Lamb stew is a rich dish that can benefit from many different types of herbs. Rosemary and thyme are the two most common choices, but oregano and sage are also popular. Lamb stew is often paired with potatoes and carrots, which suggests a less pungent herb like basil would be a good choice as well.
Let’s be honest: you’ve been working on your lamb stew recipe for a long time.
It’s the best lamb stew in the world, but it’s missing that little something that takes it from good to great.
Well, we’re here today to help you find that special ingredient.
We’ve done the research and rounded up 10 herbs that pair perfectly with lamb stew.
You’ll be amazed at how much more “soup-er” (sorry) your stew will taste with these hand-selected herbs!
What Herbs Go with Lamb Stew?
Adding herbs to your lamb stew is important for a variety of reasons.
- First, herbs add depth and complexity to the flavor of the stew. They help bring out the flavors of other ingredients, including the lamb. Herbs also give you an opportunity to alter the flavor of the stew if you think it tastes too bland or salty without making drastic changes to the recipe.
- Second, herbs are quite healthy! They are low in calories and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The other ingredients in a lamb stew don’t have as many nutritional benefits. As such, adding herbs will make your meal healthier overall.
- Finally, adding herbs to lamb stew is a great way to add some color and visual interest to your dish. Nobody likes eating a dull-looking plate of food! It’s more appealing to eat a meal that looks fresh and colorful.
Here are my 10 favorites:
If you’re looking for a herb to add that fresh, herby flavor to your lamb stew, look no further than rosemary.
This fragrant green herb is easy to grow and readily available in most grocery stores.
So how do you use rosemary in your lamb stew?
Pick up a sprig at the store or pluck one from your own garden, and toss it into your pot while the broth is simmering.
Let it steep for 20 minutes, then remove it before serving.
You’ll be left with a subtly-flavored dish that will have your friends and family asking for seconds!
Thyme is an herb that lends a strong, earthy flavor to dishes.
It goes great in soups and stews, especially those with a meat base.
A good rule of thumb is to use one tablespoon of fresh thyme per pound of meat (if it’s dried, use 1/3 tablespoon per pound of meat).
If you’re making your own lamb stew from scratch, add the thyme in with the other spices at the beginning of cooking time so it can really infuse the flavors into the lamb.
If you’re adding it to store-bought stew, add the thyme about ten minutes before the stew finishes cooking—this will give it enough time to impart its flavor without overpowering other spices.
Another herb worth considering is oregano.
It has a slightly peppery taste that pairs wonderfully with the natural flavor of lamb.
It also adds a little kick to stews that can really make them pop.
And here’s the great part: it’s easy to find in any grocery store!
You can pick up some dried oregano for pennies, or buy some fresh oregano for around $3-4 a pound. (This is less than you’d spend on one of those fancy cups at Starbucks.)
If you’re looking for an ingredient that will make your next dish extra special, try adding some oregano to your next bowl of stew!
If you’ve never had this combination before, you’re in for a treat.
First of all, what is parsley?
Parsley is a green leafy herb that has a distinctive taste and smell, but is also very mild. It pairs well with many dishes, including lamb stew.
Next, how do you use parsley?
Parsley can be used as an ingredient in the dish itself (in which case the leaves are chopped up) or as a garnish on top of the finished dish (in which case it is left whole).
It can be used in many dishes where lamb stew is the main component, such as:
Finally, what else should you know about parsley?
Parsley flakes are also available at grocery stores and may be easier to store than fresh herbs.
Tarragon has been used for centuries to enhance the flavor of meat.
The leaves and stems of this plant can be used fresh or dried and have a mildly sweet taste with hints of anise.
You may have heard that it’s best to pair tarragon with poultry or fish, but it also works great when combined with other meats like beef or lamb.
It’s important to remember though that because this herb has such a strong flavor, you only need a small amount in order to get all of its benefits so don’t overdo it!
Chervil has a subtle, delicate flavor that goes well with the herbiness of the lamb, enhancing and rounding out the flavors of the dish.
It’s an especially good choice if you want to add some freshness to your lamb stew without overwhelming it with a stronger herb like rosemary.
