7 Best Substitutes For Lemon Balm You Can Find Easily

Lemon balm is a great herb with a lot of flavors, but sometimes you might not have access to it or you might just want to try something different.

In this article, we’ll give you a list of substitutes for a lemon balm that will allow you to keep the same flavor profile in your dishes.

We’ll also explain the differences and similarities between each substitute and give some examples of how we’ve used them in the past.

With this information, you’ll be able to easily swap for an alternative that tastes the same or similar to lemon balm!

Substitutes For Lemon Balm:

  1. Lemon Thyme
  2. Kaffir Lime Leaves
  3. Lemon Verbena
  4. Lemongrass
  5. Lemon Zest With Mint Leaves
  6. Lime Zest With Basil
  7. Coriander

Lemon Thyme

Lemon balm and lemon thyme are two very versatile herbs that can be used in a variety of dishes.

While they are similar in many ways, there are also some notable differences.

For one, lemon thyme has a more pungent flavor than lemon balm.

This is due to the presence of thymol, an essential oil that gives thyme its signature aroma.

As a result, it is generally used in smaller quantities than lemon balm.

When substituting lemon thyme for lemon balm, it is important to keep this difference in mind.

Otherwise, you may end up with a dish that is too strong or too weak.

In general, I would recommend using about half as much lemon thyme as you would lemon balm.

Additionally, lemon thyme has a slightly floral flavor that can be lost when cooked for long periods.

For this reason, I often like to add it towards the end of cooking or use it as a garnish.

Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir lime leaves are an excellent substitute for lemon balm in many recipes.

The leaves have a citrusy flavor that is similar to lemon but with a bit more zing.

The benefits of using kaffir lime leaves as a substitute for lemon balm include:

-The leaves are more potent than the herb, so you need to use less of them to get the same flavor.

-Kaffir lime leaves add a bit of zest to recipes that might otherwise be bland.

-The leaves can be used fresh or dried, so they are always available when you need them.

Some recipes that are well suited for substituting kaffir lime leaves for lemon balm include curries, soups, stews, and sauces.

When substituting the leaves for the herb, use about half as much of the leaves as you would of the herb.

This will ensure that your dish has the right balance of flavors.

Moreover, kaffir lime leaves are the best substitute because they add a unique flavor to dishes that other substitutes cannot provide.

Lemon Verbena

Lemon verbena is a suitable substitute for lemon balm in many cases.

The main benefit of using lemon verbena is that it has a stronger flavor than a lemon balm, so it can be used in smaller quantities to achieve the desired flavor.

Additionally, lemon verbena is less likely to become bitter than lemon balm.

Lemon verbena is also a good substitute for lemon balm in recipes that call for both the leaves and the zest of the lemon balm plant, such as sorbet or ice cream.

In terms of other substitutes, lemon verbena is more pungent than lemongrass but not as strong as citronella.

Lemon verbena can also be used interchangeably with lemon thyme, although it will impart a slightly different flavor to the dish.

When substituting lemon verbena for lemon balm, it is important to keep in mind that the flavor will be more concentrated, so you may need to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.


Although they are often used interchangeably, lemongrass and lemon balm is quite different.

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and as such, it has a much more subtle flavor.

Lemongrass, on the other hand, is grass with a strong citrus flavor.

However, both herbs can be used as substitutes for each other in many recipes.

When substituted, lemongrass will add a bit more zing to a dish, while lemon balm will add a more delicate flavor.

Of course, the amount of herb used will also affect the final flavor of the dish.

When substituting lemongrass for lemon balm, use about half as much lemongrass as you would lemon balm.

This will help to ensure that the final dish is not too overpowering.

Lastly, keep in mind that lemongrass is often used in Asian cuisine, so it may not be suitable for all recipes.

Lemon Zest With Mint Leaves

One substitute for lemon balm is lemon zest with mint leaves.

Both lemon zest and mint leaves have a strong, citrusy flavor that can help to brighten up any dish.

In addition, mint leaves add a touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity of the lemon zest.

While this combination may not be identical to fresh lemon balm, it is still a suitable replacement in many recipes.

As with any substitution, it is important to experiment to find the right balance of flavors for your particular dish.

Lime Zest With Basil

When it comes to substitutions, I often find that lime zest with basil makes an excellent replacement for lemon balm.

There are several reasons why this is the case. First of all, lime zest has a fresher and more vibrant flavor than lemon balm.

Additionally, lime zest is less likely to overwhelm other flavors in a dish, making it an ideal substitute for those who want to add a hint of citrus without altering the taste of the dish too much.

Basil also has several benefits as a substitution for lemon balm.

It is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, basil is a good source of vitamins A and C.

As such, it can help to boost immunity and improve the overall health of those who consume it.

Finally, I find that lime zest with basil is a more versatile substitution than lemon balm.

It can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, making it an ideal choice for those who are looking for a versatile ingredient.


When it comes to fresh herbs, I often find myself turning to coriander as a substitute for lemon balm.

Both herbs have a bright, citrusy flavor that pairs well with a variety of dishes.

However, there are a few key differences between these two herbs that make coriander a more suitable substitute in certain cases.

For one, coriander is much less pungent than a lemon balm, so it won’t overpower a dish the way lemon balm can.

Additionally, coriander has a slightly sweeter flavor than lemon balm, which can be a plus in certain recipes.

Finally, coriander is more widely available than lemon balm, making it a more convenient option in many cases.


What are the best substitutes for a lemon balm?

Some of the best substitutes for lemon balm include lime zest with basil, coriander, and lemon zest with mint leaves.

What is the difference between lemon balm and other herbs?

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, while other herbs like basil and coriander are not.

This gives the lemon balm a more pungent flavor that can sometimes be overwhelming.

How do I choose the right substitute for my dish?

The best way to choose a substitute for lemon balm is to experiment with different flavors and find the combination that tastes best to you.

Consider what other flavors are in your dish and how a particular substitute will complement or contrast those flavors.

Can I use more than one substitute in a recipe?

Yes, you can use multiple substitutes in a recipe to create a unique flavor.

However, it is important to experiment with different combinations to find the right balance of flavors for your dish.

Too much of one flavor can overpower the other ingredients in a dish.


I hope this article has helped me choose substitutes for lemon balm.

Remember to experiment with different flavors to find the combination that works best for you.