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Summer Savory Substitutes

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Many herb fans understand that a list of popular herb-based items would be incomplete without include summer savory. Yet, its reputation as a miracle herb grew over thousands of years as a result of the many functions it served; it was widely used as a treatment for health issues. According to others, it was also employed in love potions. It’s also becoming more popular as a culinary component. It’s no surprise that the savory and subtle herbal flavor lends itself to a variety of cuisines.


Summer Savory Nutrition Facts

But, there may come a point in your culinary activity when you do not have any on hand. If this occurs, there are various alternate substances you might use. Several of them, like summer savory, are herb-based and provide the same spicy and delicious flavor to a variety of dishes, making it difficult to detect the difference.

Continue reading to learn about the nature and origin of these alternatives, as well as how to use them appropriately in your recipes to reach the same delicious taste that the use of summer savory evokes in meals.

What is Summer Savory?

Saturejahortensis, or summer savory, is one of the most well-known savory species. From July through September in the northern hemisphere, this plant yields violet tubular blooms. It has extremely thin, bronze-green leaves and grows from seed in light, rich soil, reaching a height of 30 to 60 cm.

Summer savory is a popular herb in Atlantic Canada, where it is used in the same way as sage is used elsewhere. It is an annual crop, and although it is comparable to perennial winter savory in terms of application and taste, it is more widely utilized than winter savory, which has a somewhat bitter flavor. Summer savory is preferred over winter savory in recipes because to its sweeter, more delicate scent.

Season grilled meats and barbecues, as well as stews and sauces, with summer savory. It is often found in dried form at local grocery shops and is used in a variety of proportions, sometimes in big spoonfuls (as in cretonne) and sometimes more sparingly (like in beans, for which savory has a natural affinity)

Uses of Summer Savory in Recipes

Summer savory is a versatile herb that complements a wide range of cuisines. It has highly enticing fragrances, which have led to it being a staple in regions like Europe and a component in essential oils. Summer savory has a spicy, peppery taste that complements a range of foods.

Summer savory is also more versatile in the kitchen since its taste varies during the growing season. As a result, numerous recipes may effectively add summer savory into the cooking process. Some examples of such recipes are:

  • Bruschetta garnish
  • Soup with chicken noodle
  • Beans
  • Provence herbs
  • Mushrooms filled with crab
  • The butter sauce with lemon capers
  • Fricot de chicken
  • Dressing for Nova Scotia Turkey
  • Stuffing with a savory flavor
  • Mashed potatoes with herb butter
  • Cassoulet with vegetables
  • Pasta with herbs
  • Soup with white beans
  • Moussaka with potatoes
  • Beef stew in the Dutch oven

Substitutes for Summer Savory

Even if you’ve never produced or bought summer savory, there’s a good possibility you’ve eaten it without realizing it. One of the elements in many dried herb combinations for stuffing and meat recipes. It is available fresh throughout the summer months and dried throughout the year.

If you don’t have any summer savory on hand to utilize in your dishes, several components may be substituted to provide a similar flavor and texture.

Consider one of the following:


Thyme is a versatile herb that may be used alone or in a bouquet garni with other common herbs such as rosemary, sage, and marjoram to season a variety of cuisines. Thyme is acceptable for most diets, therefore it may be used by anybody who wants to cook with herbs.

Thyme and summer savory have significant similarities. Thyme has a strong, minty smell, and when both herbs are chopped, it may be difficult to distinguish between summer savory and thyme. One benefit of thyme over summer savory is that it is more readily available and may therefore be used in recipes in the absence of summer savory.

Substitute thyme for the summer savory as directed in the recipe. In most recipes, both fresh and dried thyme may be used in lieu of summer savory.


Remember how we mentioned savory and sage may be used interchangeably in the kitchen? This is why sage may serve as an excellent alternative for summer savory. Sage is a herb that is in the same plant family as oregano, lavender, rosemary, and thyme.

Sage, like thyme, is a Mediterranean herb with a strong taste akin to that of summer savory. Unlike thyme, dried sage cannot be substituted for summer savory. To Sage has bigger leaves than summer savory and, as a result, must be lightly sliced when still fresh.

Sage may be used in a variety of dishes, including pastries, potatoes, marinades, and sauces. It’s simple to swap out summer savory for sage in recipes. When a recipe asks for it, use it in the same manner or quantity that you would for summer savory.

Winter Savory

Winter savory is a plant with brilliant green, tough, somewhat bitter, and scented leaves. It comes from the same plant family as summer savory and has a comparable peppery flavor. Its bitter taste, however, is stronger than that of summer savory. Nonetheless, it may be used in dishes in lieu of summer savory.

The secret with winter savory is to stew it for longer; the bitter taste will fade, and your dinner will also include sage and pine flavors. Winter savory complements longer-cooking dishes such as stews, soups, stuffing, beans, lentils, and topping blended with bread crumbs.

Hence, if your recipe asks for summer savory, winter savory is a wonderful replacement that may work in its stead. Just remember to boil it for a longer period of time to decrease the bitterness.


Marjoram, often known as sweet marjoram, is a fragrant mint-like plant. It has a taste similar to oregano, but is much milder, and is widely used to garnish salads, soups, and meat dishes. It has a higher efficacy when dried, although it may also be utilized fresh.

Marjoram has a nice, herbaceous taste similar to thyme and basil but milder than summer savory. Unlike summer savory, marjoram does not withstand long boiling periods. As a consequence, using this herb at the end of the cooking process is preferable.

You don’t need to be a math whiz to replace summer savory with marjoram. Instead, use the latter in the same way you would summer savory in the recipe you’re following.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is summer savory the same as ground savory?

Ground savory has a much stronger taste than whole savory. Summer savory is often used in herb mixes, usually dried rather than crushed.

How do you cut summer savory?

Snip just the leaves and shoots of mature stalks, not the stalk itself. The bulk of the stalk should be left on the plant to allow it to develop further. Summer savory herb picking boosts plant development, while excessive trimming does not.

How do I save summer savory seeds?

When the plants develop small blue flowers, harvest the flower heads and extract the seed. To dry the seeds, place them in a paper bag with a few holes poked in them. If properly kept, seeds should last 1-2 years.


There are various possibilities to consider next time you want to reproduce the spicy, herbal, and delicate flavor that summer savory imparts to meals. Several of them are from the same plant family as summer savory, and as such, they are regarded natural replacement possibilities.

Remember to include these substitutions at the appropriate times throughout your cooking, as well as in the appropriate quantities and ways. This will guarantee that you receive the greatest outcomes and that you enjoy your culinary goods to the fullest.


What can I use instead of summer savory?

Thyme is the herb that tastes the most like savory, with a somewhat minty and spicy flavor. Savory may be substituted with fresh or dried thyme in the same serving size.

Is summer savory the same as thyme?

Summer savory is more subtle in taste than winter savory and may be used with almost any meat. It goes nicely with basil, marjoram, thyme, and rosemary. Summer savory tastes similar to thyme, but with a more piny flavor.

Can you make summer savory?

Summer savory garlic salt is quite simple to create. In a food processor, pulse the garlic, then add the salt and fresh summer savory herbs. Place on a baking sheet and let to dry for a few days in the open air. Season veggies, eggs, spaghetti, or anything you like with it.

What spice is summer savory?

Summer Savory is a herb seasoning that belongs to the mint family. Savory is a shrub with dark green, thin leaves that grows in both Yugoslavia and the United States. It’s a peppery, piney spice that may assist improve the taste of some of your favorite foods.

What is the common name for summer savory?

Satureja hortensis L. (Syn. Satureja postii Arzn.) is a fragrant plant in the Lamiaceae family that goes by numerous names, including summer savory, bean herb, garden savory, savory, and winter savory (Anonymous, 2007; Ball and Getliffe, 1972; Davis, 1982).

Can you substitute thyme for savory?

Savory is another mint family herb with a peppery, strong, and, yes, savory taste. Replace fresh savory with fresh thyme and dried savory with dried thyme. Use fresh savory in lieu of dry thyme in a 2:1 ratio, and half the quantity of dried savory in place of fresh thyme.

Is summer savory like rosemary?

Satureja hortensis is an annual herb that belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae) and is related to rosemary and thyme. It has been used as a spice for millennia, has medicinal effects, and was formerly popular in love potions as an aphrodisiac!

Can you substitute rosemary for savory?

Savory has a similar taste to rosemary and may be used in place of it. You may use fresh savory or dried savory in a 1:1 ratio to substitute rosemary in any dish.

What does summer savory herb taste like?

Many people like summer savory because it has a sweeter flavor and scent. Although the two primary varieties have comparable flavors and aromas, the summer version has a lighter, sweeter, and spicier flavor and perfume. More particular, it possesses the herb’s characteristic warm, peppery flavor.

What herb can I use instead of savory?

Thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, and rosemary are all wonderful possibilities that may be utilized to give foods the required savory taste without dominating them.

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