10 Best Tarragon Substitutes

Herbs are typical for cooking since they add more aroma and flavor to the meal. They are part of most recipes and cuisines all over the world.

In today’s article, we’ll talk about Tarragon and its substitutes. It’s a leafy herb that grows like grass. It is a typical herb, especially in French and Russian cuisine.

The skinny leaves enhance the smell and taste of meals making them mouthwatering and tasteful. Further, Tarragon is the main ingredient in the Bearnaise sauce. Also, you can use it with eggs, cheese dishes, chicken, and any other type of meat.

However, what if you don’t have tarragon at hand or can’t find it? Can I substitute tarragon?

Yes, you can substitute Tarragon with Dried tarragon, angelica, fennel fronds, dill, oregano, marjoram, tagetes, aniseed, chervil, basil, a mix of parsley and cinnamon powder, and rosemary.

Go through our list and choose the one that fits the best.

Substitutes for Tarragon

You can find tarragon fresh and dried. Both options are available and you can always use them in your cooking. However, if you have no tarragon and simply want to use something different, consider the following substitutes.

1. Dried for fresh tarragon

Dried Tarragon Leaves

First things first, fresh can always be replaced with dried including tarragon. If you don’t have fresh tarragon you can use dried and vice versa.

The fresh one has a more intense taste. So, when you make the substitute in your cooking make sure that you use proper amounts. You can always add more.

Typically it is advisable to use a teaspoon of dried for a teaspoon of fresh tarragon. Add in all of the recipes interchangeably. 

2. Basil


If you are looking to replace fresh tarragon in your cooking, then fresh basil is perfect for you. Its bright green colors and similar taste are what make basil a good substitute for tarragon.

Add a ratio of 1:1 and increase according to the other ingredients in your recipe. This herb will imitate the taste and aroma of the tarragon. However, make sure to thinly slice it before use. Basically, you can add basil to every recipe that calls for tarragon.

3. Angelica

A member of the parsley family and commonly used ingredient that can replace tarragon is angelica. It has an earthy flavor with herbal tones which give out a strong smell.

You can use it for cake decorating, desserts, or any other recipe. Use a teaspoon of angelica for a teaspoon of tarragon in your cooking and increase accordingly.

4. Fennel fronds

A green leafy herb that can replace tarragon is the fennel fronds. They are attached to the stalks that grow on the funnel bulb. The fennel fronds have a light texture and are feathery. They work well in most recipes as a tarragon replacement.

5. Dill


Dill is a staple in many cuisines. It has a different flavor than tarragon, but it can always be used as a replacement. It comes from the celery family Apiaceae.

The leaves and seeds are turned into herbs. It is a typical swap, especially for dried tarragon. You can use a substitute of 1:1. Add it to your cooking for extra taste and aroma.

6. Dried oregano


Dried oregano is a common herb in our kitchen cabinets that makes a good replacement for tarragon. Oregano will mimic the ways that tarragon works in your cooking and that is what makes them similar and a good substitute for each other.

The aromatic taste and aroma of this herb will make your meals taste and smell amazing. Sprinkle over meat, salads, soups, or any other recipe which requires tarragon.

7. Marjoram


Marjoram can also fill in for tarragon in most recipes. No need to worry this aromatic herb will be good for your meals. It is something very similar to oregano and it’s commonly used to garnish meat dishes, soups, salads, and many more.

You can begin by adding a ½ teaspoon and increase. Add it in recipes that call for tarragon like chicken, turkey, or some cheese dishes.

8. Tagetes

Tarragon can be replaced by targets, also known as Mexican Tarragon. This is a plant that is typically grown to make medicine. Its distinctive flavor and aroma are what make them useful in cooking. They also provide many health benefits.

Its colors are somewhere between green and yellow while the taste is odorless and fresh. When replacing, use a ratio of 1:1. You can also drink them as tea. They can be found in the southern parts of the US. 

9. Aniseed

Star anise

Another herb that can substitute tarragon is aniseed. It has a licorice aromatic taste which is used to improve your health and also is used as part of cooking.

It is organic and these organic compounds which are connected to estragole are the same as they are produced the flavors in tarragon.

You can replace ½ teaspoon of aniseed with a teaspoon of tarragon in meals. Further, keep in mind that the similarities between the two are natural, so you can always add more teaspoons based on how you like the taste.

10. Chervil


Another delicate herb that can substitute tarragon is chervil. It has a faint flavor of anise and it is often compared to tarragon. The herb common in French cuisine, however, you can also use it in other recipes that call for tarragon.

It is perfect for soups or salads. Just add ½ teaspoon of chervil for a teaspoon of tarragon. It is quite delicate, so start off with a smaller amount and adjust to your taste.

11. Combination of parsley and cinnamon powder

If you don’t have any tarragon to use in your recipe, you can always make a combination of parsley and cinnamon powder. This is something that you typically have in your kitchen and it will easily replace the taste and aroma of tarragon.

Use a teaspoon of parsley with ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder and mix it up with water. This way you’ll have the proper amount to replace tarragon in your cooking. Use some sauces like French sauce or Bearnaise. 

12. Rosemary


The last one on our list is rosemary. It belongs to the sunflower family and is quite similar to tarragon. Most people prefer to use rosemary because it adds more flavor and aroma to the dish.

Use suitable amounts as it has a peppery and balsamic taste with a woody aftertaste. You can add it in stews, soups, and many more that call for tarragon.

Related Questions

Can you substitute thyme for tarragon?

Of course, you can use thyme instead of tarragon and save your recipe. Add equal amounts when replacing them in your cooking, However, the taste may be slightly different, so make sure to add proper amounts so as not to ruin your meal.

What is the flavor of tarragon?

Tarragon has licorice, pungent taste with a rough texture. Actually, tarragon is organic which gives a very distinctive flavor when used in cooking.

Is Tarragon similar to rosemary?

Tarragon belongs to the sunflower family which is similar to herbs like chicory, dandelion, and echinacea. rosemary, on the other hand, rosemary belongs to the Lamiaceae family. They have a similar flavor and aroma. However, they are not the same.

Is Parsley similar to tarragon?

They are similar. However, they taste different. Parsley and tarragon can serve as a substitute for each other in many ways. Use them to garnish, in soups, stews, and many more. 

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