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Are you making a recipe that calls for dill? If you are and you’ve just noticed that you have no dill on hand, this list of ways to substitute for dill weed is sure to come in handy for you! The list outlines 16 easy dill substitute options that actually work!
Dill is a delicate herb that is native to the Mediterranean region. This herb has many names including dill, dill leaves, dill weed, and baby dill (if it is still super young and small).
Dill can be identified by its feathery, threadlike green leaves and this herb has a flavor that is delicately grassy with hints of citrus and anise.
The dill herb comes from the Apiaceae family, which is the same family that parsley, chervil, celery, anise, caraway, and coriander belong to. Both the weeds and the seeds from the dill plant are used in cooking and food preparations.
Dill is great to use for all types of seafood, pickles, soups, homemade ranch dressing, and salads, and it is also great for lamb, eggs, and for garnishing.
Can I replace dill in a recipe?
It isn’t the easiest kind of herb to replace and it is always best to use the ingredients specified in a dish, especially if it is a featured ingredient. Sometimes, it is even better to put off the recipe until you have the right ingredient.
Nonetheless, sometimes, you have no choice but to use alternatives.
What are the best substitutes for dill?
If you’re making a dish that calls for dill but you can’t find any, the best fresh dill substitutes are dried dill, fennel, tarragon, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and basil. The best dill spice substitutes are caraway seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and celery seeds. And, the best dry dill substitutes are fresh dill, homemade dried dill, dried tarragon, dried thyme, and dried fennel.
I’ll discuss each of these dill alternatives in more detail below, where I’ll also include the appropriate substitute ratios for each and the dishes they can be used in.
Best fresh dill substitute options
Substituting dried dill for fresh dill
If you don’t have fresh dill on hand, dried dill makes an excellent substitute. In fact, dried dill can be used in place of fresh dill in any recipe like eggs, salmon, salad, etc.
Dried dill can be found in the spice aisle of most grocery stores. Use less dried dill to substitute for fresh dill or use at a 1:3 ratio. That is if a recipe calls for a specific quantity of fresh dill and you only have dried dill, use 3x less dried dill in the recipe for it to be an effective fresh dill substitution.
As an example, use 1 teaspoon of dried dill to replace 1 tablespoon of fresh dill in a recipe.
Another great substitute for dill is fresh fennel fronds. This herb is aromatic like dill and has an anise-licorice-like flavor. It also has a similar appearance to dill weeds which will help with visual appeal.
Use fennel to replace dill in seafood dishes, meat dishes, soups, vegetables, and salads, and garnishment as a 1:1 substitute ratio.
As an example, use 1 tablespoon of fresh fennel for every tablespoon of fresh dill needed in a recipe.
Tarragon can also be used as a substitute for dill weed in many dishes. Tarragon has a pungent licorice flavor that works well in recipes like fish, tuna, eggs, salad dressings, chicken, and more.
It is best used as a good dill weed substitute in dishes where dill is not the main ingredient with a 1:1 conversion ratio.
For example, use 1 tablespoon of fresh tarragon for every tablespoon of fresh dill needed in a recipe.
Another good substitute for dill is thyme. Thyme has a flavor that is earthy, sharp, and minty with hints of lemon.
Unlike dill, thyme can hold up to heat, so it works great in braises, sauces, and stews as a dill replacement. It also works in marinades and roasted vegetables.
I wouldn’t use thyme to substitute dill in recipes where dill is the star ingredient like a creamy potato dill soup or a dill sauce for example. But, it would work well in other recipes where the flavor of dill doesn’t need to be featured prominently.
Use a pinch of thyme then add more to the dish as needed.
Rosemary is another herb that will make a good substitution for dill. The rosemary herb has a woodsy, lemon-pine flavor that can sub for dill in lamb, sauces, vegetables, salads, stews, and more.
In fact, rosemary is a great choice as a dill alternative if dill is not a prominent ingredient in the recipe.
Use about half the amount of rosemary to replace the amount of dill the dish calls for.
Use parsley to substitute for dill only in recipes where dill weed is not the main ingredient. Parsley is also great for use as a garnish in place of dill.
Use 1 tablespoon of parsley to replace 1 tablespoon of dill
Basil can also be used as a substitute, but, only in dishes where dill is not the main ingredient. Use basil as an alternative to dill in recipes like soups, sauces, pasta, and even for garnish.
Dry dill substitute options
One of the best substitutes for dried dill is fresh dill. This is so because fresh dill will effectively replace the flavor of dried dill and it can be used in pretty much all recipes that call for dried dill like dips, marinades, potato salads, etc as a 1:3 ratio. That is, if a recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of dried dill, replace this with 1 tablespoon of fresh dill.
Homemade dried dill from fresh
If a recipe calls for dried dill and you have fresh, you can easily dry your own dill. Simply place it in a dehydrator or oven and let that moisture evaporate. Then crumble, store in a jar and use this homemade dried dill substitute just like you’d use store-bought dried dill as a 1:1 ratio. It can work in all recipes that call for dried dill.
If you have it, dried tarragon is a suitable substitute for dried dill. Use dried tarragon in any recipe that calls for dried dill as long as dill is not a prominent ingredient in the said dish. A 1:1 substitute ratio is ideal.
Like dried tarragon, dried thyme can also be used as a dry dill substitute especially if dill is not the star ingredient in the dish. Use less thyme to start, then adjust the amount as desired.
Dried fennel is another good choice if you want to replace dried dill in a recipe with a 1:1 ratio.
Substitutes for dill seeds or dill spice substitutes
Before I begin, it is important to note that while it is possible to use dill weed as a substitute for dill seeds, it is not the best choice. This is so because dill seeds have a very strong and pungent anise flavor which makes both fresh dill and dried dill pale in comparison. Therefore, to replace dill seeds with dill weed, you’d need a lot of dill weed to get close to the flavor of dill seeds, which is also known as dill spice.
If you have a recipe that calls for dill seeds, here are the best dill spice substitute options:
These seeds have a strong flavor that is similar to that of dill seeds and anise and therefore make a great substitute for dill spice with a 1:1 substitution. For example, use 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds as a substitute for 1 teaspoon of dill seeds.
Like caraway seeds, fennel seeds can be used as an alternative to dill seeds. Fennel seeds have a light anise-like flavor that works well in many different dishes like soups, sauces, fish dishes, potato dishes, lamb dishes, and even pickles at a 1:1 substitute ratio!
Coriander seeds can also be used as a substitute for dill seeds. Use coriander seeds to replace dill seeds in marinades, soups, and even stews.
Celery seeds can also act as a stand-in for dill seeds in fish dishes, potato dishes, eggs, chicken dishes, brines, marinades, pickles, and even vegetable juices. Celery seeds have a strong almost bitter flavor that works well as a dill spice substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
Use 1 teaspoon of celery seeds to replace 1 teaspoon of dill seeds.
FAQs about dill weed
Can I use pickle juice instead of dill?
No. While dill flavor is used in making pickle juice, there are also other ingredients like water, vinegar, and salt in the pickle juice. Therefore, the flavor of pickle juice will not effectively replace the flavor of dill in a dish.
What is the conversion of ¼ cup of fresh dill to dried dill?
A good conversion for fresh dill to dried dill is a 3:1 ratio. Therefore, to replace ¼ cup of fresh dill with dried dill, you will need 1.3 tablespoons of dried dill.
When it comes to cooking with ingredients like dill, it is always best to wait until you have it to make the recipe. This is especially true if the dill weed is a featured ingredient in the dish. Nonetheless, if you can’t find it, there are still ways to make your dish work without dill. These dill substitutes show you how to do just that!