Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb that has been commonly used on many meat dishes. It has been used for chicken, beef, lamb, pork, and more, and works best with grilled meats.
Rosemary, however, is not just used on meats and can also be used when making bread. It is known to add flavor while creating a healthy meal. However, the question is what do you replace when you suddenly run of it in the kitchen? Here are some alternatives
- Bay Leaf
Rosemary is known to reduce blood pressure and prevent memory loss. It can also improve your appetite if you have an issue with that.
If you are still unable to find the above alternatives, read on as we share the full comprehensive list of Rosemary Substitutes below
17 Best Substitute For Rosemary In Bread
As an aromatic leaf, rosemary is considered a herb, not a spice. Spices have more robust flavors that come from crushed leaves. However, rosemary has a distinctive taste that works quite well in many dishes.
The herb has a complex flavor that blends citrusy, minty, earthy, and woody. It comes with a pungent aroma that can be pretty strong. So, you want substitutes that come with the same intense smell and aroma.
Rosemary is also well-recommended for use on bread. It has a pleasant, distinctive taste that does not overpower the bread itself. You can take the leaves or take a little bit of dried rosemary to provide the flavor.
The best substitutions include basil, marjoram, spice rack, and thyme but the taste may still differ compared to using rosemary.
However, if you are curious and decided to test other substitutes for your bread recipes, you can consider the following.
Rosemary and thyme seem like two herbs that work well together. However, you can also use thyme to substitute rosemary in bread products.
They look like tiny green leaves that grow in clusters. Their varieties do not look much different from each other. So, it would help if you looked closely. The herb lends a pungent, intense, but sweet and fragrant aroma.
It is slightly bitter, but you may avoid overpowering your bread by adding it early on.
The two herbs can work as substitutes for each other as they have similar flavors and appearances. Another reason you must consider thyme as a substitute is that it is easy to find in grocery stores.
Another herb you can use to substitute for rosemary in bread is dill. You may recognize it based on its white or yellow flowers. It appears as a thin, wiry green leaf from a small plant, about two feet in length.
You can use not just the leaves but also the seeds for seasoning. Dill seeds are oval-shaped with ridges and are brown.
It comes with a complex flavor that can be both sweet and soft, and also lemony and tangy. Like thyme, it can have a slightly bitter taste. If you want more spice, you can use the seeds instead of the sweet leaves.
However, unlike thyme, dill’s flavors may not be as intense once it dries.
This thin green herb can reach two feet tall. The wiry plant comes with caraway seeds—these are brown seeds with ridges that have a crescent shape. Interestingly, the seeds are more valuable than the roots or leaves in the kitchen.
If you want a peppery, anise-like, and lemony taste with your bread, you may choose caraway seeds. They can also be bitter and earthy. Add it when you are almost done baking to keep its flavor.
Caraway’s taste may be distinctive, but it is not as strong as rosemary’s own. It does provide you with a robust and lasting aroma that will make your kitchen delightful. It can also be used in cake, although it is not a very popular herb.
A teaspoon of caraway should be fine, although, as mentioned above, it is not as strong as rosemary.
Mint is a pretty popular taste because it is used for many other things, such as candy, gum, and other sweets. It can also serve as a substitute for rosemary in bread.
This tiny herb is powerful. It spreads quickly and has toothed margins blended with its fuzzy look. You can find its leaves spreading through runners while the plant showcases flowers of pink and white.
Mint is well-known for its cool aftertaste. It also has variations, such as spearmint and peppermint. Its fresh flavor can be sweet, but it also can be warm and aromatic.
Since rosemary is a Mediterranean herb, why not try another one from the region. Sage is a perennial herb that also belongs to the mint family. So, it makes sense for it to be considered as a substitute.
More often than not, it is a good substitute for meat dishes. It also offers some medicinal uses, such as improving alertness, memory, attention, and overall cognitive performance.
However, the herb is similar enough to also work on baking bread.
Since thyme can work as a substitute, why can’t a similarly-flavored herb do? The marjoram is perennial and can be found in cold regions.
The herb has the same gentle flavor as thyme, making it a great addition to soups, stews, and other dishes with some liquid.
The herb is also considered pretty healthy because it works on skincare, such as reducing acne and wrinkles. It also has very little cholesterol and sodium. Thankfully, it can also work as a substitute for rosemary in bread.
Just the name of this leaf helps me recall its strong scent. It is often used in various Mediterranean recipes. The leaves are exposed to the sun before cooking.
This helps get rid of some of its bitterness. Conversely, the heat exposure makes the aroma stronger.
It has a similar taste to rosemary, thus making it a worthy substitute. Again, it may be typically used for meat recipes, but it can also work on the bread.
Oregano is well-known for being a strong-tasting herb. So, do not use too much of it. Even for other dishes, an extra sprinkling can overpower any other flavor that you may want to get noticed.
