rosemary substitutes

Top 7 Rosemary Substitutes That Are Very Aromatic and Easy to Use

Rosemary is a herb that most of us love and use constantly. Whether dry or fresh, it gives any dish a unique aroma and flavor. However, if you don’t have any and you’re getting ready to cook, it’s time you find some adequate alternatives.

What Is Rosemary?

This woody and evergreen herb is native to the Mediterranean. This herb has a very strong lemon and pine taste. Once dry, rosemary tastes a bit warm, earthy, and bitter. 

Because this herb promotes digestion and circulation, most believe it is a good addition as a medicinal plant. 

In terms of cooking, rosemary is prominent in casseroles, salads, potato dishes, stews, and chicken. Both the fresh and dry versions of rosemary can add a lemony, earthy, and citrus flavor to your meals. 

What Can I Replace Rosemary With?

If you need to continue cooking, but can’t afford to go look for this ingredient, try these rosemary substitutes that work wonders in many recipes:

Best For Lamb, Steak, Turkey, and Chicken

#1. Thyme

This herb is sweet, fragrant, citrus, and warm. Thyme is often part of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, including lamb and steak. However, you can also use fresh thyme to replace fresh rosemary in cooking turkey, chicken, and sauces. 

You can find both the dry and fresh kinds of thyme in any produce section of a grocery store. We suggest you stick to fresh thyme for better flavor. If you go with powdered thyme, use about half only.

See More: Thyme Substitutes

#2. Tarragon

Tarragon is a delicate herb that has an anise-like, bittersweet flavor. You can use fresh tarragon when you are cooking with lamb, pork, poultry, and steak. Still, tarragon has a very intense flavor so you should cut the amount by half. 

You can find fresh tarragon in any grocery store, but an organic market may have more available. If you need to use the dry kind, add only about ¼ teaspoon for every teaspoon of what the recipe calls for. Dry tarragon is more pungent and potent.

See More: Tarragon Alternatives

#3. Sage

While not everyone likes to use either fresh or dry sage in cooking, this herb is a great substitute for rosemary in meat dishes. Sage has a very floral and peppery flavor with hints of citrus, which go well with meat, pork, lamb, and chicken. You can find sage in any grocery store. 

You can also try to use dry sage if possible, as it has more flavor.

If you are substituting rosemary with sage, use ½ tablespoon of dry sage for every one tablespoon of rosemary. You can also use fresh sage, but chop it, and sprinkle it at the end of the cooking process. 

Related: The Best Sage Alternatives

#4. Oregano

This is another herb that has a faint anise-like flavor, as well as minty and earthy notes. Oregano is common in any meat dish, including lamb, chicken, turkey, steak, stews, and pasta. 

You can buy both fresh and dry oregano in most grocery stores, but in replacing rosemary, go with the fresh kind.

When using fresh oregano, go with the same amount as the recipe indicates. If you need to use dry oregano, add only about half of the amount, as this powder is very intense and could overpower other flavors.

Best For Fish, Potatoes, Bread, and Soup

#5. Savory

Both summer and winter savory look alike, but they taste a bit different. You can use both kinds when cooking things like fish, potato dishes, soup, sauces, and when baking bread. Savory has a minty, peppery, and sweet flavor that can mimic rosemary.

While savory isn’t a very common herb, you can try your local organic store or farmer’s market. Dry savory is not very popular, but if you do buy it, add it towards the end of the cooking process. You can replace rosemary in a 1:1 ratio for fresh savory.

#6. Parsley

This popular herb has peppery, anise-like, and citrus notes all at the same time. You can use parsley in many dishes, ranging from sauces, pasta, potatoes, soup, and fish. 

Finding fresh or dry parsley shouldn’t be too difficult, as it is usually in the produce section of a grocery store. 

If you want to use fresh parsley in place of rosemary, try the same amount but add it only at the end of the cooking process. You can also try dry parsley, but double the amount because the flavor is much milder.

See More: Parsley Replacements

#7. Dill

Dill is another complex herb that packs a ton of flavors, including pungent and lemony notes along with hints of pepper. This herb works very well in fish recipes, potatoes, sauces, soups, and even in baking some types of bread. 

You can find fresh dill in any grocery store, but if it isn’t in season, you may want to try the dry kind. 

Using fresh dill as a replacement for rosemary is very easy, and you can use the same amount. Dry dill, however, is more pungent, so add only about half of what the recipe indicates. 

We don’t recommend the use of dill seeds, as these are too strong and may change the flavor profile entirely.


What herb looks like rosemary?

If you need to use rosemary due to its appearance, you can try its look-alikes, like sage, pine, lavender, savory, and tarragon. Keep in mind, though, that some of these don’t taste the same as rosemary. If you need a similar flavor, go with one of these 7 choices instead.

Can basil and rosemary be planted together?

You can grow both basil and rosemary together, but their needs may be different. Rosemary needs better drainage than basil, so if you want to plant them in the same pot, you may want to use a container system for one of the plants.

Does rosemary need sunlight?

Yes, rosemary needs sunlight, air circulation, and a good drainage system. If you have a good amount of sunlight for 6 to 8 hours, your rosemary will grow in no time. Remember to bring your rosemary plant inside when temperatures get low, otherwise, it can die easily.


Many people use rosemary constantly, whether it is to make a rosemary broiled chicken, grilled potatoes, or baked fish. If you are planning on cooking and can’t find this herb anywhere, try any of these 7 alternatives for very similar results.

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