8 Easy To Find Substitutes for Bay Leaf (Best Alternatives)

Bay leaves are used in many recipes as a flavoring agent. They have a strong, pungent flavor that can be overwhelming if used in too high of a quantity. They are also a very popular curry ingredient in South Asia, specifically in India and Pakistan. But if you’re in a bind and don’t have any bay leaves on hand, there are plenty of substitutes that you can use.

In this blog post, we’ll provide a list of 7 substitutes for bay leaf along with the ratios to use when substituting. We’ll also give examples of how each substitute can be used. Keep in mind that not all bay leaf alternatives will taste exactly the same as bay leaves, but they will give your dish a similar flavor profile.

So, let’s get started!

Substitutes for Bay Leaf:

  1. Rosemary
  2. Oregano
  3. Thyme
  4. Juniper berries
  5. Basil
  6. Redbay leaves
  7. Boldo leaves
  8. Curry leaves


Rosemary is an herb that can be used as a substitute for bay leaves. Rosemary has a strong flavor that can be used to flavor soups and stews. Rosemary also works well with meat.

Rosemary also has many health benefits. It is known to improve circulation, boost immunity, and fight inflammation. When used in cooking, rosemary can help to release flavor from other ingredients, making it a versatile and healthy addition to any dish.

Additionally, rosemary should be added towards the end of cooking, as it does not need to be cooked for long in order to release its flavor.

Dried Oregano

Oregano is a popular herb that can be used as a substitute for bay leaf. This herb has a strong, appetizing aroma that can add flavor to many dishes. Additionally, oregano is gluten-free, making it a great choice for those with gluten sensitivities.

This herb is commonly used in pizza and Italian cuisine. When using oregano as a substitute for bay leaf, be sure to use it sparingly, as the flavor can be quite strong. Additionally, oregano should be added towards the end of cooking, as it can lose its flavor and even get bitter if exposed to heat for too long.


Bay leaves are a common ingredient in many recipes, but they can be difficult to find and are often quite expensive.

Luckily, thyme makes an excellent substitute for bay leaves. Thyme is used to season a wide variety of dishes, and its subtle flavor pairs well with many other ingredients.

Additionally, thyme is generally not an allergen, so you can use it for people who have multiple allergies. However, it is always good to check beforehand to see if you or someone else is allergic to thyme.

When substituting thyme for bay leaves, use a ratio of 3:1. That is, for every 3 bay leaves called for in a recipe, use 1 clove of thyme. If you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, you can also use dried thyme. Simply reduce the amount of thyme called for by one-third.

With these simple tips, you can easily use thyme as a substitute for bay leaves.

Juniper berries

Juniper berries are the small, dark berries that grow on juniper bushes. These bushes are found in Asia, Northern Europe, and North America, and have been used for centuries as a medicinal herb.

Juniper berries can be used as a substitute for Bay leaf, and offer a number of benefits.

First, they have a stronger flavor than Bay leaves, so you only need to use a few to achieve the desired taste. And second, Juniper berries also have a longer shelf life than Bay leaves, so you can keep them on hand for longer.

However, they are likely to cause irritation if they come into contact with your skin. So, always use them with caution.

When using juniper berries as a substitute for Bay leaves, be sure to crush them slightly to release their flavor. Add them early in the cooking process so that their flavor has time to infuse the dish.


Basil is an annual herb native to India, Africa, and Southeast Asia. In Italian cuisine, it is a significant ingredient and is typically used in pasta sauce.

Its name comes from the Greek word for royal, as the herb was once only found in royal gardens. The flavor of basil is often described as being sweet, with hints of mint and clove.

There are several cases where basil can be used as a replacement for bay leaf. For example, if you are making a pasta sauce that calls for bay leaf, you can substitute basil. If a recipe calls for bay leaf and you do not have any on hand, you can also use basil as a replacement.

The texture of the two herbs is similar, and the flavor of basil will complement the other flavors in the dish.

There are some benefits to using this substitute. Basil is a yearly herb, so it is more readily available than the bay leaf. It is also less expensive than the bay leaf.

Redbay leaves

Redbay leaves can be used as a substitute for Bay leaves. The leaves are not red, but they look like bay laurel leaves. They can be used for seasoning appetizing food.

The benefits of using the substitute are that it is not as pungent as the bay leaf, and it imparts a more delicate flavor to the dish. When using this substitute, use one-third of the number of redbay leaves as you would bay leaves.

This will help to avoid overwhelming the dish with flavor. Redbay leaves can be found at most specialty grocery stores. If you cannot find them, you can order them online.

Boldo leaves

Boldo leaves are an evergreen herb that grows in Chile and is also found in Mexico, Morocco, Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru. The leaves have a strong, pungent flavor that is similar to bay leaf, making it a good substitute in many recipes. Boldo leaves can be used in soups, stews, sauces, and braises. They are especially good with chicken and fish dishes. Boldo leaves have many benefits. They are a good source of vitamins C and E, as well as antioxidants.

They also have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. When using boldo leaves as a substitute for bay leaf, be sure to remove the leaves before serving, as they can be quite bitter if eaten whole.

Curry leaves

Curry leaves are a popular ingredient in South Asian cuisine, used in both curries and other dishes such as soups and stews. They have a strong flavor which can be a great replacement for Bay leaf.

Curry leaves are also known to have many health benefits, including aiding digestion and reducing inflammation. If you’re looking for a new ingredient to add to your cooking, curry leaves are a great option to try.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the substitute for bay leaves in a spell?

If you are trying to cast a prosperity spell then instead of bay leaves you can use rosemary. It is said to attract money. But if you want to attract happiness then basil leaves might be the perfect choice for you.

What is bay leaf substitute in the stew?

Trying to make stew for dinner but cannot find bay leaves? Use rosemary or boldo leaves instead. These herbs might not have the exact same taste profile.

If you have curry leaves at hand then you can put some of those in the stew as well. Because, not only do curry leaves work great for curry, but they can also bring out the flavor in your soup and stews.

What is the bay leaves substitute in abodo?

Abodo calls out for bay leaves. But you can also use thyme to cook this delicious dish. Thyme adds a subtle flavor that can make the abodo just perfect.

Moreover, thyme leaves are cheaper than bay leaves. And you can easily find them in most grocery stores.

In conclusion

There are many substitutes for bay leaf. When substituting herbs, be sure to use a similar tasting herb so that the flavors in your dish are not altered too much.

Bay leaves can be replaced with basil, redbay leaves, boldo leaves, or curry leaves. If you cannot find any of these herbs, then you can try rosemary. It goes well with almost everything.

You can also try juniper berries to get a stronger taste. Or just get thyme as a cheaper bay leaf substitute.