8 Dill Substitutes to Try in Your Recipes
Quite popular in Scandinavian, German, and Russian cuisine, dill is a versatile and fragrant aromatic herb. But is it that easy to find similar dill substitutes when you run out?
Amazing with seafood and fish (perfect with salmon, to be fair!), a key ingredient in potato salad, eggs, rich sauces, and marinades, a fabulous touch in pickles, dill is an aromatic addition to your dish.
Dill flavor profile
- Dill has a grassy, herbal aroma
- Dill has a buttery, yet fresh effect
- Dill has minty and piny undertones
- Dill has lemony, citrusy notes
- Dill has an anise flavor
- Dill has a mildly sweet aroma, with a bitter hint
What can you use instead of dill: is the fresh version as good as the dried?
Yes, you can dry dill leaves and keep them stored for months until you need to use them. And yes, they can be used interchangeably! But remember that the dried version is more aromatic and stronger. You should use one teaspoon of dry dill for each tablespoon of fresh dill.
Can you use dill seed instead of the plant? Well, they are not the same, even though you might expect them to be! Dill seeds are mintier (camphor-like, actually, and reminds you of eucalyptus) and leave a bitter undertone. Their aroma is pungent, like little bursts of zingy, crunchy, flavor-packed goodness.
Sure, it’s better to use the real thing. But sometimes, the herb Gods are not on your side. So, if you don’t have any dill around and you’re not ready for an impromptu grocery run, some of these alternatives can help out.
If you’re looking for a fresh dill substitute, ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! Fennel’s feathery, delicate fronds are twins for dill leaves. They are fresh, grassy, a little minty, and sweet.
Fennel, however, is sweeter and has a more pungent licorice aroma. This substitute goes great with meats, veggies, salads, fish, soups, stews, and sauces. Quite versatile!
A good substitute for dill in ranch dressing, sauces, and soups, tarragon has a similar scent and flavor, even resembling licorice. You can also use it as a dried dill substitute because, when dry, they are more alike.
Tarragon is more resilient than dill, so if you’re swapping them, make sure to add tarragon at the beginning.
While dill is more delicate and needs to be added towards the ending of the cooking process, tarragon can dive in from the get-go and still retain its flavor. Tarragon is a fine choice for seafood, fish, potatoes, stews, sauces, meats, and salad dressings.
We could call out chervil as the best dill substitute. Its flavor is a mix of parsley and a hint of licorice that reminds you of dill. You can sprinkle some of this aromatic herb on eggs, fish, meats, salads, and soups that mention dill.
With an intense flavor and a hint of sweetness, basil can be a good choice instead of dill. Add it to marinades and salad dressings for a fresh burst of aroma. Make sure to sprinkle it towards the ending of cooking to maintain its suave flavor.
Thyme is earthy, rich, minty, and peppery, but lacks the licorice feel of dill. Still, it’s one of the best dill substitutes, especially in roasts and stews, and meat and fish marinades too.
It works great with pasta and veggies as well. Thyme is quite minty and intense and has a sharp mouthful to it, so make sure to add it at the beginning of cooking, so it can spread its goodness evenly.
A good substitute for dill in tartar sauce, parsley isn’t quite a twin in terms of flavor. Nor appearance. But it will do, and it will not overwhelm the taste of your food. With a grassy and floral aroma, with minty undertones, parsley can complement veggies, eggs, fish, lamb, chicken, soups, stews, sauces, dressings.
7. Rosemary: Looks Like Dill, Doesn’t Taste Like Dill
To be fair, it kinda looks like dill. And it does have a hint of piney freshness. Other than that, they are not really similar. Rosemary is rather earthy, woodsy, and peppery. It lacks the fresh, citrusy vibe that dill has, and that anise hint.
But you can replace dill with rosemary, especially in meats, salad dressing, and yes, potatoes, grains, and mushrooms. It will change the flavor profile of the plate, but it will work in place of dill.
8. Sage: Good for Salmon & More – 1:2 ratio
For salmon, sage is one of the most appropriate dill substitutes out there. Mixed with some butter and spread on the salmon, this aromatic frenzy really works. While sage has a bold flavor profile it can replace dill.
With a pronounced herbal aroma, sage is a little minty, with a touch of lemon zing and some eucalyptus undertones. However, its aroma is rather earthy, rich, and slightly peppery. It works in meat dishes, roasts, soups, and stews too, especially when added in the beginning, to spread its flavor.
How to substitute dill seeds: there’s a twin out there!
Caraway is a good substitute for dill seeds in pickling. Their strong aroma tastes minty, earthy, and anise-like, resembling the flavor of dill seed. Caraway seeds are a great solution for soups, stews, anything with sauces, anything with cabbage. They can also be added to meat goods, such as sausages.
Other substitutes for dill seeds include celery, coriander, and fennel seeds.
So, there it is! You don’t have to give up on your favorite dish if it needs dill and you don’t have any. And you don’t have to reject recipes containing dill just because you don’t quite like the taste. Although it’s challenging, with a little creativity and dedication (and some hints from us, wink-wink!) there are plenty of dill substitutes in your kitchen!