You finally find the time to prepare that chicken recipe you were so eager to try for days, you are elbows deep in preparing it when you notice the key ingredient to the recipe – sage! And you are out of it! 

Don’t stress right away. We have a way out of your disappointment!  There are so many sage substitutes you can use and have (almost) the same strong scent and a mildly bitter taste the sage has to offer.

We introduce them to you! Don’t keep them as a secret though! Share them with your friends, relieve them from the stress and become the spice master everyone talks about!


Sage Substitutes - Marjoram

Marjoram is popularly known to be the sage’s best substitute. It belongs to the mint family just like sage thus making it a good bet. It is a member of the same family as sage since they both consist of similar flavor profiles. Just like other sage substitutes, marjoram is an appropriate substitute for your cooking recipe. Although its flavor profile has a more citrus touch, marjoram goes well with meat. Notably, it is used in equal amounts just like sage.


Sage Substitutes -Fresh thyme on wooden pot

Thyme is a member of the mint family just like the marjoram and sage. Therefore, it has a similar flavor profile just like the two. It goes well with meats and vegetables as it is widely used in cuisine across the Mediterranean. Besides, it is suitable for long cooking, unlike marjoram. For example, it goes well with Italian pasta sauces. Although it can be used in dried form, it is highly preferred to be used in its fresh form as a substitute for sage. Thyme has a similar citrus flavor just like marjoram. However, it contains more minty and wooden notes.  


Sage Substitutes - Fresh green summer savory

It is popular in Canada. Many people in Canada use savory in their cooking recipes, especially poultry. Also, it can be used in the meat-based dishes. In terms of flavor, it contains the same flavor just like thyme and sage, although it’s mild and delicate. Notably, it is used in two forms: the winter variety and the summer variety. Both varieties can be slightly peppery although its winter variety is slightly bitter. Savory is largely found in poultry and stuffing just like the poultry seasoning.


Sage Substitutes - Fresh rosemary

Unlike other herbs, rosemary has a strong flavor. Therefore, when used with multiple flavors, it can dominate their flavors in the recipe. So, when using it in your cooking recipe ensure you use it sparingly since it has a strong flavor that poses risk to other flavors. It is recommended to use a third of your cooking recipe. It consists of a citrus flavor just like other substitutes of sage and its smell is unique. It is going well when used with meat such as pork, and poultry. Also, it is considered best for the recipes that contain wine.


Sage Substitutes - Little bucket of basil

Basil is a herb that goes well with the Mediterranean dishes like the thyme herb. It makes the best sage replacement with its cinnamon smell. It has an anise flavoring thus goes well particularly with the pasta and pizza at large. Also, it goes well with tomato and garlic. Despite it being used in cooking, it can also be used as a garnish thus used to flavor foodstuffs such as pesto, meat, soup, and fish. Ensure you use the amount of basil the recipe requires when using for the sage replacement. Also, if the recipe requires a fresh sage, ensure the basil is also fresh for the sage replacement.


Sage Substitutes - Dried oregano leaves on small bowl

Oregano has a warm flavor that makes it a great alternative in the sage replacement although it is slightly more bitter. Unlike sage, oregano can be slightly more intense. Therefore, when you are having a recipe, ensure you use it a little bit less. Not forgetting, it releases its flavor as it warms thus it may be difficult to add it to taste. Oregano matches well in the Mediterranean dishes just like the sage and thyme more so the pasta sauces. Also, it goes perfectly with chilis.

Poultry Seasoning

Sage Substitutes - Sliced pieces of raw chicken fillet sprinkled with seasonings

Poultry seasoning also makes for a great sage replacement while not for itself a single herb. It is available in a mixture of rosemary, onion powder, dried sage, marjoram, parsley, and thyme. It goes well with chicken just as the names go but also matches perfectly with soups and stews. When using poultry seasoning, be mindful of using it sparingly since it contains nutmeg. Therefore. Ensure you taste the herb first before using it in the recipe.


Sage Substitutes - Fresh green mint leaves on wooden table

Mint is known to be an unusual alternative of sage replacement. You can easily use mint instead of sage even though your dishes are savory or sweet. This will freshen up your mood as well as making the meal delicious. It consists of leaves that are brighter, unlike the sage’s leaves. However, it can make a perfect alternative to lighten up a dish when applied in the right quantities and also with the right type of food. It goes well with chicken and pork as well as the Mediterranean sauces.

Whenever you use mint in your dish, ensure you use it half the amount you could use for sage. Notably, ensure you add mint in the last stage of the cooking process since mint does not retain its flavor in high temperatures. In terms of substitution, let the amount you are substituting be equal to the sage amount.


In conclusion, it is everyone’s desire to make a delicious dish. Therefore, before using the above-listed sage substitutes ensure you consider the type of dish you are cooking. Also, you can ask for guidance from other people that have come across such substitutes and know more about them. By doing so, it will enable you to make the right choice of which substitute to use in your dish. Also, it will enable you to be aware of the quantity of the sage substitute you should use in the replacement.