Rosemary Substitute? Here Are 5 Options To Choose From!

Rosemary is a fine kitchen ingredient that you can use in many recipes. The nature of this herb is typically robust and its flavor is flexible enough to improve various dishes, especially meat sauces.

It is common in many parts of the Mediterranean region, which is why a lot of Paleo diet recipes have this ingredient on the plate. One good aspect about this herb is that it is a type of evergreen. Therefore, the leaves of this plant will remain fresh throughout the year.

Sadly, this ingredient is not always available in your kitchen. Of course, you cannot just expect that rosemary will be always present in your local market, but don’t fret about this. I know of some substitutes that can replicate both its magic and flavor. You can use them whenever you don’t have the time to set out on a scavenger hunt. Here are they!


Rosemary Substitutes

5 Options For Rosemary Substitute

Dried Rosemary

I know that a lot of you will complain about this, saying it’s essentially just the same ingredient. Well, that’s not really the case. You see, the rosemary that you prefer to use is fresh. Therefore, any recipes that requires fresh rosemary can be altered a little by adding dried rosemary instead.

Of course, dried rosemary might not be able to match the flavor and scent of its fresh variant. However, if you don’t have any choice, then the dried version proves a decent substitute.

Substituting dried rosemary for fresh rosemary is simple. Just use a quarter teaspoon of the dried herb to recipes that require a teaspoon of fresh rosemary. This moderation will enable you to control and mitigate the strong flavor. Apart from the flavor and scent, the nutritional content of both dried and fresh rosemary are the same. After all, they have the same origins. 


Many people don’t know that thyme is an excellent substitute for fresh rosemary, as these two herbs have almost the same effect on the food you cook. As thyme is a type of mint plant, it has a similar scent to lemon and eucalyptus, and flowers in white or pink.

Because of these nuances, it is a good substitute for rosemary that many gourmets see as an excellent seasoning for soups and many vegetable recipes. Moreover, it can also improve the flavor of your meat and fish dishes. Just sprinkle on the thyme and its taste will make a turn for the better.

Just like dried rosemary, use a quarter teaspoon of thyme if the recipe requires you to use a teaspoon of fresh rosemary. This amount is enough to ensure that your delicacy won’t be bland in any way. Apart from the flavor, this herb has several health benefits, such as its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects that can keep your body strong and steady.


Another excellent substitute for rosemary is savory. This herb has the same piquant effect as rosemary and thyme, and so can spice up the appeal of any recipe. Even the most ordinary, bland food will get a significant rejuvenation once this herb is added. Savory herbs are commonly found in the regions of Eastern Europe, but it can also be cultivated in some other areas as well.

There are two major variants of savory: summer savory and winter savory. Summer savory is usually a common ingredient in casseroles, scrambled eggs, and vegetable recipes. Perhaps, the best way to cook this herb is by slow cooking, as this allows the full flavor of the herb to come to life. Meanwhile, winter savory can be used as an additive to condiments.

To use savory as a substitute for rosemary, just apply the same amount. If the recipe calls for two teaspoons of rosemary, you can always interchange this with two teaspoons of rosemary. Their flavor is almost the same, and the scent is mesmerizing.

Fortunately, savory comes in different forms, and you can always opt for the ground and dried version of it. Take a look, your local market might have vast stocks of these ingredients!


If you want a less piquant flavor to your dish, you can always use marjoram. The latter is a good substitute for rosemary. But unlike rosemary, it features a sweet scent and flavor that can be compared to oregano. Coincidentally, marjoram is a native Mediterranean ingredient, just like rosemary. That could explain why these two herbs are very similar when it comes to the effects they have on any recipe.

However, take note that a lot of French and Italian cuisines also use marjoram. It is frequently used to make sauces and seasoning. For me, the perfect time to add marjoram is during the food’s cooling process. If you do this, the ingredient will never lose its spiciness and add a sweet flavor to the food.

Aside from these uses, marjoram is also an excellent ingredient for salad dressings. This is pretty obvious as many Mediterranean salads have consistently used rosemary as an ingredient.

Using marjoram as an alternative to rosemary is easy. They are both used in equal proportion. Therefore, you can substitute a teaspoon of rosemary for a teaspoon of marjoram. However, you can always increase the amount of marjoram if you want to replicate the full spiciness of rosemary.

Caraway Seed

Last but not least on this list is aromatic caraway seed. This is a great rosemary substitute, especially if it is used properly. It also originated in the Mediterranean region, but you can also find it in many parts of the Middle East. Caraway seeds are noticeably pungent. Therefore, you might want to lessen the amount of caraway that you are going to use in a recipe (even if you are not using it as a rosemary substitute).

I recommend that you use a quarter teaspoon of caraway seeds if the food requires you to use a full teaspoon of rosemary. In this way, you can strike a perfect balance between the flavor and aroma that you need for the recipe. A lot of cuisines can benefit from the addition of caraway seeds. They are an excellent match for both vegetable-based and meat-based delicacies alike, and you can also use them in Keto salad dressings and seasonings.


As you can see, the options for rosemary substitutes are not limited. There are a variety of herbs out there that can create the same spicey kick that rosemary gives. If you want to be versatile in the kitchen, acquiring these ingredients is necessary. In this way, you can always make your desired cuisine, even if your primary ingredients are not present.

So c’mon, don’t sulk if you run out of rosemary! These alternatives can still make your eyes widen and your mouth grin!

If you have any questions and suggestions, feel free to ask me in the comment section below!