Today, we are here to talk about the best rosemary substitutes. If you are a fan of adding herbs to your food, you must definitely know about rosemary! It gives a woodsy aroma and peppery flavor to food and is a very popular herb in various parts of the world!
However, has it ever happened to you that your recipe calls for rosemary, but you don’t seem to have any? In that case, you needn’t worry! You can easily use a substitute, and this article will help you find the best rosemary substitutes.
Now I am sure you must be wondering, what are the best rosemary substitutes? The best rosemary substitutes are thyme, oregano, basil, savory, marjoram, tarragon, and sage.
However, before we get to discussing all the substitutes, let me help you understand rosemary better. This will make it easier for you to pick your substitute.
What’s In The Post
Quick Peek: Rosemary
The quick peek section has all the information you need on rosemary. You will get to understand what the herb is, its flavor, texture, uses, and even nutritional information. So, let’s get started!
What Is Rosemary?
Rosemary is kind of an evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean. It is also called ‘salvia rosmarinus’. Until 2017, rosemary was known by its scientific name ‘Rosmarinus Officinalis,’ which is now just a synonym.
Rosemary is a shrub with needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. It is a part of the sage family, which includes various other herbs which are used for culinary and medicinal purposes.
Though native to the Mediterranean region and Asia, the rosemary plant can withstand extremely cold temperatures and droughts for long periods. It has a relatively slow growth, but the plant can live for up to 30 years.
Moreover, it is said that rosemary arrived in America with early European settlers in the early 17th century. So, it spread to South America and is now a herb used globally.
Describing Rosemary: Flavor And Texture
Rosemary has leaves similar to needles. It is green in color, and the leaves produce essential oils which give rosemary a great aroma. The rosemary leaves are dark green on the upper side, with short and white wooly hairs on the lower side.
When we talk about the flavor, rosemary is as intense in flavor as its aroma. The aroma is woodsy with a flavor that can be best described as minty, sage-like, and peppery. Some people also describe the flavor as lemony or pine-like.
Uses Of Rosemary
After cultivating rosemary, the leaves, twigs, and flowering pieces are extracted for various uses. The leaves are usually what make the herb used for culinary purposes.
It is used extensively in French, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine to add zest to food. Moreover, it is a very important herb used to make Thanksgiving stuffing. It goes extremely well in soups, casseroles, salads, and stews.
Rosemary pairs well with most types of meat and fish. It goes well with chicken, lamb, beef, and even gamey meats. It also works particularly well with oily fish. Moreover, it also works well in various vegetable dishes and pairs nicely with almost all vegetables.
Rosemary On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Rosemary, being a herb, is generally used in very small quantities in most recipes. Hence, it does not really impart any nutritional benefits. However, regardless of that, rosemary does have a lot of health benefits.
Rosemary is used to making essential oils with many health benefits. It is said to help improve brain function. Rosemary was, in fact, thought to strengthen memory in ancient Greece and Rome.
Moreover, it stimulates hair growth and may also help relieve pain. It also repels certain bugs. Rosemary oil may also help increase blood circulation and reduce joint inflammation. Other than that, rosemary also helps improve liver and digestive health.
Why Use A Substitute For Rosemary?
This is a valid question that may have come to your mind. Why use a substitute when you can just use rosemary? While there are many reasons to use rosemary, there are also a few reasons why you can consider using a substitute.
There may be times when rosemary might not be too easily available. In that case, a substitute will come in handy. Moreover, in case you don’t like the flavor of rosemary, there are many substitutes you can consider using in place of it.
Also, even if these things are not an issue for you and you simply seem to be all out of rosemary, why bother running to the store at the last minute? You can just use a substitute.
Most of the options given have a very similar flavor profile to rosemary and might already be present in your pantry. I think that is enough information on rosemary. Now, let me quickly help you out with its best substitutes.
8 Best Rosemary Substitutes
This section has all the best rosemary substitutes. Moreover, you will also understand how to use each of the substitutes. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Oregano has a minty and peppery flavor that can easily replicate the flavor of rosemary. Hence, it can be used as a rosemary substitute.
To substitute, you can use either fresh or dried oregano. However, dried oregano has a more concentrated and robust flavor and might work better as a rosemary substitute. Oregano works well as a rosemary substitute in almost all recipes.
It imparts a great flavor and works well with most meats and vegetables. While using it as a substitute for rosemary, follow the standard 1:1 ratio for substitution.
