Thyme is a very popular herb, and it is well-liked for its contribution to cooking, particularly in Italian dishes and several other savory foods.
Most chefs love to use thyme in dishes and recipes, including seasoning mix, sauces, dressings, marinades, and bread.
Today, you see most people using thyme in several dishes, and it has become one of the prominent ingredients in beauty and hygiene products.
The natural chemical called thymol is found in thyme oil that contains antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Also, it is the best ingredient that you will see in popular recipes like roast turkey, chicken, or stuffing, and you will find it in several dried spice blends.
What is Thyme?
Thyme is an herb that originated from the Mediterranean region, and it belongs to the same family as basil, oregano, shiso, and mint.
Thyme has round green leaves that grow in bunches on woody stems.
The most common thyme that you might have seen contains minty, earthy, a bit of lemony flavor.
The most interesting about this herb is that it is available in more than a hundred varieties, and they are mostly known for their flavors, such as caraway thyme, orange thyme, and zaatar thyme.
5 Best Substitutes for Fresh Thyme
Any fresh herb can be the best substitute for thyme that can be used in all savory and sweet recipes.
Here you can find the five best substitutes for fresh thyme that you can use in stews, season soups, or in meat dishes.
1 – Oregano
Oregano is one of the best substitutes for thyme as this herb also gives you similar minty, earthy, and bit of bitter notes like thyme.
Oregano also contains an herbal, spicy tinge that makes your dish look splendid with beautiful intricacy.
For better flavor, use fresh oregano in 1:1 substitute for fresh thyme, and for dried thyme, use dried oregano in a 1:1 ratio.
If you want to use fresh oregano as a substitute for dried oregano, then use only half of the dried oregano for the amount of fresh thyme that you use in your dish.
This is because the dried herb can be strong, and it may not give a balanced flavor if you use it in the same proportion as fresh thyme.
2 – Marjoram
Marjoram is also one of the best substitutes for fresh thyme.
You can use dried or fresh marjoram as a substitute for fresh thyme.
This herb also contains minty and woody notes, same as oregano, but it gives out a more delicate and sweeter flavor.
Also, when you are using marjoram as an alternative to fresh thyme, use a 1:1 ratio only for a better and balanced flavor.
But, if you are using dried marjoram in place of fresh thyme, then use half the amount only, and if you are using fresh marjoram for dried thyme, use twice the amount of marjoram for a better and balanced flavor.
3 – Basil
Basil is also one of the best substitutes for fresh thyme.
Basil also belongs to the same family as thyme, and you can replace thyme with basil in several dishes you make.
Fresh basil is very bright and licorice, which is why you can use just half of the amount of fresh basil as a substitute for fresh thyme.
You can use a 1:1 ratio of fresh basil for dried thyme.
If you want to use dried basil, you should know that it is a bit subdued, so it is better to use the same amount as fresh thyme and twice the amount for dried thyme for natural and authentic taste.
4 – Savory
Savory is also an herb that is used as a substitute for fresh thyme.
This herb belongs to the mint family that contains strong and peppery notes with a savory flavor.
You can use fresh savory in a 1:1 ratio in place of fresh thyme, and if you are using dried savory, then also use 1:1 for dried thyme.
When using fresh savory in place of dried thyme, then use twice the amount of dried thyme.
Use just half the amount of dried savory as an alternative for fresh thyme.
5 – Sage
Sage is also considered one of the best substitutes for fresh thyme.
Sage brings out a delicate piney mint and lemony flavor along with an earthly flavor that makes this herb a great alternative for fresh thyme.
Sage is mainly used in tomato-based dishes, creamy pasta, and sometimes in sauces and marinades.
Use half the amount of sage as an alternative for fresh thyme that is required in a recipe.
Thyme is a popular herb that tastes a lot like a distinct ingredient, and that is why it is named orange thyme, oregano thyme, caraway thyme, etc.
It is also special for its shrill lemony, minty, and sweet aromatic flavor.
Finding a substitute for fresh thyme is easy as you can find several herbs that can be used in place of fresh thyme to make your dish tasty and flavorful.
Also, you can do experiments with different herbal ingredients so that you can create your authentic dish for your loved ones; not just that, it also allows you to become a better and innovative cook.