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9 Outstanding Substitutes Of Mint To Try In Your Kitchen

Mint is a funny little herb that has found its way into many parts of our lives. It is a popular flavoring in many different foods and drinks, as well as being a key ingredient in many recipes, of course.

However, there may be times during the cooking or ingredients round-up process when you have run out of mint and are unable to source it anywhere near you anytime soon.

9 Best Mint Substitutes For Any Kitchen Use

If a recipe you are making calls for this herb, and this happens, you may think that you’re fresh out of luck.

However, as long as you can find the right substitute for your specific recipe, having no mint is by no means an obstacle in your cooking.

What it does mean is that you’re going to have to know what kind of result you are aiming for in your recipes, as well as to get creative with your substitutes.

This guide will help you do just that, by helping you find the right mint substitute ingredient for your recipes.

Nutritional Table

Mint SubstituteCalories Per tsp
Mint1 (1g)
Dried Mint1.4
Peppermint Extract12 (4.2g)
Basil1.6 (0.7g)
Marjoram1.6 (0.6g)
Parsley1 (1.1g)
Rosemary0.9 (0.7)
Cilantro0.7 (1.9g)
Tarragon1.8 (0.6g)
Oregano2.7 (1g)

Characteristics Of Mint

To know what a good mint substitute looks like, we’re also going to need to outline what characteristics mint has that we’re looking to replace in the first place!

One of the things that characterize mint as a plant, flavor, and ingredient (and what makes it a little tricky to substitute), is its complexity.

The first thing most people notice when tasting mint plants or oil is the sharp, crisp feeling in and around the mouth, with a strong sweet flavor accompanying it.

Depending on the variety, it is also possible to taste a hint of bitterness in mint as well.

A Complex Herb With Variety

As if the complexity of mint wasn’t already making it a difficult herb to substitute, there is also the sheer variety of different flavors of mint alongside the original to look out for.

Everyone has likely at least heard of peppermint, with its enhanced sharp flavor and crisp freshness, as well as spearmint, and its sweeter, lighter flavor.

However, there have been a ton of other varieties that have been created and cultivated over the years, from the sweet flavors of apple mint to the citrus sweet and sourness of orange mint.

This complexity found in just this variety of herbs means that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to find a single herb that replicates the flavors of fresh mint.

However, if you’re looking to simply replicate the freshness of a single aspect of mint in your recipe, then not all hope is lost.

There are many ingredients out there that can replicate at least some of the flavors and effects that you often look for when looking for a mint substitute.

All you need to know is what you’re looking for.

1. Dried Mint

mint substitutes Dried Mint

Okay, this might seem a little like a cop-out in terms of substitute ingredients. After all, it is still mint!

However, dried mint is usually easy to source for many people, as it doesn’t need to arrive fresh when bought at the store, for obvious reasons.

In terms of flavor, dried mint has a few different tastes as well.

Dried mint tends to have a slightly stronger flavor than the fresh stuff, while also being less sweet at the same time.

These characteristics make dried mint a good substitute if you are looking to create a pesto for a recipe that you are preparing, as well as a spice to use as a rub in certain meat recipes, such as for a lamb.

How To Substitute

Dried mint can be used as a substitute of fresh mint in many dishes. The best way to use dried mint is to add it to dishes where you typically use fresh mint. You can also use dried mint to flavor drinks, sauces, and salad dressings.

2. Peppermint Extract

mint substitutes Peppermint Extract

So, technically we are discussing another mint derivative ingredient here as we did in the last entry.

However, like with the dried mint from before, peppermint extract is an ingredient that may be easier to get a hold of in many stores across the country, and also tends to stay fresher and usable for longer too.

In terms of flavor, peppermint extract has a lot of the same characteristics that the peppermint plant has, in that this oil tends to have the sharp flavor of mint as the original plant.

This makes it a very good substitute if you are specifically looking to replicate a minty flavor in your food and none of the texture, such as in a smooth dessert recipe like pudding or ice cream.

One thing to look out for when using peppermint extract is that this oil extract tends to have quite a pungent.

Before you start adding tons of this extract to a recipe, you should probably first test it with just one or two drops to make sure.

How To Substitute

Peppermint extract as a substitute of raw mint is a great way to add a zing to many recipes. It can be used in candies, cakes, ice cream, and more. The mint extract has a much stronger taste than the raw mint, but it’s still very versatile and can be used in various ways.

3. Basil

mint substitutes Basil

Now, we can start to move on to the fresh herb substitutes that you can get for mint!

Starting off this portion of the list, we have basil, a popular herb to use in many Mediterranean recipes.

Like some varieties of peppermint, this herb has a somewhat light and peppery flavor too, like the mint products we discussed before.

However, basil has that fresh herbal texture and flavor to it that both the last entries lacked, making it, meaning that you can use virtually the same quantity of basil as you would in a normal mint recipe.

However, it should be noted that Basil, while fresh, peppery, and even slightly sweet, is noticeably weaker in terms of its bright, sharp flavor.

A recipe that uses basil instead of mint will be very noticeable to anyone that tastes it, so keep that in mind when preparing your dishes with this different, albeit still tasty, herb.

How To Substitute

Basil, a fresh herb is a great substitute for fresh mint leaves. Providing similar freshness of food, it adds a mild, sweet and peppery flavor to the recipes. It works perfectly for recipes to have mint flavor.

4. Marjoram

 mint substitutes Marjoram

If you’re looking for a herb that can replicate that sweet flavor that you love to taste in mint, then marjoram in the flavor that you’re looking to replicate.

