Mint leaves are versatile herbs that you can use if you want to add a splash of fresh flavor to your mojito and meals. They even go well with sauces made for savory dishes, such as spaghetti sauce and poultry pesto. They can also work when mixed with salads.
If you run out of them, here are some possible ready replacements
- Dill Weed
- Dried Mint
- Herbal Mint Tea
- Lemon Balm
When choosing a substitute, you must consider how potent the other herb is compared to mint. Check for the required ratio to make sure you get some flavor, but do not drown the dish.
You must also check the other ingredients in the dish. Some ingredients may not go together or may not create the same taste you expect.
Luckily there is a long list of alternatives you can consider. But first, let us understand what is mint known for?
17 Best Substitute For Mint
Mint is known for its refreshing taste. It gives an extra soothing caress to your throat when you add it to your drink.
Mint is native to Eurasia, North America, southern Africa, and Australia, mints are widely distributed throughout the temperate areas of the world and have naturalized in many places.[Source]
Depending on your purpose for mint, some of the best substitute for mint in mojito will be peppermint extract or minty syrup. If you are using it for salad, consider parsley, marjoram, or basil.
Basil is often used to add freshness to food, much like mint does. However, it does not have the same intensity. What it can do, however, is add a sweet, peppery flavor.
Not all dishes that require mint can use basil. For example, mint sauce or mint potatoes should be left alone if you don’t have the ingredient.
Substitution is quick and easy at a 1:1 ratio.
Some people prefer calling it coriander. This herb is controversial because some love it while others hate it. The citrusy taste may even be described by others who hated it as soapy.
Cilantro is a suitable mint replacement despite the strange controversy over its taste. However, to satisfy even picky and sensitive eaters, you can start with half a portion of this herb for every portion of mint.
Dill weed has a similar aroma and flavor to celery. It also has a licorice flavor to the mix. If you want to use it as a mint substitute, you need to be careful with your portion.
Start with a little bit at first and do a taste test. If not, it can overpower the whole dish.
Dried mint may be easier to access than fresh ones. You can easily find it in most supermarkets. If available, go for the fresh leaves because they provide a better flavor, but dried mint can be a quick solution.
How do you substitute? You can use a teaspoon of dried leaves for every tablespoon of fresh mint ones. It is more concentrated. Of course, dried mint will not work if you use the ingredient as an edible garnish.
Herbal Mint Tea
If you don’t have the herb, you can use the tea. Check if you have herbal mint tea in your pantry.
You can use the tea with other herbs on its own. Plain dry mint tea is a better option if you will use herbal mint tea.
We often remember lavender for its scent. Because of its calming fragrance, it has become a common addition to skin and hair care products. However, we should not forget that lavender is a member of the mint family.
You may also find lavender in drinks. Be warned, though. It can become too potent, leaving an aftertaste (Melissa, 2021). So, it may not be a good substitute for mint in that case. However, it is a good mint substitute for preparing jams and sauces for meat dishes.
Lemon Balm is a spice with a mint flavor that makes one perfect among other mint substitutes, like lemon zest. The leaves have a gentle lemon fragrance.
During summer, little white blossoms loaded with nectar show up.
Aside from being a mint substitute, it has extraordinary advantages to the body, like helping dispose of stomach-related issues, cerebral pains, and spasms.
Lemon medicine has a fragile citrus scent and flavor, so it ought to be added towards the finish of the cooking process.
Lemon balm ought to be perfectly cleaved, and afterward added to a dish. It’s best used in desserts.
You may not think it’s a good idea because it has a different flavor profile. However, lemon extract can provide a similar freshness.
You can use lemon extract or dry lemon, lemon peel, or lemon juice. Experiment with the variations. You will be surprised that you can use the substitution at a 1:1 ratio.
Use marjoram instead of mint, and you give your dishes a pine and citrus flavor. Some people also compare marjoram with oregano, just in case you are unsure about its taste.
Be careful of the portioning, though, because marjoram can be more potent than mint.
Some people use parsley instead of mint when they need a subtler flavor and aroma. Please note that there are 2 types of parsley.
