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The 5 Best Substitutes for Thyme

Do you cook with thyme? This herb is a staple in many kitchens, but what do you do when you don’t have any thyme?

In this post, we’ll explore the five best substitutes for thyme.

So, whether you’re out of thyme or simply looking to add a new flavor to your dish, these substitutes will do the trick.

So, what are the best substitutes for thyme? Read on to find out.

What is Thyme?

what is thyme

Thyme is a perennial herb that is often used in cooking.

It has a strong, pungent flavor that can be used to enhance the flavor of soups, stews, and other dishes.

Thyme is also a popular ingredient in many commercial spice blends.

In addition to its culinary uses, thyme has also been used for medicinal purposes.

Today, it is still used in some herbal remedies and supplements.

Thyme is a member of the mint family, and it is native to Europe and Asia.

It grows best in full sunlight and well-drained soil.

Seed, cuttings, or division can propagate thyme.

It is best to cut the stems just before the plant blooms when harvesting thyme.

This will give you the most flavorful leaves.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Thyme

For those who don’t have thyme on hand or those looking for something with a slightly different flavor profile, there are plenty of substitutes that can be used in its place.

Here are five of the best substitutes for thyme.

1 – 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.

2 – 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.

3 – 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.

4 – 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.

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.


In conclusion, thyme is a versatile and flavorful herb used in many different dishes.

However, if you don’t have any thyme on hand, several excellent substitutes will work just as well.

Oregano, basil, savory, marjoram, and poultry seasoning are excellent for replacing thyme in a recipe.

So the next time you’re in a pinch, don’t worry – these herbs will save the day.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for Thyme

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


  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Basil
  • Savory
  • Poultry Seasoning


  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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