The Best Substitutes For Tarragon You Need To Know (5 For Dried, 5 For Fresh)

We’re always looking for better-tasting substitutes for herbs. Herbs that have too strong a flavor or aroma! Tarragon is added to most popular French cuisines. So why look for substitutes for tarragon?

You don’t have to like any herb if you don’t like it, right? Or maybe you’re looking for substitutes because you didn’t find any in your local store. This perennial herb, popular as it may be, may not be easy to find. Tarragon has both French and Russian varieties. And they’re also available in a fresh and dried form.

You may have only one reason for not choosing tarragon. But there are plenty of milder substitutes out there. Before we get into that, let’s look at the basic health benefits of tarragon.

The nutritional profile of tarragon is manganese, phytonutrients, and iron. It also contains traces of proteins, calcium, and fiber. According to recent studies, the use of tarragon has been closely related to thyme. However, they differ in taste. Where tarragon has a bittersweet taste, thyme is lemony and tangy.


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Tarragon has a bittersweet flavor with an aroma quite comparable to anise. For some, its overwhelming taste is a good thing for any French cuisine. While for others, the flavor of tarragon is too forceful on the senses.

But no matter the taste and aroma, are they what the doctor ordered?

  • Good for digestion: Tarragon boosts the body’s digestive juices. As soon as food enters the body, it regulates a better digestive response. From saliva excretion to intestinal passage!
  • Good for athletic performance: According to one study, tarragon improves blood glucose levels.As it also does the blood’s serum insulin concentration. This is an important factor for cardiovascular health after exercising.
  • Good for bacterial infections: The anti-bacterial properties of tarragon kill harmful bacteria. Such as E.coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Both of which are responsible for respiratory diseases, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections.
  • Good for sleep: You might have heard about tarragon tea to induce sleep. Lots of herbal teas are good for treating insomnia and reducing stress. Tarragon is one of them. It calms your nerves and relaxes your brain. Drink a single cup right before you hit the bed.
  • Other benefits: Other common health benefits of tarragon are for relieving toothache. It’s also a good herbal alternative for inducing proper menstruation.

Tarragon – The Best Substitutes

Now that you know what tarragon is and how it is useful. Let’s get back to the real topic. And that is the best substitutes for tarragon on the market. The following ingredients are not only effective but healthy to eat.

Did you know you can use fresh or dried tarragon?  Depending on the type of tarragon you wish to avoid, you can pick from the best substitutes.

5 Substitutes for Dried Tarragon 

  1   Anise Seed


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Anise belongs to the Mediterranean and Southwest Asian regions. It’s closely related to the flavor and aroma of tarragon. And that makes it one of the best substitutes for tarragon.

Anise is found in soups, teas, cookies, and even liquors. It has a bittersweet and refreshing taste which is hard to miss.

As for its health benefits, anise seeds are good for the heart as they reduce blood sugar levels. They have anti-bacterial properties, like tarragon. This means it decreases chances of stomach ulcers and infections. They also improve female reproductive health by relieving menstruation pain.

  2   Basil


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Basil, or Holy basil, is a popular aromatic herb. It adds a refreshing and minty flavor to any dish. The effects of which are comparable with mint, rosemary, and oregano. And it makes a good substitute for dried oregano.

The health benefits of basil are similar to tarragon is many aspects. For starters, it has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Basil regulates better blood vessel coordination while boosting recovery after exercise.

You will also find that basil has impressive cancer-fighting and diabetes-curbing properties. All of which make basil not only the most flavorful substitute for tarragon. But the most beneficial for overall health!

  3   Marjoram


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Marjoram is a perennial herb, just like tarragon. Its aromatic dried leaves make a great substitute in all kinds of dishes. You can use it for meats, eggs, soups, vegetables, and other cuisines.

You might second guess marjoram to be the same as oregano. But in fact, they’re two different kinds of herbs. Both of which are good substitutes for tarragon.

  4   Oregano


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Oregano is the most commonly used herb for Italian cuisine. You can use it in tomato dishes, pasta, and pizzas. Dried oregano pairs well with ingredients such as olive oil, onion, or garlic.

