Herbs that can be used for Salt Substitution

Do you want to use less salt but add more flavor to your meals? If you are watching your salt intake, herbs are a great salt substitution. They add very few calories but pack a whole lot of flavor. Here are some herbs that you can use to replace a portion of the salt in some of your recipes.


This herb is aromatic and flavorful, and it lends a savory taste to a meal. Some rosemary can be a little sweet, especially if the rosemary is fresh, but rosemary has a distinct taste and fragrance that will make your taste buds think there is more salt than there really is in your meals. Add just a pinch of dried rosemary to foods (since dried herbs are much stronger in taste than fresh herbs), or a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to flavor soups (which normally require a lot of salt).


Thyme blends well with rosemary, but adding just this herb to savory dishes can brighten up the other ingredients. Thyme also has a distinct flavor and smell, and it complements many meat dishes. If you make a barbequed steak, adding fresh or dried thyme to the steak right before serving can relieve the craving for salty meat. When using dried thyme, add sparingly unless you really enjoy the flavor of this herb.


Basil is not just for spaghetti anymore. This leafy herb from the mint family can be added to any dish that needs some enriching. All sorts of basil exist, but use whatever you can find in your supermarket that is fresh. Sweet Italian basil can be added to tomato-based sauces, because these sauces generally need a lot of salt. Use Thai basil for an Asian dish, such as a stir fry, and use a little less soy sauce or salt.


This herb is great for salads, on top of meats, in stuffing, or any savory dish that should not have a strong herb-y taste. Parsley is subtle, but it is a great salt substitute in dishes that traditionally have a lot of salt.


This is a well-known herb that is actually the leaves of the coriander plant. The seeds are simply called coriander, and can be ground. Cilantro is great in dishes that need bright ingredients, and it pairs well with lemon or lime juice. Cilantro can have a strong flavor to some people, but its brightness often prevents the need for more salt in a dish.

Try experimenting with many herbs and spices to substitute for salt in your recipes. You may be surprised just how easy it is to do, and just how tasty your meals will still taste.