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16 Easy Ways to Substitute for Dill

Here are 16 easy ways to substitute for dill whether you need a substitute for fresh or dried dill or for dill seeds.

Dill, is a popular herb in Mediterranean cuisine and is a key ingredient in making pickles. It might not be a pantry staple, but is still found in many of our favorite foods and condiments like potato salad, ranch dressing, pita sandwiches and more.

The dill plant is useful for both its leaves (fronds) and seeds and is in the same family as cilantro, cumin and caraway. Its bright green herby fronds are very aromatic and have a grassy, anise, citrus flavor, while the seeds have a similar taste with a slightly bitter edge.

While it’s nice to have dill for certain recipes, you may not always have it on hand.

So, if you’re in a pinch or your grocery store is out of stock, here are several easy ways to substitute for dill.

Fresh dill on wooden cutting board next to a knife and other green herbs.

Substituting Dry Dill vs. Fresh Dill

The most common way to substitute for herbs is to use their dried version. Substituting dry dill for fresh is easy to do. Fresh dill will have a brighter taste, but dried can be used interchangeably when needed. You’ll just need to adjust the quantities.

You’ll use a lot less dried dill to substitute for fresh and vice versa:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill = 1 teaspoon of dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill = 1 tablespoon fresh dill

NOTE: Dill loses flavor when it is cooked, so be sure to add it towards the end of your cook time!

Common Ways to Substitute for Dill Using Fresh Herbs

It’s worth noting that dill is kind of irreplaceable when it comes to certain dishes. It might be worth the wait for the real thing when it comes to things like ranch dressing, tzatziki sauce, and pickles.

Dill doesn’t have obvious substitutes for dishes like these, but there are suitable replacements for recipes where dill isn’t a featured ingredient.

1. Tarragon

Tarragon leaves wrapped with some twine on wooden table.

Tarragon makes a great substitute for dill in seafood recipes and dressings.

1 teaspoon dried tarragon = 1 tablespoon fresh dill

2. Fennel

Fennel fronds next to bottle of fennel oil and bowl of seeds.

Dill and fennel have a very similar appearance, though are pretty different in taste. Fennel fronds have a mild licorice flavor and are slightly sweet. Substitute fennel for dill when used as a garnish.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

3. Parsley

Two bundles of parsley on rustic wooden table.

Parsley is another fresh herb that can stand in for dill when used as a garnish. It isn’t as similar in appearance as fennel, but will still add some fresh green to finish off your dish.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

4. Thyme

Thyme stems wrapped in bundle with twine on rustic wooden table.

Thyme can work as a dill substitute in marinades for meat and fish. It has a much more pungent flavor when compared to dill and belongs to the mint family, but is also a popular seasoning in Mediterranean dishes.

Unlike dill, it does not lose flavor as it cooks, so it’s great for foods that need to be roasted, grilled, or stewed.

Start with a pinch and add more if needed.

5. Rosemary

Rosemary stems wrapped in bundle with twine next to a beige cloth on a wooden table.

Rosemary is another Mediterranean herb that can stand in for dill, depending on the dish. It has floral notes that make it a great seasoning for potatoes and dressings. You can also use rosemary to add flavor to meats and sauces.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute in recipes that don’t rely on dill as a main ingredient.

6. Chervil

Bunch of chervil leaves on wooden table.

Chervil is part of the parsley family and is very popular in French cooking. It is known for enhancing the flavor of other recipe ingredients in a dish, especially in soups and dressings.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute in recipes that don’t rely on dill as a main ingredient.

Other Fresh Herb Substitutes

7. Basil

Basil leaves in wooden bowl and scattered on dark metal table.

Basil is a popular herb across many cuisine types and can work as a dill substitute to flavor meat and in soups and stews.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute if using fresh basil. Or, if using dried, start with half the amount.

8. Bay Leaf

Bay leaves in wooden mortar and pestle on wood table.

Bay leaves go really well with meat dishes and slow-cooked soups and stews. These leaves will add a depth of flavor to your dish while also providing added nutrients with vitamins A and C and iron and potassium.

Just add a couple leaves as your recipe cooks and be sure to fish them out before serving your dish.

9. Garlic

Garlic bulbs and cloves on wooden cutting board next to a knife with garlic press and oil in background.

If you don’t have any dill but want to up the flavor of your dish, try adding some garlic. It will create a different flavor profile but can add some needed depth. When substituting dill with garlic, it’s best to use garlic’s powdered form.

Start with a little and taste to see if you need to add more.

10. Mint

Bundle of mint leaves on scrap of burlap on wooden table.

Mint has a very specific flavor profile that is bright and grassy. It is often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Mint would make a suitable dill substitute in dressings and yogurt-based dips and pairs well with recipes that call for lemon.

Use just a pinch to start and add more if you’d like.

11. Cilantro

Bundle of cilantro leaves on wooden table.

Cilantro is a divisive herb. Some people love it and some people hate it. This herb works well as a dill substitute in dressings and dips. Just be sure to taste it first to make sure you don’t mind the taste!

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

12. Oregano

Fresh oregano leaves next to seeds in wooden scoop on piece of wood.

Oregano has a unique flavor that goes well with pizza, pasta, soups, and stews. Use as a substitute for dill in meat marinades and dressings.

Start with a little then taste to see if you’d like to add more.

Substitutes for Dill Seeds

It’s not recommended to substitute dill with dill seeds as the seeds have a much stronger flavor. But, if you have a recipe that calls for dill seeds and need a replacement, here are some good options.

1. Caraway Seeds

Caraway seeds garnish cooked cabbage in metal sauce pot on wood table.

Caraway seeds have a similar anise flavor to dill, making them a suitable replacement. Use caraway seeds as a dill seed substitute in cream-based soups and for cooking cabbage.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

2. Celery Seeds

Celery seeds spill out of wooden spoon next to fresh celery stalks and onion.

Celery seeds have a grassy, earthy flavor and can be slightly bitter. Use celery seeds in coleslaw and potato salads and as a dry rub for meats.

Use as a 1 to 1 substitute.

Grow Your Own Dill

Fresh dill grows in pot on kitchen counter with cooking utensils and a faucet in background.

You can grow your own dill and never run out again! Dill is an easy herb to grow in your garden or on your kitchen window sill. you can find this plant in most grocery and home improvement stores with a garden section.

You can also dry dill to save for later.

Recipes that pair well with dill

Here are some easy recipes that pair well with dill. Add some fresh dill to finish off these dishes or use one of your favorite substitutes for dill above.

Simple Instant Pot Potato Salad

Instant Pot potato salad in serving bowl and dinner bowl next to gray towel and gold utensils.

The Easiest Instant Pot Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs on white platter and white plate next to gold utensils and striped towel.

Tuna Rotini Pasta Salad

Close up of rotini pasta salad with Italian dressing, tomatoes, and cucumbers in large bowl.
Pinterest graphic with text and collage of herbs used as a substitute for dill.
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