Food Guide

7 Surprising Rosemary Substitutes That Will Make Your Pork Dishes Even More Delicious!

Your favorite pork roast is coming up on the menu, but you are out of rosemary.

What to do?

Try the following rosemary substitutes instead to see what works best in your recipe.

What is rosemary?

Fresh Organic Rosemary, 0.5 oz

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Rosemary is a member of the mint family.

This perennial herb is native to the Mediterranean region.

It has a fresh, piney scent with hints of citrus and mint.

Rosemary is packed with many health benefits, such as increasing mental clarity, improving memory, supporting hair loss, and reducing inflammation.

In fact, rosemary is primarily used in small quantities to add flavor for meats, vegetables, or tea blends.

It can be used to marinate ingredients, season, or sprinkle over the completed dish to garnish.

Rosemary is typically sold in the dried form in most grocery stores or supermarkets, however, if you have this plant in your backyard, you can have fresh rosemary used for cooking too.

Normally, only the leaves are used as a fragrant herb with an incredible aroma.

The dried version is likely to be stronger in flavor than the fresh counterpart.

Can you substitute rosemary in pork recipes?

Yes, you can substitute rosemary in any recipe, such as pork dishes.

Rosemary is perfect to enhance the flavor of meat dishes, including pork.

However, in general, it is more expensive than most other herbs.

Therefore, many people are seeking another substitute that can still help them achieve the flavorful taste of their dishes like using rosemary.

In other situations, a rosemary alternative is needed just because this seasoning is out of stock and you need to find something else that works similarly to replace it.

No matter what your case is, it is possible to substitute rosemary in your pork recipes without any fuss.

What can you substitute for rosemary in pork recipes?

There are many options for you to choose from when it comes to choosing a substitute for rosemary in your next pork dish.

Check out the following suggestions from us:

1.    Thyme

Fresh Brand Organic Thyme, 0.5 Oz

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Thyme is the first choice for you to replace rosemary in your pork dish.

It has a milder flavor than rosemary, but with the same note of mint and lemon.

Thyme is great to offset the strong flavor of red meat like pork and beef.

One thing to keep in mind is that this herb is more suitable for recipes that use liquids like soups, stews, sauces, or braises.

2.    Fennel seeds

Naturevibe Botanicals Organic Fennel Seeds 1lb, Foeniculum Vulgare |...

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Fennel seeds can be used as a powerful herb to season your pork, especially when pairing with garlic.

They have a slightly sweet taste with a note of licorice.

Fennel seeds are suitable for any kind of dish that calls for pork, such as roasting, braising, stewing, or grilling.

3.    Sage

Fresh Brand Organic Sage, 0.5 Oz

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Sage is another option for rosemary substitute in pork recipes.

In general, sage is an ideal herb alternative in any dish that calls for rosemary.

You can opt for fresh sage or dried sage, which is more available on the market.

Sage has a similar flavor to rosemary, which is lemony and minty, but with the addition of a peppery taste.

4.    Chili

Laxmi Brand House of Spices, Bulk Spices, Non GMO, All Natural, Vegan,...

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Are you a fan of spicy food?

If yes, chili will be a great substitute for rosemary in your next pork recipe.

Moreover, chili is more available in different cuisines in the world than rosemary, especially in Asian countries.

When using chili for pork, you should opt for the powdered form or chili flakes so that it is easier to scrub the surface of the meat.

One thing to keep in mind is that the flavor of chili is more pungent and spicy compared to rosemary, so if you are serving this pork dish to children, be careful to adjust the quantity.

5.    Anise

The Spice Way Star Anise - whole (3 oz) great for baking and tea

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Anise is a herb that is native to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asia.

However, it is not available in other parts like Europe or America.

This flower-like plant has a strong flavor that resembles licorice taste.

The dried seeds are best to pair with citrus fruits and in baking recipes.

The bottom line

Rosemary is a versatile herb that can elevate many dishes, including pork.

However, it is not always available in your local grocery store.

We have provided the best five alternatives that can offset the flavor of rosemary in your next pork recipe.

After trying them in turn, we are happy to hear from you what rosemary substitute works best with pork.

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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