Best Substitutes For Dill – 7 Flavorful Options

Are you making a recipe that calls for dill seed or dill weed? If you don’t have it in stock, a few good options replace dill.

Finding the right substitute for an herb like dill is not easy. First of all, you aren’t sure how the alternatives will impact the flavor of your recipe. Secondly, most herbs have a unique and distinct flavor. Still, we need to use one or another when there is a shortage.

This article discusses different herbs you can use instead of dill seed or weed.

What is Dill?

The dill plant (Anethum graveolens) has feathery green leaves and flat, oval fruits as seeds.

It’s an annual herb similar to celery. This plant replants itself by spreading widely to the extent of becoming a weed menace.

In cooking, dill is a popular herb used as a culinary spice. Dill has a unique flavor and is often described as grassy, sweet, and slightly licorice-like.

Dill seeds are used to season foods like pickles.

Dill leaves are delicate and integrate well with potato salads, ranch dressing, pita sandwiches, stews, sauces, and egg recipes.

Herbal medicinal practitioners use dill seeds and the parts of the plant that grow above the ground as medicine. It is expected to help in dealing with digestive problems and kidney diseases. Dill weed and seeds also treat several other health issues like fever, cold, cough, bronchitis, hemorrhoids, etc.

Fresh Dill vs. Dried Dill 

The main difference between fresh and dried dill is the flavor. Fresh dill has a more delicate, grassy flavor, while dried dill has a stronger, more concentrated flavor. This is because drying removes some water from the herb, which concentrates the flavor.

Fresh dill is also more tender than dried dill. This is because the drying process can make the herb tough and brittle.

In general, fresh dill is best used in dishes with more delicate flavors, such as salads, soups, and fish dishes. Dried dill is best used in dishes with a more pronounced flavor, such as pickles, stews, and marinades.

Here are some tips for using fresh and dried dill:

  • When using fresh dill, add it to your dish at the end of cooking to preserve its flavor and texture.
  • When using dried dill, start with a small amount and add more to taste.
  • Store fresh dill in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • Store dried dill in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
  • The best substitutes for fresh dill weeds are fresh herbs and substitutes for dried dill weeds are dried herbs.

Here are some recipes that use fresh and dried dill:

Fresh dill:

  • Salad
  • Soup
  • Salmon

Dried dill:

  • Pickles
  • Stew
  • Marinade

7 Best Dill Substitutes 

Regrettably, it’s hard to find a substitute that matches the flavor of dill weed. Still, you can experiment with dill weed recipes using replacements with close similarities.

If you want an anise-like flavor alternative, other herbs from the parsley family are great choices.

There are a few other herbs and seeds that have a somewhat similar appearance or taste to dill. You can choose a substitute according to the specific requirements of your recipe. Here are 7 substitutes for fresh or dried dill:

1. Tarragon

Tarragon, a perennial herb in the sunflower family, is a great substitute for dill weed.

This herb is popular in France but is now gaining popularity worldwide.

Your best bet for a dill substitute is none other than tarragon. Use it in a one-to-one ratio.

Tarragon is one of the main ingredients in bearnaise sauce. It’s a fine choice to include in omelet-making, fish and chicken recipes, soups, stews, and sauces. When it is blended with white wine vinegar, it delivers a licorice flavor.

If you need 1 teaspoon of dried dill, use 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon. If your recipe calls for fresh herbs, use them interchangeably in equal amounts.

Like the dill weed, it is not meant for pronged over-heat cooking, as this can vanish its flavor. Hence, use fresh tarragon at the end of cooking.

2. Fennel

Just like dill, fennel has feathery fronds but a thicker stem.

Fennel tastes and appears similar to dill.

If you use dill weed to garnish your dishes like salads or soups, you can do the same with fennel fronds instead.

Another advantage is that its flavor is mild and sweet. It has licorice notes that can very well complement any dish that requires dill.

Fennel fronds are excellent for flavoring stews and soups. Its stems and leaves can be consumed with vegetables, meats, fish, and salads.

