What can I substitute for tarragon?

In this concise article, we will answer the question, “What can I substitute for tarragon?” with an in-depth analysis of tarragon and the possible substitutes for tarragon. 

What can I substitute for tarragon?

Tarragon gives a sweet and bitter flavour to our dishes. If you run out of tarragon, various substitutes give the same flavour and texture. These include dried tarragon angelica, basil, chervil, dill, fennel, aniseed, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, parsley and cinnamon.

Substitutes for tarragon

There are various substitutes for tarragon with the same flavour and taste that are discussed below:

Dried tarragon:

If you run out of fresh tarragon you can replace it with dried tarragon. Dried tarragon is easily available in stores. Although there will be a slight difference in taste while replacing fresh tarragon with dried tarragon, it can be used.

The taste of dried tarragon is very strong so you should use it wisely. Add an appropriate quantity of it to your dish. You can add half a tablespoon of fried tarragon for every spoon of fresh tarragon. Because a high quantity of dried tarragon could cause bitterness in the dish.

Angelica:

Angelica can be the substitute for tarragon. It gives an earthy and sweet taste. This is a rare herb so it would cause difficulty for you in finding it. But once it is available it is the best substitute for tarragon.

It can be replaced in equal amounts for tarragon. There would be no change in flavour so use it in a 1:1 ratio.

You can use it for soups, stews and for seafood and salads too.

Basil:

Basil is also the substitute for tarragon. It is easy to find. You can easily get it from your nearest store (either in dried form or fresh). It gives the same taste and flavour as tarragon. But if you use fresh basil as a replacement for fresh tarragon it would give the best taste instead of using dried basil. 

Because dried basil has a weak flavour so when using dried tarragon, you should add it more than the fresh basil.

Quantity to use:

  • You can add 2 tablespoons of fresh basil as a replacement for 1 tablespoon of fresh tarragon. (2:1)
  • The same is the quantity for dried basil. (2:1)

You can use it in pasta dishes, soups, poultry, or fish.

Chervil:

Chervil is also the best replacement for tarragon. It adds some flavour and texture to the dish. It can be used in equal quantities as a replacement for tarragon (1:1).

There is no difference in taste and flavour if you use dried or fresh chervil. You can use it in dressings, sauces, and on poultry.

Dill:

Dill can also be a substitute for tarragon because the only ingredient missing in dill is liquorice and aroma. This absence does not affect the overall taste and flavour of the dish. If you are replacing tarragon just to get rid of a liquorice taste, then this is the best replacement. 

It can be used in equal quantities (either dry or fresh) 1:1. 

It can be used in seafood.

Fennel:

Fennel is also known as fronds. Its taste is pretty like the taste of tarragon. It has a more liquorice flavour.  In general, it can be used in equal quantities 1:1. But if you are using dry herbs then you should use 1/8th tablespoon of fennel with a tablespoon of fennel.

The best use of this herb is in lighter dishes like soups, sauces, citrus-based vinaigrettes.

Aniseed:

Aniseeds are also called anise seeds or anise.  These are the popular replacement for tarragon. If you are replacing tarragon to get a strong flavour of liquorice, then it could be the best substitute. 

It can be used either in dry or fresh form because it gives a little sweet and spicy flavour. You can replace one tablespoon of dry or fresh tarragon with a pinch of aniseed.

You can use it for broths, sauces, and stews.

Marjoram:

Marjoram is not the best replacement for tarragon, but better. It is from the oregano family; it does not have the strong flavour of liquorice. But it gives an earthy, warm, and woodsy taste. So, it could be the replacement for tarragon.

You can swap it in a ratio of 1:1

It is best used in vegetable and poultry dishes.

Oregano:

Oregano is a good substitute for tarragon. The main difference between tarragon flavour and oregano is oregano has a more bitter flavour when it is used in dry form. Oregano has a bit of spice and pepper in it. 

You can use oregano in ratio 1:1. It is best to use in dishes like soups, stews, casseroles, pasta, and tomato-based recipes. 

Rosemary:

Rosemary can be replaced with tarragon if you are replacing it with dried tarragon.

Parsley and Cinnamon:

When parsley and cinnamon are used in combined form, they give the best sweet and bitter flavour. Due to which their combo can be the replacement for tarragon.

Conclusion

In this concise article, all the possible substitutes for tarragon are discussed along with their quantity to use.

References

https://www.verywellfit.com/tarragon-benefits-side-effects-and-preparations-4179022
https://www.mashed.com/198887/heres-what-you-can-substitute-for-tarragon/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.