Oregano is pretty strong in any of its forms and should only be used in moderation. It also dries easily, and dried versions are even more potent.
This leafy green herb has a strong flavor. If you say that you tasted some anise in it, you are right. Tarragon also has a licorice taste added to it.
Use tarragon in lesser amounts if you are going to use it to substitute for rosemary. Of course, it all depends on your intention. Do you mean to replace the flavor profile or rosemary completely?
If you want to keep it as close as possible, you can try cutting the portion in half. So, if you need one Tbsp. of rosemary, you may only use half a Tbsp. of tarragon.
You can use either fresh or dried savory to replace rosemary because it has a similar flavor. Because of the similarity in flavor, you can use a 1:1 ratio when replacing rosemary with savory.
However, if you are missing rosemary, you may also be missing savory because it is not as commonly used. However, if your pantry is always complete with various types of herbs, it is possible that you will be able to dig out some leftover savory hiding behind the scenes.
Dried Savory. Marjoram or Tarragon
Dried herbs have been dried and often crushed, which concentrates their flavor, making them more potent than fresh herbs.[Source]
Dried portions of savory marjoram or tarragon can work as a substitute for rosemary. On the substitution ratio, even if it is the same herb, the dried variety is more concentrated.
So, you may have to use less of it. For example, you may have to use one Tbsp. of the dried variety instead of 1 ½ Tbsp in the recipe. It’s nothing drastic, but you may need to experiment around it.
For Freshness, you can check the smell of the dried herb.
You may not think of Italian seasoning as a worthy replacement for rosemary. After all, it is not just made up of one herb but is made up of many herbs and spices. It is capable of providing an intense and complex flavor.
There is so much going on in the taste that you may want to start with a 2:1 ratio. What does it mean? It means that you only need half a portion of Italian seasoning for every 1 of rosemary.
You can also consider your own taste. So, you can add or subtract accordingly.
Italian Parsley & Marjoram
Italian Parsley is another possible substitute for rosemary. They are tastier and have flat leave compared to the common parsley which has curly leave.
They work well when acting as a companion herb to marjorma but you should only add this combination at the end of your baking process for the optimum taste
Basil is known as some of the most healthy herbs which can block calcium channels, which may help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Basil is an excellent addition to your baking process. It comes with a deep savory flavor, yet it also has a sweet taste. It can work as a substitute for fresh rosemary at a 1:1 ratio.
Chives or Garlic Chives
Chives and Garlic Chives are herbs that die down in winter and regenerate flowers in spring. You may be able to grow them at home if you have a garden.
Using sharp kitchen scissors just snip the leaves finely into your bread or muffin mix as a substitute for rosemary.[Source]
Rosemary Substitute Related FAQs
Why do you need substitutes for rosemary?
You have run out of rosemary
The most obvious reason for substituting rosemary is that you have run out of the herb. It happens.
However, rosemary itself is pretty common, and you will likely find it at any supermarket – unless they run out. Some of the substitutes recommended above are even rarer than rosemary. However, they may have been left behind in the kitchen because most bread recipes do not ask for them as much.
You want to experiment with flavor profiles
Are you a budding baker? Then, you may want to try other herbs. You don’t want to get stuck to one recipe throughout your life. So, if the recipe calls for rosemary, you may want to see if thyme and basil, for example, can give you better results.
You have been given a list of possible substitutes for rosemary because some people have been adventurous enough to try other herbs instead of this particular herb.
You don’t like rosemary
It is possible that you don’t like rosemary. You may like it for other dishes, but not for bread. So, you can explore flavors that are more pleasing to your tongue.
Are rosemary and thyme the same thing?
They often go together. It’s normal for someone to say, “rosemary and thyme” in one breath.
The two, however, are different but similar. They both belong to the mint family. Both of these herbs can be dried and crushed. You will find both in the spice aisles, though rosemary has a more robust, more bitter flavor.
Can I substitute basil for rosemary?
As mentioned above, basil can also work as a rosemary substitute. It does have a sweet taste to complement the strong taste you may expect from rosemary. It should be a suitable replacement for baking.
Can I use Italian seasoning instead of rosemary?
It may be unexpected, but you can use Italian seasoning to substitute for rosemary. It is a mix of different herbs and spices. However, it would help if you take only half a portion of it for every portion of rosemary.
What about a dried rosemary substitute?
There is no problem with using dried rosemary to substitute for the fresh one. You can even use other dried herbs, such as savory, marjoram, or tarragon.
What is the best substitute for rosemary?
Thyme is arguably the best substitute for rosemary. It tops most lists of rosemary replacements. The two are even mistaken for each other because of their similar flavor profiles, even though thyme is milder.
Of course, others will argue that any other herb that belongs to the mint family can provide a good substitution for rosemary when baking bread.