Don’t have thyme in stock? well, don’t worry there are plenty of substitutes for thyme.

Thyme herb is something that is constant in my kitchen, I literally love adding thyme to almost every dish I make.

It not only gives the dish an additional flavor but also makes the dish look really appealing to the eyes.

But what if Thyme is out of stock in your kitchen, is there anything you can replace it with? well, yes there are plenty of similar herbs that easily substitute thyme.

The whole purpose of this article is not to tell you about thyme, instead, today I will tell you the best substitute for thyme that you can use.

So, if for any reason, you don’t have thyme available in your kitchen, or if you just generally want to know about thyme substitutes for educational purposes then this article is for you.

What is Thyme? And why is it so popular?

Thyme is a herb, just like any other herb that we use to garnish our dish. It is not only used for garnishing but also provides an extra flavor to the dish.

It is also used. for medicinal purposes for various reasons, the number 1 reason is that thyme is full of thymol and carvacrol which are very beneficial compounds. They are very good anti-oxidant and has anti-bacterial property.

I personally like to add thyme to dishes like soup, and meat. It gives a very good flavor and also, as I said it is very good for our digestive system.

If you also want to give your dish an extra flavor then you can try adding thyme to your desired dish. You will love it for sure.

There are different types of thyme available such as lemon thyme, common thyme, and creeping thyme, out of all, lemon thyme is my favorite.

It gives an earthy and minty flavor to the dish, however, creeping thyme is also good. If you haven’t used thyme before then I suggest you go with common thyme.

Substitutes for Thyme

The Best Substitutes for Thyme (My Personal Favorites)

There are varieties of herbs available but not all can be a great substitute for thyme, so what I have done is shared only those herbs that have something in common with thyme.

1) Oregano

Substitutes for Thyme

Oregano is a very popular herb across the world, whereas thyme is only popular in selected parts of the world. However, they do have a lot of things in common, especially in terms of health benefits.

As I am a big-time oregano fan, I have noticed that oregano has more strong flavor than thyme.

Thyme is on the milder side, with an earthy flavor and a hint of mint in it, whereas oregano has a slightly bitter and tangy flavor. It is widely used in Pizzas and pasta.

Even the aroma of oregano is stronger than thyme, so those who want to add a kick to their dishes such as noodles, soup, or even meat can try oregano.

But you need to be careful if you want to use oregano as a substitute for thyme, to make it the perfect substitution, you need to add a small amount of it. Especially when you are using dried oregano.

2) Savory

Savory is also a very good option for those who are looking for the best substitutes for thyme.

Being from the mint family, the savory herb has a lot in common with thyme.

The flavor profile of savory is also quite similar to thyme, you do get the hint of mint in it along with a peppery and bitter taste.

I have tried savory a lot of times, and what I noticed is savory has a milder flavor as compared to thyme, whereas thyme has a more earthy but strong flavor.

The aroma of both these herbs is different, I can not express it in words, but I can say has its unique aroma.

So, you must be thinking what is the best amount to add savory to a dish?

Well, let’s say you add ‘x’ amount of thyme in your dish, so to substitute it with savory you need to add half the amount of savory in your dish to balance it out perfectly.

3) Marjoram

Substitutes for Thyme

Marjoram is another popular herb that you will find in my kitchen, at least. Well, I sometimes use it as a substitute for thyme and it just works out pretty well.

Just like thyme, marjoram also has a minty flavor but it is on the sweeter side.

The earthy and floral flavor is marjoram is also another aspect that makes it a great substitute for thyme.

One thing to notice is marjoram has a bolder flavor than thyme but slightly milder than oregano.

I would say add a small amount of marjoram to your dish at the end of the cooking process, don’t add marjoram while cooking your dish. Always garnish it over.

If you are using dried marjoram, then try to add the half amount of marjoram as a substitute for thyme and then taste it.

Marjoram is also very good for your health, it has similar compounds as thyme, and can be very good option for your digestive system.

4) Basil

Basil herb is my personal favorite when it comes to Italian dishes or tomato-based dishes.

However, the flavor profile of basil is not exactly the same as thyme but you can still use it in a number of dishes.

The taste of basil is a little sweeter, with some hint of mint (same as thyme), and clove. However, the earthy flavor of thyme is absent in basil.

So, what I have noticed is that basil doesn’t suit well with dishes that require earthy flavor.

However, if you are cooking Italian then trust me basil will enhance the taste and you will love it for sure.

Basil also goes well with seafood and chicken. I sometimes garnish my chicken with basil and each time it makes the dish even better by providing an extra flavor.

You can try experimenting on your own to find out what dishes go well with basil.

5) Rosemary

Substitutes for Thyme

Do you love pine-like flavor? if you do then Rosemary can be your best friend.

Rosemary is another great substitute for thyme, it has the same earthy flavor as thyme but it also has a unique pine-like flavor that makes it even better.

You will always find Rosemary in Mediterranean cuisine. It goes super well with other dishes such as meat, pasta, fish, etc.

I like to pair it with my soup all the time, and it adds so much extra taste and flavor, you should definitely try adding Rosemary to soup, you will love it.

Compared to thyme, Rosemary has a strong flavor, so keep in mind that always add a small amount of it.

And one more important thing, don’t add rosemary to the dish that sweetness of thyme.

Apart from all of that, you can try experimenting yourself to find out the best dish that goes well with Rosemary.

Also Read:

  1. The Best Substitutes for Sun Dried Tomatoes 
  2. Top 6 Best Substitutes for Tex Mex Paste


So, that’s all for this article, I know thyme is a great herb but don’t limit yourself to thyme only, go and try other herbs, they are as good or even better than thyme.

All the substitutes for thyme that we have discussed in this article are the best substitute and all of them have some unique flavor in them.

While substituting make sure to add the amount carefully, there are some herbs discussed in this article that are bolder than thyme, so add the amount accordingly.

If you know about any other herbs that you think are the best Substitutes for Thyme then do let us know. ūüôā

By Aditya Verma

David McGill who is the owner of the American City Diner blog is a big-time foodie, professionally he is a software developer who works at Amazon Web Services in Seattle, Washington. In his free time, he tries different food recipes in his home, and whenever he gets a chance he tries to visit and review restaurants across the state.

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