Italian flat-leaf parsley is herbaceous and similar to basil and oregano, while French curly parsley is dubbed grassy, muted in flavor, and â€” when the leaves are old â€” downright bitter.[Source]
If you prepare savory dishes, such as stews, you can use this substitution. It can even be added to your healthy smoothie. However, its green taste is not enough for sweet desserts.
Though milder than mint, you may still use a 1:1 ratio when substituting.
A convenient way of adding some mint to your food without the effort of chopping is through a peppermint extract. You can use it for recipes that call on mint infused into a liquid.
It may not seem a lot, but it does cover several types of food items, such as drinks, ice cream, baked goods, and more. Do not use too much of it because of its pungent aroma and strong taste.
Peppermint Tea Leaves
Dried peppermint tea leaves can be an option, too. They are more intense than mint. So, try a smaller portion first.
Because rosemary belongs to the same mint family, it should make sense that it can work as a substitute. However, it is better off as a replacement ingredient in savory dishes.
However, the two herbs vary in texture. While mint is soft, rosemary needs a little softening to get it ready. So, you need to put it into your dish early on.
This robust and aromatic herb belongs to the mint family. So, it only makes sense that sage can work as a substitute. It is very similar in flavor to mint. You can then use it in various types of dishes. It is pretty flexible.
Tarragon has a strong, pungent flavor that reminds you of fennel and licorice. You need to give its sprigs enough time in liquid if you plan to use it as a substitute for mint in drinks.
Shisho leaves are fragrant herbs that are somewhat related to the mint herb. You may have encountered them in your sashimi and sushi. They are meant to be eaten together with your main course.
You can use different parts of shisho, as well, to adjust to the various recipe needs you may have: sprouts, and seeds, for example. Generally, shisho is an excellent alternative to salads and other cold meals.
Thyme may not seem like a good idea. After all, its dried form does not look like a mint leaf at all. No wonder, too, because it does not belong to the same plant family.
Even though it seems completely different, it works as a good substitute because it does give off a similar taste when dried. It is best used for savory dishes such as lamb and other types of meat.
Dried thyme looks like a series of small stems. Rehydrating it will give you the full extent of herb substitution.
Mint Substitute Related FAQs
What herbs taste like mint?
You can check the mint family. Some of its members have already been mentioned on our list of substitutes. Check above. You have parsley, rosemary, oregano, peppermint extract, and more.
Some may vary in intensity even if the flavor is similar.
How do you store mint?
To keep your mint fresh for longer, wrap it in a paper towel first. Then, use a plastic bag to wrap what you have.
If you use the mint as a liquid, anyway, you may consider mixing the leaves with olive oil and pureeing them. Then, keep the paste in an airtight jar. You can refrigerate the paste for weeks.
What can we use instead of mint in a mojito?
We know that we need mint for a mojito. But what happens when you don’t have any on the ready? You can use peppermint extract to recreate the same refreshing taste.
If you have some minty syrup in your pantry, you may also use that. If you are using a minty drink, make sure that it is not strong enough to overpower the taste of your mojito.
How can you use dry mint instead of fresh mint?
Dry variations of herbs are often more concentrated. So, if you’re about to use dry mint, lower the portion to achieve the same taste as fresh mint. You may start with a meagre portion, and then work your way up if you are unsure about the taste.
For example, you can start with half a teaspoon of dry mint for every teaspoon of fresh. As with any first-time substitution, you may want to check the taste before adding more.
What is a good substitute for mint leaves in salads?
While dry substitution seems impossible for something with a distinctive taste as mint, you can use parsley, marjoram, or basil while you still don’t have mint at home.
How are mint and peppermint different or similar?
This question must be asked. Mint refers to all members of the Mentha plant family. It includes spearmint, various fruit-flavored mints, and more.
However, likely, the mint often spoken of is actually spearmint. Peppermint is a stronger mint because it has a 40% menthol content, which is pretty high.
Spearmint has radiant green leaves. They are pointed.
Are mint and catnip the same or different?
You may be confused with another pair of herb names: mint and catnip. They may seem like names for the same thing, but they are entirely different from each other. They do belong to the same mint family.