Looking for a great substitute for thyme? How about 7 ideal thyme substitute options? Keep reading to find out how you can use items you may have in your kitchen to replace thyme in most recipes.
Thyme is an aromatic perennial evergreen herb in the mint family.
Thyme also known as common thyme (which is more common and probably the variety you’ve encountered) has an earthy, minty slightly bitter and slightly lemony.
Thyme is used in many Mediterranean and French recipes including braises, roasted meats, sauces, soups, vegetables, stock, fresh bread, stews, seafood and many other recipes.
But, if you need some thyme for a recipe and you have none, what else can you use in its place?
Well, here are 7 easy ways to replace thyme in a pinch. These easy substitutes can be used in most, if not all dishes that call for thyme.
What are some actual ways to substitute for thyme?
The best thyme substitute options include other herbs and seasoning mixes that are similar in flavor and or texture to thyme. These include:
- Dried thyme
- Thyme powder
- Italian seasoning
- Za’atar thyme
- Herbes de Provence
Let’s discuss each in more detail below where we share why they work as great alternatives and the conversion ratios for each.
How to substitute dried thyme leaves for fresh?
The best substitute for fresh thyme is dried thyme leaves and vise versa.
So, how do you substitute the dried thyme for fresh? Well, like most other herbs, it is recommended to use 1 teaspoon of dried thyme leaves for every tablespoon of fresh thyme a recipe calls for, or a 1:3 ratio.
Other thyme substitute options
While dried thyme leaves are more popularly used, another great substitute for thyme is thyme powder.
Thyme is made by pulverizing whole thyme leaves until a powder forms.
Thyme powder has a flavor that is pungent, slightly earthy and warm with minty undertones and will work well in many dishes including poultry, meat, vegetables, seasoning blends, soups, chowders, seafood and more.
Use 3/4 teaspoon of thyme powder to replace 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves.
As explained in our substitutes for oregano post, thyme and oregano have similar flavor compounds (although they’re not an exact match) meaning that they’re both earthy, minty and slightly bitter. Therefore oregano can be used as a replacement for thyme.
Use fresh or dried oregano to replace fresh or dried thyme on a 1:1 substitute ratio.
As mentioned in our substitutes for marjoram post, marjoram and thyme are from the same mint family. They also share some similar flavors in that both can be woody, earthy and citrusy. Therefore, you can use marjoram in place of thyme in a pinch.
Use marjoram as a thyme substitute in a 1:1 conversion ratio.
Savory can also be used as a replacement for thyme as this herb has been described as having an aromatic thyme-like flavor with a peppery bite.
Savory is a harder herb to find, but, if you can find it works best in dishes like meats, stuffing, potatoes, beans, soups, vegetables and stews.
Use 1 teaspoon of fresh savory to replace 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, or a 1:1 conversion ratio. Similarly, you can use 1 teaspoon of dried savory to replace 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
Wild thyme (also called Syrian Oregano, Zaatar Herb or Flowering Hyssop Thyme)
If you can find Wild thyme which grows in the Middle East, then you can also use it as an alternative for common thyme. This herb is stronger than common thyme. In fact, it is strong, and more potent with hints of oregano.
Use Wild thyme in grilled foods like meats, vegetables, kebabs, roasted chicken, tomato sauces, infused in butter and more.
It is more potent, so start by using less in your dish, then adjust the amount as needed.
Use Italian seasoning in soups, pastas, meats, salads, lasagna, grilled chicken, and more.
Use 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning to replace 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
Herbes de Provence
Herbes de Provence which is a mixture of common herbs from the Provence region in France is another thyme substitute. This mix is made of dried herbs like rosemary, lavender, basil, savory, sage, fennel, oregano, thyme and marjoram.
Use Herbes de Provence in grilled meats and vegetables as well as gravies and stews.
Recipes that use thyme
These are some of the best thyme substitutes that can be used to replace thyme in just about any recipe.
Now, with this list, you never have to panic if you find out that you are out of thyme in the middle of a recipe, as you can quickly find ideal substitutes right in your kitchen!