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Don’t have dill, or realized you’re all out while you’re cooking? Here’s the best substitute for dried and fresh dill to use in recipes.

Dill Substitute
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Making a recipe that calls for dill and don’t have it? Dill is a beautiful herb that has a unique flavor: it’s herby and fresh, with a citrus brightness and subtle licorice or anise undertones. Don’t have time to shop for it or can’t find it? Or cooking and just realized you don’t have it? Here are some substitute ideas.

Keep in mind: dill is hard to replace

If you’re cooking something that features dill like yogurt dill sauce, here’s our advice. Try to find the real thing if at all possible! Dill is not like some ingredients that have obvious substitutes. Dill is also a signature ingredient in recipes like dill pickles and ranch dressing, and is hard to replace. It’s worth waiting for when you’re able to find it. But if you must: keep reading for the best substitutes.

Best dill substitute

1. Fresh or dried tarragon

The best substitute for dill? Tarragon. Tarragon has a similar licorice or anise finish to the flavor, but it’s much stronger. You can use equal amounts of fresh tarragon or dried tarragon to substitute for fresh dill or dried dill.

2. Fresh fennel fronds (for fresh dill only)

The next best substitute for fresh dill? Fresh fennel fronds. Fennel fronds look just like fresh dill! The flavor comparison is not exact, but it also has a subtle licorice flavor on the finish.

3. Use dried dill for fresh (or vice versa).

Of course if you happen to have fresh dill and need dried, or dried dill and need fresh, it’s easy to make the substitute! Here’s the substitution ratio for substituting fresh and dried herbs:

  • Ratio: 1 tablespoon fresh dill = 1 teaspoon dried dill. This substitution ratio works for any dried herbs.

Here are some of the best dill recipes to try:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Henry Teitelbaum says:

    Ever try Anise fronds? They’re even more similar to dill than Fennel (possibly). Worked well in pesto with bream for me tonight.

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      No, but that sounds great!

  2. Marita says:

    I think you guys may have your herbs mistaken. You suggesting to substitute tarragon for dill but dill has a distinctive lemon like flavour that’s why it pairs beautifully with fish. I believe you might have been referring to Fennell and tarragon as both these herbs have distinctive liquorice tones

    Just thought you may wish to correct that because dill does not even come close to liquorice in flavour it’s definitely in the lemony citric family of flavours

    I do hope you don’t mind the correction it’s the teacher side of my profession coming out

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Thanks for this note! There are no great substitutes for dill since its flavor is so unique! Dill does have subtle licorice notes, though we agree that it’s also citrusy in character. The herbs listed are the best case subs for dill, but they’ll never fully replace the dill flavor. You need the real thing!