8 Best Tarragon Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

Finding a tarragon substitute for your cooking is easier than you might expect, as plenty of other herbs can deliver a similar flavor to your dish.

What is Tarragon?

Tarragon is a perennial herb that grows throughout Europe and North America, and it has been used in culinary and medicinal applications for centuries. It is particularly popular in French cooking and is commonly used to season chicken, pork and fish dishes. Some people seek out tarragon substitutes because of the distinct flavor of this spice, which is similar to anise or licorice. This is due to the estragole found in this herb. Fortunately, if you don’t like the taste, there are plenty of other earthy herbs that can replace tarragon.

Substitutes for Fresh Tarragon

The best substitutes for fresh tarragon include fennel seeds or fronds, basil leaves, and chervil, among others.

  • Basil Leaves: The aromatic and earthy quality of these leaves can be an effective replacement for fresh tarragon.
  • Fennel Seeds: Possessing the same active ingredients, fennel seeds can very closely mimic tarragon, but it is far more potent, so only use a few pinches of crushed seeds to have an effect in your dish.
  • Chervil: This leafy herb is popular in soups and salads, but use this herb sparingly, at about a 1:2 ratio with tarragon.
  • Fennel Fronds: Similar to the seeds of this herb, fennel fronds deliver that black licorice flavor that some people crave from tarragon. This makes fennel fronds a great tarragon substitute.

Substitutes for Dried Tarragon

Substituting for dried tarragon can be done with marjoram, dill, oregano, or rosemary, to name a few.

  • Marjoram: This common spice can be substituted in equal amounts of tarragon, particularly in savory dishes or sauces.
  • Rosemary: Another popular herb for flavoring chicken and fish recipes, rosemary can cover up for any lack of tarragon.
  • Dill: The powerful flavor of dill may change the overall recipe effect, but it is an excellent replacement if you don’t have or don’t want to use tarragon.
  • Oregano: The flavor of this herb makes it an ideal match for fennel, although the resulting meal won’t have the same sweet bite.

Substitutes for Flavor

When it comes to flavor, tarragon does possess a distinct taste that can be difficult to duplicate, and some people want to avoid it. To eliminate that unwanted flavor, but still provide an interesting flavor profile to your dish, simply use equal amounts of dill, basil or marjoram in your meal.

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 0.0 out of 5.0 based on 0 user(s).

Latest Health News:

Words 'deja vu' highlighted in printed text

Déjà Vu Followed By A Postdictive Bias, Not Premonition

Most of us have been through the feelings of déjà vu, the feelings of having gone through this before. Some of us might also feel that we gain a sense of the…

READ MORE
An adult polar bear sitting with the arctic snow in the background

Virtual Reality Could Help With Chronic Pain Therapy

What sort of distractions can work when trying to deal with pain? A team of researchers now concludes that scenes from the Arctic on a virtual reality headset…

READ MORE
A hospital bed

Copper ICU Beds Could Reduce Hospital-Based Infections

Despite following strict hygiene standards, the risk of microbial infection in patient care facilities often exceeds risk levels. Hence, the focus on…

READ MORE