Substitute For Thyme

This herb belongs to the mint family. It is dried or fresh, but dried is an undiluted flavor. Thyme is a well-known herb and is famous for its use in cooking, especially in Italian dishes and a variety of other delicious foods. in its absence there are lot of quality and matching herbs shared below which can work as Substitute For Thyme to make your recipes taste good with pleasant aroma coming from them.

Most chefs use thyme in their recipes and dishes, such as seasoning mix sauces, dressings, bread, spicy and crunchy bread crumbs and marinades. Nowadays, you can see many people using thyme in a variety of dishes making it one of the most popular ingredients. Thymol, a natural chemical, is present in the oil of thyme, which has antifungal and antimicrobial qualities.

It is also the top ingredient that you can find in the most popular recipes, such as Roast turkey, chicken, or stuffing. You can also see it in a variety of dried spice mixes.

thyme fresh leaves dry leaves

Alternatives and Substitutes For Thyme

Don’t panic if you are cooking a meal at home and discover that there’s no thyme available in your pantry. Any fresh herb can be the ideal alternative to thyme and can be utilized in various sweet and savory recipes.

Here are the five most effective alternatives to fresh thyme that can be used in stews, soups with seasonings, and meat dishes.


Its distinctive aroma is evident. Basil is a great addition to the culinary landscape. Be aware that a tiny amount of dry or fresh Basil could be helpful as a substitute for Thyme. Basil can’t withstand lengthy cooking times and temperatures like Thyme, and Basil also has lots of flavours. So a small amount of fresh Basil can go quite a ways. Basil is a herb that was traditionally used in lasagna or sauces.

With a more intense flavour than Thyme, Basil can be among the best alternatives. Basil is an excellent choice in recipes with Thyme when they’re tomato-based, and the main reason for this is that tomatoes can hold back their distinctive scents. In contrast to Basil, Thyme has a more earthy flavour; however, Basil can be an effective alternative to Thyme in many recipes like spaghetti, lasagna, sauces for shrimp dishes. This will ensure that you can make a dish with excellent taste.

Basil is part of the same family of herbs as Thyme. Fresh Basil is very vibrant and sweet; that is why you should only use one-third of the quantity of fresh Basil to substitute for fresh thyme. You can make a 1:1 ratio of fresh Basil to dried thyme. If you plan to use dried Basil, you must know that it’s somewhat more subdued. Using the same amount of fresh Thyme and double the amount of dried Thyme is recommended to ensure an authentic, natural flavour.

Basil is a must-have plant essential for Italian, Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesian cuisines, ideal for pesto and tomato-based pasta sauces. It aids digestion, helps lower blood sugar levels and boosts digestive health. It’s widely utilized across the U.S. Its mild, peppery anise taste makes it distinctive. 

basil leaves image


Fresh or dried Oregano is an excellent source of delicious, minty, earthy and somewhat bitter notes that Thyme does. It also has a herbal, spicy undertone that adds beautiful richness. You can use fresh Oregano as a 1:1 swap with dried Thyme. If you’re using fresh Oregano in exchange for dried Thyme, make sure you use twice the amount of Oregano.

Oregano is generally mixed with olive oil to make delicious Italian vinaigrette, and marinades for beef,  lamb, and chicken recipes. It’s an excellent ingredient in tomato-based dishes, such as pizza sauce, pasta sauce, and stews. Oregano is known for its strong aroma and taste, and it is almost a must-have in Italian cuisine.

The strong taste of Oregano could obstruct the flavour of your food if you use it in large quantities. It is possible to substitute three-fourths of one teaspoon of Oregano with one teaspoon of thyme. Oregano is also a source of herb spice which makes your food look stunning and elegant.

If the other alternatives aren’t readily available, consider using dried Oregano for Thyme. Like Thyme, Oregano also has an astringency that is lemony and stronger than other flavours when using too much. Both thyme and oregano are considered indispensable in kitchens due to their versatility and ease to use.

substitutes for oregano


Sometimes mistaken for oregano due to its similar look, marjoram has a touch of citrus and pine in its aroma. It is a less pronounced herb with woody and floral notes, whereas oregano is more apparent and fragrant. Marjoram has a remarkable flavour that you can add to meat, vegetables, salad dressing and Italian food items. Marjoram is also among the most effective alternatives to fresh thyme.

If you are using marjoram instead of fresh thyme, use the ratio of 1:1 for a balanced and better flavour. Marjoram is adaptable yet is a complex flavour that has notes of similarity to thyme. The scent is like thyme, and its taste is similar to balsam pine. It has been used throughout the ages by humankind. It is even mentioned as a part of Greek mythology, specifically its connection to Aphrodite, who nurtured them.

Marjoram, however, is sweeter and has a more pungent scent, and it’s also slightly bitter, slightly sharper and warm, and even has a less intense taste than oregano. Its green and fuzzy oval leaves distinguish it. You can also use dry or fresh marjoram instead of thyme. 

marjoram leaves

Italian Seasoning

Italian seasoning brings together an array of flavourings to make your substitutions. You will often find aromas of basil, oregano, rosemary, and Thyme. In some kinds, there may be cilantro, sage, and garlic powder. Thyme is a common ingredient in Italian seasonings, and it could be an ideal substitute for Thyme in a variety of recipes. Seasoning is widely used in Mediterranean cuisine and adds a fantastic flavour to many dishes. 

Italian seasoning, also known as Herbs de Provence, is a highly well-known spice blend or herbal blend derived in the Mediterranean. This blend also has marjoram, Thyme, sweet, basil rosemary, Sage and Oregano. The mix is highly complex, and when you incorporate it into dishes, you’ll get a complex mixture of delicious flavours.

