Best uses for fresh and dried herbs

Estimated reading time
2 minutes

Herbs are an excellent way to add flavour to your meals without adding extra sodium, sugars, or saturated fat. Learn how to use fresh and dried herbs.

On this page

How much to use

Generally, you can use 1/3 of required amount when using dried herbs instead of fresh. For example, use 5 mL (1 tsp) dried herbs to replace 15 mL (1 tbsp) of fresh herbs.

You need a smaller amount of dried herbs because their moisture has been removed, giving them a richer flavour.

Dried herbs

It is best to use dried herbs for:

  • a subtle background flavour
  • recipes that need to simmer for a while, such as:
    • chili
    • stews
    • soups
    • sauces

Add dried herbs at the beginning of the cooking process to allow time to release flavours.

Fresh herbs

It is best to use fresh herbs for recipes that:

  • take under 20 minutes to cook
    • fresh herbs can add flavour in a shorter amount of time than dried herbs
  • don’t need cooking, such as salads or dressings
  • use herbs as the main flavour component, such as:
    • pesto
    • marinades
    • salad dressings

Add fresh herbs in the last 10 to 20 minutes of cooking or as a garnish. Fresh herbs are delicate and can lose flavour if cooked for too long.

When baking at high temperatures, fresh herbs can overcook easily.  Be sure to follow the recipe instructions to avoid overcooking.

Further reading