dill weed 2

Substitutes For Dill Weed and Seed – What Can I Use Instead?

If you think of a delicate herb that is still capable of freshening up a dish, dill will be one of the first options to come to your mind. While the flavor of both dill weed and seed is unique, there are other great options in case you need to substitute them.

dill weed


So, what can you use instead of dill weed and seed? Dill weed can be substituted with various soft-leafed herbs. The top five substitutes for dill weed are fennel, tarragon, chervil, basil, and parsley. As for dill seed substitutes, you can choose from caraway seeds, fennel seeds, celery seeds, and coriander seeds.

Continue reading to learn more about dill weed and seed substitutes and how to use them.


Substitutes for Dill Weed


Dill comes from the same family of herbs as anise and fennel. It is also related to such herbs like caraway and cilantro.

Brightness and freshness are very descriptive of this herb. It has a milder flavor compared to many other herbs, with lemony notes and an aroma similar to anise. Its mild flavor makes it suitable for use in a range of dishes, including dipping sauces, salads, soups, meat and fish dishes.

Dill weed is very delicate. Thus, when used in cooking, it is added toward the end of the cooking process to get the best use out of it.

While every herb has its distinct flavor and it is nearly impossible to find substitutes that fit perfectly with each other, there are a few herb varieties you can use instead of dill weed.

Your dishes will turn out equally as delicious with these five dill weed substitutes.


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1. Fennel

fennel bulb

Fennel comes from the same herb family as dill and it is not surprising that it is a good substitute for dill.

The flavor profile of fennel can be described as light and sweet. Just like dill, it brings a lot of freshness to the dish. It also has a very faint licorice aroma.

Fennel stalks, especially when old, are either discarded or used in cooked dishes as they can be rather tough. Cooking brings out the aroma of fennel stalks. You can remove them from the dish once it is done.

Fennel stems and fronds (leaves) go well with fish and different kinds of meat. You can also replace dill with fennel leaves in salads, stews, or vegetable dishes. Fennel fronds are also used in soups.

Fennel fronds have an appearance similar to dill. Chopped and tossed on a dish you may not even see the difference between the two. Fennel leaves are the perfect garnish for dishes that need a little bit of lightness and freshness.



2. Tarragon



tarragon plant

Tarragon has a unique flavor profile. It is bitter and sweet at the same time and is described to taste like licorice.

Tarragon is ideal for fresh dipping sauces. Use it to replace dill in yogurt or sour cream sauces. It also goes well with meat and fish and can replace fresh dill weed in such dishes too.

Use tarragon instead of dill in salad dressings if the rest of the ingredients in your salad won’t clash with it.

Keep in mind that tarragon has an intense flavor and can easily overshadow other spices and herbs you are using.  

Just like dill weed, tarragon needs to be added toward the end of the cooking process in order to maintain its fresh aroma.

You can also use dried tarragon instead of dried dill.


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3. Chervil



Chervil is a very delicate herb, just like dill. Related to the parsley family, this herb has a very mellow flavor.  

Like tarragon and anise, chervil also has notes of licorice. Having a taste similar to parsley and being widely used in French cuisine, chervil is often referred to French parsley.

As chervil works exceptionally well in egg dishes, substituting dill weed in those dishes will chervil will only do you good.

Due to its ability to not overpower other ingredients in the dish, chervil can be used in salads and soups, poultry dishes, and different types of sauces.


4. Basil


fresh basil

Dill can be substituted with various soft-leafed herbs, basil being one of them.

As there are many species of basil, its flavor may range from sweet to pungent. With anise notes and a mild taste, this herb is used in many cuisines.

Varieties of basil with licorice and spicy notes are popular in Asian cuisine, while Italian and Mediterranean dishes call for the sweeter species. Thus, you can substitute dill with basil having a range of options as far as the flavor goes.

Be it pasta or pickles, basil will do the job. Salad dressings and marinades made with basil are also popular.


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5. Parsley




Yet another option for those who are looking for a soft-flavored herb to substitute dill. Parsley is a great herb to add to dishes if you want to brighten up the flavors.

The reason why parsley is found to be a good substitute for dill may be the fact that they both have the same flavor compound, 1, 3, 8-p-menthatriene.

Parsley is an easy herb to work with. Additionally, it is very versatile. If you are not much of a cook and don’t know a lot about flavor combinations, having parsley at hand would be wise. You can use it for anything – from salads to soup, from vegetable dishes to meats.

The good thing about parsley is that it is not a seasonal herb and is available all year round.


Can You Substitute Fresh Dill with Dried Dill?


dried dill

You can substitute fresh dill with dried dill. However, a lot depends on the recipe. If you are using fresh dill weed sprinkled on a dish as a final touch, dried dill will not work in this case as it releases its aroma when cooked.  

As the flavor of dried dill is much more intense than that of fresh dill, it should be used in smaller amounts.

Use one teaspoon of dried dill weed for every tablespoon chopped fresh dill.


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Substitutes for Dill Seeds


dried dill seed


As opposed to the mild flavor of dill weed, dill seeds are more pungent. Compared to the sweet and grassy notes of dill weed, dill seeds have a slight bitterness. Dill seeds are also described as somewhat nutty.

Dill seeds are widely used in pickles and bread baking. They are also added to soups or such long-cooking dishes as stews to add an extra layer of flavor.

Here are four substitutes for dill seeds.


1. Caraway Seeds

caraway seeds


If you are looking for a dill seed substitute that will be the closest to it in terms of flavor, then you should certainly go with caraway seeds.

Just like dill seeds, caraway seeds too have a faintly nutty flavor. They have a bittersweet taste and have notes of citrus and anise.

You can use caraway seeds instead of dill seeds in bread baking. These seeds are also suitable to be used in such dishes as casseroles, stews, and soups.


2. Fennel Seeds

dried fennel seeds


Fennel seeds are another substitute for dill seeds. Fennel seeds have a flavor similar to that of anise. When added to a dish, fennel seeds add a sweet aroma to it.

You can use fennel seeds for non-sweet baked goods. They also go well with vegetables and are great to be added to meat or fish dishes.


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3. Celery Seeds


If you want a dill seed substitute with a warm and astringent flavor, then celery seeds are a good choice.

You can use celery seeds in soups or vegetable dishes. They can also be used as substitute for dill seeds in salad dressings.

Unlike dill, caraway, and fennel seeds, you should never crush celery seeds. These seeds are smaller in size which makes them convenient for use in various recipes. However, there is another reason why you shouldn’t grind these seeds.

Grinding celery seeds will make them taste bitter. While whole seeds do have a slight bitterness, grinding them will only intensify it.


4. Coriander Seeds


coriander seeds


Coriander seeds are a milder alternative for dill seeds.

These seeds have a citrusy flavor profile and have some sweetness to them. The more you toast coriander seeds in the pan, the more their aroma will be revealed.

You can use coriander seeds both whole and ground. Ground seeds are better when you are trying to evenly distribute the seeds in doughs.


How to Substitute Dill Seeds?


Substituting dill seeds with other seeds is easy as you don’t have to make complicated measurements.

Substitute dill seed with caraway, fennel, or other seeds of your choice measure for measure.

Don’t try to substitute dill seeds with dill weed as they have slightly different flavor profiles and you will not achieve the desired result.


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Related Questions


What Can You Use Instead of Dried Dill?

Dried dill is best substituted with dried tarragon. This is a 1:1 substitution that works well for almost all dishes where dried dill is used. Dried tarragon works exceptionally well in fish recipes.

Fresh dill is another great alternative for dried dill. A tablespoon of fresh dill should be used instead of a teaspoon of dried dill as the latter has a more concentrated flavor.

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