Best Substitutes for Thyme You Can’t Resist

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Are you in the middle of a recipe only to realize you’re out of thyme? No worries! Finding a substitute for thyme is easier than you think. This versatile herb often found in Mediterranean dishes is popular for its sweet, earthy flavor—a unique flavor that might seem hard to replace. But fear not, dear cook! There are plenty of alternatives available that will save your dish without sacrificing taste. So, let’s dive in and explore the best dried substitutes you can use in your recipes.

sprig of thyme

Italian Seasoning: A Blend to Substitute for Thyme

Italian seasoning is a good substitute for thyme, especially in Italian dishes like pasta sauces. This blend of herbs, including basil, oregano, rosemary, and marjoram, offers a similar flavor profile to thyme. It’s an excellent substitute especially when you’re going for that Mediterranean region taste. Use it in equal parts as you would thyme in your recipes.

A jar of Italian seasoning next to a bowl of pasta

Marjoram: A Close Cousin

Marjoram, a member of the mint family like thyme, is a great alternative. Its sweet flavor and aromatic qualities make it a suitable replacement. However, it has a milder taste, so you may want to use a little more marjoram when replacing thyme. A tablespoon of fresh thyme can be replaced with a teaspoon of marjoram for a similar flavor.

Fresh marjoram leaves in a wooden bowl

Herbes de Provence: A French Affair

A trip to the French countryside might not be possible right now, but your kitchen can still smell like one with the help of herbes de provence. This savory blend of dried herbs, including thyme, rosemary, and savory, is a great substitute for thyme in French cuisine and savory recipes. Just like Italian seasoning, use it in equal amounts as a thyme alternative.

A jar of Herbes de Provence next to a French baguette

Fresh Oregano: The Mediterranean Substitute for Thyme

Fresh oregano, another popular herb from the Mediterranean region, is a great option when you’re looking for a substitute for thyme. It has a strong flavor with minty notes that can replace thyme, especially in tomato-based dishes. Remember, fresh herbs often have a stronger flavor than their dried counterparts, so use a smaller amount.

Fresh oregano leaves on a wooden chopping board

Rosemary: A Woody Herb

Rosemary, with its pine-like flavor, is another substitute for thyme. This woody herb can withstand high temperatures, making it a great choice for roasting or grilling recipes. It adds a unique flavor to root vegetables and poultry dishes but use it in small amounts due to its strong flavor.

Fresh rosemary sprigs on a rustic table

Poultry Seasoning: Not Just for Chicken

Poultry seasoning is not just for chicken. This blend of herbs, which usually includes thyme, sage, and marjoram, is a good option as a thyme substitute. This seasoning brings a savory flavor to a variety of dishes, not just poultry. It’s a great addition to your spice rack when you’re out of thyme.

A jar of poultry seasoning next to a roasted chicken

Savory: A Peppery Substitute for Thyme

Summer savory and winter savory, both part of the mint family like thyme, are great substitutes. Summer savory has a mild, peppery flavor, whereas winter savory offers a more pungent, piney taste. They can replace thyme in equal amounts in both sweet and savory dishes.

Fresh savory leaves in a basket

Basil: A Sweet Replacement

Basil, a common herb in Italian cuisine, can also serve as a substitute for thyme. It has a sweet, slightly peppery flavor that works well in pasta sauces, salad dressings, and other recipes requiring thyme. Fresh basil is an easy substitute, but remember it has a stronger flavor than dried thyme, so adjust the amounts accordingly.

Fresh basil leaves in a wooden mortar

In Conclusion

So, the next time you’re in the middle of a recipe and realize you’re out of thyme, don’t panic! There are plenty of substitutes available right in your kitchen. Whether you choose a blend of herbs like Italian seasoning or poultry seasoning, or opt for individual herbs like marjoram, oregano, or basil, you’re sure to find a suitable substitute for thyme that will keep your dish flavorful and enjoyable. Happy cooking!

🌱 Have a look at our other ingredient substitution suggestions! 🌱

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