5 Thyme Substitutes – No More Market Visits to Buy Spices

Thyme Substitute

Out of Thyme? Need the closest flavored Thyme substitute?

The most famous alternatives you can find in various Thyme guides are savory, marjoram, and oregano, mixture of herbs like Herbes de Provence or Italian seasoning, and poultry seasoning.

However, when you are searching for substitutes, apart from taste, many things require consideration such as:

  • Their aroma
  • Availability
  • Nutritional value / health benefits
  • Price

So, the best replacement for Thyme is the one that you can keep in homes fresh, grow in kitchen gardens, and always have beside you while cooking.

Therefore, we have brought you 5 Best Substitutes for Thyme That Are Easy to Grow in Your Gardens.

1. The T Herb – Tarragon:

tarragon thyme substitutes

T herb is one of the tastiest herbs famous for use in French cuisines and Bearnaise Sauce.

Besides this, the herb makes an excellent substitute for Thyme.

i) Thyme VS Tarragon Taste:

thyme spring vs tarragon taste image

Thyme has a minty flavor, dry texture, and subtle aroma while Tarragon has dual taste.

It is a bit sweetened and cold on your tongue.

Tarragon tastes so good and rich that many spicy recipes alternatively use it when Thyme is not available in the kitchen.

ii) Best Recipes of Tarragon replacing Thyme (Fresh or Dried):

Different recipes require different types of aromas and tastes.

Such as BBQ has a different aroma and taste, while simple meat made in a pot is different.

Same is here. Not all, but some recipes, in which Tarragon herb can excellently replace Thyme can be;

a) Spicy dishes with Tarragon replacing Thyme:

  1. Chowders
  2. Soups
  3. Fish Food
  4. Lamb
  5. Veal
  6. Eggs

b) Sweet dishes in which Tarragon replaces Thyme:

  1. Croquettes
  2. Custards
  3. Sweet sauces

iii) Quantity:

How to use tarragon in place of thyme

Quantity required is a very important consideration when working in the kitchen and experimenting with herbs creating charms of dishes like a kitchen witch.


Whenever you are replacing herbs with herbs, it is not necessary, they would be replaced with equal quantity.

Quantities vary, however, with tarragon, it is the same.

One TSP of Thyme = One TSP of Tarragon

iv) Can We Grow Tarragon in the Kitchen?

how to grow Tarragon sprigs
Image Sources pinterest

Yes! You surely can with the right gardening tools and tips.

Most of the plants need bright light, instead of sun, and can be perfectly grown indoors.

Same is the case with tarragon.

Kitchens, with south-facing windows, can be excellent gardens to grow tarragon.

2. The O herb – Oregano:

oregano thyme substitutes
Image Sources flickr

Oregano herb is obtained from oregano plant leaves, mixed in dried and fresh form.

You can identify oregano with its tiniest leaves having beautiful pink flowers that are edible.

i) Thyme VS Oregano Taste:

thyme spring vs oregano taste image

The main difference between Thyme and oregano taste are:

Thyme is a combination of sweet, peppery, minty, and lemony notes.

While oregano is bolder in taste and has a pungent yet earthy flavor.

However, they both make an excellent replacement for each other.

ii) Best Recipes of Oregano Replacing Thyme (Fresh or Dried):

Alternate Thyme with Oregano for:

a) Spicy dishes with Oregano replacing Thyme:

  1. Kinds of pasta
  2. Pizzas
  3. Spicy Sauces
  4. Gravies
  5. Tasty vegan bagels

b) Sweet dishes:

  1. Cakes
  2. Roasted sweet potatoes
  3. Lemon Thyme bars

iii) Quantity:

How to use oregano in place of thyme

Remember that the taste of Oregano is pungent compared to Thyme which means it can also a good substitute for caraway seeds.

You need to be extra careful while choosing the quantity and should understand the taste of the people you are making food for.

Here is how you should go for Oregano replacing Thyme:

One TSP of Thyme = ¾ TSP of Oregano

iv) Can We Grow Oregano in the Kitchen?

how to grow oregano
Image Sources flickr

Luckily, yes! In fact, Oregano is one of the must-haves in kitchen gardens.

You cannot just replace it with Thyme, but many other herbs like rosemary, coriander, and mint, etc.

All you need is well-drained soil, moderate water, and a sun-facing window.

Fun fact: Oregano looks a lot like weed in its dried form.

3. A Mixture of Marjoram & Parsley:

Marjoram & Parsley thyme substitutes

You can say Marjoram is a herb that almost resembles Thyme exactly.

Therefore, it can be an excellent replacement for the famous herb Thyme.

The herb belongs to colder regions and has great therapeutic properties due to being rich in sodium and good cholesterol.

