Substitute for Fresh Tarragon

Tarragon is a herb known for its shiny, skinny leaves and fragrant flavor. And the French variety is the most commonly used type of cooking. Tarragon regularly features numerous French dishes, like Béarnaise sauce, and its delicate flavor blends with chicken, eggs, and fish.

Fresh Tarragon Nutrition Facts

Fresh Tarragon Nutrition facts

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In France, tarragon is often called “the king of herbs” because of its ability to elevate a dish. It’s also because the fragrant herb is one of the four ingredients in the classic French herb mixtures, accompanied by parsley, chervil, and chives. It’s a perennial member of the Artemesia genus, which comprises greens with licorice flavor like those in the French aperitif absinthe. And, the stems are tough and woody, and the leaves are long and thin with pointed ends.

Uses of Fresh Tarragon

Tarragon is leafy and highly aromatic with a soft licorice flavor. And it adds a blend of freshness and elegance to the flavor of various recipes, including salad dressings, sauces, fish and chicken dishes, egg dishes from scrambled to deviled, and sauces like pesto and aioli, sauce gribiche, and green goddess dressing.

Add tarragon to a savory whipped cream, which has quite a strong flavor, which plays ever so nicely with roasted, grilled, or gently braised vegetables. It’s also used in cocktails and mocktails to bring about a bright, citrusy flavor. It’s used in desserts, in every type of chicken or potato dish you can think of, and in potato salad. It’s a staple in some of your favorite recipes, some of which are;

If you ever run out of fresh tarragon or can’t find some around you, these substitutes can come to the rescue.



This substitute is a much more accessible alternative and one that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding at your local grocery store. It also has a vaguely anise/licorice flavor on the finish and is bright green and herbaceous like tarragon. Make sure to slice the basil thinly to mimic the thin tarragon leaves.

Fresh basil works excellently to replace fresh tarragon, but dried basil is weaker, so use more when replacing dried tarragon. One interesting thing about basil is that it stands up against more robust flavors. So, swap the herbs in a 2:1 ratio when substituting, whether it’s for dried or fresh. And basil works well to replace fresh tarragon in pasta dishes, soups, poultry, or fish.



This herb is a great substitute for fresh tarragon for when you’re looking to get rid of its licorice taste while keeping the rest of its flavor profile. And is easy to find in both fresh and dried forms, but the former is what we’re focusing on here. To switch, use equal amounts of fresh or dried dill to replace tarragon for best results. Dill is best for replacing fresh tarragon in seafood dishes. But remember that dill lacks the licorice notes of tarragon, so only consider it if such doesn’t bother you.



This ingredient is a great substitute for fresh tarragon, is also called fronds, and looks like celery. The flavors they produce are very much closer to tarragon because of the pronounced licorice taste. It possesses more licorice flavor, which means you can mix and match fennel seeds and leaves to get the desired level of licorice flavor you desire.

Generally, a tablespoon of fresh tarragon can be replaced in a 1:1 ratio with a tablespoon of fresh fennel leaves. If you’re going to use dry herbs, you’ll need to replace one tablespoon of tarragon with 1/8 of dried fennel seeds. Dried fennel works well in replacing fresh tarragon in lighter dishes, soups, sauces, and vinaigrettes, especially those that are citrus-based.



This substitute is one of the most accurate substitutes for fresh tarragon. As you are going to find, it has a very similar flavor profile to tarragon. Chefs regularly describe chervil as a combination of tarragon, parsley, and chives, a versatile ingredient that works as a replacement for any of those options.  Use a 1:1 ratio when substituting chervil for fresh tarragon in your recipes, whether you’re using dried or fresh herbs. Chervil is perfect in the place of fresh tarragon in dressings, sauces, and poultry.



This substitute has a flavor profile similar to dill and fennel, which are also great substitutes for fresh tarragon, and it’s a bit more earthy and sweet. It’s a great alternative to fresh tarragon but can be hard to find. Ensure it’s the leaf, stalk, or stem, which are herbs you’re using to substitute fresh tarragon and not the root commonly used as a spice.

Some find the flavor to be a hybrid between celery and a hint of licorice. Use angelica to substitute fresh tarragon in a 1:1 proportion, as it doesn’t affect the flavor of your dish. It works well in soups and stews to lighter and brighter dishes like seafood and salads.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is tarragon better dried or fresh?

Whether dry or fresh, tarragon is equally important in whatever recipe that calls for it. Some recipes need the tarragon dried, while some call for fresh tarragon. They can also work together in recipes, even as dried tarragon is more potent. And the right measurement will still give you the desired result.

Which is the best tarragon for cooking?

French tarragon is considered by many people to be the best. It has a more subtle flavor that can go with almost every recipe than dry tarragon, which is more potent and rugged.

How much-dried tarragon is equivalent to fresh tarragon?

Use one teaspoon of dried tarragon to replace two teaspoons of fresh tarragon.


As we all know, Fresh tarragon brings about a very enjoyable herby and licorice flavor, which makes it a staple in so many recipes and dishes worldwide. But what do you do if you can’t lay your hands on this culinary goodness, you don’t have the required amount for your recipe, or you and your family or client want a break from the flavor of licorice. There’re so many other herbs and ingredients you can try to replace fresh tarragon in your dish and still have it turn out splendid.