Do you love pork and are looking for different ways to spice up your pork dishes? Here’s our recommendation: season it with herbs!
Not only will herbs add a natural flavor to your pork dishes, but they will also provide you with plenty of excellent health benefits you can’t get from artificial flavorings. (*)
But with all the herbs out there, which one should you use? What herbs go with pork?
There are a lot! We’re going to share with you 17 excellent herbs that will surely take your favorite pork dish to a whole new level.
Are you ready to step up your cooking game? If so, let’s get started!
What Herbs Go Well with Pork?
Here are 17 common herbs that pair well with pork you might not know :
Fact: Herbs don’t just infuse flavor into our food. They also add a pop of color and a punch of nutrition. So what herbs go with pork? Here they are:
Grassy, earthy, and mildly peppery—these are the three things that would best describe parsley’s flavor.
Did you know?
Parsley is often mistaken for cilantro. However, they have a noticeable difference (aside from the taste): parsley’s leaves are shinier and darker than cilantro.
Parsley is a staple herb when it comes to preparing Mediterranean-style dishes. It’s also highly recommended for making soups and vegetable dishes look extra fancy.
Pro Tip: If you want to harness the powerful flavor or parsley, use the stems instead of the leaves.
This herb is known for its tart, refreshing, and citrusy flavors. It can also add a warm, nutty, and spicy twist when used on pork dishes.
Coriander is a powerful herb in Mexican, Latin, Spanish, and Indian cuisine. In addition to curries and chilis, you can also use this in marinades and spice rubs.
Pro Tip: If you’re thinking of adding vegetables to your pork dishes, keep in mind that coriander works best with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and bell pepper.
The savory herb is actually a part of the mint family, and it comes in two types—winter savory and summer savory.
Did you know?
Savory is also known as the herb of love because the ancient Romans believed it was a natural aphrodisiac.
Between the two, the best option for seasoning pork would be winter savory as it has a more subdued and earthier flavor, while summer delicious is hotter and more peppery.
You can use savory as a meat rub to bring out the pork’s peppery and pine flavors.
On its own, caraway tastes earthy with a peppery or citrusy hint. However, when used in cooking, it infuses a mild anise flavor and a subtle licorice-like taste to dishes.
Caraway’s best use for pork dishes would help create the perfect crust and add a punch of flavor to pork chops and pork roasts.
Here’s another herb from the mint family, so you can expect this to have a minty, sweet, and savory taste.
Heads up: raw sage leaves are bitter and tough, so they can’t be eaten raw. However, you can chop them up and add them to marinades and dry rubs. Sage is also often used as a part of stuffing for pork dishes and as a flavoring for roasted burgers.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have sage on hand, you can use either rosemary or thyme following a 1:1 ratio.
Thyme has a minty, a bit earthy, and mildly lemony flavor. A unique thing about thyme is that it doesn’t overpower a dish’s natural flavors. Instead, it adds a new depth of flavor to all the other ingredients. That’s why it’s often paired with garlic, onions, and other herbs like parsley.
You can usually find thyme in Italian and French recipes.
Dill is known for having a refreshing flavor. But if you want a more accurate description of its flavor profile, here it is: fresh, citrusy, with a hint of grassy flavor.
Did you know?
The rule of thumb is that dried leaves have a stronger flavor than fresh ones. Dill is an exception. If you want a more potent flavor, use fresh dill.
This herb is often used for making Eastern European and Scandinavian cuisines.
Pro Tip: Dill’s subtle sweetness pairs well with mint and garlic.
Try using chives if you love onions but don’t like their bite. This grass-like herb has an oniony taste, but it’s considered milder than regular onions.
Chives are an essential part of Chinese cooking. The most popular pork dish that uses chives is stir-fry. You can also add them to pork dumpling stuffing.
Garlic is the most versatile and popular herb on this list. So it’s pretty popular that you already know what it tastes like without us even saying it!
We’re right, aren’t we? Well, we’re still going to say it. Garlic has a pungent taste that becomes a bit spicy and nutty when cooked.
Did you know?
Even if it’s commonly used as an herb, garlic is a vegetable (but since it’s one of the most commonly used spices for pork, we included it in this list anyway). (*)
You can use garlic with just about all pork dishes that you can think of.
This is one of the most potent herbs for both aroma and taste. It has notes of sage, lavender, mint, citrus, and evergreen in its scent. On the other hand, its flavor is piney, woodsy, lemony, and peppery.
This herb is often used in Italian and Mediterranean cooking.
Known for having a subtle licorice flavor, tarragon is the herb most people will use if they want to add elegance and a fresh taste to their roast pork dishes.
If you’re preparing French pork dishes, this is one of the herbs that you’re most likely to use.
To be honest, cilantro is an acquired taste. For certain people, it tastes like soap. But it’s like a more potent version of parsley with a citrusy twist for those who like it.
You can find cilantro in Mexican dishes like tacos, guacamole, and many more.
Pro Tip: Since cilantro is sensitive to high temperatures, it’s often added to a dish towards the end of the cooking process. It’s also used on uncooked dishes.
Because of its beautiful aroma, oregano is mainly used as a perfume ingredient. However, since it has an earthy and bold flavor with a slightly bitter taste, it’s also a great herb in the culinary industry.
Oregano is a mainstay herb in Greek, Italian, and Mexican dishes like pizza, chilis, and other types of sauces.
If you’re looking for the perfect balance between savory and sweet, basil is your herb. But that’s not all. It also gives a minty and anise-like flavor to the dish.
This leaf is often used in preparing Italian, Thai, and Mediterranean cuisines.
Pro Tip: When using basil, add it only during the last few minutes of cooking time because extreme temperatures can destroy its flavor.
This tastes almost the same as oregano—only milder. Its flavor is similar to that of thyme, only stronger and sweeter. In addition to that, it’s also mildly bitter.
Marjoram is a widely used herb in various countries, including Egypt, the United States, Greece, and Hungary.
You may already know this, but we will share it anyway. Mint offers a subtly sweet taste and gives a cool sensation to the tongue.
This is most commonly used in drinks and desserts, but it has recently gained popularity as an excellent herb for meaty dishes like pork chop. It’s also a wonderful addition to sauces that you usually serve alongside grilled pork like chimichurri.
17. Bay Leaf
When this leaf is cooked in broth, it releases a minty flavor with subtle pine and pepper hints.
Did You Know?
Bay leaf is often used for adding a subtly bitter flavor to stews and soups to prevent them from becoming too heavy.
What herbs go with pork? As you may have discovered from our list, you can use all the most popular herbs in the culinary industry, such as thyme, basil, rosemary, bay leaf, and many more.
Since these herbs are widely available, you won’t have any problem seasoning your pork dishes in the most natural and healthiest way possible.
Once you give these herbs a try, please let us know which you like the most. Then, leave us a comment below!