sage substitute

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more information.

Looking for a great substitute for sage? How about 6 incredible sage substitute options? Keep reading to find out how you can use items you likely have in your kitchen to replace sage in cooking.

sage substitute

Sage, also called garden sage, meadow sage, and true sage is an aromatic herb used in dishes like marinades, breads, stews, stuffings, pork, chicken, lamb and even cocktails. But, if you have no sage on hand, and you need it for a recipe, what can you uses as an effective sage substitute?

Well, here are 6 easy ways to replace sage in a dish. These easy substitutes can be used for just about any recipe that calls for sage. 

Dried sage vs fresh sage 

Dried sage comes in 3 forms; Dried whole sage leaves, ground sage powder or rubbed sage. Dried sage has a flavor that is sweet and earthy with hints of citrus, mint and pine and it is best used in holiday dishes like stuffing, egg dishes, soups, chowders and other cream dishes, added to herbed butters, vegetables and even herb breads.

Fresh sage leaves are milder and less bitter than dried and they’re also more vibrant in a dish. Use fresh sage as garnish for soups, in stuffings, to make sage butter, in omelets, in meat marinades and more.

How to substitute dried sage for fresh sage?

If you’re wanting to substitute dried sage for fresh, like most other herbs, it is generally accepted to use one-third the amount of dried herbs to replace fresh herbs in a recipe.

So, if you’re looking to replace 1 tablespoon of fresh sage leaves, you’ll only need 1 teaspoon of dried sage.

Best substitutes for sage



Like sage, marjoram is from the mint family and has a flavor that is delicate, floral, sweet, citrusy and woodsy with bitter undertones. It is not exactly like sage, which is earthy and peppery, with hints of mint, lemon, pine and eucalyptus, but it can make a good replacement. 

Note that you should add marjoram at the end of the cooking process when using it as a substitute for sage.

Use 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh marjoram to replace 1 teaspoon of dried or fresh sage, or a 1:1 ratio.


Summer savory

Savory is another good substitute for sage. While savory is not a widely used herb, if you can find it, it can add notes of marjoram, thyme, and mint to a dish. Either the summer savory or the winter savory will do.

If you’re using summer savory use on a 1:1 ratio. However, if you have winter savory, use only half the amount to avoid overpowering your dish.



Rosemary, with its lemon-pine flavor, is another herb from the mint family that can be used as a stand in for sage. Use Rosemary in place for sage in recipes like roasted lamb, pizza, pull apart bread, casseroles, stews and more.

Use 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried rosemary to replace 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried sage, or a 1:1 ratio. You can also use 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary to replace 1 tablespoon of fresh sage, or a 1:3 ratio.


Thyme is another way to replace sage in certain recipes. Thyme is an herb that has an earthy, minty, slightly lemony flavor, not too different from that of sage. 

Thyme is great for adding to stews, eggs, soups, vegetables and more.

Use 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried thyme to replace 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried sage.



Oregano is an herb from the mint family that has a flavor that is peppery, warm, earthy and bold that mellows out when cooked. Oregano can be used as alternative for sage in chicken, marinades, bread, pizza dough, salads and more.

If using fresh oregano, or harvesting oregano from your kitchen garden, try to find the younger leaves are they are less potent and closer in flavor to sage.

Use 1 teaspoon of fresh or or dried oregano to replace 1 teaspoon of fresh or dried sage.

Bay leaves

bay leaves

Another good substitute for sage are bay leaves. Bay leaves are very aromatic and have a bittersweet flavor reminiscent of mint and eucalyptus with hints of black pepper and pine. Use a few bay leaves in stews, soups, seafoods and sauces. Also, read more about replacements for bay leaves here.

Favorite sage recipes

These are some of my favorite sage recipes. You should check them out if you’re looking for ideas on what to make with sage:

Final thoughts

These are some of the best sage alternatives you can use in place of fresh or dried sage in a recipe. Some of these you may have in your kitchen right now, and the rest, you can easily find in most grocery stores. 

With this list, you never have to worry if you ran out of sage in the middle of a recipe again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *