The Best Substitute For Dill In Pickles And Other Dishes

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Learn what to use as a substitute for dill with other herbs and spices in your dishes and pickles and make your food taste even better.

The Best Substitute For Dill In Pickles And Other Dishes
The Best Substitute For Dill In Pickles And Other Dishes

Dill is a key ingredient in pickles and other dishes but if you can’t find it or don’t have any fresh herbs on hand, there are many substitute herbs and spices you can use. 

Each substitute for dill has its own unique flavor.

Some of these dill substitutes are interchangeable, while others should be used in specific dishes. While some of the replacements have a stronger flavor than dill, they are worth trying in a pinch.

This post will look at the top substitutes for dill and how to use them in the right proportions to get a flavorful dish that doesn’t overpower the olfactory senses or your taste buds. 

What Is Dill?

The Best Substitute For Dill In Pickles And Other Dishes 1
Nutritional Facts Of Dill

Belonging to the celery and parsley family Apiaceae, dill is an annual herb native to the Eurasian region. 

Both its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning or herb in various cuisines in Central Asia and Europe. 

A milder cousin to caraway seeds, dill has a grassy and fresh taste with undertones of citrus and licorice flavors. 

Keep in mind that during the hot weather, the dill plant flowers or bolts. 

The flavor of the leaves becomes less aromatic and bitter. 

Dillweed or dill weed refers to dill leaves and is used as a spice or seasoning in pickles. 

Both fresh and dried dill leaves are used in cooking to add flavor to food. 

The aromatic feathery fronds of the dill plant are used to add flavor to sauces made from yogurt, soups, seafood, and fish dishes, and make dill pickle. 

How To Use Dill In Cooking

The Best Substitute For Dill In Pickles And Other Dishes 2
Ways To Use Dill In Cooking

Dill is excellent to use as a garnish because of its distinct flavor, which makes a little go a long way. 

Dill leaves have a lovely feathery texture, and even a tiny sprig may give food a particular scent. 

Along with buttermilk, dill is a key element in giving homemade ranch dressing its unique taste.

It is also tasty in salads.

Dill weed should only be added just before serving because the longer it is cooked, the more flavor it loses. 

When cooked, dill seed, or the fruit of the dill plant, increases in flavor and fragrance. 

Dill seed should be roasted in a hot frying pan to release its aroma before being used in recipes as dried herbs.

Substitutes For Dill

Substitute For DillHow To Use
Dried dill as substitute for
fresh dill
1 teaspoon of dried dill for 1 tablespoon of
fresh dill
ParsleyEqual parts
CilantroOne part of dill to half part of cilantro
FennelEqual parts
Fresh TarragonEqual parts
Dried TarragonA teaspoon of dried tarragon for
one tablespoon of fresh dill weed
ThymeOne part of dill to half part of thyme
Fresh BasilEqual parts
Dried BasilHalf part dried basil to one part of fresh dill
ChervilEqual parts
SageHalf part of sage to one part of dill
RosemaryHalf part of rosemary to one part of dill
MintHalf or one-third part of mint for one part
of dill
OreganoA pinch of oregano to one part of dill
Bay LeafOne to two bay leaves to one part of dill
GarlicUse powdered garlic
Substitute For Vegetable Oil In BrowniesSubstitution Ratio
Olive oil1:1
Butter1:1
Margarine1:1
Canola oil1:1
Sunflower oil1:1
Avocado oil1:1
Coconut oil1:1
Shortening1:1
Mashed bananas3/4th part of mashed banana to
one part of vegetable oil
Yogurt1:1

Choose any suitable substitutes for dill to make up for a similar taste and flavor when you’ve run out of this herb. 

There are several options so that you won’t be left wondering what to use instead of dill in the middle of cooking. 

As dill has a distinct flavor of licorice and anise, you can use alternatives from the same family to come as close as possible to the taste and flavor. 

However, if you’re not a fan of dill and want some other flavor of herbs and seasonings to perk things up, you can always choose something else.

Here’s a list of what you can use as a dill alternative.

  1. Dried Dill

Dried dill is the most suitable dill substitute for fresh dill. 

And vice versa. 

Thus, you can use fresh and dried dill interchangeably in all types of recipes that call for dill to be used. 

Dried dill has more flavor packed in them and you should use it in smaller amounts when using this as a fresh dill alternative.

