Here's What You Can Substitute For Dried Basil

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Basil is an herb that can be grown quite easily by even an amateur gardener, but when fresh it can have an anise flavor that not everybody enjoys. In its dried form, however, it not only has a more concentrated, intense taste than when fresh, but that flavor is less licorice-like and mintier (via Spiceography). Basil is frequently paired with tomatoes, and is a key component of any Italian chef's spice cabinet — but it is also frequently used in Thai and Vietnamese cooking, and is even rumored to be one of the 11 secret herbs and spices used in Colonel Sander's top-secret chicken recipe.

If your recipe calls for dried basil but you're fresh out, what should you do? If you're living in an Amazon Prime Air zone, you could always order a jar to be delivered by the next drone, but if you're either out of a service area or a bit leery of having the package dropped on your head, there are several different ingredients you might use that could make an acceptable substitute.

Fresh basil can be used to replace dry

If you're out of dried basil but it's summer and you happen to have some growing in your garden (or your neighbor does, and it's growing really, really close to the fence), then you're in luck. Simply snip off the amount you need, which will be about double what the recipe calls for in dried basil (via Heal With Food). Finely chop it up, but do not add it until your dish is nearly done cooking. Spiceography suggests that fresh basil should be added just five minutes before you remove your food from the heat.

Of course, if you happen to have fresh basil, you can quite easily turn it into dried basil using your microwave. The Frugal Girls suggests you microwave fresh basil leaves for one minute, and then in 15-second increments after that until they're dry and crumbly — this process shouldn't take more than about two minutes total.

Other herbs or herb blends can also replace dried basil

Although no two herbs have exactly the same flavor profile, the following herbs are similar enough to dried basil that they may work in your recipe: oregano, tarragon, thyme, and savory. For an Asian dish calling for dried basil, you could also try substituting dried cilantro. Yet another good substitute for dried basil could be an Italian seasoning blend, since these commonly contain basil as well as other herbs including oregano, thyme, and rosemary. If you're using Italian seasoning in place of dried basil, you may want to use a little bit more than the amount of basil the recipe calls for, but you should also cut back on any oregano, rosemary, and so on if the recipe also includes any of these.

Remember, though, when it comes to cooking with herbs, spices, and other flavorings, nothing is set in stone. Whether you've run out of dried basil or you simply don't care for the taste, don't let that stop you from trying out a recipe that calls for this ingredient. Feel free to experiment with your own herbal substitutions, and see what kind of amazing new taste sensations you can come up with.