This herb has a pine, almost citrus flavor to it, meaning that it is a very good option if you’re looking to replicate both the sweeter flavor of mint in a recipe, as well as the fresh texture of the herb.

This makes this herb perfect for salads and soups, as well as sweet marinades for cooking.

However, the strong flavor of this herb means that it has to be used sparingly when compared to mint, as it could otherwise overwhelm a recipe.

How To Substitute

Marjoram is a part of the mint family. It has a sweeter, milder flavor than raw mint, making it an excellent substitute for a mint when looking for something a little different. It can be used in cooking to give dishes a light, sweet taste or can be added to cocktails for a refreshing flavor.

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5. Parsley

Parsley

A favorite in kitchens and amongst cooks in the Mediterranean and around the world, parsley is a popular savory herb that, when used correctly, can also work as a pretty good mint substitute!

This herb has a somewhat sharp taste to it, like parsley, though is less intense in the mouth to feel, making it a popular substitute for many salads, marinades, rubs, and even some smoothies drinks that would otherwise use stronger mint.

However, the lack of a strong sweet flavor means that this herb is not a good replacement if you’re making a dessert recipe.

How To Substitute

Parsley is a great herb to be used in place of fresh mint leaves. For cooking or as garnishing, try substituting one tablespoon of parsley in place of one tablespoon of mint leaves. For better taste, it is a fantastic taste.

6. Rosemary

Rosemary

Alongside parsley, rosemary is another very popular herb that is primarily used in savory dishes around the world.

Because of this, it rarely comes up in discussions of good mint replacement dishes.

However, with its strong flavor, and elements of citrus amongst its more woody or lavender palette, rosemary also makes a surprisingly good substitute when compared to many other herbs in this guide!

Considering that these two herbs are technically from the same family of plants, this perhaps shouldn’t be as much of a surprise as it is!

However, one thing that you will notice when eating this herb is its texture.

With its thin, pine-like leaves, the herb feels very different to both handle and eat from mint, so make sure you add it near the beginning of a recipe to help soften it up.

How To Substitute

Rosemary, one of the most popular herbs in culinary applications, is often used to impart a fragrant and earthy flavor to dishes. Mint is also a popular herb frequently used to add a fresh, aromatic taste to dishes. When you need to use both herbs in your cooking, use mint in the food before adding rosemary.

7. Cilantro

Cilantro

Moving away from the more classic Mediterranean herbs on this, we take a look at a herb that is just as popular as its old-world counterparts, cilantro.

Also sometimes known as Mexican parsley, this herb has a lot of the same qualities as the aforementioned herb that it derives its alternate name.

So, by that logic, it should be a pretty decent mint substitute too!

However, keep in mind that while this can be an effective substitute in many cases, many people may notice the difference when used in their food.

How To Substitute

Cilantro is a leafy green herb that has a distinctive flavor that can be added to almost any dish to add a touch of zest and flavor. It is typically used in Mexican dishes, but it can also be used in many other types of recipes.

8. Tarragon

Tarragon

While tarragon might not be the first option when considering replacements for mint, with the right preparation, it can be a very effective sweet herb to use.

Fresh tarragon’s flavor is often compared to licorice, so its bitter flavor isn’t ideal for mint dishes at first.

However, when steeped in liquid and allowed to marinade for a few hours, that bitterness turns into a sweet flavor that can be a very good flavor substitute for mint.

Well, so long as you’re not looking for fresh herbal texture too!

How To Substitute

Tarragon, a type of herb native to the Mediterranean, has a mint-like taste and aroma. Therefore, it can be used in many dishes as a substitute for raw mint. Tarragon is typically used in soups, sauces, and dressings.

9. Oregano

Oregano

While oregano does not have the sharp freshness that mint has, it does still have a strong scent and fresh texture, making it an effective substitute in many savory dips for mints.

How To Substitute

Oregano has many similarities to mint, with one key difference. Oregano is more potent and more aromatic than mint. Because of this, oregano is often used in soups, sauces, and meat rubs to add flavor and aromas. It is also a flavor enhancer in beverages, such as teas, wines, and liquors.

Final Thoughts

So, find one of these substitutes in a store near you, and start cooking!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Mint Leaf Good For?

Mint leaves are used to flavor many different types of food. In addition, mint leaves can be used in many other dishes, such as fruit salads, cakes, and desserts, and can also be used to season sauces, soups, and dips.

Mint leaves are used for various purposes, such as flavoring food and drinks and in different herbal remedies. 

Are Mint And Pudina The Same?

Mint and Pudina are not the same. Mint has a sharp, sweet taste and a refreshing smell, while Pudina has a slightly spicy aroma and a somewhat bitter taste. Mint and Pudina are two popular herbs that are used in Indian cooking.

Mint is used in dishes such as mint raita, and pudina is used in dishes such as biryani. They both have a cooling and refreshing taste.

Is Raw Mint Good For You?

Mint is often used as a garnish or in drinks like mint juleps. It’s also found in many candies, and the mint leaf is often used in mojitos and iced tea.

The mint plant is a member of the mint family and is related to parsley and cilantro. Some people use mint leaves as tea, which can also be mixed into other teas.

9 Best Mint Substitutes For Any Kitchen Use

5 from 5 votes
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

5

minutes
Total time

15

minutes

Mint has a few qualities that make it perfect for a range of savory and sweet recipes. However, there are a few ingredients that can be used instead!

Ingredients

  • Dried Mint

  • Peppermint Extract

  • Basil

  • Marjoram

  • Parsley

  • Rosemary

  • Cilantro

  • Tarragon

  • Oregano

Directions

  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith