Tarragon Substitute

Tarragon is a commonly used leafy green herb in French cuisine. It is especially suitable for use with fish, chicken, sauce, and as part of vinaigrettes because of its distinctive yet subtle flavor.

Estragon’s appeal appears to come from its understated side, so a gentle hand generates more good results and helps to overshadow all other flavors in a dish with its special taste, which as traces of anise.

People seem to either love it or hate it, so when adding it to meals, remember the audience. Tarragon, as well as some combinations of herbs, is an important ingredient in the French sauce Bearnaise. It is a common herb that is also used in flavored vinegar.

What Does Tarragon Taste Like?

Owing to the presence of estragole, an organic compound that gives fennel, anise, and tarragon their distinct flavors, French tarragon has a pungent, licorice-like taste. 

Generally, French tarragon is cultivated from cuttings or by division. Typically, it is sterile, which means it rarely flowers or sets seeds and can be hard to grow. (It hates super-hot weather, too-humid soil, super cold weather, you name it, it’s very high maintenance.) 

Mugwort, sagebrush (not to be confused with culinary sage) and wormwood are other members of the genus Artemisia.

What Is The Flavour Of Tarragon?

The taste of Tarragones is really special. It has a hint of sweetness and bitterness. A hint of licorice and vanilla will give you the flavor. There’s a battle in this herb between a cold and warm taste. It’s minty and tastes a little bit of hay, but it’s also peppery and a slight touch of turpentine. It also has a strong taste of eucalyptus that makes it a little distinct from anise and fennel.

The combination of very unusual flavors makes the great taste of tarragon special. The two styles, French and Russian, differ significantly in taste. The French tarragon has a moderate, delicate, sweet taste, while the strong taste is more dependent on the Russian variety. 

The taste is salty and the taste is harsher and more tingly. Also with a stronger flavor, the Russian variety is less aromatic and quickly loses its flavor as it matures. 

On the other hand, the Mexican tarragon can be easily distinguished due to its tiny yellow flowers, which are more textured and have a clear taste of anise.

Is Tarragon The Same As Rosemary?

It is related to such culinary and medicinal herbs as echinacea, chicory, and dandelion, and Tarragon belongs to the
sunflower family. Along with mint and marjoram, rosemary comes from the family Lamiaceae. The taste of Tarragon is
similar to that of anise and fennel, and licorice is usually compared to all three herbs.

What Spice Can I Substitute For Dill?


Use an equivalent quantity of fresh tarragon for the fresh dill, or dry tarragon for the dry dill, to make the right substitute. As a stand-in for fresh dill weed, you can also use dried tarragon, but you’ll need to change the amounts, as it has a more powerful taste.

Different Tarragon Substitutes

You’re in a tricky place if you try to make a recipe that calls for tarragon but can’t find any. On the one hand, nothing else can really taste like tarragon; on the other hand, when tarragon is not to be found, parsley or chervil, or even better, a combination of the two, will add the fresh green herbal note in a recipe.


Marjoram, with sweet pine and citrus flavors, is a very cold-sensitive perennial herb or undershrub. Marjoram is synonymous with oregano in some Middle Eastern countries, and the names sweet marjoram and knotted marjoram are used there to differentiate it from other plants of the genus Origanum.

Each of these alternatives can be added to a recipe equal to the amount of dried tarragon needed in equal parts.


Try using 1 1/2 tablespoons of chervil for every tablespoon of fresh tarragon that you need to substitute if you intend to
substitute fresh tarragon. While the flavor is not quite as good as tarragon, when it comes to fragrance, chervil is the most
comparable. Another option is fennel seed, as it’s very flexible and packs a lot of flavors. With every tablespoon of fresh
tarragon, use 1/2 teaspoon. Finally, basil is similar to tarragon as well, albeit without the chervil’s distinct licorice taste. For
each tablespoon of fresh tarragon, substitute 2 tablespoons of fresh basil, since basil is a milder herb.


Basil is an important herb in Italian cooking in the mint family, although it is also used in a number of other cuisines, including Thai, Indonesian, and Vietnamese. It is recognized in traditional pesto for being the main ingredient and is also a common seasoning in pasta sauces based on tomatoes. 

Basil is an annual herb with a color that is most commonly green. It has a soft and fragrant scent and a peppery taste. The basil leaves are broad, somewhat delicate, with a smooth texture marked by a series of veins; they are the main part of the cooking plant. It’s a simple herb for home cultivation and popular addition to kitchen gardens.


For the dill weed herb, the dill plant (Anethum graveolens) provides feathery green leaves, while the dill seed spice is produced from small, oval fruits. It’s a celery-related annual herb that likes to replant itself and spread widely, which is nice to know if you intend to grow it in your garden. In seasoning, dill seeds are used, such as in pickles. Dill weed is delicate, like chervil, and works particularly well with eggs or in salads.

Tarragon Uses

The distinctive flavor of Tarragon lends itself to a number of techniques and dishes for cooking. Tarragon is one of the herbs used to make herbs of fines (parsley, chervil, and chives are the others), a delicate herb blend commonly used in French cooking. In salad dressings (like this creamy version) and in sauces, particularly cream or butter sauces that can harness its flavor without overwhelming it, Tarragon is also delicious all by itself.

The fresh herb also works well for seasoning a basic roast chicken or for grilled fish in brine or flavoring. Used sparingly, when snipped and sprinkled on top of poached eggs, steamed asparagus and roasted potatoes, it can be a good alternative to fresh parsley.

How to store Tarragon

Tarragon doesn’t store very well, as with all new, leafy herbs, but you do have a few choices. Hold the tarragon loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge if you just need it to last a day or two. Lay the stems on layers of paper towels for longer storage, roll them up, and store them loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, just like lettuce and other greens. This second technique keeps the leaves dry and is less likely to rot, but the herb will not dry out.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does tarragon taste like?


How do you store tarragon?

Fresh, loosely rolled in a damp paper towel then place in a plastic bag. Dried, in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

How long does tarragon last?

Fresh, 10-14 days. Dried, 1-3 years.