Historically, herbs are popular for various purposes including medicinal and healing, to ward off evil spirits, as an antidote to poison, to prevent plague, and a lot more. In contemporary times, thyme usage is revolutionized to beauty and hygiene products (Example: Thymol – Natural Thyme Oil). However, throughout history and today, thyme serves as a major ingredient in several recipes globally. But what happens when you run out of such an important ingredient? You can always buy more, right? But how perfect would it be if we know the alternatives for each important ingredient – would certainly make us feel like a pro! We sure are. Hence, today I will be sharing with you the best substitute for thyme.
Though Thyme has been with us for centuries; but it became a real hit during the 1960s when a singer and songwriter duo, Garfunkel and Simon sung a song rooted in Medieval England. They named it after a huge open-air market, commenced in a Scarborough town in Northern England. At that festival, a number of entertainers, visitors, merchants, and farmers were present to gather food and stock up the herbs.
Taste and Uses of Thyme
Thyme has a gentle taste with a hint of mint and lemon and a slight peppery flavor. Being a herb, it accompanies a warm, earthy, wood-like, and minty flavor. You can use it both ways; fresh leaves or in the powder format by drying and crushing its leaves. The best way to enhance its flavor in your dish is to cook it a bit longer.
Substitute for thyme comes in two formats; dried herbs, and fresh herbs or spice blends.
They work well as a substitute for Thyme in adding a savory and sweet flavor to the recipe. The ratio differs slightly for each type of herb. Following are the fresh herb substitutes of thyme;
Marjoram is almost similar to Oregano, very close to Thyme, and has an amalgamation of minty, woody profile with a slightly sweet and delicate flavor. You have to swap it with Thyme as per the ratio of 1:1. Use twice the amount of marjoram to replace dried Thyme, and half the quantity to swap fresh thyme.
Rosemary is part of the same family Lamiaceae as Thyme, just like marjoram and oregano. It is a delightful substitute for Thyme but has a slightly stronger flavor, so a little of it will be used in the recipes. Its flavor notes most suit the tomato dishes and soups.
Savory is more commonly grown in summers than in winters; it is usually called summer savory as savory is in the same family as Thyme, so feel free to use savory as a Thyme substitute in various dishes. It possesses a robust, peppery, and savory flavor and can be used as 2:1 for dried thyme.
Basil is another herb in the family of mint and Thyme with very licorice and bright color. Fresh basil can be used 1:1 for dried Thyme, while dried basil is a bit muted and can be used double in 2:1 to swap dried thyme. Although it complements several recipes, it best fits any the Mediterranean or tomato-based dishes.
Either fresh or dried, Oregano encloses a complexity of spice, herbal tone, minty, earthy, savory taste with a slightly bitter note as thyme. Use it in 1:1 to swap fresh or dried thyme. So enjoy your meal with the fluffy herby deal!
Use dried herbs as 1:1 to swap dried Thyme and half in place of fresh thyme. However, it is important to note that dried herbs may contain powdered aromatics and dried seeds that may not compliment the sweet recipes as substitutes for thyme.
A spice blend of dried rosemary, thyme, marjoram, sage, and black pepper provides a natural swap or substitute for thyme.
Za’atar is usually obtained from the Levant region and contains dried toasted sesame seeds, oregano, thyme, lemony sumac, salt, and marjoram. It proved to be one of the best substitutes for Thyme among all.
Italian seasoning is a mixture of dried rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, and marjoram. It serves an ultra- fragrant blend of spice and is a great substitute option for thyme.
Herbes de Provence:
From the Provence region of France comes this great blend of dried herbs that often comprises dried parsley, tarragon, fennel seeds, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, and basil. It has a distinctive flavor that can easily take over the other flavors of your taste buds.
Thyme is an essential yet unique herb that makes any recipe stand out. However, as it has the same minty and earthy flavor as various other herbs, it resolves all your problems of finding some suitable substitute for Thyme when you run out of it. The similar taste notes of substitute herbs serve you the best way to gain the same taste in many options.