Dill is one of those herbs that you have all the time but probably don’t realize. This can be a problem if your recipe calls for some fresh or dry dill and you have none. Instead, there are plenty of substitutes to use that will render similar flavors.
What Is Dill?
This herb comes from the same family as celery and can be eaten as a fresh plant, in seed form, or dry. Fresh dill tastes grassy and a bit like anise, but dry dill tastes more bitter and less aromatic.
You can find both fresh and dry dill in any grocery store, while the seeds may be a bit harder to find.
While cooking with dill is relatively easy, only a small amount can go a long way. If cooked for a long time, dill can lose its flavor, so it should be added towards the end of the cooking process. Dry dill and dill seeds can be cooked for a longer time, and they will infuse more flavor.
What Can I Replace Dill With?
If you can’t find the herb or the dry form, these dill substitutes are wonderful for plenty of dishes:
For Cooking, Pickling, Fish, and Salmon Dishes
This herb resembles celery, as it has a large and wide stem with feather-like leaves at the top. The stalks aren’t meant to be used, but you can use the stems and leaves. Use fennel when cooking fish, salmon, stews, and in pickling.
You can buy fennel in any grocery store or farmer’s market, as it is a common vegetable. This herb tastes mildly sweet but also has that anise-like flavor like dill. If you want, save the fronds for making other meals.
See More: Fennel Substitutes
This herb is also a good replacement for dill, as it has an aroma and flavor that also resembles licorice. You can use both fresh and dry tarragon in plenty of your meals, especially when making salmon, other fish, sauces, stews, and as a pickling seasoning.
Unlike dill, fresh tarragon can withstand heat and still be flavorful. Add the same amount that the recipe indicates, no matter whether you pick the fresh or dry kinds. You can find tarragon in almost all grocery stores or organic markets.
See More: Tarragon Alternatives
This pungent herb belongs to the mint family and it can withstand heat better than dill. Both fresh and dry thyme can be a good addition to many dishes, like salmon, fish, sauces, or stews.
Since thyme is more pungent, we suggest you use only about half the amount that the dish requires, otherwise, you may overpower the dish.
You can buy fresh thyme in any grocery store, usually by the produce section, but you can surely find the dry kind in the spice rack as well. Thyme works best when infused for a while, so make sure to add it at the beginning of the cooking process.
See More: Thyme Replacements
For Ranch, Soup, Tzatziki, Sauces, and Potato Salad
Both dry and fresh rosemary is a common herb in French, Spanish, and Italian cuisines. Rosemary has an intense aroma, but the flavor is relatively sweet and has a citrus aftertaste. Use both kinds in making ranch sauce, soups, tzatziki, meat dishes, fish, and potato salad.
You can get fresh rosemary at your local grocery store and the dry kind should also be nearby. Use the same amount as you would dill, but consider that this one may impart a lemony flavor to your meal.
See More: Best Substitutes for Rosemary
This common herb is available year-round and its mild flavor makes it easy to use in plenty of dishes. You can also use dry parsley, though this one may have a more pungent flavor. Try adding fresh or dry parsley when cooking soups, sauces, potato salad, or making ranch dressing.
You can find parsley in any grocery store or organic market. If you want to replace dill, use the same amount of fresh or dry parsley in any of your dishes.
See More: Best Alternatives to Parsley
While this herb is not very common, it is a great substitute for dill, as it has a mild licorice flavor, too. You can find chervil in the produce section of some grocery stores, though you may have better luck trying an organic or farmer’s market.
Use the same amount as you would dill, but add it towards the end of the cooking as well.
You can use chervil when you make dips, like tzatziki, sauces, soups, and potato salad. Fresh chervil is commonly added to egg dishes and dressings.
#7. Celery Seeds
Though this choice is not a herb per se, celery seeds impart a very similar flavor to fresh and dry dill, as well as dill seeds. You can find celery seeds in some grocery stores, but your local organic market will have it for sure. For every one teaspoon of dill, use about ½ teaspoon of celery seeds.
Use celery seeds when making creamy sauces, tzatziki, soups, potato salad, or ranch dressing.
Always make sure you add these seeds toward the middle of the cooking process for better flavors. These seeds can be overpowering if you add too many, so be careful not to ruin the rest of the flavors.
This herb has a bit of a grassy and anise-like flavor, but it loses its aroma and taste if cooked for a long time. Dry dill is less aromatic but more pungent. Dill seeds, on the other hand, need to be added early and taste like caraway.
Cilantro isn’t a good substitute for dill, as the flavor is too lemony and too pungent. Dill tastes more like licorice, so its taste doesn’t match with cilantro. You can use these herbs listed here instead.
Other herbs that look and taste like dill include fennel, parsley, and chervil. The rest of the herbs in this list can work to mimic the flavor and appearance as well.
Not many cook with dill, but they have tried the flavors in plenty of dishes. Not having dill in your dish can result in a flavor that isn’t up to standard. You can use any of these 7 herbs instead and obtain a similar taste and aroma.
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