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The 5 Best Substitutes for Sage in Stuffing

Sage is a fragrant, earthy herb that adds depth and warmth to many dishes, particularly in the quintessential holiday favorite, stuffing.

Its unique flavor profile brings a savory and complex element that truly makes this dish sing.

But what if you don’t have any sage on hand, or you’re simply not a fan of its taste?

What are the best substitutes for sage in stuffing? The best substitutes for sage in stuffing include thyme, marjoram, rosemary, parsley, and poultry seasoning. Each of these alternatives offers its own unique flavor and aroma, and can give your stuffing a deliciously different twist.

If you’re in a pinch and need a suitable replacement for sage, or you’re just looking to experiment with new flavors, these substitutes will ensure that your stuffing still tastes scrumptious and satisfying.

Ready to explore these options?

Let’s dive in!

Read Also: The 10 Best Onions for Stuffing

Why Use Sage in Stuffing?

Classic Sage Stuffing

Sage is a popular herb used in stuffing due to its distinct flavor and aroma that pairs well with savory dishes.

Sage is a classic herb used in stuffing because it adds a warm, earthy flavor that complements the other ingredients.

Additionally, sage has a slightly bitter taste that can help balance out the richness of the bread and meat in the stuffing.

Sage also has a strong fragrance that can enhance the overall aroma of the dish.

Many recipes call for ground sage to be added to the stuffing mixture.

Overall, sage is a popular herb used in stuffing due to its unique flavor and aroma that can elevate the dish.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sage in Stuffing

Sage is a key ingredient in many traditional stuffing recipes, but not everyone enjoys its flavor.

If you’re looking for an alternative to sage in your stuffing, here are five great substitutes that will bring out the flavors of other ingredients:

1. Thyme


Thyme is a versatile herb that can be used in various dishes, from roasted vegetables to savory sauces.

Its delicate, earthy flavor profile makes it an ideal substitute for sage in stuffing recipes.

While it doesn’t have the same strong, pine-like aroma as sage, thyme still brings a depth of flavor that complements other ingredients in stuffing.

To replace sage with thyme, use approximately half the amount of fresh thyme as you would sage, or use a 1:1 ratio if using dried thyme.

Thyme’s ability to enhance the flavors of other ingredients without overpowering them makes it a useful herb for seasoning stuffing dishes and other culinary creations.

2. Marjoram


Marjoram, a close relative of oregano, is another excellent alternative to sage in stuffing recipes.

Although its flavor is milder and sweeter than sage, marjoram still adds a warm, aromatic quality to dishes.

When using marjoram as a sage substitute, it’s best to use slightly more than the amount of sage called for in the recipe to ensure the flavor comes through.

Fresh marjoram is preferable for the best flavor, but dried marjoram can also be used in a pinch.

Incorporate marjoram into your stuffing for a subtle, fragrant twist that pairs well with a variety of ingredients, such as onions, celery, and breadcrumbs.

3. Rosemary


Rosemary is a robust, woody herb that can hold its own as a substitute for sage in stuffing recipes.

Its needle-like leaves have a distinctive flavor and aroma that are both piney and slightly peppery, making it a suitable alternative to the strong taste of sage.

While rosemary’s flavor is more robust than sage, it can still work well in stuffing recipes when used in moderation.

To avoid overpowering the dish, use about half the amount of fresh rosemary as you would sage, and be cautious when using dried rosemary, as its flavor can be even more potent.

Experiment with rosemary in your stuffing to create a unique, aromatic dish that is sure to impress your dinner guests.

4. Parsley


Parsley is a versatile herb that can be found in many different recipes, from soups and sauces to salads and garnishes.

Its delicate, slightly bitter flavor makes it an excellent option when looking for a suitable replacement for sage in stuffing recipes.

While parsley may not have the same robust, earthy taste as sage, it does contribute a fresh, bright note that complements the other ingredients in the stuffing.

It’s important to use fresh parsley when substituting for sage, as dried parsley tends to lose its potency and flavor.

To make the switch, simply use equal parts fresh parsley in place of fresh sage.

For added depth of flavor, consider combining parsley with other complementary herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to create a more complex and satisfying taste profile in your stuffing.

5. Poultry Seasoning

Poultry Seasoning

Poultry seasoning is a blend of various herbs and spices, specifically designed to enhance the flavor of poultry dishes.

It typically includes sage, along with other herbs like thyme, marjoram, and rosemary, as well as spices like black pepper and nutmeg.

As a result, poultry seasoning can serve as an effective alternative to sage in stuffing recipes, as it already includes sage among its ingredients, along with other compatible flavors.

To substitute sage with poultry seasoning, simply use an equal amount of the seasoning blend in place of the sage called for in the recipe.

Keep in mind that the flavor profile of poultry seasoning can vary significantly between brands, so it’s a good idea to taste-test the blend before adding it to your stuffing.

This will ensure that you achieve the desired flavor balance and prevent over-seasoning your dish.


In conclusion, while sage is a classic herb used in stuffing, there are several great substitutes available that can add unique flavors and aromas to the dish

Whether you choose to use thyme, rosemary, marjoram, savory, or tarragon, each herb can bring its own distinct taste to your stuffing.

Experimenting with different herbs can be a fun way to add variety to your holiday meals and impress your guests.

So, don’t be afraid to try out these sage substitutes and see which one works best for you!

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sage in Stuffing

The 5 Best Substitutes for Sage in Stuffing

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Poultry Seasoning


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.