6 Best Substitutes For Rosemary

Rosemary is one of the best herbs in the kitchen for cooking; it does a great job of enhancing the flavor of any meal. So whether dried or fresh rosemary, it may seem hard to replace.

However, other herbs can easily replace rosemary in a pinch. Are you looking for substitutes for rosemary? Well, thyme, sage, marjoram, and oregano are many amongst other herbs that can replace rosemary in a pinch.

And in this guide, we explore these herbs to know what makes them the perfect substitute for your intended ingredient.

So, let us begin.


What is rosemary?

Salvia Rosmarinus is the botanical name for rosemary, an aromatic herb from the mint family. Also, a needle-like evergreen shrub is native to the Mediterranean and is known for its strong fragrance.

Rosemary can come in white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. Rosemary plays a remarkable role when it is time for culinary and aromatic uses.

The leaves produce an essential that offers rosemary the irreplaceable scent. Did you know that rosemary herbs were traditionally used in relieving muscle pain and improving memory?

Well, rosemary does well in boosting the immune system too. Many people use it to promote healthy hair growth too!

Rosemary is popularly used to season meats, whether chicken, beef, pork, or lamb. More so, many people can add this lovely herb to many of their recipes; potatoes, beans, and even rice. Many people trust the potency of the smell and its characteristics.

What to look out for when finding a substitute for rosemary

Rosemary, whether dried or fresh, does justice in rendering interesting flavor to dishes you use to make it. So, a better option would be herbs that offer a similar flavor to dishes too!

If you are looking for substitutes for rosemary, find other herbs with

1.    Relatively strong fragrance

2.    Herbs that can sit fine in many recipes as rosemary

3.    Use other herbs with a sweet flavor.

If you want to cook with fresh rosemary and do not have it available, the best substitute is to use dry rosemary. Although dry rosemary is hard over time, it will become soft when you cook it.

However, if you need fresh rosemary for salads or other toppings, then dry rosemary will not be a perfect replacement.

And if for other reasons you need replacements, then these are only a few characteristics to look out for when you are looking for the best substitutes for rosemary. Now let us learn about the best recommendations.

Best substitutes for rosemary

1. Thyme


Thyme is a perennial evergreen herb from the mint family Lamiaceae, and just like rosemary, it is known for its aromatic nature and the fragrance it offers in many dishes you cook with it.

As you can use rosemary to cook beef, lamb, and chicken, can you use thyme for it too? You can use thyme to cook fish as well.

Thyme is a versatile ingredient that is available in many stores. So whether you want it dry or fresh, you can simply get t in the store or even order online.

For salads, if rosemary is not available, you can substitute rosemary with fresh thyme. For cooking meats and other dishes that call for dry rosemary, you can use dry thyme for your recipe.

But there is one thing although thyme has a flavor that is like lavender and rosemary, thyme has a mild flavor compared to rosemary. So, add some more thyme until you get your desired result. Thyme is a perfect substitute for rosemary.

2. Oregano


Oregano is another herb from the mint family, just like rosemary. Every herb from the mint family shares one thing and that is the aromatic fragrance it renders to the recipes you use it in. No wonder they can replace themselves in recipes.

Oregano herb is renowned for the health benefits that it offers too! And like rosemary oregano is available as a fresh or dry herb. So whatever you want to use thyme to cook, you can easily replace it with oregano.

While thyme has a more minty, lemony, and most times sweet and peppery flavor, the oregano has a more defined earthy flavor and slightly minty flavor. Yet, it is a great substitute for rosemary.

So replacing, add the portion of oregano just as you would with rosemary.

3. Basil


Basil is another excellent substitute for rosemary. It is also available as fresh leaves and dry leaves.

Also called great basil, basil is an aromatic culinary herb that is versatile, as many cuisines and households leverage the fragrance and savory taste it offers in recipes.

And just like rosemary, basil is from the mint family. And basil would offer almost the same taste and satisfaction as you would get, relishing any recipe, you prepare with rosemary.

So you can use fresh basil to make salads and other toppings and then dry basil to cook meats, fish, and other recipes you want to have the aromatic smell in. So, use basil. It would comfortably compliment your meal.

4. Sage


Many people refer sage to as garden sage, a popular herb that is from the mint family. Sage is native to Mediterranean regions. Many people use sage as a stuffing, particularly fresh sage, and, for others, it serves as a flavoring agent.

Apart from being a flavoring agent, sage has many nutritional values, making it an ideal condiment for many dishes.

Sage is available as dry herbs or fresh herbs and can easily replace rosemary for any recipe that calls for it. Both rosemary and sage have this pine-like flavor and you can use them interchangeably.

Sage seems to have a powerful taste compared to rosemary, so we advise you to use a small amount of it when cooking.

5. Marjoram


How does it sound to use a sweet herb with some pine and citrusy-like flavor in your recipes? Marjoram is a great herb that would be a great substitute for your rosemary.

In many regions in Middle Eastern countries, they use oregano and marjoram interchangeably.

However, marjoram has a sweeter taste compared to oregano. Since marjoram is from the Lamiaceae family just like rosemary, prepare to have some meals without rosemary!

When replacing rosemary with marjoram, use the same portion of marjoram just as you would use rosemary.

6. Terragon


Many people refer to terragon as estragon; terragon is a great herb that is widely cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is from the family of Asteraceae.

Terragon has a more complex flavor compared to other substitutes. However, it has a distinct flavor that makes it a great substitute for rosemary.

When you want to cook with terragon, use smaller amounts of terragon than you would when cooking with rosemary.

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Frequently asked questions

Are thyme and rosemary the same? 

It is possible to use these two culinary herbs interchangeably; after all, they are from the same mint family and share almost the same flavor. However, thyme is not the same as rosemary.

Why do people use thyme and rosemary at the same thyme? 

Well, for many cuisines that have many mouths to feed, using them offers great flavor to any recipe they use it in. And for many people that enjoy the leafy and minty flavor in salads, they can easily use both.

Are oregano and marjoram the same? 

No, they are not the same. Although many people use oregano and marjoram interchangeably in many regions, they are not the same.

Read: 7 Best Substitutes For Horseradish 


Now you know the viable substitutes for rosemary when it is time to have an aromatic meal, you can go ahead and replace them in a pinch.

Rosemary has a flavor that seems irreplaceable, but this guide says it all. You can have great herbs replace your rosemary when you do not have it handy.

Do have a great experience replacing your rosemary herb.