What can you Substitute for Basil?

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If you are searching for different basil substitute options, this post will be of much help for you to know about what spice is similar to basil. Following are the possibilities of what can you substitute for basil to make your favorite dish;

Top 8 Best Basil Substitute:


CilantroSome people also call it coriander, which is available and can provide lovely green vibrancy to dishes, dressings, and sauces. It doesn’t taste like basil but works well like a substitute for basil leaves to add flavors in curries or many Thai dishes.


ThymeIt has an extra lemony taste characteristic and tastes warmer as compared to the flavor of basil. You can consider it to be used as a substitute for basil while preparing sauces and casseroles.

After all, its mint undertone can match the similar taste of oregano and basil. But, be careful while using it in your Dish since, in case of overuse, it will leave unpleasant flavor in your food!

Italian Seasoning

Italian SeasoningMany Italian cooks use some Italian seasoning to make their dishes delicious, even in the absence of basil. It includes oregano, thyme, parsley, pepper, rosemary, and basil. This seasoning is mostly used in making sauce for pasta.

In this case, as well, you need to first check for the list of ingredients already mentioned in a recipe. It is because if anything is repeating, then prefer to add the Italian seasoning in a small amount than required!

Fresh Basil

Fresh BasilA simple approach for basil substitute is to use fresh in place of dried or vice versa! But, it is not applicable in every scenario. For example, in dishes that need basil to add flavor or as a garnish, it is best to use fresh over dried. So, you need to use three times new to the amount required for dried basil.

But, be careful and add these fresh leaves only at the end of the cooking process. It is because there are chances that the leaves will get overcooked and lose their flavor. At the same time, it becomes bitter that it can ruin the overall taste of the food.


MintThe herb is responsible for adding both vibrant color and fresh flavor to the Dish. Due to its minty profile, it resembles much like basil but cannot be used everywhere as its substitute because of its cooling mint taste.

So you can use it as an alternative of basil in sauces or dressing that doesn’t need cooking. You can use it for sure in desserts that ask for basil as an ingredient, like cheesecake, sweet dishes, and ice cream.

Celery Leaf

Celery LeafYou can use both the leaves and stalk of celery in preparing foods. The leaves need to be tossed well to add green color and add a good taste to the dishes. It is the best option if you do not like to add basil in any recipe, especially while preparing pesto. You only need to add an equal quantity of celery leaves than required of that of basil in your Dish!


OreganoIt is a common herb available in many countries and taste almost similar to basil but lacks in peppery, stronger floral taste. Generally, Mediterranean cooks use it in most of their dishes like casseroles, pasta sauces, or only as a topping on bruschetta or pizza.

Spinach Leaves

Spinach LeavesIt can help you to give a vibrant green color to the dishes but taste different than basil. It is preferred to use a basil substitute only if you haven’t like the taste of basil or want to cut down its flavor from the food.

So, you can add some spinach leaves with a few amount of basil to add a mild flavor on dishes like pesto. These leaves are typical in preparing making many Thai and stir-fries recipes to make them more delicious with no strong flavor in them.

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