Herb Cooking Chart

Annette McDermott
Growing Herbs

Herbs add diverse flavor and nutrition to foods but not every herb is compatible with every culinary dish. Some herbs have a strong flavor profile while others are more delicate, and either can under or overwhelm your recipes. Knowing which herbs complement which ingredients helps you use them with confidence to accent your favorite foods.

List of Complementary Herbs

The following chart lists popular foods and some of the herbs that complement them. To use the chart, scan the left column to find a food and use the right column to identify which herbs are compatible.

Herb Cooking Chart
Foods Complementary Herbs
Baked Goods (cookies, muffins, cakes) Anise, edible chamomile flowers (to decorate cakes), lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint, poppy seed
Beans Coriander, garlic, ginger, marjoram, mint, parsley, oregano, rosemary, savory
Beef Basil, bay, chervil, garlic, oregano, parsley, savory, tarragon
Breads Basil, caraway, chives, dill, garlic chives, lavender, lemon balm, lavender, mint, poppy seed, rosemary, sage, thyme
Carrots Chives, dill, ginger, parsley, rosemary, thyme
Corn Basil, coriander, dill, mint, oregano, parsley
Eggs Celery, chervil, chives, dill, fennel, parsley, saffron, savory, sorrel, tarragon, thyme
Fish and Seafood Basil, bay, celery, chervil, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, lemon balm, lemon grass, marjoram, oregano, parsley, savory, sorrel, tarragon, thyme
Fruit Basil, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, mint, rosemary
Green Salads Arugula, basil, chamomile flowers, chives, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic chives, lavender, lemon verbena, parsley, sorrel, watercress
Herb Butters Basil, chives, garlic chives, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, tarragon, thyme
Lamb Coriander, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, saffron, thyme
Pasta Basil, bay, chives, coriander, garlic, garlic chives, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, sage, turmeric
Peas Garlic, mint, parsley, rosemary, savory, thyme
Pork Fennel, ginger, oregano, rosemary, sage, sorrel
Potatoes Chervil, chives, dill, marjoram, parsley, sage, tarragon, thyme
Poultry Basil, cayenne, chervil, coriander, ginger, lemon verbena, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, tarragon, thyme
Rice Chilies, chives, coriander, dill, ginger, parsley, rosemary, saffron, tarragon, turmeric, thyme
Salad Dressings Basil, chives, dill, garlic, ginger, lemon balm, oregano, parsley
Spinach Cardamom, garlic, mint, nutmeg, tarragon
Squash Basil, chives, parsley, sage, tarragon
Tofu Basil, chives, dill, garlic, ginger, parsley

Add Flair to Your Foods

Herbs enhance the flavor of foods that might otherwise be bland and boring. Experiment with different herbal combinations to create your signature dish. Fresh herbs bring the most intense flavor to the table, but dried herbs can be used when fresh are not available.

Keep in mind that for herbs, a little goes a long way. When adding them to a recipe, start on the scanty side and gradually increase the amount to taste.

Herb Cooking Chart