Conversely, when using fresh dill to substitute dried dill, you need to use more than the recipe calls for to make up for the flavor potency required in the dish. 

To make things easier for you, here’s a handy conversion formula. 

A teaspoon of dried dill substitute for fresh dill should be enough if your recipe calls for one tablespoon of fresh dill. 

  1. Parsley

As parsley comes from the same family, use it easily as the best dill substitute. 

As well as the green color that will give your soups, meat, fish, and vegetable dishes an appetizing look, the subtle flavor and taste of fresh parsley as a dill substitute won’t disappoint you and your guests. 

You can use parsley as a garnish too although it doesn’t resemble dill. 

Parsley has a mild flavor so you might want to start by using it in a 1:1 ratio as a substitute for dill. 

Then increase the amount of parsley if you want a bolder flavor. 

  1. Cilantro

With a stronger flavor than parsley and a lot stronger than dill, you should use cilantro as a substitute for dill with caution.

People either hate or love cilantro. 

So, if you’re cooking for guests, you may want to use some other dill alternative with a delicate flavor. 

However, cilantro does fit in many dishes with its peppery taste, especially in dips, dressings, and as salad garnishes. 

Its freshness and the crunchiness of its stalk can add a bite to an otherwise mundane salad and work perfectly as a fresh dill substitute.

You can start by replacing one portion of dill with half portion of cilantro and adjust according to taste. 

  1. Fennel

Another herb to work as a fresh dill substitute is fennel. 

Fennel fronds and dill look very similar and only an expert would be able to tell the difference by looking at them. 

The anise-licorice flavor profile of fennel matches that of dill and works as a good substitute for dill. 

Besides garnishing, you can use fennel fronds to replace dill in vegetable, meat, and fish dishes. 

Don’t throw away the stems of fennel as cooking with them will add a nice flavor and a sweet taste. 

Use fennel as a dill spice substitute in equal parts. 

  1. Tarragon

Tarragon is another dill seasoning substitute that shares a similar anise flavor. 

Use fresh tarragon in equal parts to substitute for fresh dill in your recipes. 

However, if you’re going to substitute fresh dill with dried tarragon, for every tablespoon of fresh dill weed, use a teaspoon of dried tarragon. 

Tarragon as a substitute for dill works especially well in stews, as a garnish in soups, seafood dishes, in salad dressings, or as a condiment. 

There’s just one difference you should keep in mind. 

Fresh tarragon can sustain the heat from cooking better so if you want to tone down the flavor slightly, add it in the early cooking stage. 

Due to its ability to withstand high cooking temperatures, tarragon retains its flavor in baking and roasting. 

  1. Thyme

Thyme is a popular seasoning herb and chances are you have dried thyme somewhere in the kitchen cupboard to replace dried dill weed. 

As thyme comes from the mint family, you will get a slightly sweet taste and a stronger earthy flavor and use it as a dill substitute in soup. 

It can also be used in fish and meat marinades and roasting and baking recipes. 

Thyme can withstand cooking temperatures, unlike fresh dill weed. 

To tone down its flavor, it’s better to add thyme at the beginning of the cooking process. 

For the same reason – a stronger flavor – you should use half the amount of thyme for every part of the dill. 

This same attribute of thyme makes it a good seasoning herb for roasting, stewing, grilling, and baking as it can retain its distinct flavor. 

  1. Basil

A popular culinary herb in Italian and Asian cuisines, basil leaves have a sweet taste and a fresh aroma that complements dishes made with meat, tomatoes, or red sauces.

You’ll often see it as a topping on pizzas.

It also works great in soups, stews, salads, and marinades as one of the best substitutes for fresh dill weed. 

Use in equal parts if you want to replace fresh dill with fresh basil. 

However, as the flavor profile is not the same, you may start with half part of the dried basil for every part of the fresh dill and tweak the amount to adjust to your taste. 

  1. Chervil

Another substitute for dill is the chervil. 

Akin to parsley with a mild sweet licorice flavor, you can use chervil in sauces, soups, egg dishes, and poultry recipes. 

In French cuisines, chervil is used to lend a subtle taste and aroma to soups and stews. 

You can use chervil as a fresh dill weed substitute in equal parts and make any changes according to individual taste. 

  1. Sage

Sage makes a good dill substitute for salmon with its own distinct flavor of pine and woody notes

Rub sage on salmon to give it a nice earthy and warm flavor or use this to make herb butter. 

When cooking with sage, add it toward the beginning of the cooking process to tone down its strong flavor and prevent it from giving a bitter taste. 

Use fried sage crumbles as a topping to any dish to give it a milder flavor. 

As dill and sage have different flavor profiles, try using half the amount of sage to replace one part of dill. 

  1. Rosemary

Rosemary is a popular seasoning herb for cooking meat, especially in French, Italian, and Spanish cuisines. 

Besides being used in lamb, chicken, and pork dishes, rosemary is one of the best substitutes for dill for potatoes that are baked or roasted. 

For every part of the dill, use half the amount of rosemary as it has a stronger flavor. 

In sauces and salad dressings, rosemary adds a floral hint.

  1. Mint

Popular in Mediterranean cuisines, mint makes a nice fresh dill substitute, especially in yogurt sauces and dips like tzatziki. 

Use mint in salad dressings and other cold dishes to get the most of its sweet taste and a refreshing, lingering aftertaste that cleanses the palate. 

If you’re using lemon in a marinade or a salad dressing, add just a pinch of mint to balance the sourness of the lemon with the minty flavor. 

As mint has a strong flavor, use half or one-third of it to replace one part of dill so as not to drown out other flavors in your salad. 

  1. Oregano

Oregano is a well-known herb and is used a lot in Italian cooking to season pasta, pizza, soups, and stews. 

It has a strong flavor and using too much of it can overpower the main flavors in the dish. 

As a substitute for fresh or dried dill, use oregano sparingly at first and adjust according to taste. 

It’s better to use oregano in marinades and dressings instead of dill if you don’t have it at hand. 

  1. Bay Leaf

In Indian cuisines, bay leaf is a major ingredient to add flavor to any tampering.

Used in meat and vegetable dishes, bay leaves add variety in the taste when sauteed along with other whole spices. 

As a substitute for fresh or dried dill, use one to two leaves. 

Pro Tip: To impart more flavor, tear the bay leaves in half before adding. 

  1. Garlic

I know, garlic is not exactly a substitute for either fresh or dried dill but it’s one of my favorite bulbs to add more depth and flavor to soups, vegetable and meat stews, or any comfort food. 

If you don’t have any dill but want some oomph in a one-pot meal, garlic can be the game changer. 

It’s better to use garlic powder instead of dill as an alternative but if you have none, use the best garlic press to get some fresh garlic.

Dill Seed Substitute

The Best Substitute For Dill In Pickles And Other Dishes 3
Substitutes For Dill Seeds

Dill seed is the fruit of the dill plant and it’s more of a spice than a herb, unlike the dill weed. 

The dill weed is used to refer to the leaves and stems of the dill plant.

If your recipe asks you to use dill seeds, don’t make the mistake of using fresh dill weed instead. 

Dill seeds are more potent and have a more powerful flavor, making them the perfect partner for bread, soups, and vegetable dishes.  

Here’s a list of what you can use as a dill replacement.

  • Celery seeds

Use as a dry rub for meats and in potato salads and coleslaw instead of dill seeds.

The warm, grassy, and earthy flavor of celery seeds will not disappoint you.

Use in equal parts to get the best results.  

  • Caraway seeds

Caraway seeds have a pungent flavor and should be used in equal parts to dill for cooking cabbage dishes and soups that use cream. 

  • Coriander seeds

Used as whole or half-broken seeds in Asian fritters, coriander seeds can replace dill seeds to lend an intense aroma and crunch. 

Try using half part of the coriander seeds to replace the dill seeds and adjust as per taste. 

  • Fennel seeds

The licorice flavor of fennel seeds makes a good dill seed alternative. 

Use in equal parts to get the full burst of flavor. 

FAQs

What Is The Best Substitute For Fresh Dill In Pickles?

Use fresh tarragon as the best dill substitute for pickles.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Dill?

If you don’t have dill, you can use any other herbs like parsley, celery, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, chervil, basil, and fennel.

How Much Dried Dill Do I Substitute For Fresh Drill?

For every tablespoon of fresh dill, substitute with one teaspoon of dried dill.

How Much Is A Bunch Of Dill Equivalent To Dried Dill?

Dried dill is one-third the equivalent of a bunch of fresh dill.

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