In this article, we will cover some of the best rosemary substitutes. Never worry what to do if you’ve run out of Rosemary because got your back.

Rosemary has such a unique flavor that it’s hard to replicate. It is commonly known as a woody-tasting herb for cooking. While using rosemary, you can add it a little early in the cooking process, so it has ample time to release the flavor and oil inside it.

Rosemar branches

But there might be some instances when you want to use this flavourful herb only to find the container empty. You can’t go to the store to get some when you already have food on the stove, and you can’t serve the dish without this key ingredient. 

If you are stuck in a similar situation, here are some of the best substitutes that can be used to substitute or replace this herb to make sure your dish remains flavorful and aromatic.

“As for rosemary, I let it run all over my garden walls, not only because my bees love it but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance and to friendship, whence a sprig of it hath a dumb language.”

Sir Thomas More 

The BEST Substitutes for Rosemary

Rosemary Substitutes

The mentioned spices/herbs can serve as alternatives to rosemary. However, deciding which one to use widely depends on the recipe.

1. Thyme

Thyme is our number one substitute for rosemary because of its mild flavor.

This herb works perfectly for salad or crostini, where rosemary acts as a garnish. It works well in the salad because it doesn’t have a pungent taste.

If you are cooking, make sure that you add the thyme in the same quantity as the rosemary. It won’t replace the taste of rosemary, but it will add some life and flavor to your recipe. And you might be surprised and love it more than rosemary.

>> Check out the difference between Rosemary and Thyme

2. Sage

Sage is a good option for garnishing a dish since it has pine-like flowers like rosemary.

However, sage is a potent herb, so be careful how much you use in your recipes. For example, if you are using it for salad, opt for thin sage leaves.

In cooked dishes, make sure to use only half the amount of sage first, and then adjust the amount for your desired taste.

3. Marjoram

Marjoram has a similar flavor to rosemary, so they act as a great rosemary alternative in cooking.

Marjoram is not always easy to find, but if you do it makes for a great sub for rosemary.

They work best when fresh; however, dried marjoram is also a suitable substitute.

4. Oregano

Oregano belongs to the same class of spices as rosemary, so this is a suitable replacement for rosemary flavor.

On top of that, oregano is one of the most readily available herbs and is easy to grow as well. When using it in cooked food, use the same portion as rosemary or dried thyme for the required taste.

5. Basil

Basil has a slight savory-sweet flavor that brings a great compliment to your dishes.

However, this herb has a unique, almost fresh flavor, which differs from rosemary deep earthy/woodsy flavor.

But if you are using this as a rosemary substitute, make sure to use equal portions as rosemary for an excellent taste. And also, keep in mind that it will bring a different flavor profile.

6. Tarragon

Tarragon looks like a leafy green herb but has a robust flavor.

The slight taste of licorice or anise in tarragon is the trademark flavor of this herb.

If you are unsure whether the people eating the food prefer tarragon, use a smaller portion than rosemary.

Using the 2:1 rosemary to tarragon ratio is recommended.

7. Savory

The only downside of savory is that it is not readily available.

Otherwise, it is one of the best substitutes for rosemary.

You can even use the same portion as rosemary in your dishes to get the same taste.

8. Caraway Seed

Caraway seeds have a strong aroma and have a unique yet mild flavor that adds a warming hint of licorice to your dishes.

Their taste is earthy, and they can change the entire mood of your dish while giving a little touch of rosemary to it. Caraway seeds are best when used in soups because of their mild taste of citrus and pepper.

9. Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves are not typically used for flavor but add a beautiful scent to the food.

Especially if you are making a meat dish that requires rosemary, bay leaves can be a good alternative you can find. Combine them with onion and lemon and use them as a marinade for the chicken to taste like no other.

10. Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning has got you covered from all sides if you are out of regular rosemary.

It is a mixture of basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. However, the combination might differ depending on how each herb is used. But you will get some of that rosemary flavor you are looking for.

Final Thoughts

Rosemary is hard to replace, but you can choose a substitute when you don’t have it at home. We have mentioned all the best substitutes for rosemary here. Depending on the dish and the type of flavor you want, you can either dry them or use them fresh.

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