How To Choose The Best Substitute For Thyme For Your Recipes?

In case you are in dire need of thyme but do not have time to go out & buy it, we have the solution. Make your dinner easier and save time by using these tasty substitute for thyme instead of going to the grocery store.

Thyme is basically a Mediterranean herb and it belongs to the mint family. As a perennial, thyme requires little care and can be planted almost anywhere. Dried and fresh, this herb offers numerous health benefits.

How will you handle the scenario when you run out of thyme just as you’re getting ready for dinner?

Often, we run out of ingredients when we’re already starting to prepare a meal, such as herbs. Maybe even guests will be arriving soon. Alternatively, you can try thyme alternatives if you are short on time.

Let your flow continue and don’t interrupt it! Take a look at these thyme alternatives instead.

Substitutes For Thyme That Works Best

You can often find thyme alternatives right in your kitchen. Among them are:


As part of the mint family, marjoram plays a prominent role in Mediterranean cooking. You can use Marjom as a substitute for thyme in meat and vegetable dishes since it tastes woody and sweet.

Despite its versatility, marjoram has complex flavors similar to thyme. The taste is more akin to balsam than pine, with an aroma quite similar to thyme. Use 1 teaspoon of Marjoram as a  substitute for 1 teaspoon of thyme.

You can similarly read our article on the topic best Cardamom Substitutes if you ever run out of cardamom in your dishes.

Marjoram As A Substitute For Thyme

Italian Seasoning

The Italian seasoning is another great substitute for thyme. This herb blend consists of a blend of herbs & spices like basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, etc.

A wide variety of dishes are enhanced by the flavor of this seasoning in Mediterranean cuisine.

The amounts and ingredients of spices vary by brand. This is an ideal choice for dishes like pasta dishes, soups, and sauces. The Italian seasoning can be substituted for each teaspoon of thyme.

Italian Seasoning As A Substitute For Thyme


Among herbs used in cooking, rosemary and thyme are both popular choices. These herbs can be used separately or together in meat dishes and stews to bring out more herbal flavors.

The meal they are added to, however, has a different taste. It makes sense that both of them are minty because they both belong to the mint family. Their species, however, differ. The thyme comes from the thymus family.

In the meantime, rosemary is a salvia-generating plant. Furthermore, its taste is more pungent and strong. Additionally, it has a slight bitterness and a resinous taste. Comparatively, thyme provides a more savory taste.

Rosemary As A Substitute For Thyme

Poultry Seasoning

Another clever way for a substitute for thyme is with poultry seasoning. In addition to dried sage and thyme, poultry seasoning blends occasionally contain the blend of thyme substitutes like black pepper, marjoram, nutmeg, and rosemary. You can use this as a thyme replacement since it has thyme included in it.

Poultry Seasoning As A Substitute For Thyme


Basil offers many culinary benefits, thanks to its distinctive flavor and aroma. Thyme can easily be substituted with Basil in a pinch with a small amount of fresh or dried leaves.

Be mindful of the fact that basil cannot handle a long cooking time or temperature as well as thyme. And basil provides a variety of flavorings so that a little fresh basil can go a long way. Use 1/2 teaspoon of basil for 1 teaspoon of thyme.

Basil As A Substitute For Thyme

Herbes de Provence

Herbes de Provence is a less obvious substitute for thyme, but it offers a lot of different flavors that can be used in many different recipes. Traditionally Herbes de Provence is a mixture of thyme & other taste-alike spices. Occasionally, it also contains lavender.

While rosemary is not the best or most suitable substitute for thyme, the Herbes de Provence seasoning blend provides a diverse flavor profile that keeps the dish balanced.

Know more about Herbes de Provence.

Herbes de Provence As A Substitute For Thyme

Fresh Thyme To Dried Ratio

Consider this as one of the best substitutes for thyme that make your dishes & their flavoring easier.

Dried thyme is a great alternative for fresh thyme. Regardless of the recipe, the taste remains intact.

A recipe also works well when fresh thyme is used instead of dried thyme. It is always possible to add more but not to take it out of a recipe when changing between fresh and dried thyme.

When substituting dried herbs as a substitute for thyme or fresh herbs, there are many different ratios provided on the internet, ranging from 1/3 to 1/2 the recommended quantity.

The number of fresh herbs may also be increased to 1.5 times the amount specified in the recipe for dry herbs.

You are not alone if you find this confusing. The flavor of dried herbs in your recipes is more potent due to their higher concentration of flavors. Less is more!

Fresh Thyme To Dried Ratio As A Substitute For Thyme

Best Methods For Picking A Substitute For Thyme And Storing Herbs

In order to use fresh herbs as part of your recipes, simply grow them in your garden or purchase them at the supermarket.

Make sure the leaves look fresh and do not have any dark brown spots. Choose the herbs you need, since they won’t last long.

As a quick & easy-to-go option, it’s always best to store them in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. Just before you do that, trim their stems to 12 inches, and then take a small resealable plastic bag and cover their leaves.  That being said, this isn’t recommended to preserve basil.


Think about the situation if you don’t have thyme, but you can use a few herbs as a substitute for thyme instead. How can you decide what to do?

It’s true that the substitute herbs won’t have the same flavor, but they nevertheless added a lovely and distinct flavor that added a strange sweetness to everything they touched.

As a general rule, I think no substitute can substitute for thyme in a dish like lemon thyme rice, for example, which has this flavor characteristic.

For recipes that primarily require other herbs and spices, you can skip the thyme if it is only required in small quantities. Likewise, the amount to be substituted will vary depending on your taste preference, so this is again only a question of taste preference!

Jennifer Cohen

Jennifer Cohen is a fitness personality, author and body image consultant living in Los Angeles, California.

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