Fennel has many of the same features as dill; one can be swapped with the other.

3. Thyme

Thyme is a pungent-flavored herb that belongs to the mint family of herbs. Its tender leaves are a useful ingredient in seasoning and flavoring. In Mediterranean cooking, it is abundantly used in salads, sauces, marinades, pasta stews, and others.

You can use thyme to flavor and garnish many dishes for which dill is used. It’s a good replacement for dill in sauces, salads, and stews.

Unlike dill, it does not lose flavor as it cooks and works well in roasted, grilled, or stewed dishes.

Thyme is easy to use in cooking, as this herb retains its flavor even at high heat. So, you can comfortably include this herb in baking and roasting dishes.

4. Rosemary

Salvia rosmarinus, commonly known as rosemary, is a woody, perennial herb with a fragrance native to the Mediterranean region.

This herb is used in seasoning various dishes, such as soups, salads, casseroles, and stews. Also, it goes well with grains, spinach, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, and peas. It’s a good flavoring agent in some European cooking pork, lamb, fish, and chicken recipes.

Rosemary is a good substitute for dill. The stems of this herb are more flavorful than the leaves.

5. Parsley

Parsley is a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean.

It’s commonly used as a dried spice or fresh culinary herb. Most foods relish their mild, bitter flavor, which pairs well with many recipes.

The unique and undertoned flavor of parsley doesn’t dwindle the original taste of your recipes.

Incorporating fresh or dried parsley leaves into your gourmet dishes is easy by adding them to sauces, salads, soups, and marinades.

Try parsley instead of dill to garnish your favorite meat, fish, eggs, or vegetable recipes.

6. Chervil

Chervil, sometimes called French parsley or garden chervil, is a delicate annual herb related to parsley.

It has a mixed flavor of parsley and licorice. Many of the Italian and French recipes make good use of Chervil. Importantly, it goes well with most recipes because it doesn’t suppress or overwhelm the original flavor of the recipe.

Chervil can be used instead of dill in soups, stews, and salads. It’s a fine ingredient that can supplement other spices and herbs in cooking fish and meat recipes.

7. Basil

Basil is an herb in the mint family. It gives your dish a strong, sweet taste and aroma.

Various cuisines, including Italian, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indonesian cooking, use this herb well.

There are several varieties of basil with different hues and aromas. Sweet basil is typically used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines. Thai basil is popularly used in East Asian cuisines.

Fresh basil works great in spaghetti, pasta, pickles, salads, and marinades.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I use oregano in place of dill? 

Yes, oregano and dill can be used interchangeably in some recipes. However, it is important to note that oregano has a stronger, bitter flavor than dill. As a result, you’ll need to use less oregano than dill. Use 1 teaspoon of dried oregano to replace 1 tablespoon of fresh dill, or vice versa. Use 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano to replace 1 teaspoon of dried dill.

Can you substitute dried dill for fresh dill in pickles?

You can substitute dried dill for fresh dill in pickles. However, dried dill has a stronger flavor than fresh herbs. Thus, it’s best to use less dried dill than fresh dill. Use half the amount of dried dill as you would fresh dill. So, if you need 2 tablespoons of fresh dill, use 1 teaspoon of dried dill.

Can I substitute dill weed for dill seed?

Dill weed and dill seed come from the same plant, but they have slightly different flavors. Dill seed has a stronger, more pungent flavor with notes of caraway and mustard. In some cases, you can substitute dill weed for dill seed, but it depends on the recipe and your personal taste preference.

How much dill seed to substitute for fresh dill?

Use about three times as much dill weed as dill seed. For example. If your recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of dill seed, you can use 3 tablespoons of dill weed. You may also want to add the dill weed later in the cooking process, as it will have a more delicate flavor.

Final Thought

Despite having a delicate and distinct flavor, dill has a few good alternatives. All that matters is how correctly you can integrate the substitute spices into your dish.

When using a substitute, it is important to ensure its compatibility with the other ingredients in your dish.

To sum up, the top three substitutes for dill we recommend are tarragon, fennel, and thyme.

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