However, if you add parsley in the recipe along with Marjoram, the taste will get excellent.

i) Marjoram and Parsley VS Thyme Taste:

thyme spring vs marjoram & Parsley taste image

As Thyme has a taste like anise seed, sweet and spicy, so we need to make it like this, to substitute with other herbs.

Marjoram has a sweet flavor while Parsley is a bit pungent.

When you mix them both, they give you the ultimate flavor of Thyme.

ii) Best Recipes of Marjoram and Parsley Substituting Thyme (Fresh or Dried):

Alternate Thyme with Marjoram and Parsley for:

a) Spicy dishes:

  • Adobo
  • Meats
  • Guacamole
  • Grains
  • Soups
  • Broccoli
  • Chicken
  • Clams
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Onion
  • Oysters
  • Peas
  • Pork
  • Tomato
  • White Beans

b) Sweet Dishes:

  • Zucchini bread
  • Ice cream
  • Squash
  • Vanilla essence

iii) Quantity:

How to use Marjoram and Parsley in place of thyme

As you need to create the pungent yet sweeter flavor of Thyme,

You need to be extra careful because you need to meld two herbs together.

Marjoram is nearer to the taste of Thyme,

Yet Parsley helps to create the exact spice,

Therefore, use the following rule to add spices in your tasty cuisines.

1 TSP Marjoram + ½ Parsley = 1 tsp of Thyme

iv) Can We Grow Marjoram and Parsley in the Kitchen?

Like many culinary herbs; basil, chives, cilantro, garlic, lemon, oregano, tarragon, and rosemary,

Parsley and Marjoram are also great herbs to grow in your kitchen.

Many of such herbs will resist insect attacks however, sprinkling the water would help cleaning leaves.

4. The Peppery Summer Savory:

summer savory thyme substitutes
Image Sources pinterest

When getting to the herb savory, you should remember that,

Summer and winter savory have different tastes and properties.

Therefore, the herb you would use in place of Thyme is peppery or summer savory.

i) Summer Savory VS Thyme Taste:

thyme spring vs Summer savory taste image

As far as taste is concerned, summer savory tastes just similar to Thyme.

However, the taste is a little peppery.

Summer savory has got peppery and hot flavor with notes of marjoram, mint, and of course Thyme.

ii) Best Recipes of Summer Savory Alternating Thyme (Fresh):

You can replace it for Thyme, in recipes like:

  • Mediterranean cuisines
  • Tasty roasts
  • Fish
  • Stews

iii) Quantity:

How to use Summer savory in place of thyme

The taste of summer savory and Thyme is alike.

It may not be the same in raw form.

However, in dishes, cuisines, and cooked food, the taste of both is the same.

Therefore, here is how you should replace Thyme with summer savory:

One tsp of summer savory = one tsp of Thyme

iv) Can We Grow Summer Savory in the Kitchen?

Yes! You must make room for Satureja Hortensis.

For your information,

Satureja Hortensis is the plant from which summer savory is obtained.

Satureja Hortensis or Savory is very easy to grow.

Get piney peppery herb in your home.

5. The B herb – Basil:

basil thyme substitutes

Basil and Thyme belong to the same family; Lamiaceae.

It is known as the most aromatic herb you would ever know.

It can be a great substitute for Thyme in many dishes.

i) Basil VS Thyme Taste:

thyme spring vs Basil taste image

The taste of fresh Basil is licoricey just like Thyme, so you can use it confidently as a substitute.

But if you want to substitute for dried Thyme, keep in mind that dried Basil is nearly tasteless.

ii) Best Recipes of Basil Substitute Thyme (Fresh or Dried):

The recipes where Basil would work best in place of Thyme are:

a) Spicy dishes:

  • Pizza
  • Cheesy corn
  • Fried rice
  • Mocktails
  • Salads
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Spinach

b) Sweet Dishes:

  • Ice creams
  • Cakes
  • Honey bruschetta
  • Strawberry Basil Infused Water

iii) Quantity:

How to use basil in place of thyme

Basil is very licoricey, more than the Thyme itself, despite belonging to the same family.

Therefore, you need to keep the amount of Basil slightly less.

Here is the rule of thumb:

½ TSP of fresh Basil = 1 TSP of Thyme

1 TSP Dried Basil = 1 TSP Thyme

iv) Can We Grow Basil in Kitchen?

how to grow basil

Once again, yes! Basil can be grown very easily at home.

However, it will not be grown in the kitchen garden, you need an outdoor place to grow it at home.

Plus, you need the summer season because Basil grows best in summers.

Bottom Line:

These were the top five herbs that you can use to replace Thyme.

Comment below for suggestions.

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