5 BEST Dried Basil Substitutes in Recipes

When it comes to herbal flavorings for cooking, dried basil is king and rightfully earns its crown.

But have you ever stopped to wonder what the best ways to utilize this popular herb are?

And when the cupboard is bare, and you’re out of dried basil, which herbs make a satisfactory substitute?

To explore these quandaries, let’s take a closer look at everything from how to cook with dried basil to the top five alternatives.

What is Basil & Dried Basil?

Basil is a savory and sweet-smelling herb that can be found in an array of cooking styles, from Italian to Asian cuisines.

Fresh basil is an indispensable ingredient for marinara, pesto, and even salads.

Dried basil, meanwhile, can be used to season sauces, soups, and stews.

Known for its distinctive, minty-sweet flavor and texture, dried basil adds just enough mellow spiciness to many dishes.

As for how to use it in your recipes? Start small — you don’t want the end result to be too overwhelming with flavor.

Sprinkle in a few tablespoons of dried basil when adding vegetables or proteins to your preferred pan, like kale or chicken.

Use smaller amounts if using it as a finishing garnish on top of soup or salad.

And don’t forget: there are plenty of recipes online you can use as starting points.

5 BEST Dried Basil Substitutes in Recipes

If you’re looking for a way to add some flavor to your cooking but don’t have any dried basil in the pantry, fear not.

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There are plenty of great substitutes that will give your dishes just the right amount of zing.

Here are five dried basil substitutes that can take the place of the classic herb in recipes:

1 – Fresh basil

Fresh basil has many wonderful qualities that cook, both amateur and professional, have come to appreciate.

Its delicate yet enticing aroma, along with its incredible flavor and consistency, make it a great addition to recipes in both savory and sweet dishes.

Basil leaves offer an interesting texture when muddled or lightly cooked and are also enjoyable when eaten whole as a garnish.

As a substitute for dried basil, freshly plucked leaves are preferred, given their higher concentration of flavor.

When using fresh basil, it can simply be torn or chopped into small pieces before adding to your dish, allowing it to easily release its flavors into the other ingredients.

Several types of fresh basil are available seasonally in groceries and farmer’s markets, making it easy to experiment with varying flavors depending on availability.

2 – Dried Oregano

Oregano is one of the most popular and widely used herbs around the world, both fresh and dried.

When dried, oregano maintains its strong herbal scent but also gains a slight bitterness that complements savory dishes.

The texture is flaky and crumbly, which makes it easy to sprinkle evenly over food or mix into dressing or marinades.

Oregano has a very aromatic flavor that often pairs well with tomato-based dishes because of its savory sweetness, though it’s also great in salads, on grilled meats and vegetables, and even in desserts.

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Because basil isn’t as easy to find as oregano fresh year-round, one can use dried oregano as a substitute by having roughly twice the amount – so for every teaspoon of basil, use two teaspoons of oregano instead.

3 – Dried Marjoram

Dried marjoram, which has its roots in the Mediterranean, is a pleasantly pungent aromatic herb known for its distinctive flavor.

It has a slightly minty, sweet, and warm taste that adds depth to your dishes.

The texture of dried marjoram is wonderfully crumbly and perfectly textured as opposed to fresh leaves that must be used quickly if you want to enjoy all their flavors.

As far as usages go, it serves best in savory dishes like tomato off-the-vine or game meats.

A good way to use this herb is by mixing it with other herbs such as oregano, sage, and rosemary; it also pairs nicely with garlic and white wine.

If your recipe calls for basil, but you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute it with dried marjoram instead.

With its delightful flavors, this lovely herb would make an excellent addition to any meal that needs a little extra something.

4 – Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds, derived from the cilantro plant, have an unmistakable citrusy, earthy aroma and are a staple for many traditional Indian dishes.

They offer a warm, nutty flavor with hints of lemon, oranges, and sage all in one product.

When using coriander seeds, it’s best to toast them lightly before adding them to any recipe to emphasize their delightful spicy taste.

Additionally, they make a great substitute for dried basil in marinara sauces or pestos since they have similar flavor notes like oregano and thyme.

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Overall they’re perfect for adding refreshing zest to any dish without overpowering it and are certainly worth exploring if you haven’t done so yet.

5 – Dried Tarragon

Tarragon is an herb that has become quite popular in the culinary world.

Subtle yet full of flavor, it adds depth to whatever dish it is added to.

Brightly pungent when fresh, the dried variety still packs a punch.

With a flavor reminiscent of fennel and licorice, dried tarragon can be similarly used as one might use dried basil.

The texture is light and airy, with very small leaves that look almost velvet-like in size.

It’s perfect for sprinkling over salads or including in a marinade for chicken.

Most people find that it brings a unique dimension to their recipes if used as a substitute for dried basil – a little goes a long way.


In conclusion, there are quite a few options to choose from when looking for a substitute for dried basil in recipes.

From oregano and marjoram to coriander seeds and tarragon, each herb has its own unique flavor profile that can bring life to the dish you’re making.

Experimenting with different herbs is the best way to find the right one for your recipe.

Give these five dried basil substitutes a try and take your meals to the next level.

5 BEST Dried Basil Substitutes in Recipes

5 BEST Dried Basil Substitutes in Recipes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 – Fresh basil
  • 2 – Dried Oregano
  • 3 – Dried Marjoram
  • 4 – Coriander Seeds
  • 5 – Dried Tarragon


  1. Choose a preferred substitute from the provided list.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions for the selected substitute.
  3. Use the correct proportion of ingredients when preparing the substitute.

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