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Enhance Recipes: 5 BEST Tarragon Substitutes

Alright, finding yourself fresh out of tarragon can really throw a wrench in your dinner plans, can’t it?

We’ve been there more times than we’d like to admit.

That unique flavor tarragon brings to the table is hard to beat, but sometimes life happens and you just gotta work with what’s in the pantry.

Lucky for you, we’ve scoured kitchens far and wide to come up with a list of the 5 best tarragon substitutes that’ll save your dish without losing that special something.

Stick with us and we’ll make sure your meal turns out fantastic, tarragon or not.

What’s Tarragon?

Tarragon is a licorice-tasting herb that’s commonly used in French cooking.

It has a slender, dark green leaf and a sharp, pungent flavor.

While it’s often used in savory dishes, tarragon also pairs well with fruit and can be used to make sweet desserts.

It is native to Central Asia and has been cultivated for centuries.

It was introduced to Europe in the Middle Ages and quickly became popular for its unique flavor.

Today, tarragon is grown all over the world and is a common ingredient in many cuisines.

Tarragon has a strong, anise-like flavor that’s both sweet and slightly bitter.

It’s often used to season chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Tarragon can also be used to make vinegar, oils, and sauces.

When used sparingly, it adds a nice depth of flavor to food.

However, tarragon can easily become overpowering, so it’s important to use it sparingly.

The herb can be found fresh or dried in most supermarkets.

When using fresh tarragon, only use the leaves, as the stems are very tough.

To store fresh tarragon, wrap it in a damp paper towel and place it in the fridge, where it will keep for up to a week.

Dried tarragon can be stored in an airtight container for up to six months.

When using dried tarragon, remember that it is much more potent than fresh, so you will need to use less.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tarragon

If you don’t have tarragon, don’t worry.

There are several substitutes that will work well in its place.

1 – Basil

Basil is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes.

It has a distinct flavor that is both sweet and savory.

Additionally, it has a slightly spicy flavor that can add depth to any dish.

The leaves of the basil plant are also very fragrant.

This makes it an excellent choice for adding flavor to pasta dishes, soups, and salads.

Additionally, basil can be used as a substitute for tarragon in many recipes.

When substituting basil for tarragon, it is important to use half the amount of basil as you would tarragon.

This will ensure that the flavor of the dish is not overwhelmed by the basil.

2 – Chervil

Chervil is an annual herb that is part of the parsley family.

It has a delicate flavor that is similar to anise and parsley.

The leaves are often used as a garnish or added to salads.

They can also be used to make pesto or used as a seasoning for chicken, fish, and vegetables.

When substituting chervil for tarragon, it is important to use half the amount of chervil as you would tarragon.

This is because chervil has a more potent flavor than tarragon.

If you use too much, it can overwhelm the other flavors in the dish.

When substituting, it is also important to add the chervil at the end of cooking so that its flavor is not lost.

3 – Oregano

Oregano is a flavorful herb that is often used in Mediterranean and Mexican cuisine.

It has a slightly minty, earthy taste and a pungent aroma.

The leaves are small and oval-shaped, and the plant itself can reach up to two feet tall.

Oregano is most commonly used dried, but it can also be used fresh.

When substituting oregano for tarragon, use half as much since it is more potent.

Oregano can be added to salads, soups, stews, sauces, and pasta dishes.

It pairs well with tomatoes, garlic, onion, chicken, lamb, and fish.

Fresh oregano can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to six months.

Dried oregano can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

4 – Dill

Dill is a unique herb that has a distinct taste and smell.

It is often used in pickling, as well as in various sauces and salads.

Dill has a slightly sweet taste with a hint of bitterness.

Its texture is similar to that of celery.

When substituting dill for tarragon, it is important to use half the amount of dill as you would tarragon.

This will help to ensure that the final dish has the desired flavor.

Dill can be a difficult herb to find, but it is worth seeking out for its unique flavor profile.

By using dill, you can add an interesting twist to any dish.

5 – Fennel

Fennel is an aromatic herb with a taste and texture similar to that of anise.

The herb is native to the Mediterranean and has been used in cooking for centuries.

Fennel is often used as a substitute for tarragon, as it has a similar flavor profile.

The herb can be used fresh or dried and ground into a powder.

Fennel is commonly used in soups and stews, as well as baked goods such as bread and cookies.

The herb can also be steeped in boiling water to make tea.

Fennel tea is said to have numerous health benefits, including aiding digestion and promoting weight loss.


In conclusion, tarragon is a versatile herb with a distinct flavor.

While it can be difficult to find, there are several substitutes that can be used in its place.

Basil, chervil, oregano, dill, and fennel all make excellent substitutes for tarragon.

Each of these herbs has a unique flavor that can add depth and interest to any dish.

Make sure to use half the amount of herb called for in the recipe, as tarragon is more potent than most other herbs.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Tarragon

Looking to find the perfect substitute for tarragon in your recipes? You're in luck! We've compiled a list of the 5 best alternatives that will provide similar flavor profiles and enhance your dishes just like tarragon.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Basil
  • Chervil
  • Oregano
  • Dill
  • Fennel


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Tarragon
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