Substitutes for Dill Weed and Dill Seed

Use these swaps when you run out of dill

Directly Above Shot Of Dried Dill Weed On White Background
Michelle Arnold / EyeEm/Getty Images 

When you are working on a recipe that calls for dill weed or dill seed you may wonder if there is a substitute if you don't have it on hand. You may have only dried dill when it calls for fresh, and vice versa, or you may need to go deeper into your herb and spice rack. There are other things that you can use in its place.

The best substitutes for dill weed and dill seed are tarragon, other forms of dill, celery seed, or caraway seed.

Here's how to make a successful substitution.

Dried Dill vs. Fresh Dill Substitutions

Substituting fresh dill for dried dill and vice versa is easily done with these two proportions.

  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill weed for every teaspoon of dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon of dried dill for every tablespoon of fresh dill

Dill Weed Substitutes

Dill weed may also be referred to as dill leaves. It is the bright green, feathery fronds of the dill plant. It's highly aromatic, and tastes of caraway or anise, with a bit of citrus thrown in.

When fresh dill is being used to flavor a recipe (as it is in pickles, soups, and sauces), use fresh tarragon in its place. To make the proper substitution, use an equal amount of fresh tarragon for fresh dill, or dried tarragon for dried dill.

You can also use dried tarragon as a stand in for fresh dill weed, but you'll need to adjust the quantities  as it has a more intense flavor.

Use 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon for every tablespoon of fresh dill called for in a recipe. Tarragon works well as a substitute for dill in seafood dishes and in salad dressings.

If dill weed is being used as a garnish for a dish, use fennel fronds instead. They look very similar. Fresh parsley can also be used as a garnish.

It looks a bit different, but will still add that pop of green.

Dill Seed Substitutes

Dill seeds taste similar to dill weed, but they have a slightly bitter edge to them. They appear frequently in pickle, bread, salad dressing, and soup recipes. While you might be tempted to use dill weed as a substitute for dill seeds, you'll get better results if you use caraway seeds or celery seeds in their place. Replace them measure for measure, and you should come close to the intended flavor.

Grow Dill in Your Garden

Dill is incredibly easy to grow, so consider adding it to your garden. It's an annual, but it reseeds readily. Just allow some of the flowers to go to seed at the end of the season, and it should come up again the next year.

The dill flowers, stems, leaves,​ and seeds are all edible. Enjoy it fresh, while it's in season. Then, dry or freeze your extras, so you'll have a stash to draw from while it's out of season.