Several recipes call for the dried herb thyme, and if a cook does not have this available, she will usually look for a substitute. Tarragon, parsley, marjoram, and rosemary are all good substitutes for thyme, since they have a mild flavor. Basil and oregano can also be used, but these typically have a bold flavor. Italian seasoning is a blend of common herbs and spices, and it can also be used in place of thyme.
Tarragon is often considered to be a good substitute for thyme. Like thyme, it has a mild flavor, that is just barely noticeable. Many culinary experts recommend using this in fish and chicken dishes.
Parsley is another good substitute. This herb also has a very mild flavor, and some experts believe it is nearly tasteless. When mixed with marjoram, however, it can be quite flavorful. It can also add an interesting hint of color, since parsley flakes are usually bright green.
Some culinary experts also believe that rosemary can be used in place of thyme. This is also quite mild. Many believe, however, that it is best when used in dishes that call for pork or lamb.
If an individual is looking for a different, bold flavor, both basil and oregano can be good substitutes for thyme. These herbs typically have a strong, distinctive flavor. They are often used in dishes that have tomatoes or tomato sauces. Marinara sauce, meatloaf, and meatballs are all good examples of dishes that can benefit from basil or oregano.
Italian seasoning can also give a dish a bold flavor. This mix of herbs and spices actually contains thyme, so it could be considered to be a good substitute for thyme. Other herbs in Italian seasoning include rosemary, marjoram, sage, basil, and oregano.
Like basil and thyme, Italian seasoning typically has a strong, distinctive flavor. As the name suggests, it is often used in Italian cooking. Dishes like lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs often call for most of the herbs in this seasoning.