The Complete Herb Guide – Herbs That Complement Different Dishes

The complete herb guide

How should a dish be seasoned? What types of herbs would enhance the flavors of the things you want to prepare? What are the best herbs for meat? It's not always easy to determine what kind of seasoning would be best for your dish. In order to help solve this kind of problem, we have provided an herb guide that can help you determine which herbs go best with different meats and dishes. Herbs can be the key to unlocking the best taste in any dish, so it is incredibly important for us to help you fix the kind of meal that you would be proud to serve to anyone. Read on to learn how to bring out the flavor in everything you make!

Pro Tip: Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh herbs. If you would like to use dried herbs, you may have to use one-third of the measuring of fresh herbs that you would ordinarily use.

Here are a number of different seasonings that you may consider:

1. Thyme

This is an herb that does not tend to dominate other flavors in a dish. For this reason, it adds warmth and complexity to other ingredients such as garlic, onion, and parsley. It can be used in soup, stuffing, and egg dishes. Thyme does not have to be a permanent part of a dish: a bouquet garni may be added to a recipe, simmered, and removed.


This is a leafy herb that tends to be used frequently in French dishes. It brings a nice, understated flavor to a dish when used sparingly; too much can overpower the taste. Consider using it in salads, sauces, and tomato dishes. Heat also tends to intensify the taste of both fresh and dried tarragon. Pro Tip: Sometimes a pinch of anise or fennel can be an acceptable substitute for tarragon.

3. Sage

Once used as a medicine, sage is an herb from the mint family with a sweet and savory taste. It goes well with stuffings and burgers. It has high nutritional benefits, so it makes a great addition to a recipe. Pro Tip: Marjoram, rosemary, and thyme can be substituted for sage, measure for measure.

4. Rosemary

Like sage, this herb is also a member of the mint family. It has fragrant, pine-like leaves and can be useful for improving digestion. It can go well with potatoes, cauliflower dishes, and stuffings. The flavor also goes very well with different meats.

5. Parsley

This is among one of the most commonly used herbs and tends to be mistaken for cilantro. However, parsley leaves tend to be darker and shinier. This herb goes well with soups, vegetables, and egg dishes. Pro Tip: When cooking with parsley, remember that the stems have more flavor than the leaves.

6. Oregano

Though oregano's biggest use is actually for perfumes, this small-leaved herb is one of the most widely used seasonings in cooking. It is often found in sauces, pizzas, and chili. It can be frozen to use for a longer period of time. It is a little more pungent than marjoram, although the herbs resemble one another. If you want to use oregano for marjoram, you may want to use a little less of it.

7. Mint

This herb is easy to grow. It has also been used for medicinal purposes, such as soothing upset stomachs. It is also highly versatile: mint goes well with savory recipes and sweet things. Consider using it for candies, jelly, pork dishes, and vegetables.

8. Marjoram

This cousin of oregano isn't one of the better-known members of the mint family, but it has a number of uses in many meat dishes and stews. It has a subtle flavor that adds depth to other dominant flavors. It can go well with soups and cheese dishes. Pro Tip: If substituting it for oregano, use one-third less of it when measuring.

9. Dill

Though dried herbs are usually stronger than fresh herbs, this is not the case for dill. For intense flavor, consider fresh dill. It can be used with potatoes, cream and cheese dishes, and salads. Pro Tip: For stronger flavor, toast dill seed in a pan before using.

10. Bay Leaf

Bay leaves are not always eaten, but rather simmered in sauce and removed before serving. They can be used in soups, stews, and tomato dishes. They can also be used for stuffing. The flavor is not overwhelming and complements other flavors well.

11. Basil

This is an incredibly versatile herb that can be used in savory meals as well as desserts. Consider basil for tomato dishes, pasta, salads, and cheese dishes. Pro Tip: When using basil, add fresh leaves to hot dishes during the last few minutes, as heat can ruin the herb's distinct flavor.

Bring out the flavor with best herb and meat pairings

Here are some suggested meats that go well with the herbs listed above:


Herbs that go well with beef include thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary, oregano, and basil. Other options that go well with beef are garlic, celery, and coriander.


Marjoram, tarragon, and oregano go well with chicken dishes. Also consider garlic and coriander, as well.


For grilled fish meals, thyme and rosemary are good to use. For fried fish, oregano, tarragon, and sage are good choices.


Use marjoram, oregano, sage, rosemary, and thyme for this meat.


For dishes involving turkey, use basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, and sage.

La how to choose seasonings

Did you enjoy this list of ingredients and suggestions? Learning how to choose seasonings that enhance the taste of your dishes can refine your cooking skills and add depth to simple ingredients. In your opinion, what other herbs and combinations would complement your favorite recipes? If you enjoyed this article, consider sharing it with friends who are also interested in cooking. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.

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