How to Substitute Dried Herbs for Fresh in Any Recipe (Plus: Onion and Garlic Conversions)

When it comes to herbs, there’s an easy-to-remember formula for swapping dried for fresh (and vice versa): a teaspoon dried equals a tablespoon fresh. But what about other aromatics, such as onion and garlic? Read on for a handy chart that covers all of the above, plus our best tips to help you get the most out of herbs and other aromatics, whether fresh or dried. Read on, or jump to a section:

Fresh-to-Dried Herb Conversion Chart





1 Tbsp. fresh = 1 tsp. driedJust remember the 3:1 ratio. Triple the volume if you want to use fresh instead of dried. Divide the volume by three if you want to use dried instead of fresh.

Some delicate herbs (cilantro, dill, parsley) lose more of their punch when dried, so you may have to taste your dish and add a bit more.


1 cup diced fresh onion = 1  Tbsp. onion powder = 3 Tbsp. granulated onionOnion powder has a finer texture and a sweeter, mellower flavor than granulated onion, which has a sandy texture and retains more of onion’s pungency.

Store onion powder in the fridge to prevent clumping.


1 tsp. minced fresh garlic (1 clove) = ¼ tsp. garlic powder = ½ tsp. granulated garlicUnlike onion, there isn’t much flavor difference between powdered and granulated garlic. The powder is just more concentrated, so you need less.

Store garlic powder in the fridge to prevent clumping.

Rule of Thumb: Dried Herbs First, Fresh Herbs Last

An easy rule to remember when cooking with herbs: dried first, fresh last. Dried herbs should go into recipes right from the start. This allows heat, acid, and moisture to activate their aromatic oils.

Fresh herbs should be reserved till the last minute so they retain their fragrance and flavors and don’t turn bitter as they cook. Freeze-dried herbs, easily recognizable with their bright, fresh-like color, should be used like fresh.

How Drying Shifts Flavors

When herbs are dried, their texture changes and their aromatic properties either become more or less concentrated. Here’s a quick rundown of the taste transformations.

Hardy Herbs

(Thyme, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, lavender, savory)

Fresh: Pungent and aromatic with woodsy and citrus notes and a hint of bitterness

Dried: Less bitter; more subtle and robust

Leafy Herbs

(Basil, mint, sage, tarragon)

Fresh: Super-fragrant, distinctive, and grassy

Dried: Earthier and milder. Basil and mint have hints of oregano, while sage and tarragon have hints of anise

Tender Herbs

(Cilantro, dill, parsley, chervil)

Fresh: Vibrant, green, and crisp yet mild

Dried: Milder and slightly bitter if used in large quantities

How Much Garlic Powder Equals 1 Clove?

Use ¼ teaspoon garlic powder or ½ teaspoon granulated garlic in place of 1 clove. See the chart above for more information.

How Much Onion Powder Equals 1 Onion?

A tablespoon of onion powder is equivalent to 1 onion. See the chart above for more information.

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About the Author

Headshot of Mary Margaret Chappell

About the Author

Mary Margaret Chappell

When Mary Margaret Chappell first started out in the plant-based food world as a writer, editor, and recipe developer, she was a bacon-loving former pastry chef who didn’t think she could ever cook without butter. Fourteen years, four cookbooks, dozens of cooking classes, and hundreds of recipes later, her favorite thing in the world is sharing the tips, techniques, and recipes that show just how easy and delicious whole-food, plant-based cooking can be. The former food editor of Vegetarian Times magazine has done away with her dependency on butter and is honing her skills at baking with natural sweeteners. Chappell lives in France, where plant-based eating can often be a challenge, but the fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes available are simply amazing. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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