sage substitutes

Top 6 Sage Substitutes For Your Classic and New Recipes

Sage is one of those herbs that most people often have, but don’t know how to use. This herb is common in plenty of dishes but has also become popular as a cleansing herb for “toxic” environments.

If your recipe has sage in it, but you don’t have any, then knowing what other ingredients to use to replace dried sage, ground sage or sage leaves is essential.

What Is Sage?

This herb is part of the mint family and it has a warm flavor and aroma. While sage is often added to meals, it has been part of medicinal uses for many centuries. This plant has an earthy taste, along with a bit of pine and citrus.

Cooking with fresh sage is not very common, but if doing so, remove the leaves from the stems before using it. These leaves are often chopped, minced, or sliced and added to sauces, butter, or stews.

On the other hand, dry sage can be either rubbed or used in powder form. Rubbed sage is the product of rubbing the leaves together to create flakes. Powdered sage is very fine and doesn’t have as strong of a flavor. Sage is common in stuffing, stews, and butter sauces.

What Can I Replace Sage With?

Not many have this herb or spice available, so try these sage substitutes instead for various dishes:

Best For Chicken, Stuffing, and Gnocchi

#1. Thyme

This is another member of the mint family. Thyme can be a great alternative to sage in chicken, stuffing, and gnocchi. You can use both the fresh and dry kinds, but the fresh has a more floral and citrus flavor.

Finding fresh and dry thyme should be easy at any grocery store or organic market. Use the same amount of fresh thyme to replace fresh sage. As for dry sage, use dry thyme in the ratio but add it earlier in the cooking process.

See More: Best Substitutes for Thyme

#2. Marjoram

This herb is famous for its citrus and licorice aromas and flavors. Like sage and thyme, marjoram is also part of the mint family and you can use it in similar dishes, including chicken, stuffing, gnocchi, and pasta.

The flavor profile is closer to oregano in this case, so be careful to not add too much. Whether you use the fresh or dry kind, add about half of what the recipe calls for. Marjoram is not as common, but you can try the grocery or organic store.

See more: Best marjoram replacements

#3. Basil

Basil is one of those herbs you have had a million times in your life, particularly if you like Italian food. The flavor is a bit of anise, but the aroma is sweet and citrus. Using fresh and dry basil is a great replacement for sage in any chicken, gnocchi, or pasta dish.

You can find fresh basil in any grocery store at the produce section, and you can get the dry kind at the spice section of any grocery store. If you want to replace sage, use the same amount for fresh and about half more if dry.

Best For Butter Sauces, Pork, and Pasta

#4. Rosemary

This herb has an intense pine and citrus flavor that is often used in Mediterranean and Italian dishes. You can add both dry and fresh rosemary to poultry and pork recipes, butter, pasta, stuffing, and potatoes.

Finding rosemary is very easy. Try the produce section of your local grocery store or a farmer’s market.

To use rosemary, whether dry or fresh, use about half more if it is dry and the same amount if it is fresh. Keep in mind that rosemary is a bit more citrus, so the flavor may be a bit less pungent than sage.

#5. Summer Savory

While you can find savory in both the winter and summer kinds, the summer variety is less bitter and a bit more peppery.

This herb is common in butter sauces, meat dishes, soups, stuffing, and gnocchi. You can use it on a 1:1 ratio if fresh, and even if the dry kind is not as common, you can add the same amount too.

Finding summer savory may be a bit more difficult, but you can usually find it at a local farmer’s market or organic store. Add summer savory right at the end of the cooking process, otherwise, it can become too pungent.

#6. Poultry Seasoning

This mix of herbs and spices contains sage in it, so it makes sense to include it in this list. However, the flavor is a bit strong, so use it wisely in making pork or meat dishes, some pasta meals, and very lightly in sauces.

You can surely find this seasoning in any grocery store, usually by the spice rack.

To replace sage, use about half of the amount that the recipe indicates. Keep in mind too, that poultry seasoning only comes as a powder, so it may not work to replace fresh sage.


What does sage taste like?

Sage has a strong herbal and earthy flavor. Some also find it to be a bit peppery, slightly citrus and minty. The dry kind has less pronounced flavors, but they are still present.

Can I substitute ground sage for rubbed sage?

Yes, you can substitute ground sage for rubbed sage, but you need to adjust the amounts. For every 1/2 teaspoon of ground sage, use one teaspoon of rubbed sage. If you need to use fresh sage, use the same amount of rubbed sage.

Can you eat sage raw?

You can use both fresh and dry sage, but you should never really eat it raw. In the cooking process, the flavors in both types are released, so it is important to add them at some point in the cooking steps.


Even though some people never consider using sage in their recipes, it is a common ingredient in many foods. You can be in trouble if you don’t have any at home, but using any of these 6 options can create delicious flavor and very similar aromas.

sage alternatives

Image Nikolay_Donetsk/depositphotos

About The Author

Scroll to Top