It’s a very fragrant spice mix commonly used in Italian dishes. Ingredients and amounts per spice vary according to the brand, and it is excellent for marinades, pasta dishes, sauces, and different types of soups. For each teaspoon of Thyme, you could substitute one spoon of Italian seasoning.

Italian seasoning


Do you have nothing but tarragon in your kitchen? Don’t fret because you can use it to replace the flavour of thyme. Its flavour is like thyme; however, it is sweeter and a little bitter. If you’re making chicken or fish, you can use it. In addition to the distinct flavour, tarragon improves health, including lower water retention, improved digestion, stimulating appetite and encouraging sleep. Tarragon is native in Asia and appears smooth, thin and shiny, and has an intense aroma that is similar to anise.

Everyone enjoys the bitter yet sweet taste of tarragon, and it is mainly used to compliment the delicate flavours of poultry and fish. When we mix the flavours of thyme and tarragon, they go together well, particularly when paired with cooked root vegetables (potato and beets).

It is well-known that the tarragon has a distinctive taste, while thyme is a common herb ideally. But tarragon is the mildest alternative to thyme. you can checkout some more alternatives for tarragon which can work in place of thyme also in its absence.

Tarragon is an annual plant that produces grass-like plants. Tarragon comes in Russian as well as French varieties. Most people prefer the French array due to its robust flavour characteristics, and it’s coveted for its fragrant, delicious, and narrow leaves.

French cuisine uses tarragon quite heavily, and French regards it to be one of the finest herbs in French cuisine. If you are using one teaspoon of thyme, you could substitute it with one spoon of tarragon.

fresh tarragon


Sage can enhance every dish with its bitter and minty taste. Because of its strong flavour, it is advisable to use it only sparingly. Additionally, it’s easy to locate sage in grocery stores. So be prepared to purchase it if the thyme plant isn’t at your local grocery store. You can use this fantastic alternative to thyme in sausages, bean dishes and stuffings, pork, lemon chicken, meat and stuffings, creamy sauces and soups. 

More than that, it’s one of the best ingredients to accompany your fat-based dishes. Sage offers a delicate fresh lemony, piney mint flavour and an earthy flavour, making it an ideal substitute for fresh rosemary. The most common uses for it are tomato-based dishes, creamy pasta, and marinades and sauces. You can use half of your sage as an alternative to fresh thyme needed in recipes.

sage leaves


Savory is an excellent choice to season meat. It can also stand up to longer cooking times and is an excellent alternative to thyme for many recipes. Savory is also a herb used to replace fresh thyme. The herb is part of the mint family, which has spicy and peppery notes that are savory.

You can use fresh savory in a 1:1 ratio in place of fresh thyme, and if you are using dried savory, then also use 1:1 for dried thyme. Use twice the amount of dried thyme when using fresh savory in place of dried thyme. You may use half the amount of dried savory for replacing  fresh thyme.

It is a staple ingredient in French or Italian kitchens. It’s not used as often in the U.S.A. and Canada. It’s, therefore, harder to locate it on regular supermarket shelves. It is recommended to shop at Italian as well as French specialty stores. The herb’s savory flavor is defined by its delicious taste. It is an alternative to thyme because they are closely related to flavor. Thyme, however, is more minty and spicy. You can substitute fresh or dried thyme for the savory herb. 

savory herb image

Herbes De Provence

This mixture of dried herbs from France’s Provence area is usually made up of dried marjoram, basil, rosemary, parsley, tarragon, thyme, and fennel seeds. It has a distinct flavor, and you might be tempted to add it in small amounts at the time when you’re switching it into a dish.

Herbes de Provence originated in the Provence region in the southeast part of France. If you observe, it is a mixture of thyme and other spices that have similar flavors. This is why herbes de Provence could very well replace the taste of thyme.

Herbes de Provence provides a sweet and delicious flavor to sauces, soups, vegetable soups, stews, meat recipes. You could substitute one teaspoon of Herbes de Provence for one teaspoon of thyme. It is used in the traditional French Provencal cuisine, which is renowned for its locally grown produce cheeses, eggs, and fresh meats. It’s a multi-purpose, flexible seasoning out of France’s Provence region. 

Herbes De Provence

Frequently Asked Questions for tasty thyme

How Is Thyme Good in Cooking?

Thyme tastes great in seafood dishes, soups, sauces, braises, marinades, and recipes for meat or poultry. In addition, it is excellent for a variety of side dishes, including vegetables, rice, and potatoes, along with bread and other food items. Particularly useful in savory dishes, this popular herb adds flavor without taking over the spotlight. Thyme is a great choice even in long cooking times. Keep this in mind while planning your food preparations.

What Does Thyme Taste Like?

Thyme has a flavor of an earthy herb, with some floral, wood, and grass, in addition to mint. Some people describe it as peppery, but the taste is more subtle. Thyme pairs well with other herbs, making it an excellent choice for many recipes.

Can thyme cause you to be sick?

Commonly used in cooking, thyme is considered safe to use in normal quantities. It’s also well-tolerated in supplements to diets. However, excess consumption of thyme could result in stomach cramps, upset stomachs, dizziness, and headaches.

Can you drink thyme tea every day?

In reality, thyme extract has reduced heart rate, reduced the levels of cholesterol, and helped maintain the blood pressure level. You can include thyme leaf extract in your meals or consume tea with thyme daily.

What Does Thyme Smell Like?

Take pleasure in the scent of thyme. Thyme smells like a sweet and woody herb. The scent reminds you of your favorite roast from the oven or even a little oregano, as one would find on a pizza.

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