Thyme belongs to the same mint family as oregano and rosemary. It is flavorful with minty, citrusy, and earthy flavors, making it a great rosemary substitute.
Thyme is, in fact, the best substitute for rosemary and should be considered the top option when looking for a rosemary substitute. It works particularly well with meat and fish.
Moreover, thyme is extremely readily available. Hence, it will definitely make a great substitute in most recipes. While using thyme as a rosemary substitute, follow a standard 1:1 ratio.
Basil has a slightly bitter and peppery flavor that might not be too similar to rosemary. However, it can be used as a rosemary substitute in various recipes.
Basil generally works well in recipes where rosemary is not the main herb used. If the flavor of rosemary is not supposed to be too overpowering in a dish, in those cases, basil works best as a substitute.
Moreover, try using fresh basil rather than dry basil, as fresh basil tends to have a stronger and deeper flavor. You can use basil as a substitute in a 1:1 ratio.
Savory is also a herb from the mint family. It has a peppery flavor and aroma, making it ideal as a rosemary substitute. However, an important thing to remember with savory is that there are two types: winter savory and summer savory. Winter savory has a piney taste as compared to summer savory.
You can select the type of savory as per your liking of the intensity of the flavor. However, summer savory might work better. You can use it as a substitute for rosemary in a standard 1:1 ratio.
Marjoram has a woody and minty taste with a slight hint of sweetness to it. As it again belongs to the mint family, it generally takes a good rosemary substitute.
Marjoram usually pairs well with all kinds of meat, fish, and vegetables. It is also a herb that is best used when you don’t want an extremely overpowering flavor of herbs in your food. While using it as a substitute for rosemary, try using the fresh herb for a fresh and dry herb for dry. You can follow a standard 1:1 ratio for substitution.
Tarragon has a pungent licorice-like bittersweet flavor. It can work as a good rosemary substitute in various recipes. Tarragon does have a stronger flavor than rosemary, though. Hence, that is something definitely worth noting down. It may work with certain kinds of meat and vegetables where you wouldn’t mind a slightly strong herby taste.
However, while using tarragon as a substitute for rosemary, try following a 1:2 ratio. So, for every teaspoon of rosemary, try using half a teaspoon of tarragon.
7. Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds have an anise-like flavor. They have a strong flavor profile, similar to rosemary, and hence can be used as a rosemary substitute for the same.
This option of substitute is definitely a little unconventional. However, caraway seeds’ peppery and earthy flavor does work well with certain recipes as a rosemary substitute. Caraway seeds do work well with vegetables. You can use them as a substitute following a standard 1:1 ratio.
Like many other herbs, sage has a minty flavor and an earthy aroma. Moreover, it also has an earthy taste. It can easily be used as a rosemary substitute in various recipes.
Sage tends to work extremely well with poultry. Moreover, similarly to rosemary, sage also is an important ingredient in Thanksgiving stuffing. Hence, sage can work very well as a rosemary substitute for these particular recipes.
While using it as a rosemary substitute, try using ¾ the amount of sage as the amount of rosemary required in your recipe. This is because too much sage can easily overpower a dish.
Short Recap For Rosemary Substitutes
Those were definitely some good substitutes for rosemary. However, are you still confused about which one would work best? For that, I have broken it down further for you. Have a look!
Most Suitable: The most suitable substitute for rosemary is thyme.
Easily Available: Oregano is the most easily available rosemary substitute.
Best Flavor Profile: Sage will give the best flavor profile when used as a substitute for rosemary.
I hope you were able to find the best rosemary substitute with the help of this article. Rosemary is an extremely important herb in most pantries. However, there still are chances of people not liking its flavor. Substitutes come in very handy in such situations.
Saying that all the substitute options given above are very worthy alternatives for rosemary. If you feel experimental, you can also consider using herb mixes. They won’t be an exact match with rosemary when it comes to the flavor profile. However, they will definitely add great flavor to your food.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is rosemary good for?
Rosemary has a lot of health benefits like improving blood circulation and boosting the immune system.
Can you eat rosemary everyday?
Yes, rosemary can be eaten everyday in limited quantities.
Is drinking rosemary tea good for you?
Yes, rosemary tea has a lot of health benefits.
Does rosemary help with weight loss?
Yes, rosemary has certain properties which can help with weight loss.