8 Best Rosemary Substitutes [Easy Ingredient Alternatives]

Need a quick last-minute rosemary substitute? These best eight ingredient alternatives will get you out of trouble.

rosemary substitutes

Rosemary is a popular herb that originated in the Mediterranean before spreading throughout the world. You can recognize it by its fragrant floral aroma and needle-like texture (the herb is produced by drying out the thin leaves of the rosemary shrub). Rosemary is used in many different dishes, particularly when roasting meat or vegetables.

You may think that because rosemary is usually used in combination with many different herbs and spices, you may not notice its absence. However, its flavor adds beautiful complex aromas to cooked food, particularly grilled and roasted recipes.

You can get rosemary in the spices aisle at your local grocery store. However, if you run out and need to get dinner on the table, here are a few herbs that you can use as a substitute.

The best rosemary substitutes are other herbs that have aromatic floral notes and are common in Mediterranean cooking. If you are looking for a mild replacement, use thyme, another herb that you can get dried or fresh. If you need a bit more flavor, use sage.

Thyme

Green thyme in a bowl on boards

A mint plant very similar in appearance to rosemary. Thyme can be used fresh or dry, depending on the meal you want. Best used with meat, fish, or sautéed veggies.

Did you know?: Thyme soothes the digestive tract, prevents water retention and flatulence.

Savory

Available year-round, savory is more bitter than rosemary with a stronger and more potent smell. However when used in moderation the result is still brilliant. Goes well with meals with more fat and protein in them, like pork roast or poultry meals.

Did you know?: Savory offers many vital minerals AND it is calorie-free as well.

Sage

sage cooking ingredient

Another ‘mint family’ herb from the Mediterranean family. Compared to rosemary, it gives almost the same potent and pleasant aroma and it goes best with fish or seafood (plus it can be mixed with butter or cheese for adding on top or serving on the side). Rosemary is one of recommended sage substitute ingredients, so it makes sense that sage is can fill in here.

Did you know?: Sage herb boosts memory as well and reduces inflammations.

Caraway Seeds

caraway seeds

Essentially the same as cumin seed. The flavor is milder than rosemary, but the aroma in the meal lasts much longer afterwards.

Did you know?: Caraway can be used to relieve digestive issues.

Marjoram

bunch of raw green herb marjoram

A cold region, perennial herb. Quite like thyme, this is perfect for winter soup recipes, stews and even sauces. Some confuse it or replace it with oregano due to the similar smell and taste in the meal.

Did you know?: Marjoram reduces nausea and improves digestion.

Bay Leaf

Known as Laurel tree of the Mediterranean regions. There is a catch – this herb needs sun exposure prior cooking to enhance its aroma enough to make it as potent as rosemary.

Did you know?: With bay leaf expect the same – improved digestion after every meal.

Oregano

Often associated with pizza or other Italian meals, but oregano can easily be used in any recipe calling for rosemary.

Did you know?: Oregano is a great cure for skin issues and stomach cramps.

Parsley

Some like it, some don’t. But parsley is incredibly healthy, and you notice its aroma in a second once added to your meal, whether it’s in its dry form or fresh.

Did you know?: Parsley reduces inflammation and helps with your body’s water retention.