Here's What You Can Substitute For Rosemary

When you go to cook and find that you're working with an empty spice cabinet, there is no need to panic. Most herbs and spices have substitute ingredients that will work as well — or almost as well — and rosemary is one of them. Thankfully for the home cook, there are multiple possibilities for substitutions for rosemary.

One of the best alternatives to rosemary is caraway. Caraway seeds have a strong flavor that is similar to rosemary and will go with any other seasonings you use. Caraway is best used as a substitute in sausage dishes or dishes with strong seasoning (via Raw Spice Bar). Due to the strong flavor in caraway, limit use to a teaspoon or less. Some other potential places where caraway can work include pork roasts and poached fish (via Taste Insight).

Thyme can also work as a substitute for rosemary. It's part of the mint family, with a scent similar to eucalyptus or lemon. Thyme works well in dishes such as casseroles, soups, or sautéed vegetables. It can also be used as a substitute with fish, meat, and egg dishes — though be sure to use sparingly. For those dishes, half to a quarter teaspoon of thyme should do the trick.

More substitutes for rosemary

Another option is tarragon, which is known for its strong flavor. This substitute works best in recipes that are otherwise bland and need a boost of flavoring. Tarragon works well in French recipes, as well as to season chicken, fish, or other poultry, and it can even be used with onions and mustard, as well as in soup.

Sage is another good alternative for rosemary. It has a flavor that is not actually super similar to rosemary, but it works well as a substitute anyway because it will complement the flavors of many different dishes. It works best with meat and egg dishes.

Additionally, marjoram can be used in place of rosemary. It's related to oregano and works well in Mediterranean dishes, particularly vegetables. In particular, it works best in mushroom dishes. To use this substitute, add more marjoram than you would rosemary, and toss it in at the end of cooking time to help preserve its flavor.

Another possibility is the combination of a bay leaf with peppermint and thyme. This combination will create a taste similar to rosemary, and tends to work best with lamb dishes.