Sage is a pungent, savory herb used for pork and poultry. While it may not be difficult to find in the grocery store, not having it on hand when a recipe calls for it presents a challenge. Here are the best options to replace it in a pinch.
Both the annual summer savory and the perennial winter savory can sub in for sage. They're particularly good for use in bean dishes and for sausages and stuffings. The flavor is similar to thyme, but slightly stronger and a bit peppery.
For dishes that require fresh sage as a garnish, as a topping or mixed in, try marjoram. The slightly sweet flavor falls somewhere between thyme and oregano and does not hold up as well when cooked.
Rosemary is a strong herb that should be used sparingly. It's best substituted for sage in soups and stews, as well as in pork and poultry dishes—particularly those flavored with wine.
Seasoning mixes often contain sage as well as a blend of other herbs and spices. They can be used as a substitute for sage in just about any dish.
- Herbs, Spices and Flavorings; Tom Stobart; 2000
- A Grower's Guide to Herbs; Geoffrey Burnie and John Fenton-Smith; 1997
Jessica Ferguson writes mainly on gardening, organic gardening, small and urban farming and homesteading (including beekeeping and chickens), nature and cooking. She is a freelance writer for Demand Studios and Suite101. Other interests include Middle-Eastern food and dance, literature, home improvement and decor, and music.