Ratio Chart for Converting Fresh Herbs to Dried Herbs

January 5, 2017 31 Comments

Fresh Herbs to Dry Herbs Convertions Ratios

How To Convert Fresh Herb to Dried Herbs

Let me start by saying, I try to use fresh herbs over dried herbs as much as humanly possible. We grow fresh herbs in the spring and throughout the summer and many of them last through the fall and some right into winter.

If we don’t have them in the backyard, they are easy enough to find at the supermarket but can get extremely expensive certain times of the year so if you only need a little of a particular herb for a recipe, be sure to incorporate it in something else you are preparing. If all else fails, make a soup or stew and use up some of those herbs.

How Fresh Are Your Dried Herbs?

One reason I don’t like using dried herbs is I never know how long they’ve been in the spice cabinet. As a general rule, ground spices and herb leaves will be considered “fresh” if stored in optimal conditions for 1 to 2 years.

I know some of the spice jars in my pantry are as old as my kids, well maybe not that old, but they do tend to get lost and unused especially those way in the back.

And what about when you purchase a new container but feel like you have to wait until you finish the older jar even if the spices in it are flavorless? I suppose we should all use a permanent marker and date the jars as soon as we purchase them or put a throw out date on them but then how do we know how long they’ve been in some storage facility or on the supermarket shelves?

How do we really know how much shelf life is left in our seasonings?

Personally, I don’t think we do, so I suggest before you start cooking a meal that requires dried herbs, you first check your spice cabinet to make sure you have what you need and then give them a quick sniff and then taste to make sure they are fresh enough to use.

If they don’t taste as potent as you like, you may need to add more than called for to make up for the difference.

Ratios For Converting Fresh Herbs to Dry Herbs to Ground Herbs

All You Really Need To Know About Converting Fresh Herbs to Dry Herbs

The general rule for dried “flaky” herbs like dried cilantro or dried tarragon is 3 to 1 or three parts fresh to one part dried.  You can also look at this as

1 tablespoon fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs

If you are working with dried ground herbs like ground ginger which is going to be even more potent than the dried flaky herbs, the general ratio is 4 to 1 or four parts fresh to one part dried.

Another general rule:

1 teaspoon dried leaf herb = 1/2 teaspoon ground dried herb

Why These Ratios?

If you’re wondering why you need so much more fresh herbs compared to dried herbs, you have to remember that fresh herbs like basil and parsley are 80% to 90% water. In the drying process, the water gets evaporated leaving extremely potent essential oils with more concentrated flavors than their fresh counterparts.

When you talk about herbs like rosemary and thyme with even harder leaves than something like a basil, the intensity of flavor can be even greater so be careful when adding these dried spices to a dish.

Exceptions to the Rule

Like everything in life, there are always exceptions to my general rules above. For example, you would substitute 1 fresh bay leaf for 2 dried or 1 medium onion for 1 teaspoon onion powder. Both basil and parsley surprised me with a 2 to 1 fresh to dried.

I did a search on the Internet to see what I could find for these conversions and came up with this chart. There was no one consensus between all the sites, but this should be a good start to work with until you come up with your own ratios.

Print & Save

There’s no way I’m going to remember all these conversions so I’ll make a copy of the chart below and print it out then tape it to the inside of one of my cabinet doors so it’s handy when I need it. It sits right next to my Meat Doneness Chart.

 

 Herb   Fresh  Corresponding Dried
 Basil 2 teaspoons finely chopped 1 teaspoon dried
 Bay Leaf 1 leaf fresh 2 leafs dried
 Chervil 3 teaspoons fresh 1 teaspoon dried
 Cilantro  3 teaspoons fresh  1 teaspoon dried
Cinnamon 1 cinnamon stick 1/2 teaspoon ground
Cumin 4.5 tablespoons whole seed 4 TBS ground (1 oz.)
 Dill  3 teaspoons fresh  1 teaspoon dried
 Garlic (large)  1 clove fresh (1.5 tsp minced)  1/2 teaspoon powder
Garlic (small) 1 clove fresh (1/2 tsp minced) 1/8 teaspoon powder
 Ginger 1 tablespoon freshly grated 1/4 teaspoon dry ground
Ginger 1 tablespoon minced 1/2 teaspoon dry ground
 Marjoram  3 teaspoons fresh   1 teaspoon dried
 Onion  1 medium onion 1 teaspoon onion powder
Oregano  3 teaspoons fresh   1 teaspoon dried
Parsley 2 teaspoons fresh 1 teaspoon dried
Rosemary  3 teaspoons fresh   1 teaspoon dried
Sage  2 teaspoons fresh 1 teaspoon dried
Star Anise 1 star anise fresh 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
Tarragon  3 teaspoons fresh   1 teaspoon dried
Thyme  3 teaspoons fresh   1 teaspoon dried
 Thyme  1 teaspoon dried  3/4 teaspoons ground
Vanilla 1 inch vanilla bean 1 teaspoon extract

 

 

Last modified on Tue 22 January 2019 5:02 pm

Filed in: Conversions

Comments (31)

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  1. Vicki says:

    Thanks so much for this chart; I have my first herbs this year.

