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The 5 Best Substitutes for Lavender

In the modern world of food, cooking lavender is a distinctive flair.

This versatile flavor can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.

Lavender flowers have a strong fragrance that is often described as being floral yet gently bitter.

The herbal taste of lavender herbs makes for an excellent substitute for black pepper or salt when seasoning meat.

It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Lavender can make syrup for lavender lemonade or make it into sorbet or ice cream.

The herb is also often added to herbal tea.

When using lavender in cooking, the flowers should be removed before serving because they tend to get stuck in people’s teeth.

Lavender has an aroma that is both sweet and herbal.

The flavor of lavender can be described as being either floral or woodsy, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

When choosing a substitute for lavender, several options depending on the flavor, you are trying to match.

When cooking savory dishes, you can choose from options like celery seed, tarragon, or cumin.

When cooking sweet dishes, nutmeg or sage are great substitutes for lavender.

It is important to play around with the different herb and spice combinations to see which one tastes best to you.

What is Lavender?

what is lavender

Lavender is a plant that has been used for thousands of years in cooking and healing.

It is also one of the most popular herbs, contributing to its high demand and popularity worldwide.

It is a perennial plant with small purple flower spikes, used in perfumes and other beauty products for centuries.

The most common uses of lavender today include oils made from flowers, tea, and aromatherapy, where it is burnt to release its fragrance.

It is also used in cooking, especially desserts like chocolate lavender cupcakes and lavender ice cream.

Lavender can be grown at home or bought from markets, commonly sold in dried flower form.

It’s very versatile – the flowers can be used fresh for immediate impact, but they can also be dried and used later.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lavender

When lavender is unavailable, or you want to try something new in your cooking, several other herbs can provide the same effect.

1 – Rosemary


Rosemary is a very common herb mostly used in Mediterranean and Italian cuisine.

More specifically, it tastes like an aromatic combination of pine and citrus.

The interesting fact about this plant is that it has many different varieties with vastly different flavors and aromas.

Furthermore, it is often available fresh or dried.

Rosemary is used to flavor pork, fish, lamb, soups, vegetables, and bread.

It is also used as a garnish for certain dishes with meat or fish.

When substituting rosemary for lavender in your recipes, you must know its stronger taste.

Furthermore, the time that the food requires to cook will be longer with rosemary.

2 – Lemon Balm

lemon balm

Lemon balm is a perennial herb with white, pinkish, or purplish flowers.

It has many nicknames like Aaron’s rod and Abraham’s balm.

Additionally, it has certain medicinal properties.

For instance, it can be used to calm the nerves or to reduce stomach problems.

It’s also a popular herb for use in aromatherapy, and it smells wonderful.

Lemon balm is often used to flavor fish and egg dishes.

Furthermore, it is frequently used in fruit salads and desserts like lemon meringue pie.

It can also be used to make a refreshing tea or herbal infusion.

When using the lemon balm as a substitute for lavender, you should know that it has a milder flavor.

3 – Herbs de Provence

herbs de provence

Herbs de Provence is a mixture of different dried herbs commonly used in French cuisine.

It usually contains savory marjoram, basil, fennel seed, rosemary, thyme, and lavender flowers.

It’s quite common to add new ingredients from time to time, depending on your personal preferences.

The most common way to use herbs de Provence is with chicken, fish, and lamb dishes.

However, it can also be mixed with oil or vinegar for a great salad dressing.

When substituting lavender with herbs de Provence in your recipes, you should consider that this herb mixture has a much stronger flavor than lavender.

4 – Parfait d’Amour

Parfait d’Amour, or “perfect love,” is a mixture of herbs and flowers.

It contains lavender, vanilla grass, Kravetz, chamomile, clove buds, and other ingredients.

The most common use for this herb mixture is to flavor desserts like ice cream and custard.

Furthermore, it is often used in cakes and custard pies.

When using parfait d’amour as a substitute for lavender in your recipes, you should be aware that the flavor of this herb mixture is very strong and aromatic – it has notes of lavender and vanilla.

It’s also noticeable that parfait d’amour is sweeter than lavender, so you should use less of this herb mixture when baking.

5 – Clary Sage

clary sage

Clary sage is a shrub with white, blue, or pale yellow flowers.

It’s mostly used in aromatherapy because of its calming effects.

More specifically, it smells wonderful and can be compared to lavender.

Clary sage is often used to flavor meat dishes, but it can also be served as a tea with other herbs like peppermint.

This herb is a great substitute for lavender in dishes that require longer cooking times.

However, it has a much stronger flavor than lavender and should be used with caution.


Lavender is an extremely popular herb that is mostly used in Mediterranean cuisine.

It has an aromatic, floral, and slightly sweet flavor compared to a mixture of honey and citrus.

There are several substitutes for lavender on the market, but it’s important to be aware of their stronger flavors.

So if you’re looking for a substitute for lavender that is less potent, try using rosemary or lemon balm instead.

For best results and the most delicious dishes, always consider each herb’s aroma and taste.

This will help you avoid nasty surprises.

Yield: 4 Servings

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lavender

The 5 Best Substitutes for Lavender
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • Rosemary
  • Lemon Balm
  • Herbs de Provence
  • Parfait d’Amour
  • Clary Sage


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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