We all know what mint is; it’s the candy that has us breathe and smell fresher!
Well, yeah… But there is another meaning behind mint. It’s a very aromatic and fragrant herb that has you perk up with its sharp, enticing smell! (*)
Not only does it come in the form of breath-refreshing candies, but you also use it for teas, mint juleps, peppermint cookies, pasta, desserts, and the like. Amazing, isn’t it?
While mint is relatively easy to procure, some may not have it on hand in their kitchen or available in their supermarket. Fortunately, there are mint substitutes to use, many of which you may find in your garden or grocery store!
You can replace mint with basil, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, peppermint extract, coriander/ cilantro, herbal mint tea or lemon extract…
Take a look at the best substitute for mint here.
Did you know that mint was named after the Greek nymph, Minthe?
It originated from the Greek story where Persephone, the Greek goddess of vegetation, caught mint seducing Hades, her husband.
Persephone’s green eyes of jealousy took over, and Minthe became a garden mint. Because of that, we associate mint with funerals and covering up foul odors.
Mint is much more than a fragrance, though.
We can use it for cooking, baking, creating drinks, and even reap the health benefits it offers.
If there’s no mint available, here are a few alternatives:
The 9 Best Mint Substitutes for ANY Minty Flavor Recipes!
We consider basil as the best substitute for mint.
It’s practically mint’s closest cousin and adds a freshness to your food that mint does!
Basil offers the similar refreshing flavors mint does, though it also has peppery sweetness, giving it a unique kick to your dish.
However, basil doesn’t have the same mint intensity, so people might notice the difference if you want a mint dish. But basil makes a great option in cases where mint isn’t a significant ingredient.
Here are foods we recommend that go well with basil: Pesto Soup, Vegetable Soups, Salads, Pizza, Fish & Seafood Dishes, Sides, Frozen Desserts, and Cocktails.
Fresh marjoram gives your food a citrusy and pine-like flavor with a sharp, warm profile. Like basil, this herb brings a different flavor to your recipe.
Given its flavor profile, we recommend using it on salads, marinades, pasta, soup, vegetables, and egg dishes. Basically, you can use marjoram in most dishes that call for mint!
However, marjoram may overwhelm dishes, so only use it sparingly. Only use half the amount the recipe requires of mint and add more as needed, tasting it as you go.
Parsley is a subtle tasting herb compared to the other best mint substitutes above. If you aren’t a fan of how strong mint is, then you’ll like parsley!
We recommend using parsley-like stews and potato salads. While you can add it to smoothies for the green flavor, we don’t recommend using it for sweet dishes and desserts.
You can use the same amount the recipe calls for or a bit more if you want a slightly stronger parsley flavor.
Rosemary is part of the mint family, sharing the similar flavor characteristics you achieve from the mint.
You can use rosemary as a mint substitute in savory dishes. That said, rosemary has a very different texture than mint, as it’s a hardy herb while mint is more delicate.
We highly recommend combining rosemary with thyme or lemon thyme for more flavor.
Tarragon may have a pungent flavor with hints of fennel and licorice. Its sprigs would add freshness after steeping it into a liquid so that you can replace mint in drinks. You can also add the leaves to water for a refreshing drink.
6. Peppermint Extract
Peppermint extract is a great way to add more minty flavors to your food without prepping your leaves and whatnot. It saves time and effort since you just need to add a few drops.
However, we only recommend using peppermint extract in recipes where you only want to add mint flavor to your food and drinks.
You can use peppermint extract in drinks, puddings, mint ice cream, and even in slow-cooked dishes.
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7. Coriander or cilantro
Coriander, also called cilantro, is a hit or miss with many people. Some people love it while others hate it tons. Some think the herb is citrusy and fresh, while others think it tastes soapy and chemical-like.
If you do enjoy the taste of cilantro, we recommend trying it as a replacement. But if you’re a bit selective with your food, you can use a milder-tasting herb from what we mentioned.
Start with half the amount a recipe calls for and taste test, adding more if needed.
8. Herbal mint tea
Another handy substitute is herbal mint tea, through tea bags or dried leaves.
You may have it in the kitchen already, and it’s great to use in beverages and specific recipes.
9. Lemon Extract
While lemon extract won’t add a minty taste to food and drinks, but it adds freshness.
You can find extract in different forms, may it be through dry lemon, juice, or zest from the peel.
We recommend you use a quantity similar to mint, so you can enjoy the rich and unique flavor.
You can add it to baked foods and other desserts, such as custards, cakes, muffins, cookies, pies, sorbet, sauces, yogurt, mousse, frostings, and glazes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you interested to learn more about mint? Our readers submitted frequently asked questions we answer below:
Wrapping It Up
While mint is easy to get, there are times we don’t have it on hand. Fortunately, there are mint alternatives you can try to achieve the similar rich flavor you’re looking for. From basil, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, peppermint extract, coriander/ cilantro, and herbal mint tea to lemon extract they all are a great replacement in any recipes!
Did you find the best substitute for mint from our list?
Let us know what you think of these other herbs and how they taste in your favorite meals in the comment section!