  5   Dill


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Dill is an antioxidant flavoring used for cooking condiments, gravies, and liquors. Dill weed contains iron, calcium, and magnesium. It has health benefits that are similar to tarragon. In one way, dill weed relieves painful menstruation and discomfort associated with PMS. It also aids digestion by converting fatty acids and boosting energy.

5 Substitutes for Fresh Tarragon

  1   Chervil


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Chervil has the aroma and flavor similar to that of tarragon. It also meets the taste buds of anise and parsley. Chervil is an excellent substitute for egg dishes, sauces, and salads.

The delicate and aromatic flavor of it gets it closer to tarragon than any other herb. If you dislike tarragon’s overpowering flavor, Chervil is slightly on the milder side.

While tarragon may not be available that easily in supermarkets, chervil is. The best time to infuse your dish with chervil is to add it at the last minute. The lingering smell and taste of Chervil are sure to improve your dish.

  2   Fennel


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Fennel is an interesting substitute for tarragon. It’s also one of the most unusual substitutes for tarragon. You can easily distinguish fennel by its white bulb and long stalks. And each part of a fennel is edible in one way or another.

The nutritional value of fennel is iron, vitamin C, and potassium. And its health benefits, as compared to tarragon, are quite impressive.

For starters, fennel is good for digestion which tarragon is too. It is a good healing agent for gas, constipation, and bloating. It gets rid of toxins in the digestive system. Plus, it boosts the secretion of healthy digestive fluids.

Fennel is also good for eye health, menopause, blood pressure, and bones.

  3   Parsley


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Parsley, which is as common as dried oregano, is a superfood! Parsley is used for medicinal purposes too. With benefits that treat digestive, cardiac, respiratory, and urinary diseases. This is one of the best fresh substitutes for tarragon.

Parsley is a good vitamin-booster (K, C, and A). It also has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting properties.

The anti-bacterial effects of parsley are good for relieving digestive problems. While it reduces bloating, gas, constipation, a cup of parsley tea can do a complete detox.

  4   Rosemary


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Rosemary goes well with dishes like meats and salads. Like tarragon, rosemary is good for digestion and recovery. Belonging to the mint family along with basil, sage, and lavender. Rosemary is a good substitute for tarragon.

According to its essential oil extracts, rosemary improves liver health and boosts happiness. When added to meals or tea, it can improve your cancer-fighting response. Especially for colon, pancreatic, liver, ovarian, and lung cancer!

  5   Yarrow


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Another unusual pick that works as a substitute for tarragon is yarrow. This herb has a flavor and aroma similar to that of chamomile.

Yarrow, in ancient years, was used cooked as a vegetable. The leaves were dried and cooked, like spinach, for medicinal properties. While tarragon has a bittersweet flavor, yarrow is milder but the same as tarragon.

Some of the health benefits of yarrow that are similar to tarragon are as follows.

Yarrow, when used as herb flavoring, can treat menstruation complications. It boosts female reproductive health. And stimulates proper blood flow in the uterine area!

Yarrow and tarragon also share credit for their digestive-healing effect. It boosts the release of healthy digestive fluids in the stomach. And also stopping inflammation when orally consumed!

Looking for Substitutes for Tarragon


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Tarragon may be difficult to find in a local supermarket. But when you do, tarragon has a strong and aromatic taste. Based on what a recipe entails, using half of the serving mentioned in the recipe is necessary. And when you’re new to tarragon, as are most American and non-French dishes! Using tarragon is tricky.

And so looking for substitutes is an important thing to do. Tarragon may be famous for French cuisine. But American dishes are unfamiliar with its aroma and taste. You might want to go easy on adding dried tarragon powder or fresh tarragon in meals. Especially when you’re sensitive to strong flavors!

Take tarragon tea as an example. Cooked tarragon has a stronger flavor than when they’re not. And this intensified flavor most of you may not be used to. Hence, looking for milder substitutes is necessary.

You can make use of finer herbs such as parsley, oregano, dill, or marjoram. Be it in their dried or fresh form. Thyme and chives are also good substitutes for tarragon.

Don’t rely on a single substitute for tarragon for cooking. There are many flavorful and aromatic herbs out there.

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