6 Mint Substitutes You Need To Know

We’re great believers that the extra flavors and seasonings you use can make or break your dish. Although it’s not always possible to find a substitute for certain flavors, if you’re looking for an alternative to mint, you may be in luck. 

While you’re not going to replicate the exact flavor profile of mint, with these 6 substitutes, you are going to recreate that distinctively light, bright, cooling effect it brings to your food.

Sure, mint has a pretty unique taste, but these substitutes will get you pretty close to the real thing. 

Stick around to discover six of the best mint substitutes you can use today!

6 Mint Substitutes You Need To Know

What Is Mint? 

This aromatic herb belongs to the Lamiaceae family, which contains between 15-20 species of mint, including peppermint and spearmint. 

These fragrant herbs are native to North America, Eurasia, Australia and southern Africa, and they’re usually used to flavor foods and liquors, but they can also be found in herbal medicine, essential oils, and perfume. 

Mint plants often have square stems and green, aromatic leaves. They’ll also produce small flowers that can be white, pink, or purple, and they’re often bunched together in clusters.

Most mint plants will also have distinctive ‘toothed’ leaves, and their flowers can be rounded or lance-shaped. 

Mint has a unique flavor that’s aromatic, and often unexpected. It’s cool and refreshing, mostly because it contains menthol which can stimulate the receptors on the tongue most sensitive to cold. 

Mint leaves, and mint flavorings, can be used in any of the following: 

  • Cocktails 
  • Garnish for meat dishes
  • Ice cream
  • Toothpaste 
  • Chewing gum 
  • Breath mints 
  • Smoothies 
  • Juices

… and more. 

Is Mint Good For You?

Mint doesn’t just taste good, it’s also good for our health. 

This popular ingredient can be used in all sorts of dishes, and as well as imparting a cool, refreshing taste, it’ll also give you a welcome boost of nutrients. Here are just a few reasons why mint can make a healthy addition to your diet: 

  • It’s rich in nutrients: Approximately 14 grams of spearmint contains a strong dose of iron, vitamin A, fibre, folate, and manganese.
  • Could improve brain function: Some studies suggest that the aroma of peppermint may improve memory and cognitive function.
  • Could relieve indigestion: Mint may also be a great relief for digestive issues, including indigestion. Evidence has found that food can travel through the stomach faster when peppermint oil is taken with meals, which reduces the possibility of indigestion. 

6 Best Substitutes For Mint

Although mint is delicious (and nutritious), there may be times when we don’t have any to hand and need to replicate its flavor.

If you’re cooking a dish that would rely on mint to elevate its flavor, but you don’t have any, you could try using any of these substitutes to mimic its flavor profile. 

1. Parsley

First on our list is parsley. 

Parsley, also known as Petroselinum crispum, is a leafy herb that originates from the Mediterranean. Parsley is most popular in European and Middle Eastern food, and particularly in British cookery. 

Parsley is often confused with Cilantro (or Coriander) because they come from the same botanical family. However, both parsley and cilantro actually have different flavor profiles and vary in appearance. 

Parsley has a strong flavor, but it’s often described as being slightly bitter. While it may not have the same refreshing profile as mint, it does have a ‘clean’ and aromatic flavor, which when used in small quantities, can mimic the experience of mint in the mouth. 

2. Lemon Balm

Next up, we have lemon balm. 

Lemon balm is another aromatic herb that comes from the mint family, and it’s known for its mild lemon aroma and flavor.

Its fragrant, and slightly citrus notes can help recreate some of the refreshing qualities we love about adding mint to our dishes. Lemon balm is a little less overpowering than mint, however, it’s still destined to brighten up any dish. 

It also offers many of the same health benefits as mint and is thought to help ease gastrointestinal issues and reduce anxiety, making it a great substitute for mint lovers. 

3. Tarragon

Tarragon is a type of perennial herb that comes from the sunflower family. Tarragon is a leafy green that can be found throughout the world, and it’s celebrated for its unique, and somewhat intense, flavor profile. 

Tarragon is often added to salads and fish and can be used in place of mint in a number of recipes. Tarragon is often described as having a slightly licorice-like taste, that’s light and delicate, with notes of vanilla, mint, and pepper. In other words, it’s a balance between bitter and sweet! 

The sweetness in tarragon works as a great substitute for mint. Although its slightly more bitter notes are not something we experience with mint, this herb still works well as a substitute in many dishes, especially salads and meat-based meals. 

4. Marjoram

Marjoram is a type of aromatic herb that is used in traditional medicine and cooking. This perennial herb is most commonly used to garnish soups, dressings and stews, and it’s also a popular addition to herbal tea.

Marjoram is a member of the mint and oregano family, so even if you’ve never tried it before, you may recognize its flavor. 

Although marjoram is a member of the mint and oregano family, its flavor is probably closest to oregano. It has a complex flavor that’s slightly sweet and delicate, with elements of pine and citrus. It’s simultaneously warm, bitter, and sharp, with a refreshing undertone. 

Although you’ll either love or hate this herb, we’d recommend trying it in place of mint. Its unique profile often pairs well with many minty dishes, and it’s able to replicate some of that distinct freshness we love. 

5. Basil 

Let’s not forget about basil! 

Basil is a green, annual herb that’s often used for its leaves. Basil also belongs to the mint family, and it’s grown for its aromatic leaves, which are used to garnish a variety of dishes. 

Basil has a pretty unique flavor, and it strikes a perfect balance between savory and sweet, with undertones of pepper, mint, and anise.

Initially, basil has a slightly peppery flavor, however, its sweet and slightly cooling undertones can bring a burst of sweetness to almost any dish. 

Basil works well as a substitute for mint and can be used in both meat dishes and salads. However, because basil has an initially peppery taste, we’d recommend using only small quantities in your dish. 

6. Rosemary

Rosemary is a type of fragrant, evergreen herb that’s native to the Mediterranean. Although it’s often used for culinary purposes, it can also be found in perfumes and essential oils, and is celebrated for its potential health benefits. 

Rosemary has a pretty unique flavor – like mint, nothing comes close! Rosemary has a slightly earthy flavor, with distinct notes of mint, pine, citrus, lavender, and sage. These flavors are pretty powerful, and instantly recognizable – in the best way. 

Rosemary can work well as a substitute for mint in a variety of dishes – particularly meat-based meals. However, you’ll need to be careful not to overdo it.

Use rosemary in small amounts to replicate some of the distinct profiles we love with mint, such as its refreshing undertones, and citrus-esque notes. 

The Bottom Line

Mint is so unique, it’s hard to imagine how any other herb can compare. 

Although you won’t be able to find a herb that totally mimics all the things we know and love about mint, you will find a few that come pretty close.

Any herb with a slightly refreshing taste and citrus notes will be a great replacement for mint – and these herbs definitely hit the spot! 

So, the next time you’re making a minty dish, why not try one of these fragrant alternatives instead, and see how they can elevate your meal?

6 Mint Substitutes You Need To Know

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Sides


Prep time


Cooking time






  • Parsley

  • Lemon Balm

  • Tarragon

  • Marjoram

  • Basil

  • Rosemary


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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