Looking for an alternative to fresh mint? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Mint substitutes.
What is Mint?
Mint is a leafy green herb used extensively in middle eastern and Vietnamese cooking. There are many varieties including pepper mint, spear mint and chocolate mint. The aroma is incredibly fresh and fragrant and dare I say it, minty.
Generally only the leaves are used in cooking either fresh or dried. The flavour of dried mint is significantly more intense than fresh.
The Best Mint Substitutes
(in order of preference)
1. Flat Leaf Parsley
Parsley is much more subdued in flavour compared with mint. Which means it won’t clash with any of the other flavours in your dish. It does add some lovely freshness and the visual greenery of mint so if it’s the only herb you have it will be better than nothing.
2. Coriander (Cilantro)
Will work in a similar way but just takes the flavours in a different direction. Coriander packs a big flavour punch so you won’t feel like you’re missing anything. Your dish will end up with more of an Asian or Mexican vibe but that can be a good thing.
While mint has a completely different flavour to basil, I can’t think of a place where the aromatic freshness of basil wouldn’t work exceptionally well as an alternative.
4. Dried Mint
Dried mint leaves are significantly more intense in flavour than fresh so use sparingly. Dried mint won’t work where mint is being used as a salad leaf like in tabbouleh or other salads.
5. Peppermint Tea Leaves
Peppermint tea is just dried peppermint leaves and as with dried mint they are are significantly more intense in flavour than fresh so use sparingly. Again the dried leaves won’t work where mint is being used as a salad leaf like in tabbouleh.
How to Prepare Mint
Wash, dry then pick the leaves away from the stems and discard the stems. The leaves can then be either used whole, torn or finely chopped. I generally use them whole so you get big bursts of minty goodness.
How to Store Mint
I keep mine wrapped in paper towel and then in plastic bag in the fridge. Will generally keep for 3-5 days, depending on how fresh it was when you bought it.
The other option is to make a mint oil by pureeing the leaves with enough olive oil to make a paste using a stick blender or your food processor. Keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for weeks.
You can also freeze Mint – it will be completely wilted when defrosted but will still add amazing flavour and fragrance.
Delicious Mint Pairings
- Almond & Mint
- Lamb & Mint
- Coriander (Cilantro) & Mint
- Lemon & Mint
More Ingredient Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!