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Substituting Dried Sage for Fresh Sage Leaves in Recipes

Dried and fresh sage

Can you substitute dried sage for fresh sage leaves in recipes that call for the fresh herb? Absolutely! Ground, dried sage — which you can find in the spice section of your local grocery store — is an excellent substitute for fresh sage in many dishes salads, casseroles and meat dishes. However, as the flavor is more concentrated in the dried herb, you will need less of it. But how much less? While there is no rule set in stone that says exactly how much powdered dried sage is equivalent to a spoonful of chopped fresh sage, there's a rule of thumb which can be used when substituting dried sage for fresh sage in recipes:

2 teaspoons fresh (minced) = 1 teaspoon dried

If your recipe calls for whole leaves instead of teaspoons of chopped sage, you can use the ratio 7 fresh sage leaves equal about 1 teaspoon of ground, dried sage. As mentioned earlier, these conversion ratios are just rules of thumb. Factors like differences in the size of sage leaves and the remaining shelf life of your packet of powdered sage can have a significant effect on the above formulas. Therefore, you should always let your taste buds confirm how much dried sage you should use in your recipe.

What to Do if You Have Neither Dried nor Fresh Sage?

The above tips helpful if you are in a situation where you don't have any fresh sage leaves at home but you have dried sage in a powdered or ground form. If you are in a situation where you have neither fresh nor dried sage, don't panic — there are plenty of culinary herbs that can be used as a substitute for fresh and dried sage in many recipes including meat dishes, salads and casseroles. Some of the best substitutes include rosemary, savory, thyme and marjoram. These herbs of course won't give your dish the original sage flavor, but they will lend their own exciting flavors to your dish.

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