Looking for the Most Effective Basil Substitute

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Basil Substitute Options – Basil is a sweet and spicy herb featuring a fairly mild and some minty as well as aniseed notes. It is among the most commonly used herbs, especially in the Mediterranean. It is a staple ingredient in salad dressings, garnishings, sauces, stir-fries, and other recipes.

Right from a Thai dish to an Italian pesto sauce, this herb is an integral part of several cuisines around the world. While there are a few variations such as purple, the common one is green and is widely used across ordinary to five-star kitchens. Thus, it is widely available for purchase in grocery stores.

basil substitute

However, it might happen that you are running out of this herb while cooking a pesto sauce or preparing a salad dressing. This is exactly where you will recognize the need to use an effective basil substitute.

Basil Substitute – Top 5 Alternatives

The good news is that there are a few such alternatives to consider. It should be noted that due to the basil’s milder nature, it is somewhat challenging to get a substitute. However, this is now made easier for you. Check out the alternatives below.

#1. Oregano

Both oregano and basil belong to the mint family and are famous Mediterranean herbs. In terms of taste, oregano is a bit similar to basil. It has clove and pepper notes that also exist in basil. Oregano is likely to give a bit more peppery flavor to your dish. Unlike any other basil substitute, it is wise to use this herb in its dry form. This is because of its little more pungent fresh leaves.

Related: Oregano Substitute

Consider using oregano in half the quantity of holy basil. The substitute is ideal for sprinkling on pizza and tomato-based sauces. Just remember that oregano is mild due to which you can use it in cooked recipes without worrying about the flavor’s strength.

#2. Mint

Although a bit different in taste and flavor, mint has proved to be an effective basil substitute in the Mediterranean and Thai dishes. Those mild mint leaves can fill the gap in these recipes. To get the taste, just use some milder mint and cook it longer than basil. Alternately, it is also a nice idea to mix mint with celery or thyme.

#3. Thyme

Fresh thyme leaves can be an effective choice if you need an earthier flavor than basil. These leaves even work in place of oregano. Related: Thyme Substitute

#4. Rosemary

This herb also belongs to the mint family and shares many things with holy basil. Rosemary is very aromatic and is likely to go with several other flavors that are a part of a recipe that needs holy basil. However, this herb is pungent due to which it is wise to take it in less quantity than basil. Usually, a quarter of what is needed for holy basil is fine to get started. Related: Rosemary Substitute

#5. Celery Leaf

If you throw away celery leaves, you will now not do so. This is because they are delicious and suitable enough to be basil substitutes. To give a Mediterranean touch, just mix some fresh parsley with these leaves. See also: Celery Substitute


The best basil substitute is the one that closely matches with the original flavor and taste. So, choose the one that best goes with your dish.