tarragon substitute

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Don’t have tarragon or realized you’re all out while you’re cooking? Here are the best tarragon substitute options for any recipe!

tarragon substitute

If you’re making a recipe that calls for tarragon and you don’t have it, what do you do? No need to worry, as there are at least 7 easy ways to replace tarragon in a dish.

Tarragon is a green leafy culinary herb from the daisy family that is used in a lot of french recipes.

What does tarragon taste like? Tarragon has a slightly sweet, bitter taste with notes of fennel, anise and licorice due to the methyl chavicol, which is  a natural flavoring substance present in tarragon.

This herb works in recipes like salad dressing, sauces like bearnaise sauce, fish, chicken, eggs, vegetables and more.

Tarragon comes in both fresh and dried form and it is an easy herb to find as it is a perennial herbs that is always available. But, on the off chance you can’t find it, there are some replacements that you can make.

So, how do you replace tarragon in a recipe?

It is always best to use the ingredients specified in a dish, especially an ingredient like tarragon with a unique flavor that is hard to replace. But, it you don’t have the time to go to the store or, you just can’t find it, there are other good alternatives.

The best tarragon substitutes are fennel, dill, dried tarragon, basil, marjoram, oregano and parsley + cinnamon.

We discuss each of these tarragon alternatives in more detail below, and we also include the appropriate substitute ratios for each and the dishes they can be added to.

Best tarragon substitute options 



Fennel fronds is the best tarragon substitute. This herb has a flavor that is vegetal with subtle anise notes and can replace tarragon on a 1:1 ratio. So, for every 1 teaspoon of fresh tarragon in a recipe, replace with 1 teaspoon of fresh fennel fronds. 


dill weed

Dill is another great replacement for tarragon. Dill weed has a flavor that is delicately grassy with hints of anise and citrus. If you’re looking for a good substitute for tarragon this is it. Use a 1:1 ratio to replace fresh tarragon with fresh dill. This alternative works well in soups, stews, lamb, eggs and more.

Dried tarragon

Dried tarragon

Can I use dried tarragon instead of fresh? Yes. A good substitute for fresh tarragon is dried tarragon. Dried tarragon has a savory flavor with subtle anise/licorice notes. You can use it in a 3:1 substitution. So, for every 3 teaspoons of fresh tarragon, replace with 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon.


basil herb

Basil is also another ideal substitute for tarragon. Basil has a fresh flavor with a sweet, peppery balance and subtle hints of anise, mint and cloves. You can use it in a 1:2 ratio to substitute for tarragon. So, for every 1 tablespoons of fresh tarragon, replace with 2 tablespoons of fresh basil.



Marjoram can also be used as an alternative for tarragon. This herb does not have the anise or licorice flavor that one would expect from tarragon, however it is a sweet, slightly bitter, woodsy, citrusy, sharp flavored herb that can be used to replace tarragon in recipes like lamb, beef, chicken, soups, stews and vegetables in a 1:2 ratio.

So, for every 1 teaspoon of tarragon that is asked for in a recipe, replace with 2 teaspoons of marjoram.



Oregano is similar in flavor to marjoram, but, it is a stronger herb than marjoram. Thus oregano makes another fine substitute for tarragon. Use oregano in place of tarragon in dishes like meats, chicken, marinades, salads and more in a 1:1 ratio 

Parsley + Cinnamon

Parsley has a fresh, peppery flavor with some earthiness. Cinnamon has a flavor that is sweet, spicy, woody and bitter with hints of citrus. Together, these two ingredients can make a remarkable tarragon substitute for bearnaise sauce. 

To make this homemade substitute for tarragon go ahead and soak the fresh parsley and cinnamon in some warm water for a while before making the sauce. This combination gives a nice slightly sweet and bitter flavor that can replicate the flavor of tarragon in Bearnaise sauce.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to herbs like tarragon, thankfully, there are a few good ways to replace it. These are the 7  best substitutes for tarragon that we’ve found so you can continue on with your recipe without any hitches. 

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