11 Great Sage Substitutes for Stuffing Over the Holidays

Sage is a popular herb to use throughout the Christmas season. This herb is a member of the mint family and is often used to flavor fatty meats like turkey or chicken, as well as marinades, vegetable dishes, and stuffings, imparting a minty and earthy taste.

Nothing brings back memories of Thanksgiving more than entering the home and smelling fresh sage right at the entrance. Since sage is so popular during the Christmas season, you could have trouble finding it.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. These are several Sage substitutes you could discover at the grocery store or in your spice cabinet.

Sage’s best alternatives are

  1. Marjoram
  2. Thyme
  3. Rosemary
  4. Oregano
  5. Seasonal Savory
  6. Savory Summer
  7. Chicken Seasoning
  8. Basil leaves, fresh
  9. Mint leaves, fresh
  10. Tarragon
  11. The Bay Leaf

Continue reading this article to learn about other herbs and spices to use in place of sage throughout the holiday season.

The Best Sage Substitutes


Marjoram is a fragrant plant that, like sage, is a member of the mint family. Marjoram is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

The fragrant herb blends well with practically any other ingredient. Marjoram is a fantastic flavor enhancer in meat and seafood marinades, salad dressings, and even mushrooms. Marjoram adds a pleasant, savory flavor to any food.


While Thyme has a stronger taste than Sage, they both have woodsy and lemony overtones that are extremely similar.

When looking for a Sage substitute, I definitely suggest fresh Lemon Thyme since its taste profile complements Sage well. Fresh thyme has a woodsy aroma with citrus overtones that complements most savory recipes and savory baking.


Rosemary is a fragrant herb that belongs to the mint family. This plant is used to flavor meat, seafood, soups, stews, pasta dishes, and even certain savory loaves of bread.

Fresh Rosemary has a piney taste and aroma. Nonetheless, this plant is utilized in fragrances, essential oils, and cosmetics in general, as well as for its superb taste and scent in cooking, particularly in Mediterranean recipes.

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Rosemary is also an excellent medical plant, being used to ease muscular discomfort, stimulate the immune system, aid with digestion, promote hair development, and enhance memory.

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I’m certain you have this green herb in your spice closet. At least the dried variety, which is much better for cooking with since it has a subtle but powerful taste. Fresh oregano leaves have a stronger flavor than dried oregano and work well with Italian pasta sauces, salad dressings, and stews.

Oregano serves various functions in the kitchen. You may use it in pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, salad dressings, and on top of salads. Oregano, as you may have guessed, is fantastic in Italian recipes.

Winter Savory And Summer Savory

Winter savory is a spicy herb that is frequently utilized during the winter holidays. This herb pairs well with slow-cooked meats and seasoned sausages.

Summer savory and winter savory are both members of the same plant family, yet their flavors are quite distinct. Winter Savory has a stronger taste than Summer Savory, with just a trace of sage and thyme.

Summer savory tastes sweet and spicy. It is an annual plant that grows mostly in Southern Europe and is harvested from summer through October. Summer savory has a sweet flavor that is similar to that of sage, making it an excellent replacement.

Poultry Seasoning

Poultry seasoning is a spice mixture that is often used to season chicken and turkey. This spice mix contains sage as well as the other spices and herbs listed before, such as thyme, savory, marjoram, and rosemary.

Onion powder and parsley are additional ingredients in poultry seasoning. Poultry spice is also delicious in stuffing, stews, and soups (especially in pumpkin soup to enhance the earthy taste).

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Fresh Basil

If you ever feel like your salad or pizza could use a little more flavor, you know who to call. Of course, Basil. If I could only cook with one herb for the rest of my life, it would be this one. You don’t have to worry about your food being flavorless if you add a little basil.

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Fresh basil is one of the most flexible and often used herbs in the kitchen. Basil may be used into every taste profile and dish. This herb can make any sort of dish taste fantastic, including pizza, spaghetti, and salads.

This green plant is from Africa and belongs to the Lamiaceae family. Of course, as time has passed, basil has been developed and can now be grown in colder climates.

If you don’t have fresh sage on hand, you may use dried basil for it.

Fresh Mint

Having mint on hand is really handy at any circumstance. This pleasant herb may be used to create tea, drinks, salads, pestos, and even certain sweets. Who doesn’t like freshly baked mint chocolate chip cookies?


Tarragon, popularly known as the “King of Herbs,” is a fragrant herb that is commonly used in French cuisine. It goes nicely with chicken, fish, eggs, sauces (including the renowned Bearnaise sauce), and vegetables.

Tarragon has a piney taste and may be used fresh or dried. Several expert chefs would suggest you to use fresh Tarragon since it has a stronger flavor and scent. While comparing dry and fresh Tarragon, you will note that dried Tarragon has absolutely little flavor or aroma.

In conclusion, you may need to use a lot more of this dried herb to obtain the scent and flavor of fresh Tarragon.

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Bay Leaf

Bay leaves are essential in the preparation of soups, stews, shellfish, vegetable dishes, brines, meat, and sauces. Several Italian and French recipes are flavored with these fragrant leaves.

Bay leaves are often used whole and removed immediately before serving. If you use bay leaves in your foods, remember to remove them before eating since the abrasive leaves might cut the inside of your mouth and lips.


What can you replace sage with in stuffing?

Sage substitutes include rosemary, marjoram, and thyme. If you have sage-containing spice blends on hand, such as poultry seasoning or Italian seasoning, you may substitute them.

What can I substitute for sage in cornbread dressing?

If you (or a family member) dislikes sage, another mild savory herb such as thyme, oregano, or poultry seasoning may be substituted (which usually includes sage).

Is rosemary a good substitute for sage?

Rosemary is the greatest sage rosemary alternative. Rosemary has piney undertones and is highly effective when used fresh. It may also be dried, although the look will be altered (rosemary has longer needles than a ground appearance). Use equal parts fresh and dried rosemary for fresh or dried sage.

What can I use instead of sage for pork?

Thyme is the finest sage alternative since it has a comparable earthy and pungent flavor to sage. It is also quite sharp when fresh, and it is often used to season many meat recipes. Thyme is also an excellent ingredient to any pork sausage recipe.

What spice tastes closest to sage?

What you should know: Marjoram is the closest plant to sage. It is a member of the mint family and contains pine and citrus tastes, but it is milder than sage. It goes well with meat, poultry, and pasta meals and is available fresh or dried. The taste of marjoram is regarded as a more delicate oregano.

What spices complement sage?

Sage pairs nicely with other herbs such as thyme, marjoram, and rosemary, as well as garlic, onion, oregano, parsley, and bay leaf.

Can I omit sage from a recipe?

How to Cook Without Sage

The dearth of dry sage can easily compensated for with a few other dried herbs, and there are a few fresh herb substitutes that may work as well. If you have dried sage but a recipe asks for fresh, substitute 1 tablespoon fresh for 1 teaspoon dry.

Is rubbed sage or ground sage better for dressing?

Ground sage is best used in dishes that call for a piney and woody taste. For a more pronounced sage flavor and a light and fluffy texture rubbed, is your best option. Rubbed sage is ideal for Thanksgiving turkey stuffing as well as Italian and Greek meals.

Are sage and thyme interchangeable?

Use a one-to-one substitution of sage and thyme. To balance the sharp, strong aromas of thyme, use this replacement in robust recipes like game meat, root vegetables, and earthy mushrooms. Whenever a recipe asks for fresh sage, use fresh thyme rather than dried to best recreate the herb’s tastes.

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