When you’ve run out of dill (or Black Swallowtail caterpillars ate it all), you may find a suitable dill substitute to save your cooking. Try finding an herb similar to dill or simply a dill replacement that works well with the other flavors of the meal or recipe.
Last year I wanted to try growing dill so I could make my own pickles. We ended up with a very small dill plant that never made anything of itself.
I meant to try again this year but time got away from me. I am on the fence as far as whether I should try anything this late in the game. Perhaps next year.
Still, when you’ve got recipes to make and discover that you need a good substitute for dill, look no further. I’ve gathered up the best possible dill seasoning substitute ideas for your consideration.
Did You Know?
Dill’s scientific name is Anethum graveolens and it belongs to the celery family, Apiaceae (Umbelliferae). This herb shares its family ties with anise, caraway, carrots, celery, cilantro, cumin, fennel, and parsley to name a few.
Eerily, these plants are also related to quite a few highly poisonous and even deadly species in the Apiaceae family, such as poison hemlock. (Familiarize yourself with these very toxic plants so you can immediately and safely remove them from your garden.)
Best Dill Substitute Ideas
Most of the time, we find out we’re low or totally out of a cooking ingredient when we’re actually in the process of cooking. With this in mind, it’s probably a good idea to grow your own dill if you can.
However, hindsight is 20/20 and most likely you just need a good dill substitute now!
Try these suggestions for the best dill weed substitute ideas:
Use the Real Thing When Possible
Keep in mind that recipes celebrating dill for all its worth probably should not use a replacement for dill. Let the true flavor shine, even if it means an impromptu grocery run.
Of course, this is not always possible and dill’s role in a recipe is not always epic.
Consider these dill substitutes to save dinner or your latest jar of pickles!
1. Fresh Dill or Dried Dill Substitute
Using fresh or dried dill interchangeably is probably the easiest substitution you can make.
- 1 tablespoon of fresh = 1 teaspoon of dry
- 1 teaspoon of dry = 1 tablespoon of fresh
Dried Dill Substitute
When a recipe calls for dried dill, you can substitute fresh dill for dried. Dried herbs generally contain more potent flavors than fresh herbs, so you’ll likely need more fresh than dried.
Plan to increase the amount of fresh dill to three times what the recipe calls for in dried dill. This works out to one tablespoon of fresh per one teaspoon of dried.
Fresh Dill Substitute
When the recipe calls for fresh dill but you have none on hand, you can also substitute dried dill for fresh.
As outlined above, remember that dried dill is generally stronger in flavor than fresh so you won’t need quite as much when using dried as a fresh dill replacement.
Perhaps the favorite choice as a dill substitute, fresh or dried tarragon works fine in a pinch. Both share a hint of that anise, licorice flavoring and you can substitute tarragon for dill in a one-to-one ratio, keeping things nice and simple. Look to tarragon as a replacement for seafood dishes and salad dressings or condiments.
Choose fresh fennel as a substitute for fresh dill. The feathery fronds work well to replace dill in a recipe due to their extremely similar appearance. In fact, I even noticed this when I planted both dill and fennel from seed! A small hint of anise flavoring makes the stretch since the rest of the flavor profile isn’t a carbon copy.
In the same family, parsley is a good substitute for dill. This herb is delicate and subtle enough to take on meats, fish, vegetable dishes, soups, and more without overpowering. You’ll certainly get that green color you’re needing!
Fresh parsley also works well as a garnish and would be suitable for a dill replacement in this role. Although the appearance isn’t very close, the green, leafy texture will add interest to any plate.
(If you’re curious about Parsley Substitute Ideas, too, we’ve got a post on that as well!)
Similar to parsley, chervil offers another mild option to replace dill. Subtle hints of licorice lend themselves to dill dishes, making chervil a suitable dill substitute. Consider it for egg recipes, poultry dishes, sauces, soups, and more.
Celebrated for its fragrant aroma and notable flavor, basil is a favorite herb in the garden and the kitchen. In a pinch, you may be able to swap the missing dill for some fresh or dried basil. Remember the flavors are a bit different so you may want to taste as you go, if possible. Basil works as a good substitute in marinades and salads.
This popular culinary herb withstands long cooking times like a champ. Thyme works well as a substitute for dill, adding a new layer of flavor in whatever dish you’re making. Consider thyme in soups and stews, sauces, marinades, and more.
BTW, check out our post on Thyme Substitute Ideas, too, if you love using thyme!
8. Sage – Dill Substitute for Salmon
A homemade herb butter nicely covers up the fact that you’ve run out of dill for your salmon dish.
Rubbed sage goes wonderfully with salmon. If you’re making a nice herb butter for salmon and need a replacement for fresh dill, try some sage.
The flavor truly lends itself to salmon and truthfully, the deliberately delicious herb butter will never let on that you’re missing dill to begin with.
(I’m not sure that you can get away with substituting sage for dill in many other applications, but try it on salmon. I’ve had salmon with dill butter and salmon with homemade herb butter featuring rubbed sage, and I’m a bigger fan of the latter.)
9. Your Favorite Pickle Juice
If you need a dill substitute so you can make fresh pickles, have no fear. Running out of dill simply empowers you to try other things.
The simplest way to make pickles our family loves is to brine them with our favorite pickle juice—Claussen Pickles—until we’re ready to eat them.
Knockoff Claussen Pickles – Homemade!
Simply follow these steps to make Claussen knockoff pickles!
- Save the Claussen pickle juice after you finish the pickles.
- Harvest and slice pickling cucumbers as desired – spears or burger slices work great!
- Place the pickle slices in the jar.
- Top off with more pickle juice so that all the slices are submerged.
- Leave jar in the fridge for two weeks or more. The longer time helps to infuse the pickles with more flavor.
Substitutes for Dill Seed
When recipes call for dill seeds, such as soups, breads, and more, you can substitute other seeds for the missing dill seed. Consider these options:
- Celery seeds
- Caraway seeds
- Coriander seeds
- Fennel seeds
Final Thoughts: Dill Substitute Ideas
If you’ve run out, finding a replacement for dill, whether dried or fresh, allows you to regain control over your dinner or any recipe at your fingertips.
Choosing a dill spice substitute doesn’t have to be challenging or time consuming. Consider these nine dill substitute ideas and refer back to what you’re making.
With a little dedication and your existing cooking prowess, you should be able to choose an awesome replacement for dill weed that doesn’t let the cat out of the bag about your ingredient list.
No matter if you’re looking for a fresh or dried dill weed substitute, you can try a creative herb substitution to match the meal you’re making.
What’s your favorite substitute for dill? Do you ever use dill as a substitute for any other herbs?
And more than anything, what are your favorite recipes to make using dill?! Let’s chat in the comments!
06.22.22 – Updated to add a photo of fresh live bouquet dill plants.