What To Use As A Thyme Substitute – The Ideal Alternatives To Thyme

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If you are looking for some good thyme substitute options, you’re on the right page. There are several alternatives to replace thyme. What are they? Keep reading, and you’ll find out.

Thyme is one of the most common evergreen herbs, mentioned in a series of recipes due to its strong aroma. In commerce, chances are you’ll find thyme in both dried and fresh forms. However, most people rely on the dried form because it has a longer shelf life.

thyme substitute spice herbs cook

Thyme Substitute – Some Good Alternatives

Not having thyme around your kitchen is not the end of the world though. But then, if you think that strong aroma can make the difference, then you better get it or at least find a thyme substitute. Now, what are the most popular alternatives to thyme and how can you use them?

1. Dried thyme over fresh thyme

When your recipe involves using fresh thyme and you don’t have it, the dried option is by far your best alternative. It’s easy to realize why – they taste the same. The good news is that you don’t even have to use that much. When dried, the aroma becomes way stronger, so chances are you’ll require less. Furthermore, once the final dish is ready, most people cannot even tell the difference. Even professional chefs claim that making the difference between dried and fresh thyme is impossible once it’s mixed with other ingredients and cooked.

2. Marjoram

Marjoram may also be a challenge sometimes, but it’s a good thyme substitute if you don’t have any or you’re too lazy to go shopping. Just like thyme, marjoram is part of the numerous family of mint herbs. Since you’re not planning to overwhelm your meal with spices, chances are the flavor profile will be almost identical. There is one major difference between these herbs though – thyme is quite hardy, while marjoram isn’t. In other words, cooking marjoram for too long will reduce its aroma. Try using it as a final sprinkle instead.

3. Tarragon

Tarragon makes a solid thyme substitute when used for the right recipes. If you use it wrongly, you can drastically change the aroma of your dish. Generally speaking, chefs recommend tarragon for poultry dishes. Flavors are similar when combined with meat, but can differ slightly in a vegetable stew.

Related: Tarragon Substitute

4. Savory

Savory is quite rare and not available in all the shops, but it’s a good alternative to both rosemary and thyme. Unlike tarragon, savory is ideal in soups, as well as stews. Unless you’re serving some chefs, chances are no one can tell the difference.

5. Parsley and oregano

None of these herbs is a good thyme substitute. But when you mix them up, you’ll obtain the strong aroma of thyme, as well as its texture. The mixture tastes tangy and has an earthy aroma when cooked. You can also use parsley only, but just as a final garnish.

6. Basil

Basil is not just the most accessible thyme substitute, but also the simplest one. Everyone has some basil in their kitchen. Even if you don’t, you can find it in pretty much any shop. Use it at a simple 1:1 replacement ratio.


In the end, spices make a great playground for those who love cooking, as they provide countless options and possibilities when mixed accordingly.

See also: Turmeric Substitute