The Best Simple Tarragon Substitutes

Tarragon Substitutes

Looking for an alternative to Tarragon? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my favourite simple Tarragon substitutes.

What is Tarragon?

Tarragon is a leafy green herb used in French and Mexican cooking. The aroma is fresh and green with a slightly sweet aniseed backnote. I find it can be over powering so a little goes a long way.

The Best Tarragon Substitutes

(in order of preference)

1. Flat Leaf Parsley

Parsley is much more subdued in flavour compared with tarragon. 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 so if it’s the only herb you have it will be better than nothing.

2. Basil

Will work in a similar way to tarragon but just takes the flavours in a different direction. Basil packs a big flavour punch so you won’t feel like you’re missing anything. Your dish will end up with more of an Italian vibe but that can be a good thing.

3. Fennel Seeds

While ground fennel seeds won’t have the same visual impact as fresh tarragon, the sweet aniseed flavour in fennel seeds can be a brilliant way to get the extra boost your dish needs. As with tarragon a little will go a long way so start with less and add more to taste rather than using too much.

How to Prepare Tarragon

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 chop them finely so they don’t over power.

How to Store Tarragon

I keep mine wrapped in paper towel and then in plastic bag in the fridge. Will generally keep for 5 days possibly longer, depending on how fresh it was when you bought it.

The other option is to make a tarragon vinegar by putting the leaves in a bottle and covering with white wine, champagne or apple cider vinegar.

You can also freeze tarragon – it will be completely wilted and look terrible when defrosted but will still add it’s characteristic flavour.

Delicious Tarragon Pairings

  • Chicken & Tarragon
  • Eggs & Tarragon
  • Mayonnaise & Tarragon
  • Tomato & Tarragon
  • Cream & Tarragon

More Ingredient Substitutes

Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.

Have fun in the kitchen!

With love,
Jules x