How Do I Substitute Dried Herbs for Fresh?

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Ask the Team

Is it worth running to the store for one bunch of herbs, or can you swap in some dried herbs for fresh? Are some herbs easier to swap than others? You've got questions! We've got answers!

Print Ask the Team Summer Miller

READER QUESTION: If recipe calls for a fresh herb, what is the equivalent amount to use with a dried herb?

That’s a great question, and one we’ve all found ourselves asking at one point or another. With much of the country still embraced by cold weather and a whole lotta social distancing going on now is the perfect time to get acquainted with dried herbs.

Dried herbs can be more potent than fresh herbs (unless they’ve been sitting in your spice drawer for 5 years). This means you need fewer dried herbs than fresh when substituting one for the other.

A good rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs.

Some herbs season better than others in their dried form – dill, thyme, and sage among them.

Others are better only used when fresh: Parsley, I’m looking at you! Dried parsley is a mere whisper of its former self. When you can, it’s best to use fresh parsley and skip the dried version. I will also say, I have yet to find a dried basil that evokes the same sweet taste and bright flavor profile of fresh basil.

For the most part, dried herbs are an affordable and convenient way to add flavor to many dishes. Dried herbs work best in cooked applications, marinades, dressing and anything you might want to freeze for later, but when it comes to salads fresh is always the way to go.

Hope that helps!

Summer, Senior Editor and eater of all the things

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Summer Miller

Summer Miller is the Senior Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).

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