Picture this: you’re getting ready to prepare a meal for guests when you notice you’re out of rosemary. You don’t have time to buy any, so you’re searching for substitute options you have on hand.

If such a search has brought you here, you’re in the right place. Below are nine great substitutes for dried rosemary plus five substitutes for fresh rosemary.

What is Rosemary?

Rosemary is an evergreen shrub with fragrant leaves, native to the Mediterranean. It was later adopted by Chinese traders who grew the shrub throughout China. This plant is a member of the mint family.

The leaves are often used to flavor foods like roasted meat. Americans use it in their traditional Thanksgiving stuffing recipes. Both fresh and dried rosemary is a common flavoring staple of Mediterranean cuisine. It has a slightly bitter taste and a pleasing aroma.

This antimicrobial herb has been used in folk medicine for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, it was even used in burial rituals.

jar of spilled dried rosemary

9 Substitutes for Dried Rosemary

If you’re looking for a substitute for dried rosemary, the following nine ingredients give you plenty of options to choose from.

  1. Fresh Rosemary

You can use fresh rosemary instead of dried rosemary. For each teaspoon of dried rosemary needed, use 1 tablespoon of finely sliced fresh rosemary.

  1. Dried Thyme

Thyme offers a good substitute for rosemary, although it has a milder flavor. Even though these two herbs taste different, they offer a similar feeling to a recipe’s flavor. Dried thyme offers a 1:1 substitution for dried rosemary.

  1. Dried Sage

Dried sage is a great substitute for rosemary because it has a similar pine-like flavor. However, sage has a stronger flavor. Because of this, you should use half as much sage in place of rosemary. If your recipe calls for one teaspoon of rosemary, use only ½ teaspoon of sage.

  1. Dried Marjoram

Marjoram is another herb that offers a similar flavor profile to rosemary. While it’s less common from rosemary, you may have it on hand from use in another recipe. Dried marjoram provides a 1:1 substitution for dried rosemary.

  1. Dried Savory

Dried savory is an uncommon herb that offers a similar taste to rosemary. If you happen to have this herb on hand, it makes a great 1:1 substitution for rosemary. It is a particularly good substitute for cooked meat dishes.

  1. Dried Oregano

Oregano is in the same family as rosemary, making it a good option for substitution. This peppery and bitter herb is a good 1:1 replacement for dried rosemary.

  1. Dried Basil

Dried basil offers a sweeter alternative to rosemary. Although it is in the same family as rosemary, it has a distinct taste. You may use it as a 1:1 replacement for rosemary. If you need some of the bitter and pine-like taste of rosemary, you may use basil mixed with any of the dried herbs listed above.

  1. Dried Tarragon

Dried tarragon offers a strong flavor with a hint of anise or licorice. Because this seasoning can be overpowering, you should only use half as much when replacing rosemary. If your recipe calls for one teaspoon of rosemary, use only ½ teaspoon of dried tarragon. Since tarragon has a polarizing flavor, you may use even less when cooking for guests.

  1. Italian Seasoning

In a pinch, Italian seasoning mixes can be used to replace dried rosemary. If your recipe calls for several different herbs, this mixture may not be a good choice. However, if rosemary is the primary flavoring, Italian seasoning offers a solid alternative. 

Use half as much Italian seasoning when replacing dried rosemary. If your recipe calls for one teaspoon of rosemary, use only ½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning.

5 Substitutes for Fresh Rosemary

If your recipe calls for fresh rosemary, there are several possible substitutions. Below are five good substitutes for fresh rosemary.

  1. Dried Rosemary (Cooked)

If you need to substitute dried rosemary for fresh, use one teaspoon of dried for each tablespoon of fresh. You should only make this substitution in cooked dishes, since dried rosemary is hard to chew. Dried rosemary must be cooked for it to be soft enough to eat.

  1. Fresh Thyme

Fresh thyme can be used as a 1:1 substitution for fresh rosemary. If a recipe calls for a fresh rosemary garnish, fresh thyme can be used instead. This is a good substitution option for both cold and warm dishes.

  1. Fresh Sage

Fresh sage is a great substitution for fresh rosemary, although it has a stronger flavor. If a recipe calls for a fresh rosemary garnish, use thinly sliced pieces of fresh sage instead. When replacing rosemary with sage, use half as much of the herb. One tablespoon of fresh rosemary should be replaced with half a tablespoon of fresh sage.

  1. Fresh Oregano

Oregano is in the same family as rosemary. Because it’s so easy to grow, many people grow it in their gardens. Fresh oregano can be used as a 1:1 substitution for fresh rosemary in recipes.

  1. Fresh Basil

Basil is another herb in the same family as rosemary. Many people grow basil at home and it is readily available in most stores. Although it is sweeter than rosemary, fresh basil can be used as a 1:1 substitution for fresh rosemary.