Substitute For Thyme – 6 Simple Sharp Flavored Alternatives

Are you looking for a substitute for fresh or dried thyme? We have got the right herbal ingredients for replacing it.

As you might already know, thyme is a quintessential herbal ingredient if you are venturing into Italian cooking or Mediterranean recipes. This herb from the mint family has a delicate and minty flavor.

It’s a versatile herb that easily integrates well into any recipe like sauces, soups, and stews. A pinch of thyme, either fresh or dried, gives sweet and earthy flavor to pork, lamb, chicken, and fish recipes.

What’s a good substitute for thyme?

If you are run out of thyme or you want to use something else in its place then there are a few good alternatives worth using.

Please note that these replacement spices work depend on the type of recipe.

1. Marjoram and Parsley

Using marjoram and parsley in combination is an excellent thyme substitute in cooking.

Marjoram belongs to the same mint family as thyme with many similarities between them. Marjoram has a sweet flavor and strong scent akin to thyme and oregano.

Parsley is a popular garnish that gives a delicious raw green flavor to salads, marinades, sauces, stews, and cooked dishes like quiche and soups.

When you use these two herbs in combination, add 1 teaspoon of marjoram and 1/2 teaspoon of parsley for every teaspoon of thyme.

Use them at the end of cooking as their flavors will fizzle out in deep frying or cooking.

2. Italian Seasoning

Italian Seasoning is a blend of ground herbs used to flavor many Italian cuisines.

Perhaps, your ultimate choice in place of thyme is none other than the Italian seasoning. Thyme is the most prominent ingredient in it.  In addition, it contains basil, oregano, rosemary, sage, and coriander which all share a close affinity to thyme.

If you have left with no fresh or dried thyme in stock, Italian seasoning would work almost as well as thyme.

3. Tarragon

Tarragon adds a distinctive flavor to sauces, stews, and soups. It has a bittersweet flavor and an aroma similar to anise. In some respects, tarragon flavor is nearly close to thyme.

Since tarragon leaves are so tender, they can be mixed with other greens for salads. It can also be sprinkled over a finished dish much like parsley or thyme.

You can use this as a safe replacement for thyme especially in chicken and fish recipes that call for it. It works well in a 1:1 substitute ratio.

4. Summer Savory

Summer savory is among the best-known savory genus.

It’s often compared to thyme or marjoram. This savory has a spicy aroma and pungent peppery flavor. But it’s less penetrating than its cousin winter savory.

Being a minty herb, summer savory is a fine substitute for thyme, a better option than winter savory. The similarities of thyme and summer savory match both in flavor and appearance.

You can use summer savory in many of the Italian cuisines in place of thyme. It works great in hearty roasts, fish, and stews.

Substitute one teaspoon of summer savory for one teaspoon of thyme.

5. Herbes De Provence

Herbes de Provence originated in the Provence region of southeast France.  It contains a blend of several spices like thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, and lavender flowers. If you notice, it has thyme and other spices that share complementary flavors. For this reason, herbes de Provence can very well substitute thyme.

Herbes de Provence adds a fine sweet note to vegetable soups, sauces, stews, and meat recipes.

You can substitute one teaspoon, herbes de Provence, for one teaspoon of thyme.

6. Oregano

Oregano is usually combined with olive oil to create flavorful oregano oil, Italian vinaigrette, and marinades for lamb, beef, and chicken dishes. It’s a fine ingredient in tomato-centric recipes, like pasta sauce, pizza, and stews.

Oregano has a strong aroma and flavor. This herb is almost a must-have ingredient in Italian cooking.

Fresh or dried, oregano hits many of the same earthy, savory, minty, and slightly bitter notes as thyme. However, the strong flavor of oregano can overwhelm the taste of your recipe if it is used in excess.

You can substitute three-fourths of a teaspoon of oregano for one teaspoon of thyme.


Thyme is one of the many fresh herbs used in much Italian cooking. Dried thyme possesses a very close flavor profile to its fresh counterpart.

Instead of fresh thyme, you can use dried thyme leaves in any application.

Our best three picks of substitutes for thyme are Italian seasoning, a combination of marjoram and parsley, and tarragon.