Mint leaves are used extensively in cooking, and they can add an awesome flavor to any dish. But what if you don’t have mint? Have you ever wondered: What is the best substitute for mint leaves? Wonder no more! Here you have the answer!
Aromatic herbs are widely used in cooking, and mint is one of them.
But it’s not always possible to get fresh mint leaves, so here we’ll cover everything from the best substitutes for mint leaves and how to use them to how to grow your own mint at home!
In this post we share the best substitute for leeks!
What is Mint and How It is Used
Mint is an aromatic herb that grows in Europe, Africa, and Asia. It is used in cooking and for its health benefits.
Mint leaves have a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste and a strong smell, and can be dried, frozen, or kept fresh in the fridge.
This versatile herb is used for both sweet and savory culinary dishes.
The fresh, flavor-rich mint leaves are used to garnish mint ice cream, soups, mint sauce, potato salad, marinated foods, and desserts.
You can use it in herbal teas and chocolate, candy, gums, and desserts.
Some people also find the smell of mint fresh and soothing.
However, mint leaves are not always available in a local grocery store.
Substitute for Mint Leaves: And How to Use Them
When you need a substitute for mint leaves, you can use a few options instead.
Peppermint Extract is commonly used in recipes that include chocolate and ice creams, and it is a great substitute for fresh mint leaves in cooking.
The flavor of peppermint extract isn’t quite as bright as the fresh mint herb, but it’s close enough that it can be used in many recipes.
You can use it in both sweet and savory dishes, and it will add a bright, minty flavor to your recipe.
It has a more concentrated flavor, so you’ll need to use just a few drops.
In some recipes, to account for the liquid from the extract, you may need to add a little more sweetener or use a little less liquid.
Dried mint is one of the best mint substitutes.
It will provide a slightly different flavor than fresh, but it’s still an excellent alternative.
As a substitute, use 1/3 of the amount you would use of fresh mint leaves, and add it to your dish at the same point in the recipe you would use fresh mint.
If you’re making a hot beverage such as tea and substituting fresh with dried mint, use one teaspoon per cup, and allow it to steep for 5 minutes before serving.
Herbal Mint Tea Bag
If you’ve ever had mint tea, you know that the flavor can be pretty similar to fresh mint, so it works as a substitute.
Steep dried mint leaves in hot water. Let the tea cool and add the infusion to your recipe. The flavor won’t be as pronounced, but this will still give your dish a bit of minty flavor.
Basil is also another great substitute for mint, and you can find it fresh or dried.
Both aromatic herbs, mint, and basil, belong to the Lamiaceae family and have been used for years in the kitchen, especially in Mediterranean cuisine.
While basil won’t give you the same flavor like mint, it can work well.
You can use it in the same 1:1 ratio; that is, if you need 1/2 tablespoon of fresh mint leaves, you can use 1/2 tablespoon of fresh basil leaves.
The flavors are not quite identical, but the flavor profiles are similar.
A sunflower family member, tarragon is an herb with a licorice-like taste that’s often used in French cuisine.
Fresh tarragon is not available year-round and can be hard to find. Dried tarragon can be a good substitute for fresh leaves.
Tarragon works well with meats and soups.
It’s not a perfect substitute, but it is close enough.
Mint leaves and rosemary are both commonly used in cooking. Both also come in various forms, including fresh or dried leaves.
Mint is known for its cool flavor and refreshing taste. Rosemary has a strong flavor that most people would describe as woody or pine-like.
Rosemary is great for lamb and pork, especially when paired with other Mediterranean herbs like oregano and thyme.
You can use it as a substitute in just about any dish you would use mint in.
Just use the same amount of fresh parsley as of fresh mint.
Parsley has a similar fresh taste, gives your dish a similar look, and works especially well in soups and salads.
Marjoram is a close relative of mint. It has a similar flavor, with hints of pine and citrus. It also has a peppery flavor and aroma slightly bitter, which makes it a better fit for savory dishes than for sweet ones. You can use it as a substitute for mint in Greek-inspired recipes, such as tabbouleh salad or dolmades.
Marjoram also goes well with fish and poultry dishes.
So if you have a recipe that calls for mint but your mint plant isn’t ready to harvest yet — or you just don’t have one — try using marjoram instead. You might find you love the flavor even better!
It is a very common ingredient in Greek, Turkish, Spanish, and Italian dishes.
You can find fresh oregano or dried oregano.
Oregano has a similar flavor to mint and can be used in place of fresh or dried mint in recipes.
It can be used in tomato sauces, sautéed vegetables, and grilled meats.
Coriander or Cilantro
Coriander, or cilantro, is a great fresh mint substitute. The flavor is different, but the appearance is similar. Like mint, coriander is a popular herb in many Asian cuisines and Latin American dishes.
The leaves have a light citrus flavor with hints of sage.
Coriander’s leaves will provide the same splash of color while still imparting a lot of flavor to your dish.
You can use coriander in place of mint leaves in any recipe. Although the taste will be different, it will still be delicious.
Sage is an aromatic herb that is a member of the mint family. It has a distinct and robust flavor and aroma. Some say it is reminiscent of mint, and others say it is very different from mint.
The taste of sage can be described as deep, earthy, musky, and slightly bitter.
If you’re out of mint leaves, or if you want to try something different in your recipe, consider trying sage. It’s not the same thing as mint, but it can be used in similar ways in many recipes.
Substitute for Mint Leaves in Mojitos
If you have a mojito craving, but your store is out of mint, don’t fret.
You can use other herbs to make a non-traditional mojito.
The following are herbs that can be used in place of mint:
Basil: Basil and mint share some common qualities, making basil suitable in cocktails.
Rosemary: Like basil, rosemary pairs well with rum, making an excellent substitute for mint leaves.
Mint Extract: You can’t just dash a few drops of mint extract into your cocktail. It’s much too strong! Make first a mint syrup, adding 1 tsp of the extract to a cup of water and sugar, then heat on the stove until the sugar dissolves.
How to Grow Mint at Home
If you’re using fresh mint in your cooking, it is a good idea to grow it in your house.
Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow at home and can be planted indoors or outdoors.
You can have a fresh supply of mint without having to leave your house!
Choose a Planting Spot
If you are planting outdoors, select a spot in your yard that gets full sun or partial shade. Your soil should be well-drained but moist.
If you are planting indoors, choose a potting container that is 8 inches deep and 6 inches wide. Make sure the container has holes for drainage at the bottom. Then fill the container with a potting mix to 1 inch from the top of the pot.
Plant Seeds or Transplant Potted Plants
If you are planting seeds, plant them 1/4 inch deep and 2 inches apart. If planting potted plants, dig a large enough hole for the root ball of your plant and place it into the hole. Add soil around the plant and pack down firmly. Water thoroughly after planting.