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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Thyme

Finding the perfect thyme substitute might have you scratching your head, right?We’ve got you covered.

Our kitchens often throw us curveballs. Maybe thyme’s playing hide and seek just when you’re in the middle of whipping up your signature dish. No sweat. There are plenty of brilliant stand-ins waiting to jump into your culinary masterpiece.

Why is this handy?

Because flavor matters. Each of these substitutes brings something unique to the table, ensuring your dish doesn’t lose its zing. Think of it as swapping a jazz musician for a rock star—different vibes, but the show goes on, and it’s still music to your ears.

And the best part?

You probably have some of these alternatives in your pantry right now.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Thyme

Thyme is a fragrant herb commonly used in cooking to add depth and flavor to various dishes.

However, if you find yourself without thyme or looking for alternative options, there are several substitutes available.

In this guide, we will compare the top 5 substitutes for thyme, discussing their key characteristics and suggesting proper ratios to help you find suitable alternatives.

SubstituteKey CharacteristicsProper Ratio
OreganoSimilar taste and member of the mint familyUse an equal amount of oregano as a substitute for thyme
MarjoramSimilar flavor profile; slightly milder than thymeUse an equal amount of marjoram as a substitute for thyme
BasilHerb with a strong aroma; adds freshness to dishesUse an equal amount of basil as a substitute for thyme
SavoryGood herb substitute for thyme; less robust but with similar savory qualitiesUse an equal amount of savory as a substitute for thyme
Poultry SeasoningBlend of herbs and spices including thyme; suitable for savory dishesUse an equal amount of poultry seasoning as a substitute for thyme

Now, let’s dive into each substitute in more detail:

1 – Oregano

oregano

Oregano and thyme are two of the most popular herbs used in cooking.

Both oregano and thyme have a robust and distinctive flavor that can enhance the taste of many dishes.

But what if you’re out of one of these herbs and need to substitute? Can you use oregano in place of thyme, or vice versa?

Generally speaking, oregano and thyme can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Oregano has a more robust flavor than thyme, so you may need to use less of it in a recipe.

Additionally, oregano is more pungent when fresh, so using dried oregano may give your dish a milder flavor.

When substituting oregano for thyme (or vice versa), it’s best to start with a small amount and add more to the taste.

  • Key Characteristics: Oregano works well as a substitute for thyme since it has a similar taste and belongs to the mint family. It can be used as a fresh or dried herb.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of oregano as a substitute for thyme. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired flavor intensity.

2 – Marjoram

marjoram

Marjoram and thyme are two herbs with a lot in common.

Both are members of the mint family and have a similar flavor profile, with hints of citrus and woodiness.

However, thyme is generally more savory than marjoram, so it can be good to useless if you substitute one for the other.

Marjoram is also sweeter than thyme, so it’s best to use it in dishes where you want a subtle sweetness, such as roasted vegetables or chicken dishes.

When substituting marjoram for thyme, keep in mind that it won’t hold up as well during long cooking times, so it’s best to add it near the end of the cooking process.

With trial and error, you’ll soon find the perfect ratio of these two versatile herbs to suit your taste buds.

  • Key Characteristics: Marjoram has a similar flavor profile to thyme but is slightly milder. It can be used as a substitute in recipes where you want a more delicate herb flavor.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of marjoram as a substitute for thyme. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired flavor intensity.

3 – Basil

basil

When it comes to herbs, few are as versatile as basil.

This fragrant annual can be used in everything from pasta sauce to pesto, and its bright flavor is the perfect way to liven up any dish.

But what if you’re out of basil and need a substitute? Luckily, thyme makes an excellent stand-in for this popular herb.

Like basil, thyme is a member of the mint family, and it has a similarly intense flavor.

However, thyme is slightly more savory than basil, so it’s best used in dishes where you don’t want too much sweetness.

When substituting thyme for basil, start with a small amount and add more to taste.

With a bit of experimentation, you’ll be able to create dishes that are just as flavorful as those made with basil.

  • Key Characteristics: Basil is a herb with a strong aroma and adds freshness to dishes. While it has a distinct flavor, it can be a suitable substitute for thyme in certain recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of basil as a substitute for thyme. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired flavor intensity.

4 – Savory

savory

If you’re looking for a herb with a similar flavor to thyme, then savory may be a good substitute.

Savory is a member of the mint family and has a peppery taste that can work well in place of thyme.

You may need to use a little more savory than thyme to get the desired flavor, but it can be an excellent way to add some variety to your cooking.

When substituting savory for thyme, it’s also essential to consider the different properties of the herbs.

Thyme is more pungent than savory, so you may want to adjust other ingredients accordingly.

Savory also has a slightly different aroma than thyme, so keep that in mind when using it in recipes.

Ultimately, whether or not you use savory as a substitute for thyme is up to your personal preferences.

  • Key Characteristics: Savory is a good substitute for thyme and has similar savory qualities. Although it may not be as robust as thyme, it pairs well with rich and meaty foods.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of savory as a substitute for thyme. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired flavor intensity.

5 – Poultry Seasoning

poultry seasoning

Poultry seasoning is a spice blend that typically includes thyme, sage, marjoram, and rosemary.

While it can be used as a substitute for thyme, it will result in a different flavor profile.

Poultry seasoning is often used to flavor chicken, turkey, and stuffing.

It can also add flavor to other dishes such as soups, stews, and casseroles.

If you don’t have poultry seasoning on hand, you can make your own by mixing thyme, sage, marjoram, and rosemary.

Or, you can use thyme alone as a substitution.

Keep in mind that the flavors will be different from those of poultry seasoning.

  • Key Characteristics: Poultry seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that often includes thyme. It is specifically designed to enhance the flavors of poultry dishes but can be used as a substitute for thyme in other savory recipes.
  • Proper Ratio: Use an equal amount of poultry seasoning as a substitute for thyme. Adjust the quantity based on personal preference and desired flavor intensity.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Thyme

Searching for the perfect thyme substitute? Your quest ends here! Explore our handpicked selection of the 5 best substitutes for thyme that will seamlessly enhance your dishes with unique flavors and aromas.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving

Ingredients
  

  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Basil
  • Savory
  • Poultry Seasoning

Instructions
 

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