Tarragon, with its unique anise and licorice notes, adds a depth of flavor to many dishes. But what if you find yourself without? Swap it! Here’s a guide to some fantastic substitutes that can stand in for tarragon in a pinch, ensuring your dishes remain delicious.
There are quite a few good substitutes for tarragon, depending on your recipe and what kind of flavor you’re going for! Here are some options:
What to Substitute for Tarragon
This versatile herb offers a milder, slightly minty flavor that can work well in chicken dishes, soups, and stews. Use a 1:1 ratio fresh or dried.
Parsley & Cinnamon
This unexpected combo works surprisingly well in Béarnaise sauce. Combine 1 tablespoon parsley with ½ teaspoon cinnamon and simmer in ¼ cup water for a flavor reminiscent of tarragon.
Fresh basil brings a sweet, peppery note that complements tomato-based dishes and vinaigrettes. Use double the amount of fresh basil compared to tarragon.
If you enjoy the licorice aspect of tarragon, dill can be a good substitute. Use slightly less dill as its flavor is more pronounced.
This delicate herb has a subtle anise flavor and works well in egg dishes and light sauces. Use a 1:1 ratio fresh or dried.
This herb has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that can work in poultry and vegetable dishes. Use a 1:1 ratio fresh or dried.
Adds a distinctive licorice flavor to fish dishes and roasted vegetables. Use a 1:1 ratio for fronds and half the amount for seeds.
Use sparingly, as aniseed’s licorice flavor is potent. A pinch can add depth to sauces and marinades.
Though quite different in flavor, rosemary can add a savory, woodsy note to roasted vegetables and meats. Use it sparingly as it’s quite potent.
While bolder than tarragon, oregano can hold its own in stews and tomato-based dishes. Use half the amount of oregano as tarragon.
- When using substitutes, consider the dish’s overall flavor profile. Opt for herbs with similar flavor notes (licorice, anise, peppery) for a more seamless replacement.
- Remember that substitutions may not be exact, so adjust the amount based on the herb’s potency and your taste preferences.
- Start with a smaller amount of the substitute and gradually add more to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it away!
- If you’re using dried herbs, keep in mind that they are generally more potent than fresh herbs, so you may need to use less.
- If you’re feeling adventurous, you can experiment with combining different herbs to create your own unique flavor blend.
Here are some recipes using tarragon:
- Creamy Tarragon Pork Tenderloin Medallions
- Bearnaise Sauce
- Mushroom Pâté
- Zucchini Fries with Tarragon Aioli
- Scallop Risotto with Lemon & Sweet Peas
The BEST Substitute for Tarragon
- 1 Tablespoon chervil
- 1 Tablespoon fennel fronds (or 1/2 Tablespoon fennel seeds, ground)
- If your recipe calls for tarragon, substitute with an equal amount of chervil or fennel fronds. Or, use half the amount of ground fennel seeds.