Best Mint Substitutes

wooden bowl of fresh mint

Are you all out of mint? Maybe you just don’t like mint and want a good alternative. No matter what the reason or the recipe there are a few great substitutes for mint and I will let you know all about them.

I use mint in my homemade ice cream, in cookies, beverages, and even tea and when I am in the middle of making something only to find out I’m all out of mint I use one of the following replacements and so can you!

So what are the top substitutes for mint?

The best mint substitutes are marjoram, parsley, basil, tarragon, oregano, rosemary, peppermint extract, cilantro, lemon extract, mint tea,

No matter if you are baking a dessert, mixing a drink, or garnishing dinner, one of these mint replacements will work wonders.

Mint Alternatives

Marjoram

Marjoram is one of my favorite mint substitutes thanks to it’s subtle notes of citrus and pine. I use it in my homemade creams and with my homemade chicken stock on the stove top for making chicken soup or in a frozen smoothie.

Parsley

Chopped parsley is an excellent all purpose mint alternative. It is a kitchen staple and work well in any dish that calls for mint. So when in doubt, go with chopped parsley.

Basil

Basil is a tender herb that can be used fresh or dried and works well in soups, sauces, pastas, breads, dressings, and desserts. It has a sweet licorice flavor reminiscent of anise. Best of all it is easy to grow in the spring and summer months (or year round in warmer climates).

Tarragon

Tarragon is a member of the sunflower family and is used mainly as an aromatic herb making it a great mint substitute. Tarragon has a gentle taste that is not overpowering. It pairs well with other bold herbs like cilantro. You can use tarragon fresh or dried (dried is more mild). I love to chop the leaves and mix them with my favorite homemade herb butter, pastes and sauces.

Oregano

Oregano is a pungent herb that we all know and love. It is a traditional ingredient in Italian cooking but can also be found in Mexican, Spanish, and Greek dishes. You can use fresh or dried Oregano. In addition to using it as a mint substitute it also makes an excellent dinner garnish.

Rosemary

Rosemary is my favorite mint substitute because of it’s woodsy flavor notes that are similar to pine needles (go figure). Why just use mint when you can also use something with the memory of a forest? Try this in your next marinade, pesto, and it would wipe out any other herbs that you have been using to make your favorite meals.

Peppermint Extract

You can buy peppermint extract from your local grocer or perhaps you already have some at home. The minty taste of it goes well with many desserts and cocktails.

Cilantro

Fresh cilantro is a great substitute for mint. It’s one of my favorite herbs and goes well with just about any dish that calls for fresh herbs. (mexican dishes, bruschetta, guacamole, salads, salsa, dressing) Your friends will think you have spent hours in the kitchen all day when you pull some open a bag of fresh cilantro right out of your fridge. (keep it in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid or it will lose some of it’s potency)

Lemon Extract

Again I use lemon extract in most of my homemade drinks and desserts. The extract is made from the zest of lemons and is laced with citrus oil. It is very potent so use sparingly. There are many different brands so be sure to look for one that suits your tastes best.

Mint Tea

Mint tea is another one of my favorite mint substitutes. Mint tea works best in iced or frozen drinks but can be found in many recipes also.

Mint Replacement FAQ

What Is A Good Substitute For Mint In A Mojito?

If you want to mix up some refreshing mojitos but don’t have any mint all you need to do is sub in peppermint extract for that refreshing minty flavor. It only takes a small amount and I would taste test (who wouldn’t want to anyway) and get that perfect mojito flavor.

Can You Use Fresh Mint In Place Of Dry Mint?

Absolutely! You can sub each ingredient for the other. Just keep in mind that fresh mint has a subtler flavor than dry mint so adjust accordingly whenever subbing for a recipe.

Herbs That Taste Similar To Mint

While you can find a herb that offers the exact same flavor and aroma as mint, rosemary, parsley, and oregano offer the closest taste and aroma you can get. They offer a complimentary profile that make them perfect mint substitutes.

Bottom Line

All herbs are great for flavoring, but just like everything else, it is important to buy quality. If you are going to use an herb substitute make sure that you use a good quality one. When using extracts make sure that you don’t add too much (we can’t have them overpowering the dish). Experiment with different extracts and herbs to find what gives you the flavor profile you like best and works best in the recipes that call for mint.

Written by Liv

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