, which makes it a great substitute for most herbs, not just rosemary. It’s also easily available and can be grown at home. You may need to add a little bit more thyme than the amount of rosemary required in the recipe.

3. Marjoram

Substitute marjoram 1 ¼ teaspoons to 1 teaspoon of rosemary

Marjoram is a perennial herb that’s usually found in colder regions. It has a very subtle flavor that’s quite like Thyme. It can be used as a rosemary substitute in sauces, soups, and stews. You need to add a little more than the amount of rosemary needed in the dish to get the desired flavor.

4. Savory

Substitute savory 1:1 for rosemary

There are two types of savory that are used in cooking: winter savory and summer savory. Winter savory is known to have little to no resemblance to rosemary because it’s quite bitter. If you’re looking to substitute rosemary in a recipe, you need to opt for summer savory.

Summer savory is basically a traditional herb that’s quite popular in Canada. It’s the perfect rosemary replacement in poultry dishes and can also be combined with rosemary to add the perfect kick of spice to any recipe.

When used as a substitute, no math is required because you can add the same amount that’s needed for rosemary in the recipe.

5. Oregano

Substitute oregano 1:1 for rosemary

The flavor of oregano can be described as sweet, spicy, strong, aromatic, earthy, and minty. Unlike most spices, oregano’s flavor only gets more and more intense as it’s dried. It can be used as a substitute for rosemary in many recipes, including fried vegetables, barbecued dishes, pizza, pasta, stuffing, sauces, cheese, and beans.

When you’re using it as a replacement, there’s no need to adjust the quantity.

6. Caraway

Substitute caraway 1:1 for rosemary

Even though caraway seed is a strong spice, it can add just as much flavor to a recipe as rosemary. It can be used as an alternative for rosemary in sausage dishes or recipes that require strong seasonings.

Bottom Line:​

You’ll need to experiment with all these alternatives before you can find the perfect substitute for your liking. It’s also important to adjust the quantity of the substitute you’re using to make sure your final product has the desired flavor.

You also need to be careful with the substitute you’re using for different recipes because not all of them will work like rosemary and may change the flavor of the dish.

Hope this blog post has helped you find the most suitable rosemary substitute for your dish!

Rosemary substitutes

Rosemary substitutes

Here's the best alternative if you're running out of rosemary herb


  • Tarragon


  1. Add tarragon in the same amount that’s required for rosemary in the dish.

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Christine Kline

Sunday 20th of June 2021

Very helpful :)

Sandy Weinstein

Tuesday 4th of August 2020

i dont really use rosemary much.

Debbie Welchert

Sunday 29th of March 2020

This will help me out so much. I'm always running out of a spice and I don't know what I can substitute it with. Now I know thanks to you.


Friday 27th of March 2020

I love Rosemary and can't roast any meat in my oven without it.

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