  2. SSR says:

    if 2 bunch of curry leaves dried & powdered how much amount will we get as powder

  3. cmalford says:

    thank you for being there. i prefer fresh but this weekend i ran out of almost everything so once again thank you for being there.

  4. Denise says:

    Thanks for this chart, I am little confused why the Thyme conversion goes from dried to ground, is there a fresh conversion? Thanks!

  5. Dianna Drake says:

    What about converting fresh to crushed dried rosemary? Or even dried rosemary to crushed Rosemary. Thank you

    • Dianna, I may be wrong here but I’m going to guess there is little or no difference when using dried rosemary vs crushed dried rosemary especially if you are only using the leaves and not the stems.

  6. veronica spliethoff says:

    how about converting 6 sprigs of fresh thyme to dried ground thyme?

    • Challenging question Veronica. The problem is knowing the size of the sprig because they can vary greatly. If you assume an average sprig of thyme yields about 1/3 teaspoon of fresh, loosely packed leaves, then 6 sprigs would equal about 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme. If the conversion is 3 to 1, fresh to dried, then 6 sprigs fresh thyme should be equivalent to about .66 teaspoons dried thyme if I did my math correctly but now you are asking about “ground” dried thyme. I’m not sure of the conversion between dried thyme leaves and ground dried thyme but when I did a quick search online, I found “6 fresh thyme sprigs = 3/4 teaspoon ground dried thyme”. I hope this helps.

  7. Donna says:

    Thankyou!!!

  8. Thressa says:

    I want to make rosemary tea. It calls for 6 grams but Im not sure how much to use. could you help? I got some fresh; is that 6 leafs on the stem?

  9. Annette says:

    Trying to find celery seed to ground celery seed conversion. I’ve seen some say 20% less ground compared to whole. Thoughts?

    • Another excellent question and one I’ve had trouble finding an answer too. I did find this from one website, “Ground celery, like celery seed, has the taste and smell of celery stalks, but its flavor is much more pronounced. Use anywhere you would seeds, but in half the quantity, as ground celery is much stronger.”

      If anyone has a better answer, please share it with us. Thanks.

  10. Bonnie Ghimenti says:

    Need to know the conversion from 1/4 cup fresh parsley. I will be using dried.

    Thanks.

  11. Calton Bolick says:

    Well, this is very…unhelpful.

    I’ve got many, many recipes which call for things like “2 sprigs of rosemary” or “6 fresh basil leaves” or some such: few, if any, talk about “teaspoons” or “tablespoons” of fresh herbs, so the ratios you give — and seemingly EVERY website I’ve consulted on this so far — are meaningless.

    Is this an American thing, which confuses cooking with scientific procedures calling for precise measurement?

    • I guess so Calton. Sorry to disappoint. What makes it difficult to say “6 fresh basil leaves” yields how much dried is you have no idea how big the fresh basil leaves are. My basil plants in my garden and basil I buy in the store have leaves of varying sizes so how do you convert. Same with “2 sprigs of rosemary”. How big a sprig is it? 2 inches long, 4 inches long, 6 inches long? I see your frustration but really, this is now an “American” thing?

  12. Cassy Griffiths says:

    I am looking to buy herbs & spices in bulk and I am needing a guide as to how much various dried herbs and spices weigh eg 1T = ? g or oz? Is there a chart available?

  13. Pam Scott says:

    Thanks for the great chart1! Have been searching for ever for this!!
    Many Thanks!!!!!

  14. Eric says:

    Super helpful, thanks for the conversion table.

  15. Leslie Howard-Redweik says:

    How can print the chart. If I copy and paste there is no graph, just words etc… I tried on another browser but it cut off half the chart and the orientation was okay…??

  16. Martha P. says:

    Nice chart very handy to have.
    I’m not sure if there is an error for the bay leaves;
    “Exceptions to the Rule
    Like everything in life, there are always exceptions to my general rules above. For example, you would substitute 1 fresh bay leaf for 2 dried”, but the chart shows 1 for 1.

  17. Judy Bernes says:

    Hello and thank you for this conversion chart! I was familiar with the standard 1/3 dried herb to fresh per volume as I’ve loved to cook with fresh herbs for decades…… I thought most people knew that rule but not! Oh dear and you have been so patient with the funniest of questions…. I’m thinking these are all new to herbs et all?! I found my answer SOOO quickly and I think most people really need a scale in the kitchen whether for cooking or for herbal remedies, DIY cosmetics etc…I use it daily as a hobby!

    You helped me know the conversion for powdered calendula flowers vs dried whole.! I can now infuse it correctly for balms so you have made my day!
    Yours, Judy

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