Here are some dishes that are great with chervil: French onion soup, roast chicken, eggs benedict, fried or poached eggs, steamed vegetables (especially carrots), or any other dish where you want to add some bright color and a hint of anise without overwhelming your palate.
When using chervil in your cooking, remember that this herb should be used sparingly.
A little bit goes a long way in adding freshness to a dish.
If you’re making something that calls for a heavy hand of herbs (like our favorite version of French onion soup), opt for chopped parsley instead.
Coriander has a bright, citrus-y aroma and flavor, which works beautifully with the rich flavor of lamb.
Coriander is a versatile spice that can be used in many different dishes (as a condiment), but my favorite use for it is as a garnish on top of a meat-based dish.
To use it in this way, take some fresh leaves off the stem, then chop them finely and sprinkle them over your dish right before serving!
You can also use coriander seeds to make tea or as an addition to soup stock.
However, my favorite application for these seeds is in Moroccan Lamb Stew.
One of the best herbs to add to a tasty, savory lamb stew is chives. This herb is full of flavor, and it can bring a great burst of color to an otherwise muted-looking meal.
Moreover, it’s easy to grow yourself and easy to buy if you don’t have space for a garden.
Dishes where this combination works well together:
When lamb stew is served over rice or couscous, the combination of the savory meat with the starchiness of the grain tastes great when topped with chives.
You can also serve this dish over pasta, but you’ll want to avoid spaghetti noodles since those could easily get tangled up in the chives.
Chives taste great when added raw, but they can also be sauteed before being added as well.
Either way, we suggest adding them just before serving so that they maintain their freshness and crispiness. If you’re eating your stew with rice or couscous, sprinkle them over the top of your bowl or plate rather than mixing them into the rest of the food.
The first thing to know is that this is a common combination, so don’t feel like you’re going out on a limb by trying it out.
This herb pairs very well with the thick consistency of lamb stew and complements the flavors of the meat.
The best way to use basil in your cooking is to add fresh leaves right before serving.
It will add a touch of freshness to your dish without overpowering the other flavors.
The leaves also make a nice garnish, adding a splash of green alongside your delicious stew.
10. Bay leaves
Bay leaves pair beautifully with warm, hearty stews like lamb stew.
You’ve probably seen them used in this way before, but if you haven’t tried it already, do!
The flavor is rich and sweet, and it adds to the earthiness of the lamb.
They also pair well with other meats, vegetables, and soups.
Try adding a few to your next batch of soup stock, or toss them into your next pot roast!
I use bay leaves in a lot of my cooking—they’re one of my go-to additions when I’m looking to add some extra flavor to a dish. They add a bit of spice without overpowering everything else in the dish.
As long as you don’t overdo it with the quantity (the flavor can get too strong otherwise), they’re a great addition to any meal!
How to Pick Herbs that Go Well with Lamb Stew
You know what they say: the best thing to go with lamb stew is herbs.
But how do you pick which herbs are right for your stew?
There are so many different types! It can be overwhelming.
But don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.
Here are some simple tips to help you find the perfect herbs for your lamb stew:
Take It up A Notch
If you love lamb stew and want to take it up a notch, try out adding some rosemary.
Rosemary has a unique, pine-like flavor that’s hard to describe and even harder to forget. It’ll make your lamb stew stand out from any other stew out there.
Afraid of Overpowering with Flavor?
Don’t want to add too much flavor? Keep it simple with oregano or basil.
These herbs have a sweeter, more subtle taste than rosemary, so they’re ideal if you just want to add a hint of extra flavor without making anything taste too different.
Know Your Lamb Stew
- Are you making a Middle Eastern-style lamb stew?
- A Greek-style one?
- Something else entirely?
The answer will help you decide which herbs are right for your dish. Knowing what kind of stew you’re making will help you pick out herbs that complement and enhance its flavor, instead of competing with it or distracting from it.
Don’t Go Overboard with The Different Types of Herbs
More isn’t better when it comes to putting herbs in your lamb stew—think quality over quantity!
You should only use 2–3 different types of herbs in your stew, so pick carefully and make sure they complement each other in terms of their flavors and textures.
10 Herbs that Go with Lamb Stew
- Bay leaves
- Pick any of the herbs from this list to use in your stew.
- Prepare the rest of your dinner.
- Be ready to munch in no time!